Robert Dore, in K9GENES (used with permission)
Subject: Re: Female Lines

Good Morning.

I am finding this topic and the resulting threads of great interest, on two counts. Firstly, as has been pointed out, mating a bitch of above average merit, to a dog of above average merit, increases the probability of producing offspring of above average merit. This just appears to be genetic commonsense - or should I say horsesense (:-). The second reason is that to apply such a rough guide, based solely on appearances, to the selection of mates, is to court danger, and is one of the many pitfalls that the novice breeder falls into.

The questions facing anyone who is contemplating mating a bitch should be as searching as those that should be applied to the prospective stud. If a bitch has qualities worth perpetuating, then the question is whether she has these because of her breeding, or as is often the case, inspite of her breeding. Where her merit has been produced because of a lucky combination of genes, so she herself is a "chance" dog, then it is extremely unlikely that she is capable of passing this quality onto the next generation, no matter which stud she is mated to. Further, where the proposed stud is also a "chance" dog, and given the Mendellian laws of inheritence, there can be no anticpated merit in the whelps.

Where there is clear evidence that, starting at the Great Grandparent level, there has been conscienious selection towards the type exhibited by the bitch (and, of course, the stud) then she would indeed be an ideal candidate to be mated to a suitable stud dog. With certain reservation, I would go further in saying, that such a bitch - and they appear to be becoming rarer - would make an invaluable foundation animal.

But, to continue to campaign the best of the bitches until they are reaching the canine equivalent of middle age, and to generally breed from those that fall below show quality, is what still divides the breed committed breeders from the breed puppy producing breeders. As with computer, rubbish in rubbish out. For the combination of genetic input is almost as mechnical and blind as the workings of the computer. Both can only work on the material it is given. In the same way as feeding into a computer a million copies of the alphabet, you may, by pure chance, get the works of Shakespears spewed out, so by mating below average animals together, that come from below average parents you may get an unbeatable dog for the showring. But don't hold your breath.

Robert Dore
Perkychow Chow Chows
Gloucester. UK

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