Question of the Week
Carl J. Anderson
Simi Valley, California
I have always said, "Start with a good female, as you can breed to any dog in the country."
Mark Francis Jaeger
I'll go back to what I heard from Julie Gasow (Salilyn Springers) back in 1977: Get the best bitch you can afford, and start from there. With our Brussels Griffons, that was Ch. Wisselwood Nasturtium, to whom Anne Rogers Clark gave BOS at the 1989 ABGA National Specialty. Her first litter for us produced the multiple-group winner Ch. Wisselwood Karma Disk Jockey (coincidentally, the first black smooth champion), and our breeding program based on her has kept us very competitive for the last three decades.
Janice M. Leonard
Absolutely! Bitches of very good breed type, sound bodies and minds, and good mothers are priceless.
I was taught early that bitches are the backbone of any breeding program.
If you obtain the best bitches possible, you will have your choice of stud dogs to breed from. Conversely, you can have a great stud dog, but you are still at the mercy of those same bitch owners to use your sire.
Brookville, New York
A good breeding bitch is like money in the bank. I’ve had many bitches that I’ve counted on to produce good litters. The trick is to make certain the bitch gets bred to the right stud dog. Going way back in my line, one of my girls still holds the record of top brood bitch with ten champions to her credit. I’m a firm believer in line breeding whenever possible but look for a common ancestor when I have to go out of my line. In a breeding of that sort, I’ll hopefully have a bitch to select so that girl can be bred back into my line. A number of my girls are top Norfolk, but what they have produced in the whelping box is what it’s all about.
Maple Park, Illinois
No doubt about it. You can go anywhere for a stud. The bitches are the ones that carry your lines ...
Knowing about the dog’s mother is so important. I always thought puppies brought forward their grandparents. And then watching what that dog produces — “Papa Dog is lovely, but where are all those short-legged, thick-necked puppies coming from??"
West Bend, Wisconsin
That has been my experience, precisely. My foundation Bedlington was a bitch from the Willow Wind line. She was bred three times to three different males. With careful puppy selection and occasional input from males owned by other breeders, I was able to establish a solid, prepotent line of dogs that carried forward the greatness of the original Willow Wind and Tamarack foundation. My First Class Bedlingtons are a reflection of the quality that came before them, and it all started with one great bitch.
Temple City, California
Oh, absolutely! The value of a great bitch is everything. I began my white Miniature Poodle breeding program with a single bitch, “Dressy” (Ch. Durandel Dress Me Up). I bred her four times to four different dogs while keeping a bitch from each litter and one son throughout the years. Those bitches in turn were also wonderful producers. But the real icing on the cake is that Dressy had such exquisite breed type, which she passed on to each generation. My last special Kendall could have been her twin more than 20 years later. It is so inspiring to see how important Dressy was, and is still relevant in my dogs today.
Wesley Chapel, Florida
Well, it takes two to tango! Thus, reputation can be built on the success of a stud dog. Currently I co-own a male German Shorthaired Pointer who has sired more than 50 champions. He has produced many quality dogs with great successes. However, it is only the bitch owner who selects a dog for breeding each time. It allows for the crafting of a litter with a lot of potential. The puppies produced from these females carry the banner of a kennel. So you must have the girls to make decisions about litters, to establish your ability to produce good dogs and create your place in your breed.
Setauket, New York
Absolutely correct! You breed to stud dogs that belong to others, but your bitch line is the heart and soul of your kennel.
I never breed to a stud dog whose dam and granddam I don't love.