Where Do Pets Come From
by Tina Barber
do Pets come from?
I have written several articles related to this subject in past
SSDCA Newsletters, but due to popular demand I will try to go over the
of all, each litter produced is nothing more then an attempt (by the
individual breeder) to create a certain type of puppy. Each breeding is carefully planned with high expectations
that it will produce the desired results.
Yet each breeder knows that if he/she is lucky enough to
accomplish that goal, even in one puppy, there will still be lots of
pets in that litter as well. How
can one tell the difference, when most pups look almost alike?
You must professionally evaluate the entire litter, then make your
is an example of a possible litter evaluation:
Lovely Lady was bred to Ch. Super Stud with the hopes of producing some
great future show/breeding hopefuls!
At 8 weeks, the breeder (along with one or more experts) has done
an intense LER. The (highly
condensed) results are as follows;
has huge bone, but he is a bit low stationed.
His head is broad, but he needs a bit more stop, his ear set is a
bit low too. Movement is
good, and he is clean coming and going!
His temperament is outstanding!
He is loving, yet confident and playful.
No signs of shyness, yet still extremely intelligent! Although he
does not seem to possess much aptitude for Sch or SAR, he will
nevertheless make an excellent obedience prospect.
is the biggest and heaviest! What
a tank! He has huge oval bone, with a massive broad rear, usually a sign
of strong hips! Beautiful
head with an excellent stop and good ear set!
Yet is slightly East-West, and needs more shoulder angulation!
He also has no wither, and although he has an excellent croup, he
is just a bit short coupled. His
temperament is very sweet and soft with no play drive at all, although
he was a bit noise sensitive and panicked in the maze!
is a bit smaller then his other brothers, but structurally he is almost
perfect! His side gait is
effortless, with front reach and stifle to die for!
Although not extreme he has excellent head measurements, with a
pronounced stop and nice high ear set. His front angulation and shoulder lay back are almost perfect! He scored well in all of his
temperament tests, was rated as a very confident and outgoing, yet
submissive puppy that will be easy to train.
tested out as having a very high pain tolerance, although he too is very
submissive yet outgoing. He
earned the best overall score from the maze, as well as the ball, tug,
can and other tests. He was then given a special SAR test that he passed
with flying colors! He was not so lucky during the conformation test.
He was rated as having inadequate bone and a bitchy head.
Although certainly not a runt he was probably not going to grow
into a giant.
is the happiest puppy in the group!
He has a super sweet personality, always trying to please
whoever will pay any attention to him.
He passed all of the intelligence tests, but showed no interest
in the can (to investigate strange objects) or the ball (to retrieve) or
the tug (prey drive) instead he tried to lick the kitten that invaded
the test area! His
structure could not be faulted although there is nothing
spectacular about his conformation or movement.
is very burly and square, with a hook tail.
His ears are also set a bit low, and could possibly have a
problem standing. Otherwise he is only 1 lb. lighter then Green boy! His
confirmation, other then his tail and faded muzzle is extremely
pleasing. With a
perfect front, and excellent rear, his movement is flawless. He will be
very soft and submissive, although also very easy to train.
He lacks the confidence to take charge of a situation, and
will always prefer to follow other pack members instead.
is the darkest, with the most impressive broad head.
He has a perfect ear set, and ideal stop.
His front is to die for, and he is the only one with an adequate
wither! His topline is
ideal, and his movement effortless!
His deep thigh and perfect stifle are a dream come true!
On his submission he only rated a 2, and on the pain tolerance he
went all the way to ten indicating that this one will need an alpha
handler! His prey retrieve and
drive were very high, although his intelligence (maze, can, etc.)
tests ran closer to average.
In order to avoid much repetition, I have condensed the
female pups' description.
just like green boy, only
with a faded muzzle. Her
temperament is very sweet and loving, and she showed no problem with
almost a carbon copy of Tan Boy, without a hook tail!
Although she does have a faded muzzle along with that huge head!
takes after her Red Boy brother, only with even smaller bone.
She is structured very nicely, but she has an overly cautious
Now that the LER has been completed,
lets start the selection process
Obviously this is an
awesome litter of puppies! They
are all big and healthy, but as you can note above, there are variations
in each one. The first
question the breeder must deal with is simply;
Did I get what I was looking for in these pups?
A more important question is;
What are my future goals for my breeding program, and what part
will this litter play in those plans?
After contemplating on the 3 BIG ones many breeders will
end up with a variety of different answers.
Lets say this
breeder was looking for the ideal Shiloh as per the breed
standard, with a sound confident temperament that he could use in his
future-breeding program. Since
we all know that one male can sire over 1,000 puppies in his lifetime,
while a bitch may only produce 30 to 50 at best, we must first
concentrate on the males. Lets
look at them again, and with a process of elimination in mind, lets pull
out the pets first.
is slightly low stationed and has a low ear set.
He may be a great puppy, but he could produce considerable
progeny that will not meet the breed standard.
He will be placed into a nice pet home that can appreciate his
other wonderful qualities.
is the biggest and most desirable to the average novice eye. But
his temperament is not suitable for breeding, so he too will go into a
great pet home that is prepared to deal with his limitations.
the smartest puppy in this entire group will need a good working home.
Due to his size and conformation, he will not be used for
breeding, but could become an outstanding SAR prospect, provided that he
is placed correctly.
would have been perfect if not for that faded muzzle and hook tail!
He has some outstanding qualities, but unfortunately his faults
will prevent him from passing on his genes to future generations, this
will have be done by his brothers.
Upon examining the
rest of the litter, Red Boy and Purple Boy were chosen to carry ORANGE
papers, so that any breedings done by their owners would have to be
approved by an ISSR Breed Warden. Knowing
the entire litter with all of their faults, as well as their virtues
will enable the Breeder and Breed Warden to select the most compatible bitches
for each of those boys.
Since this breeder
produced this particular litter in order to keep a top winning/breeding
male, Orange Boy was retained for that purpose.
He will be given Gold papers, since he will be owned/Co-owned by
his breeder. Hopefully he
will develop into the ideal stud that will be used many times in
the future to improve several generations of progeny for his owners
kennel, as well as other kennels where his bloodline will be utilized.
His sisters Pink Girl
and Lavender Girl will also receive Gold
C/O papers and be incorporated into this breeder's program. Both
will be shown to their championships, and upon completion of their
upgrade requirements, will be bred to the most compatible males
available, possibly producing a future Super Stud.
Aqua Girl will be
placed in a loving pet home, where she like her other brothers will only
be required to love and protect their new family.
Out of 10 puppies,
only 3 will definitely be used for breeding!
It is very probable that the Orange papered males will not make a large
contribution to the Shiloh gene pool, although they may be shown and
bred occasionally. In
the event that one of them turns out better then had been expected, and
x-rays out with excellent hips, he might even share the responsibilities
with his Gold papered brother, but this bridge can not be crossed
until these boys reach maturity.
As you can see from
this analogy, many of the pet puppies are outstanding dogs in
their own right, but only the ones that come closest to
perfection (the Breed Standard) should be used for breeding.
In some rare cases, a specific male could be utilized in order to
pass on a specific quality, even if he has other faults, for a
particular breeding. Such
circumstances are the exception, not the rule, and in most cases a
bitch would be used instead. Due
to the limited gene pool we have within the breed, slightly faulty
bitches can still be used for breeding, but their progeny must be tested
Without a proper
Litter Evaluation Report, the breeder may look at his/her litter
emotionally instead of professionally, and everybody loses in the end. Especially the breed itself.
This article, written
by Tina M. Barber in 1999, was first published to the Shiloh Shepherd
Learning Center in 1999.