Practical Dog Breeding - Free Articles and Information
 
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  What is the most important thing in a dog's life? At the risk of being laughed to scorn, I am going to answer that with one word: love. I do not mean maudlin sentimentality, but honest love. As in man, I believe that this is the first requisite to real happiness, and that food comes a poor second. If the prospective breeder does not love dogs, he should keep away from them. The man or woman who breeds purely for monetary reward never yet produced a puppy which went to the top, or even well up, in his breed. Given the opportunity, a dog can supply most of his bodily needs himself, but not love, that mystic relation between dog and master.

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  That, to my mind, is the first and greatest commandment in the breeding of dogs. Love them and understand them, but do not shower them with maudlin affection. No dog wants to have baby talk burbled at him all day. Remember, the only words he understands are those which have been taught to him by constant drilling. Treat him with dignity, except during his romping periods, and he will respect you for it. It is possible that I attribute more intelligence to my dogs than they actually possess, but I would rather err in that direction than by underestimating them.

  That, to my mind, is the first and greatest commandment in the breeding of dogs. Love them and understand them, but do not shower them with maudlin affection. No dog wants to have baby talk burbled at him all day. Remember, the only words he understands are those which have been taught to him by constant drilling. Treat him with dignity, except during his romping periods, and he will respect you for it. It is possible that I attribute more intelligence to my dogs than they actually possess, but I would rather err in that direction than by underestimating them.

  People who do not understand dogs would laugh at the idea that there are no two dogs alike and that they have separate personalities, just as is the case with human beings. That is an absolute fact, however, and these personalities begin to be apparent within a few weeks after birth. Just as soon as the puppies begin to waddle around like babies learning to walk, it becomes very evident that each one is quite unlike any of the others. One may be a bully, while another may be a shrinking violet. There is always the show-off, and quite often one with a sneaky streak. The bitch always has her favorite, too, and he is bound to receive small favors in the way of extra rations which hasten his development.

  I have one particular litter of cocker spaniels in mind when I speak of the development of personality. These little fellows were line bred to a bitch who had been an outstanding winner a few years previously. She was a golden, combining gaiety, affection, and vanity in her disposition. The sire was a tricolor, the most aggressive spaniel I have ever seen. A queer mating, you might say —a tricolor mated to a golden—but I had studied the pedigrees of both sire and dam, and the results more than justified my choice.
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