Issues And Character In Breeding


TO achieve the greatest good from breeding, four important issues must be addressed and usually, they are the characteristics that the breeding stocks should be selected for.

These are fertility, vigour, longevity and temperament.

You will agree with me that these are very important ingredients in the life of any individual pet, and for those who own pets for whatever reason, being on the positive side of any of these certainly provides a platform for a successful breeding programme.

Let us examine each of these.


This is one of the most important characteristics that should be examined, because it is completely useless if a good progeny cannot be reproduced.

It is, in fact, the character that can proclaim the success or the failure of a breeding programme.

So, any breeding norm that does not protect this trait diligently is bound to fail.

Is there any use to produce litters of puppies/kittens and watch them die? Certainly not!

Well, this may well be the lot of any breeder who does not breed for vigour. Loss of vigour/hardiness and its allied ills leads to reduced resistance to diseases and encourages a lot of produce wastage because of their inherent inability to fight diseases.

Such pets also are finicky eaters and they present such a load of problems that their owners would prefer throwing money into the drains than caring for them.

An individual of great qualities with other potentials must be useful for a very long time to perpetuate his kind.

So, this is a trait that must be carefully selected for in any breeding programme. At that time, it might be possible to see dogs living their full life span.

This is, in fact, the sum of the usefulness of the dog to man. A dog that is bad tempered should never be bred, because his progeny will not be useful to society.

So, it might not be expedient to always consider utter aggressiveness as a condition to using a male or female to breed.

And, in fact, the world is changing, drifting away from the era of keeping aggressive dogs to that of expressing a loving relationship with their owners in a quiet atmosphere.

Apart from these traits, another important thing in breeding is the determination of individuals, which will breed.

This presents a very complex picture, most especially if you have to carefully select the mating partners for the characteristics earlier mentioned.

Whether you use animals that are above or below average, the result you will get from the progeny requires sophistication or superior knowledge to interprete, because sometimes, you have some progeny better than their parents or even worse off.

It takes careful assortment to select the ones that will fit your programme.

Occasionally, a dog of superior structure is produced by below average parents, but such a lovely-looking dog is useless for breeding, because he will produce all his poor characteristics in the next generation and none of the fortuitious characteristics he displays himself.

So, sometimes, it is better to use an average dog from top parents than to use a top dog from below average parents to sire puppies.

Am I sounding too complex? Not at all, because breeding is not a beginners’ project; it must be taken from the level of ‘I have a female; you have a male’ kind of thing that we practise here.

Also, it is not a question of you have about five different breeds in your home and each time the females come into season, you call your vet or any of their boys to help you find a male.

This often happens without a study of the male. In fact, without you knowing anything about the dog.

The story continues….

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