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Old 12-27-2012, 10:20 PM   #41 (permalink)
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I think I would be most concerned with the health aspects of a test breeding, immune system would be important along with allergies and other health issues, not just the hip/elbow, DM that everyone seems to focus on.
I would think if a dog pairing is solid in the temperament/work ability, the health concerns is just as, if not more important.
How many dogs do we see now with daily health issues?
Vaccine reactions, digestive sensitivity and skin/coat or allergies? These seem to be lost in breeders records of what they are producing.
I know we blame the environment on this, but do genetics also play into these issues that are sometimes just passed by.
How many breeders let a dog with the above reproduce because the temperament trumps the health?
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:21 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinnie View Post
If there were no test litters, would there be a German Shepherd Dog? The creation of this breed seems to have been a series of test litters.
Well, it always is during a breed's creation period, to concentrate genes and set traits. But we are no longer required to breed that closely, and most people shouldn't, unless they really know what they are doing.

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Not only can close line-breeding be used to bring out the bad traits quickly but many times it is useful in solidifying some traits and also fixing traits. It is a very common practice among breeders. And not just purebred dog breeders. We're also talking about livestock, cats, rabbits, racing pigeons and the list goes on.....
I have no ethical problem with it when it comes to livestock. With cows, chickens, rabbits, etc., you can eat your mistakes. When you're talking about dogs, you're talking about a different paradigm.

I guess my major concern with "test breedings", whether inbred or not, is what happens to the puppies that don't turn out as hoped, or that inherit the worst genetic hand that could possibly be dealt. Of course that is a concern with any litter, but especially with a test litter out of unproven parents or with a high inbreeding coefficient. If all you want to do is make sure your stud is fertile, getting a sperm count done seems a much neater solution. If you want to ensure your female is a good mother, get one who comes from a long line of good mothers. I don't know, that seems to make better sense to me, but I'm not a breeder. If weak libido and poor maternal instincts are an issue in a certain breed or bloodline, I guess I'd pick a different breed or bloodline to work with. It must be a frustrating problem if the dogs are outstanding in every other way.

If dogs weren't as overpopulated as they are, I couldn't get too upset about "test breedings", as long as the puppies of such a breeding are responsibly dealt with. But somehow it just seems that there must be other ways of testing a dog's reproductive system than to bring another litter into the world that may or may not pass the test.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:40 PM   #43 (permalink)
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If a test breeding proved whether or not a dog was a carrier of hemophilia, would it make sense? I mean, you might not be able to prove that without a litter. If you bred that dog to a known carrier or an affected dog, and then tested the progeny and none of them had the condition, then you could breed this dog without concern.

Otherwise, if you have reason to believe the dog might be a carrier, you would have to either not breed the dog period, or breed and hope it isn't the case. If you only breed to unaffected dogs, you are still producing a percentage of carriers. The dogs would not have the condition, but if they were then bred to carriers, it would crop up.

So actually doing a test litter could improve health as it would test what the breeding animal is a carrier of. And producing a litter with an affected dog or dogs, is better than breeding countless dogs that are carriers.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:17 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Yes, in some breeds and dogs, libido is a problem.
I've heard of dogs will not perform natural breeding because of low libido, but the owners just do AIs instead. To me that makes way more sense than breeding a young, unproven male to a female at the wrong time in her cycle just to attempt to increase libido. Wouldn't that have the opposite effect, since the female is not really ready and a number of things could go wrong or the male would not be interested? I don't get how attempting to breed the male naturally to a female not in standing heat would help libido (and personally would not and will not continue breeding a dog with no libido...Darwin award right there).
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:21 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freestep View Post
Well, it always is during a breed's creation period, to concentrate genes and set traits. But we are no longer required to breed that closely, and most people shouldn't, unless they really know what they are doing.
No, in many breeds it usually goes on for the duration but it just happens less then in the beginning. And because of the stigma created by people who don't understand the need/benefit/usefulness, it's not really talked about much. Breeders are always trying to "improve" the breed or make their lines distinctive to their kennel or better than other kennels.

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If dogs weren't as overpopulated as they are, I couldn't get too upset about "test breedings", as long as the puppies of such a breeding are responsibly dealt with. But somehow it just seems that there must be other ways of testing a dog's reproductive system than to bring another litter into the world that may or may not pass the test.
All breedings are basically tests. Usually (when we're talking about knowledgeable & responsible breeders as I stated) the puppies are responsibly dealt with. In the OP's example the puppies are placed in "feedback" homes. I guess, when people bring in the pet overpopulation issue to a breeding discussion then I have to ask, do you think we should breed dogs at all?

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So actually doing a test litter could improve health as it would test what the breeding animal is a carrier of. And producing a litter with an affected dog or dogs, is better than breeding countless dogs that are carriers.
Yep, exactly!
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:26 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Quote:
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All breedings are basically tests. Usually (when we're talking about knowledgeable & responsible breeders as I stated) the puppies are responsibly dealt with. In the OP's example the puppies are placed in "feedback" homes. I guess, when people bring in the pet overpopulation issue to a breeding discussion then I have to ask, do you think we should breed dogs at all?
Agree, and I think a lot more breedings are tests of this and that (not just a stud's ability to procreate) than people like to think. I've known of several "test" litters that get sold for the same price with the same papers as any other and if the people don't specifically ask the breeder the goal of the breeding and why the pair was chosen they'd probably never know (and probably wouldn't care). When does a breeding stop being a "test" and start being...something else....??
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:46 PM   #47 (permalink)
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The ethical question isn't whether a test breeding is alright, but is it alright for good, reputable breeders to do testing without putting their kennel name on dogs in case it turns out bad and also selling said dogs for less than their fully papered, fully backed by the kennel.

They don't want their name on these dogs because if it is shown that their dogs are carriers/producers of genetic issue x, no one is going to want to touch their dogs. They feel like its a huge risk and so they don't want to register the dogs.

The issue I find is that people keep saying, "as long as a knowledgeable/reputable person does this I have no problem with it." So it brings it back to what each one of us thinks makes a knowledgeable/reputable person, and I don't believe we'll agree on that part either. To me...if you're doing this kind of stuff, not putting your name behind these puppies in case you do show a genetic issue, you're not reputable. You're trying to hide something.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:56 PM   #48 (permalink)
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I guess that depends on the buyer? Personally I don't really care what the kennel name is and whether the dogs are "backed" by anyone other than myself, since it is my decision to buy them and they are my responsibility in full. Papers I do care about but only because I compete so I need them; I don't believe the paper itself makes the dog better quality or of more legitimate breeding. So in short, yes you are right it boils down to how each individual feels about breeding.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:58 PM   #49 (permalink)
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What a fascinating thread to read.
I guess test litters are the equivalent of human genetic counseling for couples. I find it odd that the kennel name isn't behind th litter though. Even if the puppies went unregistered, the litter should still be identified with a breeding program. Maybe I'm bring too critical?
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:42 AM   #50 (permalink)
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Could it also be that the stigma that would be attached to the breeder by doing these test breedings is why they don't put their kennel names on the litters? All you have to do is read many of the threads on these boards to know that, at least in this country, a breeder doing this now days would be labeled as a "bad" breeder or a breeder that lacks "ethics".

In Germany test breedings of this sort couldn't happen within the rules because the SV doesn't allow breedings closer than 2-3/3-2 except in very rare cases. If the dogs also don't have the minimal requirements for those white/green papers the litter couldn't be registered (titles, hips/elbows, conformation rating). So, test litters would have to be done under the radar.

Not sure how it works in other countries. Nike's mother was the result of a 2-2 linebreeding, but Citty's breeder is in the Netherlands.
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