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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Controversial Question

Hi all,

Let me preface this by saying a few things. First, all of my dogs are rescues. All have been altered. One (Tango) was used as a "breeding" dog and still suffers from the time she was mistreated in this way. I don't breed dogs, have never bred a dog, have no desire to breed dogs. My question is PURELY because I don't have this knowledge and would like to better understand.

So....there is a very heartbreaking thread going about the dangers of breeding if you don't really know what you're doing. And there is a lot of discussion about having the proper testing done, having the pedigree of all dogs involved, having many things that a lot of careless breeders don't have.

But here's my question. In SOME cases (not all, trust me I know that) a mixed-breed dog can be healthier, smarter, and more balanced than a pure bred dog, and this has been largely attributed to inbreeding with purebreds (from what I understand). And I do know some breeds have actually gone through periods of selective cross-breeding to bring in outside genes because the inbreeding was so severe.

So as a breeder, when breeding only the "best" to the "best" in an effort to better the breed, how do you prevent inbreeding? How do you prevent the lines becoming so crossed and double-crossed that you can't help but inbreed? Because I would think that eventually, if breeders truly are that selective about their breeding programs, eventually all of the dogs would be drawing from the same gene pool to some extent, which would lead to problems, not to better dogs, even with the most careful, most responsible breeders out there.

Please understand - I'm not trying to be critical, not trying to do ANYTHING except understand how these things can be prevented. And if it does get to that point, how do you go about breeding in outside lines to bring back health and eliminate the problems, but without diluting the breed?

Hope nobody takes offense to the questions.....I really, truly just don't understand!
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 12:31 PM
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Actually, the comments about mixed breeds being healthier is a myth. The reason we know about health issues in purebreds is because we can track them with actual test results and databases, so we are actually knowlegable on what health risks are following our lines of dogs. Nobody tracks the health results of mixed breeds/mutts, so of course they are going to appear "healthier" when it comes to numbers.

Also, inbreeding isn't necessarily bad, especially when you've been following your health testing and know the faults of your dogs. Inbreeding can bring out the best traits (and the worst) much faster than breeding for several generations.

The key is to learn! Most good breeders attend every seminar they can, utilize mentors and study genetics.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 12:53 PM
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Kimberly put this very well....

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 12:53 PM
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I have a related question. We have several European members on the board with gorgeous dogs. Do US breeders ever buy puppies from Europe and vice versa?

Debbie and Riley
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 12:57 PM
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Yes, Debbie.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your explanation.

I can see how mixed breed vs. pure bred health could be a myth, and I can understand how that would be perpetuated.

What about intelligence? In humans, for example, if a brother/sister have children, the incidence of birth defects and the incidence of intelligence being impacted are significantly increased. Is it the same for dogs?

Of course no breeder is going to breed a brother/sister. But I'm just wondering how that is impacted throughout the lines. I hope my question makes sense....

Again, not trying to say breeders are doing something wrong, so please don't take it that way!!! Just trying to better understand, that's all.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 01:40 PM
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Debbie....yes
We do not have quite the same breedstandard but yes...

If you look at the pedigree of your dog...or one of mine you will find a lot of dogs from both continents..

This is the pedigree of my lovley Dora
http://www.havanesegallery.hu/pedigree_en.php?id=24115

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 02:26 PM
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You can't really equate human beings to domestic animals for one very good reason. Humans do essentially NO culling of bad genetic material. (well, except for Hitler, and that was looked on very poorly) With domestic animals, conscientious breeders do their best to remove poor genes from the gene pool. With puppies, they are sold as pets with spay/neuter contracts; with cattle the poorer specimens end up quickly on the dinner plate and don't make it into the breeding shed.

In the wild, genetic selection is done by "survival of the fittest", but what "fittest" means varies from species to species. With hoofed mammals, one important aspect of survival is to be able to run fast soon after birth or become prey. So that is how the animals have evolved. With a number of tool-using animals, both mammalian and avian, being clever has become more important than being strongest or fastest. (humans are the prime example of this line of evolution!)


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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 02:27 PM
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Kudo, actually some of the best breeders will breed brother/sister or parent/offspring. That's exactly what inbreeding is. Linebreeding would be breeding cousins, niece/uncle, grandsire to granddaughter.

In humans, if you look back in history at some of the royal families did a lot of inbreeding. I don't remember which family it was, but one of them found that they perpetuated hemophilia, but I don't think anything else has ever been shown.

Inbreeding will bring out the rare recessive genes, which can be very beneficial to a breeder because you will find out quickly what your dog's genetics are hiding and you can breed away from that.

The biggest benefit to inbreeding is that you set traits (good traits). The biggest downsides to inbreeding is that you set traits (if you set faults or negative traits) and if you continue to do a lot of inbreeding eventually your lines will become extinct. I'm not sure if it has been proven, but theoretically, by continuing with inbreeding your dogs will produce fewer and fewer offspring and eventually the younger generations may even be sterile.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 02:35 PM
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YES, if you do line breed you find out the flaws in your line quickly...but to what cost????
I am NOT in favor in tigh in breeding...and with modern tecnic...there is not that much use for it...

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