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Dog Breeding Tips to Keep in Mind.

  These are a lot of things to keep in mind, and the beginner can hardly be expected to remember them all in
the excitement of buying his first bitch; but the more of them you do consider, the fewer faults you will have to try to breed out when you come to mating. In other words, the more careful you are at the start, the faster you are likely to progress when you actually commence breeding operations.

  Your big moment is now rapidly approaching. You have chosen a bitch that you are coninced is healthy. You have looked into her records and have found that she has whelped litters of good-type puppies on former occasions, and there is no reason to suspect that she will not repeat. You have studied her pedigree under the guidance of an experienced breeder. You are satisfied that her breeding is sound, and that she may be expected to pass on her good points to her offspring. In other words, after carefully weighing all the factors involved, you have chosen the bitch that you want as the foundation of your kennel. Your checkbook and your judgment must decide your choice. Your head and not your heart must make the decision. You are founding a kennel, not choosing a companion.

  I have advised the beginner to purchase a young, proved bitch. This will entail a little more expense, for it is quite understandable that a bitch who has proved her worth will be of more value to her owner than an untried one or even an older one who has done yeoman service in the propagation of her race. These may frequently be purchased for less than a puppy bitch, but it must be kept in mind that after a bitch has passed seven years of age, she has pretty well reached the end of her breeding activities and should be retired on the equivalent of an old-age pension. So buy the best bitch you can afford. If you want the best, you must be willing to pay the price, for quality never comes cheaply. If, on the other hand, you are unable to obtain the best at thestart, you can always improve by a program of judicious breeding over a period of time.

  The beginner should concentrate on the particular breed which appeals to him most, and should devote his time to producing better specimens of that breed. Later on, if kennel space allows, you can try others, but the beginner who does not concentrate on one breed is very likely to find his kennel degenerating into a "puppy factory." The scientific study of the pedigrees and blood lines of your favorite breed and the carrying out of intelligent matings is a full-time job which is hindered by the presence of other breeds in your kennels.

  Do not start on one breed and then keep changing from one to another. If there is any doubt in your mind, wait until you have quite decided, and then give your wholehearted effort to raising and improving that one breed. For my part, I am a lover of all breeds, but there is a place in my heart for that happy little fellow, the cocker spaniel, which no other dog can ever occupy.

  Do not expect to trip lightly through dog breeding with success meeting your every effort. You will have plenty of disappointments and set-backs, but do not become discouraged. Every pup cannot be a flyer any more than every young boy can become the president of the United States, but they all have their place in the general scheme of things. As litter after litter comes along, you obtain more and more knowledge of your breed, until finally the great day arrives. The pup you bred has finished his championship. Is that reward enough for you ? If you are a true lover of dogs, you will get a bigger thrill from your first championship than you would if Harvard conferred an honorary LL.D. degree on you!

  Yes, it's a grand feeling, but the credit is not all yours. You selected the bitch, and you selected the sire for the litters, but what of the other breeders who produced them—and all their forebears? Your flyer has been the product not only of your care and study, but of the thoughtful and selective breeding of many others who have combined to produce all the dogs in his pedigree, just as you have now become a link in the chain which will in the future produce even better dogs.

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