Breeding Dogs in the 21st Century

Today's dog breeder faces more obstacles than ever before.

By | Posted: Thu Mar 24 00:00:00 PST 2005

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I just couldn't figure out what the problem was. That is, until I started looking at pedigrees. I was breeding closely related bitches to him and others were sending him bitches whose pedigrees were only remotely matched.

For some reason bitches whose pedigrees were remote to his own allowed Mr. Beau Monde to pass on his own type and that of his lovely dam. By and large his daughters resembled Ami so closely they could easily have been hers, rather than being a generation removed.

One of the most significant Mr. Beau Monde breedings came about when a bitch that had no like individuals in her pedigree for at least five generations was bred to him. The bitch excelled in the areas that I would have improved in Mr. Beau Monde. I would have improved his front, neck and shoulders. The bitch involved excelled in this respect. She needed help in hindquarter (as did almost the entire breed at that time) and Mr. Beau Monde had early on established his quality and dominance in that respect.

The bitch (Ch. C & D's Countess Becky) was bred to Mr. Beau Monde on three successive occasions and the combination produced 13 championsthe best of them bitches, and again bearing a remarkable resemblance to their granddam Ami. These were not just champions, but national specialty Best of Breed, Group and all-breed Best in Show winners. The combination went on to influence the breed internationally and provided the cornerstone of the modern Bichon Frise.

Through research I found that although Mr. Beau Monde had what I was after, close behind them stood any number of individuals with traits we were trying so desperately to eliminate from the bree d's gene pools. Tight breedings drew those undesirable elements out in the offspring. Breedings that were for all intents and purposes outcrosses allowed what Mr. Beau Monde and his dam had to come through.

That discovery set our breeding program on the right track. Mr. Beau Monde was whelped in 1969 and has remained the top-producing (65 champions) and most influential sire in the breed to this day.

Why was this so? I really have no answer for that. But fact it is. And I was to find it is not an isolated incident.

Across the Pond
Boxers have always been a special love of mine, and although I had a minimal bit of success in breeding Boxers I have never had the opportunity to pursue a breeding program to any degree. That has not diminished my interest in the breed, and I have followed Boxer ups and downs for several decades, both here and abroad.

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