33: Breeding Basics 4: Predictability and Uniformity in Selective Breeding

Good Breeding is like shooting a dart game.  One basic fundamental is the ability of the breeder to predict the outcome of the litter and have uniformity in his breeding program.  This is achieved thru Selective Breeding.  By proper selection of your breeding stock, you in effect can dictate your future.  Can you imagine that all the Pomeranians that you see today have the same Adam and Eve.  If you look at their pedigrees, you will be surprised that many of them are close relatives and yet they do not look or resemble each other.  That is why having ONE clear picture of your ideal Pomeranian is so important to be able to achieve this.  If you keep on jumping around and keep changing your objective, you derail yourself from this objective.

Breeding is an art and science at the same time. 

It is an art because it is very personal and very individualistic for the breeder to create his own ideal which is based on his choice and interpretation which Pomeranian Breed Standard to use.  There are three significant Pomeranian Breed Standards in the world, ie, 

                                 ……The Kennel Club  (UK, which is the origins of the best

                                 Pomeranians including from where American Pomeranians came from),

                                 ……FCI   (most of Europe, Asia, and other continents)

                                ……AKC   (US which is the biggest registry in the world) 

Each of these standard has some diversity with the other but I try to make it a point for my breeding program to fall within all these three standards.  For details of these, they can refer to the Breed Information of this webpage. It is an interpretation because the Breed Standard is not that specific in some areas thereby  evaluating and appreciating the Pomeranian leaves some room for interpretation; take note that it is not a license to interpret as you please or for your convenience.

Breeding is also a science because there are certain specific techniques or tools which a breeder can use to achieve his objective.  There is the phenotype and genotype breeding.  There are Medelian theory, and so forth.

Phenotype breeding is focusing your breeding based on type.  For example, if your objective is to breed for a dog that is up on leg(tall) , you breed only to up on leg stud dogs.  If your objective is to breed for a short wedged shaped face, you breed to a dog with that particular feature.  In the final analysis, by breeding and breeding to the same type of dogs, you eventually create that kind of dog in uniformity, hopefully.  In Pomeranians, I find this system ineffective without the use of linebreeding and inbreeding because the puppies would eventually lose their breed type and oftentimes,  revert back to its original spitzy ancestors.

Genotype breeding is breeding based on the genes, specifically the pedigree.  You breed based on a common desired ancestor hoping to resurrect that desired ancestor in your puppies but in  more superior version.  There is In-breeding, Line-breeding, and Out-crossing.

In-breeding is breeding father to daughter(1-2), son to mother(2-1), half brother to half sister(2-2) or even littermates brother and sister(2-2/2-2). (The numbers placed in the parenthesis is a short cut description of the inbreeding or linebreeding done.  The numbers refer to the similarities of the breeding of the pedigree of the dog. 1 refers to sire or dam themselves; 2 refers to any parents of the sire and dam; 3 refers to any grandparents of the sire and dam, etc.   Therefore, when you say 1-2, the pedigree of dog described has a father(1) and maternal grandfather(2) that is the same; or more simply put,  a father to daughter breeding.  A 2-2 means that the dog has the same grandfather or the same grandmother; or a half brother half sister breeding.)

This is what I call dynamite breeding because it is a very powerful tool producing your desired objective quickly(saves you generations and years of waiting) but at the same time it could be very disastrous;  ie,defective/abnormal puppies, faults starts to show in a more serious degree  or even resurrection  of hidden faults unseen in your breeding specimen.  It can also be a tool to prove that your stock is clean from unseen recessive faults/feature lurking behind your dog.  For example, if you inbreed your male stud dog to his daughter, you will see some hidden faults coming out.  If and when this happens, you then know which faults you need to avoid and thus, this helps you in your selection and breeding program.   You only use superior and excellent stock for in inbreeding.  They should have minimalistic faults and both partners should not have the same faults. Their recessive background should be clear. Personally, I am very careful when I do inbreeding and I have done this on a very limited basis in the past using my best stock.  I am inclined to favor half brother half sister breeding with the preference that there is new and diversity in blood on the other half of the pedigree of both partners to allow some hybrid vigor, ie strength and stamina in the puppies.  

The Number  1 Top Pomeranian and Number 3 All Breed dog in the Philippines for 2008 is  Ph HOF Am Tha Ch Canton Bravestar who is a half brother half sister breeding  of Ph HOF Am Ch Canton the Gigolo, my winniest dog.  For 2007, the Number 1 Top Pomeranian and Number 5(?) All Breed is my own import Ph Ch JanLe Don’t Make Me Laugh who is also a half brother half sister breeding and whose dam is a father to daughter breeding(meaning, a father to daughter breeding bitch bred back to her half brother).  For 2006, the Number 1 Pomeranian and the Top 10 All Breed in Ph HOF Canton Britestar, a Bravestar littermate and therefore also a half brother half sister breeding.  I suppose, this examples illustrate the power of In-Breeding or what I call Dynamite Breeding.

Line-Breeding is a milder version of In-breeding, and it is safer but it does not have the same exponential effect.  It is breeding grandfather to granddaughter(1-3), grandson to grandmother(3-1),  uncle to niece(2-3), nephew to niece(3-2), first cousins(3-3), and sometimes a bit more distantly.  Most of my breeding in the past  falls in this category with my preference to first cousin breeding which I consider conservative in terms of good results with less riskier problematic results.  It allows less rejects but at the same time there is that question mark about that lost opportunity of creating the superlative.

Outcrossing is breeding two totally unrelated dogs.  There is a fine line distinguishing this with very distant Line-Breeding wherein you have common relatives way way back in the pedigree.  Outcrossing is an important tool when you need to put in new qualities that are invisible in your gene pool or to give your future puppies some hybrid vigor(strength and stamina) on a breeding program that is getting weaker and weaker because of continuous In Breeding and Line Breeding.

I suppose, the next question that comes to one’s mind is for how many generations can you continue to inbreed and linebreed, or do a combination of both?

Personally, I will do In-Breeding in one generation but go either Line-Breeding or Outcrossing in the next generation.  Reason, is for fear of getting dead puppies or very weak puppies.  Some people have done In-Breeding Pomeranians for one, two or even three generations continuously.  In the process, they had dead puppies .  But in the end, they produced stud dogs that were very powerful in producing quality Pomeranians.  For those interested to know some specific examples of these, they can do a Pedigree Search on the following dogs:

ONE GENERATION OF INBREEDING

Ph HOF Am Tha Ch Canton Bravestar

Ph HOF Canton Britestar

Ph Ch Canton Black Crescent

Ph Ch Canton Black Gigolo 
Ph Ch Pufpride Mystical Clipper

Am Ch Dominic of Lenette

Am Can Ch Chriscendo Cloudbuster 

TWO GENERATION OF INBREEDING

Ph HOF JanLe Don’t Make Me Laugh

Am Ch Jan-shars  Homebrew 

THREE GENERATION OF INBREEDING

Am Ch Jan-shars Flesh and Blood

Am Ch Janesa’s Applause Please 

For Line-Breeding, I usually will do at least for 2 or 3 generations before I even think of outcrossing.  As I have mentioned earlier, it takes 3 generations of continuous linebreeding before you can create a strain.  Although you are just Line-Breeding, since the other ancestors are related as well, you are getting quite close.  I have been told, that if you put in at least 25% new blood, you can go on and on.  For example, you breed in a dog that is half yours(sire or dam is totally unrelated to your breeding program) to your linebred or inbred stock…that leaves 75% of the breeding intertwined to your breeding stock with 25% totally new.  I suppose this the reason why I am always on the lookout for new bloodline because my idea is if I could get a male(or even a female) from an outcross dog or bitch, I could bring in that puppy to my breeding program with some enhanced improvement and hybrid vigor to my breeding program.

For those interested to see specific examples of how I have used OUTCROSSES  in my breeding program, they can do a pedigree search following dogs to see how they produced when bred back to my line:

Ph HOF Am Ch Canton the Gigolo

Ph Ch Canton Rise to the Call

Ph Ch Canton Sweet Gift of Fame

Ph Gr Ch Canton Classica

Ph Gr Ch Canton Dreamer at Allayn

Ph Ch Canton Hot Adventurer 

October 16, 2009 

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Comments

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Thanks for the awesome Explanation for Inbreeding,Line Breeding and OutCross Breeding.

I have gain deep understanding on breeding a Pomeranian now.

This is a big help not only for a Pomeranian breeders but other breeders that owned a different breeds.

Very nice.. with details and examples. Thank you for sharing

Hi there,

First of all, I want to congratulate you on your breeding excellence. You have very fine pomeranians - very typey, incredible double coats, nice almond eyes. I have studied the photos and pedigrees of your poms, and you are among one of my top 3 pom breeders (Basilio Yap, Christine Heartz, and Diane Finch) and believe me when I say I am a perfectionist when it comes to pom type, as I can see you are. I was pleasantly surprised, after reading the above article, to discover another breeder who shares my views on the topic of inbreeding /line-breeding.

I used to show and breed poms several years ago, but it simply got too expensive, and I could not continue. Showing them was one thing, but affording superior breeding stock was another. Most breeders simply continue with inferior (affordable) breeding stock, and hope for the best. I decided I absolutely would NEVER be one of those hit or miss breeders. I took a long hard look at what I really had, and I was not satisfied. It was at this time, I turned to genetics to help explain why I was not consistently getting the show quality results I so desired. I found the subject fascinating, and I have been studying canine genetics ever since. After much research, I discovered that I needed to start with a superior dog and a superior bitch who are closely related with nice tight champion pedigrees. For now, I'll sit quietly ringside (I now live in another region, so I often go unnoticed), watch the Superbowl each February (Westminister), visit websites and dream about my ideal breeding plan with the following mission statement:

To better the Pomeranian breed, according to the AKC standard, by utilizing a WELL EXECUTED (key) Inbreeding plan, which I believe to be the quickest and most reliable method of revealing traits - good or bad, fixing the desirable, and breeding out the undesirable, thereby creating a greatly improved strain WITHOUT sacrifice to vigor, fertility, health, intelligence, or life expectancy.

I believe this with all my heart and soul, and I dream of the day I can put it to practice.

I read so much bashing online about inbreeding and line-breeding, even among show breeders! I believe that many of them are actually doing a huge service to the pom breed because If I owned their poms, I wouldn't inbreed them either. In fact, I wouldn't breed them at all! Then, sadly, there are those show breeders who truly have beautiful quality poms, and are simply misguided about the inbreeding topic. They could fix all those desirable traits and perpetuate a quality strain if they really want to, but for whatever reason, they don't. I still admire them for all they have accomplished though. Deep down inside, I feel they know they should create a strain, but feel pressured from other breeders not to.

Another problem is that show breeders naturally want to satisfy their own needs first, so it is next to impossible to purchase superior foundation stock. And affording it is another matter, altogether. I understand the prices - let's face it, it's a very expensive hobby. For now, I will just settle for living vicariously through my favorite breeders (LOL). Someday, when I can afford it - you, Christine, and Diane will be the first breeders I contact - guaranteed.

Take care always,
RLD

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