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The Aims of Dog Breeding

  THE mark to be aimed at in dog breeding is improvement — improvement of your own stock, improvement in the quality of the puppies which you raise, and finally, improvement of the breed itself.

  Many owners argue against the purebred dog. They maintain that mongrels must be smarter than thoroughbred specimens, because performing dogs are practically always mixed breeds. This is true, of course, but the average vaudeville performer who trains these animals is like the rest of us in that he would find it rather expensive to finance the establishment of a troupe of thoroughbreds. I think that is a lot more likely to be the reason for the performing mutts than any greater degree of intelligence on their part. As a matter of fact, I have trained both thoroughbreds and mixed breeds, and I have no hesitation in saying that the purebred dog showed more sagacity and was more amenable to discipline.

  A good point to remember is never to breed dogs which have an hereditary fault, unless it is a minor one and is more than balanced by his outstanding good points. Some people claim that a dog with a fault should never under any circumstances be bred, but I am of the opinion that conditions sometimes alter cases. Suppose a sire throws pups which come quite close to the standard in every respect but one, and that one fault shows through several litters. It stands to reason that a pup from such a sire will never go to the top in the show ring, but it may be a valuable link in obtaining something better when bred to the right specimen of the opposite sex with the object of overcoming the fault. If the fault is a major one, however, I would advise against breeding the dog.

  An instance would be the dog known as a "wetter." In the first place, this habit is only a symptom of something much more serious. It is usually noticed when inbreeding has been overdone. It indicates a sly, nervous disposition—something which will take generations to breed out. Never play with that sort of thing. If your dog is a wetter, I say most emphatically, do not breed him.
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