It doesn't have to be so black and white--if I were anti-breeding, I probably wouldn't be here. All I'm saying is, with as many unwanted dogs as there are, if you're breeding a litter you'd better have a dang good reason for doing it. If all you're doing is "testing the pipes" to see if they work, well, that can be done via sperm count. If you are testing for hemophilia, yes, in the long run that could be of benefit to the breed (if there is no other way to test for it than a litter).
I know a Collie breeder who had an Oops litter between littermates--and to make matters worse, both were merle. She allowed the bitch to carry the litter to term and treated it as a "test" litter in order to see what recessives came up. I think there were 6 or 7 puppies, and 3 of them had merle-related issues; one was put down, two were placed in pet homes. Of the normal pups, I believe two turned out to be show quality and went to show homes. None of them had any of the recessives that the breeder was worried about, so she now has more knowledge of her line, which may benefit the breed in the long run.
Do I agree with letting this "test" litter come to term? I wouldn't have done it, but at least the breeder was responsible with the offspring.
Actually this is not true. I know of a very nice imported dog out of a World Sieger, who has had his sperm tested and tested, and has been bred to many bitches, some of these bitches have had puppies with other studs before being bred to him and some after being bred to him. So far he has not sired a litter but has had good sperm count with good motility.
As for dogs not being able to manage breeding because they simply cannot perform, I personally don't think they should reproduce. But the idea of using AI, AI sounds like an easy method of getting what you want. But, it really isn't. First of all with regular breeding, you take the bitch to the dog two or three or even more times, and if you get a couple of ties, chances are, if it is going to happen at all it will happen, and generally does happen. But with AI, you have to know exactly when she ovulates and then you have to do the AI a couple of times. This means a lot of progesterone testing. And, no, the little test where they put the blood on the card and then look at the color the stuff turns -- that really isn't accurate enough for a good chance of AI. So you go back every other day to pay for the expensive type of testing.
Then you have to have a vet willing to do it. Some breeders will do it. But most of us would be going to the vet. Getting your boy collected is a procedure that is, well, kind of embarrassing. It isn't exactly cheap either. And once they get the semen, they test the sperm, and then they have to put it into the female. And then you have to hold her up forever so it doesn't just slide out, and it gets to where it needs to get to.
With fresh semen your chances are best, but even then, it is not as much of a done deal as a natural breeding.
Generally breeders will breed a young stud dog to a bitch who is an easy breeder and knows the ropes. The dog has to have confidence. If the bitch acts like she will tear his muzzle off, it may turn him off totally.
I can totally understand breeding a young male to ensure that everything is working fine before putting in the rest of the money you intend to spend campaigning and putting together a good resume on the boy. I am talking about a dog that you know the lines of, and have every reason to believe that he will be everything you are hoping for. And, I would put my kennel name on such a breeding.
In Germany they can do hips and elbows earlier than here, so they can get their SchH1 and Koer'd, their AD, and their hips scores by 12 or 15 or 18 months, so a breeding at 15 or 18 months might fall within the criteria. I am not a hundred percent sure, but I think they can breed at 18 months, or maybe even younger there. I think that to be in the adult class at the sieger show, you have to have a SchH1 for the first show, the next year to remain eligible you need a SchH3, by 3 or 4 most of the dog have a progeny group,
These people want to work and spend time with their dogs too, and if the results of a test breeding aren't good, there is no point continuing with that dog, they can sell a young trained dog, which frees up the time they would have spent on that dog, so they could spend that time on the dogs they are going to go forward with.