Archive for March, 2013

Selecting the Right Stud Dog

March 12th, 2013 No comments
DC AFC Grand Junction Jake Sometimes I feel like dog breeding is more about luck than anything. Sometimes things work perfectly and some breedings leave you scratching your head at the end results. I try to plan our breedings very carefully and put a lot of thought into what the end goal is. Certainly having a plan is better than not. The folks that just throw a couple dogs together and hope for the best, usually end up with mediocre puppies. In contrast, we have had some pretty good luck with our planned breedings. Here are a couple things we keep in mind when selecting a brittany stud dog. Careful Selection. Selective breeding has always brought the best results. I believe the careful and thoughtful selection of studs is crucial. If you are always breeding to the very best stud dog you have access to, the results will be mostly better puppies. This process takes several generations to get to the point where your litters have absolute consistency. The end goal being the kind of litter where you can simply close your eyes and pick one. Initially, about half the puppies will be above average and the other half will be somewhere in the middle. The idea is to locate and identify the standout puppy/puppies in each and every litter, keep them, and breed them back to other standouts. Over time the breed will be improved. This is selective breeding. Faults and Weaknesses. Every dog has a fault or a weakness whether it be genetic or not. Many of these faults can be corrected by matching up with a stud dog who is strong in those same areas that your dog is weak. Our dog Sue was a late bloomer and didn't get her bird sense until she was 1-2 years old. Others had written her off as a dud, but after talking to owners of similar bloodlines we knew the light would come on eventually. And it did. But, we tried to nip this in the bud by breeding her to a stud that was a fast learner in contrast. The results, their puppies were a much improved version of the parentage. Ideally the pair should compliment each other. To Breed or Not? Just because your dog is intact and AKC registered, does not mean you should breed him or her. We have had a couple of very nice dogs that we really liked but after careful consideration, decided not to breed. They were fine companions and decent hunters, but they were just average. If you breed two average dogs you will get mostly average puppies and a few even below average. It's called the drag of the race. Sometimes the decision not to breed is the hardest decision to make. When your female comes into heat is not the time to start thinking about locating a stud dog. Do some research before hand. Talk to other breeders and stud owners. A well planned breeding will be a better breeding all the way around.
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