Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How Does This Happen? Genetics & Bloodlines.

So about this life-threatening collapsed trachea that Sheba has.

It is a congenital, (hereditary), defect. Just like overbites, under bites, slipping stifles,(Luxated Patella), hip dysplasia, and lots of other defects in the canine anatomy. It comes from Back Yard Breeding, or Puppy Mills.

What is the difference between buying from a Back Yard Breeder or Pet Shop (who buy from Puppy Mills), and buying from a reputable breeder ?
The 'real' breeder has studied the bloodlines of their breed for sometimes 10 generations before they ever let a sire and dam procreate. They study genetics, and make sure that there are no bad recessive genes in the backgrounds of each dog which, if on both sides, would come out in their progeny. They study the disposition, conformation and with some breeds, the color, of all the ancestors, as a dog is the total sum of it's ancestors. The closer the show dogs, and champions (written in red on the pedigree) are to your dog, the better it will be. But, it depends if someone introduced some inferior defective Pet Quality bloodlines since the champions, though.

There are several pedigree services available, you don't have to pay a premium and get one from the AKC, unless you really want to, though you KNOW that theirs will be correct. But unless you just want one for curiosity's sake you only need it IF you have a Breeding or Show Quality bitch that you are going to breed to some Breeding Quality or champion stud. The owners of that stud want to know what her background is, so that there won't be more Pet Quality, inferior pups born, especially with their stud's name on the litter papers.

A dog cannot be shown if it's knee joints, (stifles), slip or pop, or if it's teeth are under or over shot, or monorchid, (, or any other defects. It has to have a great disposition to act properly, and concentrate on what it is doing around crowds, and other dogs. It also has to have a great disposition to let strange judges feel their bone structure, as that is what makes conformation. And great conformation is what makes a great gait. A big breed dog with Hip Dysplasia doesn't move right. Any large breed used for breeding should be OFA certified. ( You have seen them leading the dogs around the ring, the judge is watching how they move. It is just like horses, if the bones are all at the right angle, the horse has a lovely smooth gait. The old nags just clop along.

The Back Yard Breeder is often someone who bred Fifi to Pierre down the street just because they were both registered as the same breed. That AKC registration paper is only as good as the people who signed the papers to get that litter registered. Being AKC registered is just supposed to assure you that your dog is purebred, and some Traveling Salesman didn't get into the mix. It does not make it Breeding Quality. If it is Pet Quality it needs to be fixed, and not make pups with defects, that will cause the owners medical problems later on.

This is why there is Breed Standard for each breed recognized by the American Kennel Club, so that the reputable breeders can aim for the standard of excellence for their breed.
Look for your breed, and see how it measures up.

I have a suitcase full of show ribbons in my attic. I bred, and showed Show Quality Poodles, all three sizes, for many years. But when I found out how many homeless, neglected and abused dogs there are in the world because people won't get their pets fixed, I gave up

Millions of animals are 'Put To Sleep' every year, as there are not enough homes for them.

Give a home to one who is already born, then don't make any more.


Off my soapbox for today.