Mike. I agree with you wholeheartedly...to a point.
I think a person can become over obsessed with breeding a clear "everything" dog and not consider that this dog can't mark and has a poor temperament (example), whereas another dog maybe be "less" clear and have exceptional non testable traits and never be considered by the same person.
I proudly bred an EIC carrier female...something that is debatable amongst folks...although less now then a couple of years ago.
I also spayed a wonderful dog that has Retinal Folds (RD/OSD carrier). She's on the Derby List, is QAA and running Opens now. Vision NOT an issue at all. She has a spectacular temperament, can flat out mark, is great in the water...yadda...yadda...yadda. Do I wish I could breed her to have what I think is a wonderful addition to the gene pool?? Yes, absolutely. Do I regret spaying her? Only in moments of weakness. Do I think she should be bred? No, absolutely not.
I think SOME genetic issues should not totally eliminate an otherwise wonderful dog from the gene pool and I think some people can get too focused on clearances rather then the dog itself. But would I want to mess with health affecting issues that are PROVEN to be genetic? No.
Not one dog in our breed is truly "clear" of everything.
Marcy had it right...."Not one dog in our breed is truly "clear" of everything."
What really worries me the most is that people want to stay away from animals that are CARRIERS of whatever disease. If they are a carrier only, say of EIC, they are NOT AFFECTED. This comment has come up on RTF before in various discussions. We do a the breed a disservice by getting rid of carriers.
Genetic tests have made it possible to help us avoid producing some diseases and things like phenotypic testing (x-rays for hips/elbows) have helped us reduce incidence of disease. The latter is NOT as precise as the former, but it's all we have. Carriers of whatever, need not be abandoned if they have everything else you want. Just breed them to clears!
As someone said before, some things we have are multi-factorial, hip dysplasia for example. There are probably more than one gene that effects it then you add in environment.
We just do the best we can to hedge our bets.
I have a dog, the one in my avatar, that has a grade 2 and a grade 3 elbow. Excellent hips. He is running Master at 9 years of age. Is he hindered by his elbows? Yes. Is it enough to stop him from doing what he loves? No. Do I want someone that has less experience (say pet people) dealing with it? No.
I will try not to produce it.....
But we can't only breed to clearances. Other things have to be taken into consideration, marking ability, temperament, structure, type.....etc...
Humans aren't perfect...why do we expect dogs to be? ;)
I am no longer involved in breeding of horses or cattle. But the process of breeding horses doesn't translate well to breeding dogs. I am certainly no expert on breeding dogs just a litter every couple of years.
Originally Posted by gdgnyc
In breeding horses you have much more help on the genetic side with actual studies that compare similar past pedigree crosses to a pedigree cross you are contemplating. It used to be expensive to do but now you can get them for free from the stallions you are looking at. To my knowledge that isn't available in breeding dogs.
There is an old saying in the horse business though. Breed the best dam you can afford to the best sire you can afford and hope for the best.
Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
Thank you Tim. What you have said is plenty. Breed the best to the best. However, I think that the best does leave some room for opinion because the best could mean "what is best for my plans".
Originally Posted by duk4me
Yes indeed. The most important thing is to have a plan to attain your goal. After that choose the best you can afford to get there.
Originally Posted by gdgnyc
I referenced AP Indy earlier. He has been pensioned but I think his last stud fee was in the neighborhood of 250k Obviously few could afford that but if I had a mare who had a nicking pattern of crossing well with sons of Seattle Slew, AP's sire, I would look at other sons. After finding some in my price range I would then look at their conformation to see if it would compliment the conformation of my mare.
One huge difference in breeding of horses and breeding of dogs is the window of time to make evaluations of sires and especially dams/bitches. That is changing with the advent of frozen semen. I would not be suprised to see some smart breeder come up with a nicking ,not electrical;-), system for dogs and make a fortune. For all I know it could already exist.
Sorry if this was a hi=jack.
i am not a breeder but it seems to me if you did breed a dog with defects you would have to lower the price of the pups to get rid of them. i would not pay any where near the price of a clear dog to get one with possable defects in the future
Not a hijack but good input.
The ironic thing is you get a dog you think is clear and six months later a new genetic discovery comes out and you test your dog and find out he is a carrier for xyz. That would be my luck anyway.
Originally Posted by pat addis
But you are correct in your reasoning.
Suppose I breed my bitch to a male with a bad elbow, OK, Grade I. Now don't forget, this is based on pictures. Questions to ask: Is this environmentally caused? Is this due to trauma? Is nutrition a factor? Does the male have other qualities that are definitely valuable, a good contribution to the breed?
If I were really interested in improving the breed and profit and money were not factors, I would breed, keep the progeny, test when appropriate, and cull what I didn't like. Now it seems like I have a plan to truly improve the breed. I can carry an unwanted trait a generation or two and then eliminate it, assuming the trait were not linked to the other desirable traits. I get the feeling that this is how it might have been done when breeding sporting dogs began. Also there was more interest in breeding that included outcrossing to get good qualities in a dog and I think that "conformation" was secondary. Show conformation not to be confused to breeding true.
Mike, I think your question has merit. I do agree with others also that some affected dogs should not be bred. What price is greatness worth in the long run? Then again would Super Powder have been bred today? If not no CNFC,FC/AFC Chena River No Surprise, Ruby, and many,many others.