Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Breeder's Mantra

Recently, a very well known Mastiff breeder was kind enough to post this article  she saved almost 30 years ago. It has been credited to  Peggy Adamson, a beloved judge and Doberman breeder.   It has some wonderful points and thoughts for anyone who is or desires to be a breeder.
Breeder’s Mantra
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.
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.
Don’t take advice from people who have always been unsuccessful breeders. If their opinions were worth having they would have provided it by their successes.
Don’t believe the cliché` about brother or sister of the champion being just as good to breed from. For every one that is hundreds are not. It depends on the animal concerned.
Don’t credit your dogs with virtues they don’t possess. Self-deceit is a stepping stone to failure.
Don’t breed from mediocrities. The absence of a fault does not in any way signify the presence of its corresponding virtue.
Don’t try to line breed to two dogs at the same time; you will end by line breeding to neither.
Don’t assess the worth of a stud dog by his inferior progeny. All stud dogs sire rubbish at times. What matters is how good their best efforts are.
Don’t allow personal feelings to influence your choice of stud dog. The right dog for your bitch is the right dog no matter who owns it.
Don’t allow admiration of a stud dog to blind you to his faults. If you do, you will soon be the victim of self-intoxication.
Don’t mate together animals which share the same fault. You are asking for trouble if you do.
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.
Don’t search for the perfect dog as a mate for your bitch. The perfect dog doesn’t exist, never has and never will.
Don’t be frightened of breeding from animals that have obvious faults so long as they have compensating virtues. A lack of virtue is far the greatest fault of all.
Don’t mate together non-complementary types. An ability to recognize type at a glance is a breeder’s greatest gift. Non-complementary types are ones which have the same faults and lack the same virtues.
Don’t forget that a great head plus soundness should be another of your aims. Many people can never breed either.
Don’t forget that substance plus quality should be one of your aims. Any fool can breed one without the other.
Don’t forget the necessity to preserve head quality. It will vanish like a dream if you do.
Don’t ever try to decry a great Mastiff. A thing of beauty is not only a joy forever but a great Mastiff should be a source of aesthetic pride and pleasure to all lovers of the breed.

Cathy C. Arney
KIoKee Mastiffs
Hickory, NC