In your experience & opinion, which is harder and which is easier to breed for? - Page 1

Pedigree Database


by Stefanalabi on 14 August 2020 - 10:08

1. Breeding for Character/Temperament as a whole alone.

2. Breeding for Structure as a whole alone.

I really need your inputs on this and if possible sources as I'm trying to improve my understanding about breeding dogs as a whole.


by Koots on 14 August 2020 - 10:08

I would say that if the German 'show dog' is any example, it's easier to breed for select physical characteristics than temperament/character. It didn't take long for the 'show dog' people to change the structure of their chosen 'line'. But it's easy to lose character traits, and hard to get them back if you are not careful in breeding choices, therefore it's harder to breed for character.

Breeding should be about selecting dogs that are complementary and compensating each other, which requires intimate knowledge of the individual dog's genetic background - strengths and weaknesses in both character and structure - which are present not only in the 'dogs in front' but also in the 'dogs behind'. It takes years of study, questions, observations, research, etc. in order to make informed, wise choices - and a long-term 'game plan' - for a breeding program to be successful in achieving its goals.


by Rik on 14 August 2020 - 11:08

I think you should further define temperature/character to what standard you are asking about (and I don't mean SV standard).

someone could consider a dog excellent for personal protection and maybe to a LE/Mil person, it's just a another dog.

same with structure, there is structure for the job, structure to pass a rating and then structure to stand at the front of the line
in an exhibition.

this is a very good question you asked and hope it gets some traction.

by Pirschgang on 14 August 2020 - 11:08

Breeding for physical traits will always be easier than temperamental traits.

by apple on 14 August 2020 - 11:08

Physical traits are easier to breed for because they are far less subjective and training is not a factor.

by xPyrotechnic on 14 August 2020 - 12:08

Q man said something which will stick with me when breeding, breeding for structure will take a person about 2/3 generation however if you lose temperment and character it takes 7 generations or more to return

Hired Dog

by Hired Dog on 14 August 2020 - 12:08

The physical traits were created to assist the dog in doing the job it was created to do, always keep that in mind.
I also believe that temperament is much harder to breed for and just in case, I mean solid temperament.


by Stefanalabi on 14 August 2020 - 15:08

@Rik, thanks for asking and the response.

My question came out of curiosity to learn more about genetics of dog breeding and how successful breeders have selected certain traits consistently for decades. Especially the typical working dog breeders, how they selected dogs that have drives for certain jobs and hardness in each generation.
How easy or hard can it be if all they have to think about alone is physical features like size, pigmentation, good fronts, hindquarters etc instead of focusing on strong working character.

So, my standard about Character is actually real working character. Like the character that makes a GSD an all round versatile working dog.

As opposed to someone looking into ONLY breeding dogs that'll "Stand in front of the line at show exhibitions"

by apple on 14 August 2020 - 15:08

You also have to consider that a breeding pair can have great working character but if they are not producers that pass on their desirable traits they have no breeding value.

by ValK on 14 August 2020 - 15:08

that's a myth.
there aren't "a GSD an all round versatile working dog".
versatile is a GSD breed in which bloodlines can be developed with emphasis toward this or that certain tasks


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