Selective Breeding

Version 1.1

I feel that everyone who wishes to breed their dogs should understand what this is about even before wanting to call themselves as a "Breeder". I do not want to sound overly scientific by using terms from genetic studies. I want layman to understand the idea, so I have tried my level best to make it easy to understand and added my illustration to get the ideas across. Like all my other articles the fact I present here is from my experience and not a copy paste thing from some article in the internet. I will make it short and clear so that it does not bore the reader as well. There are many types of known breeding methods. The ones of our interest in this article is Inbreeding, Linebreeding and Outcrossing. Selective Breeding as I call is it is actualy Outcrossing. Malaysia have never been good at breeding dogs and I think even in the next 100 years we will still be the same unless the dog owner community changes its mindset.

We must understand why animal breeding is done in the first place. It was a practice in Europe ever since man started walking out of the caves and settled in farms owning livestocks. The purpose of livestock was to serve as food source. In order to care and guard the livestock early Europeans started domesticating dogs (not Wolves as I think I need to write a another article about this topic). Once they started noticing good working qualities in these dogs, they started breeding them among the good ones to produce progenies that could serve their masters well.  Some good traits in these dogs were physical health, sound temperament, easy to train, capable of handling all kinds of stress with less or no human intervention and ceaseless energy for wanting to work. Their main intention was to preserve these qualities, as such they selectively bred their dogs. They also did the same thing amongst the livestock to create cows that produce more milk, contain more muscle mass and less body fat, sheep with thicker wool and also carries higher body mass. Selectively breeding dogs was for the purpose of getting best working partners through whom you can get your work done and ultimately save your cost on overheads. Ever since then, they introduced new breeds and standards for these breeds and most importantly compliance to working standards.

Alright now lets fast forward to 21st century. By the next few hundreds early Europeans and Asians had bred many different breeds for different purposes. Coming down from ancestors who know well about breeding animals, the breeders of modern dog breeds applied the same technique. By now they had 100 of dogs in every breed. So they outcross meaning choose excellent mates from the furthest bloodline for mating. With latest documentation and technology facilities available now factors such as competition titles, hip and elbow conditions, bloodline infomation were further made use to selectively breed these dogs to produce excellent progenies. This is in practice in Europe, though I can't help but admitting that unethical conducts could still prevail. In Malaysia this does not happen. Instead of inbreeding, breeders legitimize their actions by saying that their dogs are linebred not inbred. Linebreeding is exactly the same as you get married to your first generation cousins. Inbreeding is like marrying between siblings. Medical science has proven that these two methods results in irreparable repurcussions. Refer to the diagrams below which illustrates how you can differentiate between puppies coming from inbreeding, linebreeding and outcrossing. If you want a normal or below normal dog, you can get dogs that are inbred or linebred. When I say below normal, it means you will be paying for unnecessary medical bills, risking safety of the dog and you in some conditions, live with unpredictable behaviour and the list goes on. So might as well pay an additional few thousands and get the best and enjoy the best.

 

 

As you can see quite obviously, Selective Breeding or Outcrossing is not simple to achieve as you need the co-operation of not only the entire dog owner community but specifically the owners of particular breeds. That is why I say it has to be done in the best interest of the breed. But sadly in Malaysia it is usually in the best interest of the breeder's greed. Many of you would have heard that Imported-In-Dam are then bred locally with other dogs. Imported-In-Dam means female dogs that have been mated before it arrives from the country of origin. Later once it has given birth to all the puppies, when she is in heat, she can be mated with a local male. You have to be careful with few things here.

  • Bear in mind, imported does not necessarily mean good.
  • Selection of local males should be based on certain criteria
  • To take advantage of nature, breeding requires variety. Of course it may sound ridiculous in human terms, but for an organism to strive it's genetics needs to be tested with different bloodlines. In Europe they do this through selectively sourcing for males and females of excellent bloodline. They spend so much time and energy on this because they love doing it. In Malaysia many do it for profit. So what happens is, the same male and female are mated over and over again. If you are smart enough you may already get the idea of the damage due to this practice. More and more full-blooded brothers and sisters are introduced into the market. For examble January this year you may have a litter with 8 puppies from Male A and Female A. Later June this year you may have another litter of 10 puppies from same Male A and Female A. End of the year December this year. Female A is on heat and she is mated with Male A again for another litter of 6 puppies. On total we have 24 puppies though from different litters all being full-blooded brothers and sisters. If one breeder does this, it is still fine. But majority carry out such practice. This is one of the reason why inbreeding and linebreeding goes on in this country. This is an example of the breeding practice in Malaysia. You can name it puppy mill or reckless breeding or whatever, I do not care, it's just destructive for the gene pool of the breed.

 

In Westerwald Kennel we rarely do breeeding as you can witness the complications of doing it right requires the co-operation of the entire dog owner community. Our expertise is training. But for customers interested in puppies, we get it from litters best bred in Germany from our principle. Though we have received request from kennels in Ukraine, Serbia, Czech, Slovenia, Slovekia and Croatia, we do not consider them as we know that there isn't any ethical governing body regulating breeding on those countries. These countries in my opinion are the third world countries of Europe. Anything goes as far as money in concerned. Second in grade would be Netherlands, Belgium, France, Austia, Hungary and Switzerland. Why I say second is because, even in those countries, they might not have a pedigree for a dog that they would want to sell overseas.