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Moonlake Pons - Sweden




The Path To Selective Breeding . . . continued




Evaluating the Breeding Pair


In judging, the AKC discourages “fault judging”, in other words, while admitting to the faults in a particular dog, we should judge the dog on the qualities that we see.


The same is somewhat true in breeding.  The dog that some may consider too small, although within standard, may have qualities that a particular bitch could use, correct coat texture, heavier bone structure, etc.  In some cases the qualities far outweigh the faults.


While we all hope to produce a litter that is successful in the show ring, some of the faults that we deal with are not able to be corrected within the first generation.  That is why it is very important to know the history of each dog and the faults that have been present in past generations.  Ignoring structural faults and/or genetic health problems in past generations is sentencing the breed to a questionable future. 


Without getting into genetic statistics let me just say that breeding opposite extremes will not correct a fault in all puppies resulting from such a breeding.   The Working Dog website features numerous articles and books on the genetics of dog breeding at   Another source of material is Dog Wise at


This is where we revert back to the section in  last month’s article on “Criticism and Evaluation”.  We must first recognize the faults of the breeding pair to determine where correction can be made and IF it can be accomplished.


I have always used a system in which I jot down on paper two columns, faults and qualities.  For the bitch I list her faults, whether major or minor.  I then do the same for the dog.  REMEMBER!  Be Objective and Honest!


Let’s say that one of the faults on the bitch is a soft coat.  Does the dog possess a correct coat texture AND does he come from a background of correct coat texture?   Let’s say that one of the bitch’s best qualities is her correct rear angulation, resulting in correct drive as described in the standard.  Does the dog possess equally good angulation? 


If you are asking either the dog or the bitch to correct more than three faults, reconsider your thoughts of breeding!  It seems to be common in a lot of breeds that uneducated “breeders” will assume that because a dog is ranked as a successful show dog, he MUST be the best example of the breed and therefore he is expected to correct all the faults in the bitch!  Poor dog!!!   The stud dog is usually the one to be blamed for anything wrong and the bitch is praised as being an excellent producer when the breeding is successful!  Ever hear the phrase “It takes two to tango”?  Nowhere is it a more appropriate statement than in breeding dogs!




CopyrightÓAndrea Erickson2007 – Permission to reproduce in any form MUST be obtained from the author