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Breeding and Breeders byJack Kelly

At least once or twice, in any two week period of time, some one calls me and asks, Where can I find someone who breeds pure COWBOY dogs?, or pure BOOMERANG dogs, or pure any bloodline that ever existed dogs. I suppose there are breeders that have done an admirable job of keeping some of the old, famous bloodlines as pure as possible. However, there is always going to be some sort of injection of a new, or different blood to Keep any of the old bloodlines completely PURE. It has also crossed my mind that some or most of these inquiries never seem to ask about the quality of the dogs in the bloodline they are interested in. It seems that all they are interested in is how pure the bloodline is, without showing any interest in how good the dogs are in the finish product. That would seem to me to be a perfect example of a PAPER breeder.

The opposite of paper breeding would be the breeder who strives to breed the best to the best, with little or no interest in how the sire or dam is bred. It's difficult to believe that breeding an exceptionally performing male stud, to an absolutely great pregnant dog could produce anything but world beaters. It always doesnt work out that way. When I was first getting Started in the dogs, I use to hear a lot of the old timers at that time talk about a dog called Gregory's BUCK. To a man, everyone of those old timers was convinced that BUCK was one of the best Pit dogs that ever lived, and just as convinced that BUCK never sired a dog that was worth a quarter. In the years that followed, I can think of a pretty good number of dogs that fill that scenario. Hell, it happened to me. I was never what anyone would call a breeder, in some 45 years in the dogs I think I bred six or maybe seven litters of pups. In the early years if I won with a pup I bred to a pregnant dog, that I thought, was good enough to breed to. Several dogs from those early litters were show quality, most were not. That along with my aversion of cleaning up after 8 to 12 puppies for several months, sort of got me out of the breeders mode. But, several ago, a friend of mine, Timmy Gill, had gotten ahold of a good litter mate brother to Davis' GR CH BOOMERANG. He called the dog LOCHEN and sent him to me to roll out, see what I thought of him and to possibly Match him. I considered LOCHEN to be everything Timmy thought he would be, in fact, after he won his championship, over a good dog of Captain America's, I considered him to be, hoping that I was being completely objective, one of the five best dogs I ever saw perform. I couldn't not breed a dog that I thought was that good, so I bred him to a pregnant dog that I was convinced that she couldn't bite a hole in a biscuit, but you just could not Stop her. I was convinced that the resulting pups would be world beaters. They were not. We raised all five of the pups, one male and four pregnant doges to young adulthood and they were nice dogs that made wonderful pets, but that's all.

So, while many paper bred dogs Turn out good and certainly best to best has produced some good ones, neither plan is certain to produce better dogs than some backyard, and even haphazard breeders, seem to be able to come up with. Perhaps the paper breeding might do better if every pedigree he researched was 100% accurate. And many breeders who advertise or say that they only breed best to best are merely talking about the best in their own yards. Many of which have never been shown, so it's hard to figure out what they are best at. A few rolls is not going to give anyone much insight into the true worth of a dog, only whether or not he's a Prospect to be shown.

One thing about breeding that has fascinated me is, how can some breeders, year after year, produce dogs of higher quality than some other breeders. Were breeders such as John P. Colby, Maurice Carver, Joe Corvino and Howard Heinzl so much smarter and their understanding of Genetics so much greater than our own, or were they just somehow luckier then we were when it came to breeding. Even some modern day breeders, that year after year, always seem to come up with great dogs. Is James Crenshaw, Pat Patrick and Ron Boyles, to name a few, that much smarter than the rest of us that also breed dogs? I don't know, but I hope they continue to breed great dogs.
22-04-2010