Learning the art of breeding;
“Breeding is the art of compromise.” I want to thank the person for whom wrote this wonderful statement.
We do not live in an ideal world where absolute perfection is obtainable. Therefore, when breeding dogs, we must exercise selective judgment, common-sense, and wealth of practical knowledge based on years of experience and research, be able to prioritize all the information we have at hand when planning a particular breeding, and last, but definitely not least, a good dose of luck! In practical terms, the knowledgeable and pragmatic breeder stacks his hand with breeding aces (pedigree and excellent quality dogs) and hopes for the best. Breeding is not just a question of indiscriminately mating two animals together without any rhyme or reason, but it encompasses both the science of genetics and the desire of the breeders goals. Breeding dogs could well be described as genetic sculpting. It is both an awesome responsibility and one of the greatest joys known to mankind.
Then genetics comes into play. Checks for genetic defects are tools, not absolutes. No sane personsets out to breed dogs with genetic defects. In an ideal world we would breed Labs that are free from all genetic problems. But the knowledgeable and pragmatic breeder realizes this is not possible and that all living organisms carry lethal genes. The art of breeding is to limit the physical and mental effects of those genetic glitches. When we are breeding dogs that are closely related genetically there is obviously a greater possibility of these defects surfacing. But when breeding from a pedigree that is entirely different, the risk becomes unknown. It really is a catch 22. This is where it is vital to select only the best dogs for breeding.
The influence of the grandparents generation cannot be underestimated. Some times progeny often than not resemble a grandparent more
closely than either the sire or the dam. When planning a breeding we cannot just consider the suitability of the parents but their sires and dams as well. Putting the perspective grandparents together may give you a more accurate picture of how the litter is more likely to turn out.
Always keeping an open mind and realizing that none of us know it all, gaining experience and knowledge with each and every breeding we do. Aiming to breed Labradors who primarily can fulfill their working heritage as a retriever. By only choosing mates that offer strengths to compensate for the weaknesses of the other. And keeping our kennel
goals and vision in mind, only then we can hope to learn the art of breeding.