Some Thoughts on the History of Animal Breeding

If in a population there are a lot of deleterious recessive genes, then these genes in a homozygous state will work havoc. If the deleterious genes are not present, maybe purged by preceding inbreeding, they will not do any harm. But still there are genes which show a more positive effect in the heterozygous state […]

How To Become A Top Dog Breeder

“The strength of the sire is the power of the dam”. I could use up 50,000 fancy words telling you how to become a top breeder but the whole truth is in that one simple sentence. If this were a textbook, it would lead you through step-by-step lessons designed to build layer upon layer of […]

Seeking a Consistent Breeding Theory

We try to breed the perfect working dog, and we are rather successful, but the resulting dogs are heterogeneous, often despised by those who like the beautiful dog and a homogeneous breed. We try to breed the perfect standard dog and we sometimes nearly obtain it, but its working qualities are not the very best […]

Diversity and the Purebred Dog

The Nature of Diversity Think of genes as recipes. They carry the instructions for the various components that go into making up an organism. Each recipe specifies a particular component, and different individuals may carry different versions of the same recipe. (In the jargon of genetics, we say that they carry different alleles of a […]

Eliminating Mutations – The Impossible Dream

Though it is not practical to eliminate all deleterious mutation, the incidence of affected individuals may be significantly reduced through a combination of intelligent breeding practice and the development of DNA tests. Why do we have mutations? Mutations are changes in an organism’s DNA that potentially affect the correct functioning of genes. They occur naturally […]

Pedigree Power

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me A Match A dog breeder is like the European and Asian matchmaker; it was her job to research family backgrounds, values and financial status to establish a compatible alliance between the bride and groom and their families. Similarly, the dog breeder should research the background of the dog to be bred […]

Eliminating Genetic Diseases in Dogs

Introduction This paper is the first product of an effort I have undertaken that was prompted by the discovery that our five month old Scottish Terrier suffered from Type III von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD). The existence of this genetic bleeding disorder was unknown to us until he suffered a near fatal bleeding episode for no […]

Breeding Schemes

Breeders often talk about inbreeding and outcrossing as though they were the only possibilities — and generally with negative comments about the latter. There are other possibilities, and I have long been a proponent of assortative mating. It is not a theoretical concept that doesn’t work in practice; I know several breeders who do it […]

The Price of Popularity: Popular Sires and Population Genetics

Consider the hypothetical case of Old Blue, Malthound extraordinaire. Blue was perfect: Sound, healthy and smart. On week days he retrieved malt balls from dawn to dusk. On weekends he sparkled in malt field and obedience trials as well as conformation shows, where he baited to–you guessed it–malt balls. Everybody had a good reason to […]

Pedigree Analysis and How Breeding Decisions Affect Genes

To some breeders, determining which traits will appear in the offspring of a mating is like rolling the dice–a combination of luck and chance. For others, producing certain traits involves more skill than luck– the result of careful study and planning. As breeders, you must understand how matings manipulate genes within your breeding stock to […]