When interviewing breeders, as them what their breeding practice is. In order to understand the very basics, here are the four practices in dog breeding: thoughtless, in breeding, back breeding line breeding and out cross breeding. It is up to you as a prospective puppy parent as to what is important to you.
This is when a breeder mates two dogs together because it is the most convenient thing to do. She has a girl and a boy bought as breeders or as pets and never bother to have them spayed and neutered. Intentionally or not at the beginning, the two dogs are mated. No brainer. Together, they produce puppies and the puppies are sold or given away. This is backyard and puppy mill breeding and they have no idea why the two should be mated, what’s in the lines and what health issues are known or hidden. Whether it was to see what cute puppies their dogs can have, just one litter before she/he has to be fixed or it was done to make some money, it is wrong. Ignorance is not bliss and puppies suffer. Pet stores get puppies from puppy mills where litters upon litters are bred with out health testing and thought to the lines. They buy puppies that are not properly socialized and the Moms and Dads do not have a life. Even nice families will buy a puppy from a backyard breeder or pet shore because the puppy is cheap or the puppy looked so cute in the store window without thought to where the puppy came from. Thoughtlessness creates a cycle of thoughtlessness. We ask perspective families to please interview the breeder and make sure the breeder interviews as well. If they are genuinely interested in where their puppies are going, then more likely than not, they have thought about the breeding, raised the puppy with love and want the best home for that puppy. Most backyard breeders are more than happy to accept payment for a puppy without asking a lot of relevant questions. As breeders, we spend as much time if not more to interviewing perspective families as we do in raising our puppies in our home. It takes a great amount of time to breed with thoughtfulness.
In breeding is the mating of very closely related dogs. Some people consider breeding full brothers to full sisters or fathers to daughters to be line breeding when in actuality this is called in breeding. Most show breeders practice in breeding. I know you are cringing at this and wonder why any breeder would ever do this intentionally. We wondered about this as well. But we have spoken to may breeders and the ones who do in breeding explain that their reasoning is to breed for the good traits, the typing, and are looking to doubly magnified hopefully the good traits through in breeding. That will mean their puppies will be even more like their parents. They plan on breeding the daughter to the father. They will do this in the hopes of producing the next Westminster champion. If they do not produce the ideal puppy, then that puppy will be mated back to another very close relative, like uncle, aunt, parent or sibling. This is continued until the breeder gets the next big winning dog/dogs or the hope of the next great Best In Show is born. But any “inferior pup or puppies” that will not be shown are petted out at a steep discount. They are willing to take these calculated risks. In poker, it’s considered “all in.” In breeding is obviously only for experienced breeders who know their lines inside and out. But sometimes, when closely related dogs are kept in the kennel or home together, an accidental in breeding can happen. That is why it is important for the breeder to know their lines, have a clear idea why they keep certain dogs together and to watch for accidents. What is disturbing is when breeders keep doing in breeding and they do not do any health testings. If they do not stay in touch with their families, they will not know if health issues are coming up. If they are only observing their parents, then they could be passing on many medical problems to the pet puppies.
This is when a breeder takes an unrelated male and female and mates them. A daughter is kept and she is mated to her father. This is back breeding. It is a practice used by many breeders of dogs as well as horses, cows and other animals. It sets type, a certain look. May show breeders use this. It is a faster and focused way of getting the look the breeder is striving for. It does bring up the desired traits, as well as any underlying issues. So unless a breeder knows her line, undesired problems may show up.
Line breeding means breeding two animals of the same breed, within the same family. Line breeding is done when certain physical, temperament and performance traits are desired and the breeder wants to reproduce these traits. This is called typing and can be seen in certain breeders’ dogs as they are known for certain looks. It is very important to breed two healthy dogs as the puppies will have more of the same: good and bad. The small size or coloring will show up but so can a timid temperament. It is important for the breeder to know about dominant and recessive traits as line breeding only magnifies all the strong/desired traits as well as the weak/undesired traits. The benefit of healthy line breeding is producing puppies with uniformity in color, shape and size. A litter of puppies will be very similar looking to each other and their parents. Line Breeding means to breed a ½ brother to a ½ sister, a granddaughter to a grandfather, a niece to an uncle…The genetic gene pool is still considered to be diverse enough yet closely related for the puppies to gain the desired traits. Many show breeders will use line breeding to produce their type, be it in color, movement, shape or size. Some lines are so well known that when a dog is viewed, some can tell where the dog was bred just based on their look. With line breeding, it is important to breed one litter to see if the puppies inherit the desired traits. Then the breeder will know if the line breeding of that particular pair is a good breeding and should be repeated. Some breeders will line breed once or twice followed by an out cross and then breed back to the line breed while evaluating the puppies produced in each breeding. This way, there is new and fresh blood added to their lines but they can still breed for their type.
Out Cross Breeding:
Out cross breeding is when a breeder takes a male and female dog of the same breed but have no immediate relatives that are the same for 5-6 generations. When out cross is used in the same breed, the puppies could have three different looks. Some may look like the Mom or Mom’s line, some like the Dad or Dad’s line and some may have neither the Mom’s nor the Dad’s appearance. The common misconception of out cross breeding is that the puppies will be blend or averaging of the Mom and Dad in size, color, coat, ear, tail, muzzle, health issues and temperament but the puppies could end up not being anything like either parents in size, color, coat, ear, tail, muzzle, health issues and temperament. The benefit, if traits are evaluated and lines known, is that the puppies will improve over longer time. Like inbreeding, or line breeding, it is important to start off with healthy parents from healthy lines. A breeder who knows her/his lines will be at an advantage when doing an out cross breeding. She will have a better idea of where the size, color, coat, ear, tail, muzzle, health issues and temperament of the puppies come from and what the odds are of having certain traits show up. The widening of the gene pool can strengthen the line. It’s a safer way to produce puppies given that the parents are healthy and of sound conformation. The only caveat is that typing, a certain look, will take longer to establish.
Mythic Kingdom breeding practice:
At Mythic Kingdom, we have only used out crossing practices. As we are the only Chinese Crested breeders specializing in tiny Chinese Crested puppies, we went out of our way to get the very best examples of Chinese Cresteds out of health tested lines, color, size, movement and temperament. It took us a lot of time and money to get the very best examples of the smallest Chinese Cresteds out of smaller lines, which are the rarest. We have been to many dog shows and it is very rare to come upon a Chinese Crested below the 11″ height standard. Then it is a matter of knowing the lines that the Mom and Dad come out of: health testings done, conformation, coloring and size. But since most Chinese Crested being bred are bred to be within AKC standards, and they are just too large for us, we had to spend extra time to find those special Chinese Cresteds that meet our standards of excellence. But all the work has been worth it as we want the best to produce the best. When people now think of a Mythic Kingdom Chinese Crested, they know our puppies are small, generally 4lbs – 8lbs, fine boned, great skin, feminine faces (shorter than the “houndy” long muzzle), smaller to medium ears with really sweet and confident temperaments. Our Cresteds are tiny and pretty. They are exquisitely put together in conformation as well as being extra loving and confident. This is our type. Since starting our specialized breeding program, we have successfully bred healthy and tiny Chinese Cresteds we call Cathay Royales. These tiny Chinese Crested puppies are documented via photos using soda cans, soda bottles and water bottles, as well as keeping tight weight records from birth to 12 weeks and beyond. Now that we have finally established our lines and have tiny sires available, we will do, from time to time, very selective line breeding to stamp our type. But before we do any line breeding, all Moms and Dads will have either been health tested or cleared by default (that means their Mom and Dad have been tested and were cleared). Just because our focus is to breed for the tiniest Chinese Crested puppies does not mean we will sacrifice the health of the puppies. We also focus on a great pedigree. Tiny puppies can be bred out of health tested lines with champion pedigree. We do care about our Champion pedigree which shows outstanding conformation and temperament. We will not use any in breeding as this is something we are not comfortable with as breeders. We are not willing to get the super puppy with the possibility of producing a puppy with problems. We choose not to intentionally put our puppies in danger. We would rather go slowly with thoughtfulness than to rush in our breeding program.