Should you even import a dog for your breeding program? If you do not have a breeding program now, or your breeding program is not producing dogs who excel for you to reach your ultimate goal, then you have no choice. But where do you find the great dogs to add to your breeding program?
Our breed is headed where other breeds are now. You have either beautiful dogs or working dogs. To find a dog who has both working ability and conformation is almost impossible. The beautiful dogs are getting where they no longer have the drive to do the work. They might have titles, but can they really do the work? It is very sad to say this, but many dogs have acquired titles that were bought just to have them behind their names. So what do we do and whom do we trust?
The first thing you must do is to be honest with your own breeding program. You must be honest with the faults your breeding program has. It might be a cosmetic fault or a temperament problem, but a true evaluation will help select where you must search to improve your breeding program.
So many people want a male in their breeding program. However, the best breeders have the great females, and then they go outside their kennel to find the correct male for their females. You should not expect to have a great male; there are only a handful in the world and for you to have one is like the chances of hitting the lottery. I see so many breeders ruin their breeding program by importing a male thinking he is great and breeding all their females to him. Instead of improving their lines and kennel, they ruin it. It happens over and over again. I hear of people purchasing males that they think are very good, but we wonder, “how do they even think he is a good dog?” Another important point is whether a kennel should keep males for breeding. If they do, then they are limiting themselves in their breeding program, since most of the females in their kennel would be closely related to the male they kept. So finding a male to bring into your kennel for your breeding program would be almost a necessity. But do you have the time, money and experience to own a great male or to make him the great male that he should be? Are there still many great males left out there? Most people do not even own one great male in a lifetime in their kennel. We have been very lucky acquiring great males who enter into our kennel and our lives. We have been very lucky to own some of the great males of our breed, but are not sure why this continues to happen.
Always remember that the females are the most important part of a breeding program for a kennel. So your goal should be to find the great producing females to have for your breeding stock. The female will be the one responsible for the first socialization and training traits to her puppies. She will be there with them for the first few weeks of their lives. Therefore, the female must show natural instincts to birth and raise the puppies without any aggression, timidity, or any other temperament problems that could arise. Another reason why the females are the most important part of the breeding program is that you can take your females and breed them to different males according to what each female is lacking. If you have one male in your kennel, then you are limited to breeding only him to your females. Or you just do not use that male often, but only when he is the best selection for your females. By having one male in your kennel, breeders tend to use him too often with the females they have, which leads to kennel blindness. Or if you are an honest breeder to yourself then you can produce problems in your entire line that is in the stud dog’s trait. Remember the blame for a fault is almost always on both parents. Many breeders try to blame only the male for any problems that arise, but both parents need to be evaluated. To find a fault of the male is to breed him to many different bloodlines of females, and if his trait is genetic on his side, it would show up consistently. Some traits could be good; for example, we have a male in our breed that produces good heads, but his topline lacks. He is also a short dog, and because of his short muzzle, bite problems arise. So you must then only breed him to tall females with great body structure and not head type like his.
So now, you have a kennel of females that you have selected for your breeding program. Honesty is the most important thing in breeding and you must be honest with yourself. If you truly think you cannot be honest with yourself on what you need for each female to improve your breeding program to breed better than themselves, then find an old breeder or someone who has been in the breed for many years to assist you in the evaluation of each female. Then find a breeder that knows most of the great males around the world, and most important, find one that knows what is in their pedigree where they will produce or improve when bred to your females. Most of all, you must also know the faults that these males will contribute to your breeding program and see if it is worth it to sacrifice this addition.
The picture above is a male from our kennel, Champ vom Vilstaler Land.
Download the PDF:
Importing for a Breeding Program – Part 2
Article written by Evie Lynn
Published in Total Rottweiler Magazine, Issue 3 of 2012