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Best Ways to Learn Dog Breeding

  Possibly the dog owner has a bitch and wants to start his breeding activities with her as his foundation. If this is the case, the better the type of the bitch, the faster he will get alo ng. But how, you may ask, is the beginner going to know what good type really is? One of the best ways in which to learn is to attend as many championship shows as possible. Watch the dogs in the ring. Watch the judge and notice what points influence him most. Compare your dog or bitch with those being exhibited. Try placing the dogs yourself before the judge has given his decision, and see how close your opinion comes to his. If you do not pick them the way he did, find out why. After the judging is over most judges are willing to tell you where they fault a dog. Listen and learn all you can, but do not argue.

  The same thing is true of the breeders who are showing. I have yet to see one who would not talk dogs, provided he thought he had a sympathetic audience. However, here is a word of warning: Do not listen too closely when they compare their dogs with the ones which have just beaten them!

  If there is still some doubt as to the quality of your dog or bitch, ask the opinion of as many breeders with experience as you can. If these men all agree more or less in the faulting of your dog, you may assume that they are on the right track. The next thing to do is to ask their advice as to a suitable stud. To get a worthwhile opinion from them on this point may be more difficult, for most breeders indulge in a little hero worship where studs are concerned. However, if enough opinions can be obtained, sooner or later the names of one or two will begin to stand out. Keep in mind, though, that no breeder can intelligently recommend a stud without first studying the pedigree of your bitch.

  You will find that a visit to the dog kennel where the stud is kept is often a help. Here it is possible for you to study not only his pedigree but also his records as a sire, and frequently the owner will have photographs of him and his various litters. I make it a practice in my kennels to keep photographic records of all puppies which show any marked degree of promise, as well as my studs and bitches. I also have photographs of the parents of my present stock. When visiting a kennel for this purpose, it is a great help in getting an idea of what you may expect from such a mating if the parents or grandparents of the stud are on view and may be inspected.
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