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Breeding Principles

Twenty Basic Breeding Principles
 By Raymond H. Oppenheimer

 


 There are a vast number of different breeding methods, some good, some
 bad. I should never presume to try to tell fanciers what is the right
 method because there is no such thing. Outstanding success can be
 achieved and has been achieved in a variety of different ways, so all
 I am going to do is to make some suggestions which I think helpful and
 to warn against certain pitfalls which trap too many of the unwary.


 1.            Don't make use of indiscriminate outcrosses. A judicious outcross
                can be of great value; an injudicious one can produce an aggregation
                of every imaginable fault in the breed.


 2.            Don't line breed just for the sake of line breeding. Line breeding
                with complementary types can bring great rewards; with unsuitable ones
                it will lead to immediate disaster.


3.             Don't take advice from people who have always been unsuccessful
                breeders. If their opinions were worth having they would have proved
                 it by their success.

 

4              Don't believe the popular cliché about the brother or sister of the
                 great champion being just as good to breed from. For everyone that is,
                hundreds are not. It depends on the animal concerned.


5.             Don't credit your own dogs with virtues they don't possess.
                Self-deceit is a stepping-stone to failure.


 6.            Don't breed from mediocrities; the absence of a fault does not in
                any way signify the presence of its corresponding virtue.

7.             Don't try to line breed two dogs at the same time; you will end by
                line breeding to neither.

 8.            Don't assess the worth of a stud dog by his inferior progeny. All
                stud dogs sire rubbish at times; what matters are how good their best
                 efforts are.


 9.            Don't allow personal feelings to influence your choice of a stud
                dog. The right dog for your bitch is the right dog, whoever
                 owns it.

 

10.          Don't allow admiration of a stud dog to blind you to his faults.
                 If you do you will soon be the victim of autointoxication.


11.          Don't mate together animals that share the same faults. You are
                asking for trouble if you do.


 12.         Don't forget that it is the whole dog that counts. If you forget
                 one virtue while searching for another you will pay
                for it.


13.          Don't search for the perfect dog as a mate for your bitch. The
                perfect dog (or bitch) doesn't exist, never has and never will!
14.          Don't be frightened of breeding from animals that have obvious faults
                so long as they have compensating virtues.
                A lack of virtue is by far the greatest fault of all.


15.          Don't mate together non-complementary types. An ability to recognize
                type at a glance is a breeder's greatest gift;
                ask the successful breeders to explain this subject - there is no other
                way of learning. (I would define non-complementary types as ones that
                have the same faults and lack the same virtues.)


16.          Don't forget the necessity to preserve head quality. It will vanish
                like a dream if you do.


17.          Don't forget that substance plus quality should be one of your aims.
                Any fool can breed one without the other!


18.          Don't forget that a great head plus soundness should be one of your
                aims. Many people can never breed either!


19.          Don't ever try to decry a great dog. A thing of beauty is
                not only a joy forever but also a great pride and pleasure to all true
                lovers of the breed.

 

20.          Don't be satisfied with anything but the best. The second best is
                never good enough.

 

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