Dog breeding. Inbreeding
Breeding dogs is by no means identical to their breeding. For the first, a bitch, a male, a minimum knowledge of dogs and a place in an apartment are necessary. The second implies purposeful work with the breed, i.e. factory dog breeding. Alas, only an insignificant part of the people proudly called “breeders” are actually such, unless, of course, we are talking about a simple increase in the number of dog descendants, the quality of which usually cannot be predicted and controlled. At the same time, the cynological experience accumulated before the revolution — the experience of landlords’ kennels, thanks to which, in particular, today we can admire the grace of the greyhounds — deserves close attention and rethinking. We have to “rediscover” the laws of selection that have been in practice for centuries and try to give them a modern scientific explanation.
Our generally accepted approach to dog breeding does not include any literate system or program. All work is based on the principle of “from simple to complex”. There is no more obvious and banal truth that the quality of offspring directly depends on the quality of the parents and hereditary factors. In this regard, not every dog can produce good offspring, which implies the need for careful selection and culling of dogs.
When choosing a stud dog, prepotent producers are considered the most valuable. Prepotency is the ability of an animal to persistently transmit characteristic characteristics to offspring, even when mating with individuals that are not similar to it and differ from each other.
As a rule, a good dog has a strongly expressed sexual type, which is expressed not only in its exterior data. He must be active, aggressive within the normal range for the breed. Many very beautiful, but lethargic and spineless males are of little value. From ancient times, it was noticed that a “strong” male should have a powerful, deep voice, without “nasal” and weakness, and have a pronounced desire to dominate among brothers. Here we note that, according to the research of zoologists, the desire of animals for leadership is directly related to the activity of the endocrine system and, therefore, has the most direct relation to the functions of the reproductive system.
An important factor in sexual selection is the attractiveness of candidate partners for members of the opposite sex. When pairing, it’s almost impossible to find the perfect partners. In this regard, we have to deal with real dogs, usually having one or another shortcoming with varying degrees of severity. Experience shows that, when selecting manufacturers, one should strictly adhere to the following rule: in no case should dogs with defects be bred on the same basis, even if they are of the opposite quality. It is not recommended, for example, to make a pair of unnecessarily high-footed producers (although this is unlikely to occur to anyone), but it is also impossible to mate a high-legged dog with unnecessarily squat: in the first case, all offspring will be monotonously tall, in the second we get both defect immediately and any other violations of proportions are not excluded. The same is true both in relation to the exterior and temperament. If you know any obvious or hidden flaw behind your dog, then its potential partner should not only be free from it, but also inherit its absence. This rule has been cited hundreds of times in various books and manuals on dog breeding, but for some reason it is not always given sufficient attention in practical breeding. When studying future manufacturers, they pay attention to exhibition diplomas and pedigrees. Here it is appropriate to talk about manufacturers and titles, about their relationship, or rather, about the possible absence thereof. Numerous titles have a truly magical effect on the fragile souls of inexperienced breeders. However, it is much more important if the victories belong not so much to the potential partner as to his ancestors and descendants, as this already indicates that the dog comes from a good line and does not owe its success to a coincidence.
Accurate prediction of inherited traits is possible only when the mechanisms of their inheritance and interaction are reliably known, and there are also complete genetic maps (diagrams on which absolutely all genes are indicated) of the parent forms. The inheritance mechanisms of most characters in dogs have been studied only at the level of hypotheses, and it is unrealistic to compile genetic maps for each dog in the current state of science.
There are two methods, two strategic programs for breeding animals: inbreeding (kinship) and outbreeding (cross) – crossing individuals that are not related to each other. Both methods are used in dog breeding and are mutually complementary.
The attitude of most domestic lovers to both methods can be described as ambivalent and inconsistent.