Author: Hugh Slaney vom Slaney-Vale
There are only two ways to conduct a breeding (natural and by A.I.), but many ways to conduct a breeding program.
A human being conducts a breeding program, there-by interrupting nature and defining or shaping a breed.
Bob Wehle made a statement once that, “If you put an established breed alone on an Island and let natural selection take place, in just a few generations the whole type would have changed.” Type is a big word: it means the Genetic Package.
Breeders, or custodians of a breed, “are all Islands”: each moulding and shaping.
The genetic makeup of a dog, and the power of dominant and recessive genes is an amazing thing. Those who look at it this way are breeders, those who do not, produce puppies. The production of puppies, while necessary to maintain a breed, is in itself only a means to an end. The simple act of having a certified for breeding female bred to a certified for breeding male, requires no skill other than being able to drive a vehicle to transport the dog or handle a telephone to speak to a stud owner to arrange the service.
Equally, it takes no skill to research the pattern and fore fathers of the future puppy parents, but it does take dedication, interest, and commitment.
While it is true, that “like begets like” and what a sire and dam represent as individuals is the single most direct influence, predictability through the path of human influence, which was chosen via pedigree research, health research, character research, and truly Versatile research, makes for a breeder.
No breeder needs to be a geneticist, but every person who stands above the crowd and states “I will breed a litter of pups”, makes a mighty statement.
The owner of those just conceived pups should be able to quote four generations on each side of those pups, sire line production records, individual production records within the pedigree, coat and conformation transfers, and most importantly with detail, quote why the breeding was made and what is hoped to be achieved,
This is what keeps a breed maintained and moving forward with integrity, not the production of numbers of puppies. Equally, it should go without saying, but does need to be said at least occasionally, “no litter should ever be bred for the purpose of monetary gain”: this is without doubt, the single most destructive force influencing breed degradation today.
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