German Shepherd Dog > Importance of Females in Breeding (47 replies)
Importance of Females in Breeding
by Ace952 on 18 January 2011 - 16:17
|I have noticed that with many, the sire is mentioned the most and looked at in pedigrees. People look at their breed survey , titles and progency. I don't notice the same close attention to detail when it comes to the bitch. You hear, "oh she is nice", etc. Even breeders seems to point more to the male but with the females, they don't express the same amount of "enthusiasm".|
What would consider as the prime age range to breed a male & female? At what age do you consider a dog too old to breed?
Would you breed without a breed survey being done? If so why don't you feel it isn't necessary?
by Jenni78 on 18 January 2011 - 16:52
| I was talking to my friend about this yesterday. I find it infuriating and frustrating that the bitch is given so little consideration. I think this is a huge part of the problem in dogs today; people buy mediocre bitches with the idea that they're just incubators or easy-bake ovens for puppies and that the sire determines temperament. |
I have to say that just in my own personal experience, my bitch has made a deeper stamp on her pups than any sire I have bred her to. It may be that I am very careful in planning litters for specific purposes, but in all of them, I see miniatures of her. It's as if she clones herself. I try to avoid "wildcards" and make sure the dogs will complement each other nicely, but this is more than that. She reproduces herself over and over again, consistently w/in litters. In the pups I've held back I see the same things as the owners tell me about the ones I have sold. There are very clear similarities in pups from different sires- totally different bloodlines, too. For this reason, just based on my own very limited experience, I think we greatly underestimate the impact the bitch has, and this has been very detrimental to the breed in general. For every less-than-stellar bitch who is bred (and that's probably 80-90% IMHO), that's a litter of pups who have IMO, a less than 50% chance of excellence.
There will always be exceptions; there will be pups (and human children) who resemble one parent so closely it's like the other was just a silent chromosome donor, but the majority are a result of a combination, a combination that all too often is mismatched in quality due to a misunderstanding of genetic distribution.
I think equal, at least, consideration needs to be given to the bitch or you're swimming upstream as far as goals in breeding. Temperament is partly genetic and partly environmental. The bitch is 50% of one and a lot more than 50% of the other; let's not forget their sire is not raising them.
I would take a good, strong producing bitch over a "top" stud dog any day, at any price (if I could....LOL).
by ziegenfarm on 18 January 2011 - 17:44
|it depends on the agenda of the breeder. if they are producing pups for the sport, then titles are most important and excessive consideration is given to well-titled males. you will find among serious breeders, that their pedigrees are packed with good producing bitches. often their dam lines will show several generations from the same kennel - meaning they have saved back the best from the best to continue their lines. also, it is not unusual to find they have bred to a male out of their own breedings that is owned by another kennel. the dam's sire and the sire's dam are both positions of high inheritability and should be a major consideration in deciding if one wants a male or female out of a certain litter; whether you are looking for a sportdog, working dog or prospective breeders. honestly, there are a lot of breeders out there who do place emphasis on the dam, but you have to turn off all the background noise about the stud dogs in order to be able to hear them. ;)|
by Ace952 on 18 January 2011 - 17:45
|You know Jen, the more and more I look the more I see that being the case. Males end up getting numerous titles on them and all. Females on the other hand usually only get a breed survey done and maybe a SchH1 if the breeder does it. Usually thought you only see a Kkl1 and that si it.|
Just like you said, it makes it seem like they are only good for just being the oven and it is the father that gives the pups everything that they are. It does make you wonder how this hurt breeding practices if you don't know the females as in depth as you know the males.
by GSDPACK on 18 January 2011 - 18:01
depends. Some people get a dog, get the minimum requirements and breed them. Some people get a dog breed them to pay for the dog, then do training. Remember it takes 4-5 months for a pregnant female to be out of work. So take that 8 mos in 3 years and you should be getting at least a title or two. But then you have to look at people and what they do with their dogs and if they even do anything with the dogs.
Males can breed in the morning and go to Nationals the next day (seen that done) LOL
. There is plenty of people who breed worked females, not just titled females. Look around, they dont advertize much but they are around.
When a person finds a nice female, they get maybe 3 breedings from her at the most, they want to work them not just breed them! Well that is at least what I do. Cant speak for everybody.
by SchaeferhundSchH on 18 January 2011 - 18:07
| Isn't it disappointing how little people pay attention to their place in the breeding program?|
I've seen females have a profound influence on their puppies. They play just as much of a part as the sire. Then again you will always bump into the sire, and or dam who just seems to produce them self and the other parent merely is the parent on paper but seems to have played no part on the puppies.
Heh. I'm not sure what gave anyone the impression that males were more important than females though.
by Ace952 on 18 January 2011 - 18:12
|Ziegen...So if a breeder is producing for sport wouldn't you want to see titled females as well with more than just a SchH1? You are correct though that you do have to listen past how great the stud is to see about the female.|
Pack.....the minimum would be a kkl1 correct?
Sch....I think you see it all the time. Heck look on this board and other places and there are numerous threads about the top producing studs, best working studs, etc. You don't see the same when it comes the the females.
How old is too old for a female to carry a litter? What age would you not go past?
by Jenni78 on 18 January 2011 - 18:38
| I don't think a truly strong, really breedworthy bitch's best years are most wisely spent on a trial field. If a bitch is truly great, then in the interest of the breed, should she not be used for breeding? Is it more beneficial to trial and show her repeatedly, or is it more productive for the long term good of the breed to prove her suitability and then breed her wisely to excellent males who complement her well and will actually produce offspring who may be even better than the parents? I don't see things from a sport perspective and have no ego considerations to think of in this regard, so to me, the breed/dogs as a whole is more important than the individual's accomplishments. Now, if SchH is your interest or pastime and hobby, then you will want to trial as much as possible. But if you have a goal in mind, titles in excess of what proves a dog's suitability is a bit counterproductive in terms of time, IMHO. A female only has so many good breeding years. Nothing wrong w/trialing some more after you're done breeding if that's what you want, but I do think it's backwards and counterproductive to title a female to SchH3 prior to breeding. Breed them while they're young and it's easy on them. |
I have had people tell me I should title my females to SchH3, and I ask why? Anyone who wants to can test them and see what they want/need to see. I feel once I find a female that I think is good enough to breed (and that's pretty rare) that it's really superfluous and more related to ego than anything else to put more titles on them just to say they have them. More titles do not make the pups "more better." LOL
Because males are trialed and shown more, their names are more notorious, often, and recognizable names lead to $$$ in breedings. People advertise the male's name and don't say much about the dam.
I have tried to drill this into my prospective buyers who tend to downplay my bitch. I have had people wanting a certain sire and wanting a clone of him and they don't seem to want to entertain that the dam is likely to be a huge influence. It frustrates me to no end. And unfairly, the sires get all the credit for fantastic pups who are very similar...and have different sires but the same dam. You do the math. LOL
by GSDPACK on 18 January 2011 - 19:46
by desert dog on 18 January 2011 - 20:05
|I have always felt stronger about selecting a good female for breeding. And really if you don't know by the time she is between 2 and 3 yrs. old whether she is breed worthy or not. In my opinion you never will regardless of titles she might recieve.|
by Pirates Lair on 18 January 2011 - 20:10
|Have to agree with Jens thoughts|
by Ace952 on 18 January 2011 - 20:17
|So do you start breeding a female around 3? If so then what age do you stop breeding?|
by GSDPACK on 18 January 2011 - 20:35
by the time my female has SchH1 she is about 2.5-3 years old. I train for ScH3 not just to run around one blind. So It takes me little longer to get the title on her.
In another year she gets two-three..getting titles is not that hard, getting into higher competition is much harder! LOL
The rule says 8 years but people breed them longer.
I see how this thought in more appealing to people, I trully believe that is however one of the reasons why the males are looked at more carefully than females.
by desert dog on 18 January 2011 - 20:36
|Ace, I like to breed a female the first time by the time she is 3. JMO but they seem to have smaller litters on average. and I know mine are better mothers, so better on the pups. I usually would not breed a female after 6 yrs. If I felt I had to , and youthfull vigor was still kept by her and healthy, I would breed later|
My thinking (right or wrong) when pairs are in their peek of health, hormones etc will produce the best they will ever produce. It's always panned out that way for me.
by Jenni78 on 18 January 2011 - 21:19
| Pack, you're making some interesting/odd assumptions about me and what I think and do. Not sure where you get your basis for these from. Regardless, I maintain that it is rare for ME to find a female that I think is breedworthy. Other people think it's easy, obviously, if you look at the crap being bred. Standards, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, etc. etc. blah blah blah. It's very subjective, unfortunately. |
What I want is like finding a needle in a haystack. I don't need to put my dogs out there so people "see them" and "recognize their value"; I actually try to connect w/the people who are looking for something a bit different, a little more than what the average or good sport/working dog breeding brings to the table, and that's primarily where my pups go- to the people who are looking for a twist on the norm. Sure, many are titling them in SchH, but that's not the be-all, end-all goal to the people who contact me about a dog. They want the dog first, then they want to do schH with it; they don't want "a schH dog." IMHO, this "more than a sport dog" is determined by LIVING with a dog and doing a vast array of different activities with them, many of which can pressure a dog and separate the strong from the weak better than a SchH routine. I am only talking about my own experience and feelings on the matter, as I thought was what Ace was asking for by starting the thread.
I like titled females in that the most basic criteria is out of the way, then I can start really evaluating the dog.
Hank, as usual, I agree. Whether there is scientific evidence or not, I try to go along w/nature as best I can, and I do agree that young and vigorous is the time for breeding. Not to say I wouldn't breed an older bitch if I had a good reason, but I wouldn't ever do anything to encourage a breeding that wasn't going to naturally occur (like hormone therapy, etc...).
by remione1 on 18 January 2011 - 22:02
|Just going from my experience when buying my first pup. My trainer was more interested in seeing the female work than the male. Said that the female makes up for 60-70% of that pups personality & drive. Not sure if its 100% accurate but it worked for me.|
by SportySchGuy on 18 January 2011 - 22:03
| I do not understand the question I guess. |
Females are half the equation if you don't count their influence on the pups after whelp and possibly even in the womb. I would say that is pretty important. No...really I don't understand the question.
by Ace952 on 18 January 2011 - 22:13
|Desert...you know, I thought females were bred starting arouns 18 months/2 years and then 4 or 5 was the max and considered old by then. I didn't know typical breeding doesn't start till around 2.5-3 yrs old. I just figured they were old by that time.|
If a female is being bred past the age of 6 then she must be a good producer correct?
With the focus usually being on the males, how do you determine if the dam is a good producer? Some would say that it is just the male all over aqain. i.e. if she was bred to 2 good males ...people would give the males more credit than the females in producing a quality litter.
Jenn....you mentioned a "twist on the norm". What do you mean by that?
by Ace952 on 18 January 2011 - 22:17
|SSGuy...question is why is the dam role in breeding not seen as important as the males. You always hear about top males in breeding but you don't get the same attention when it comes to the females.|
by OGBS on 18 January 2011 - 22:23
|Ace-Very good topic!|
I think everyone should re-read Pack's statement:
"I see how this thought is more appealing to people. I truly believe that is, however, one of the reasons why the males are looked at more carefully than females."
It is self-fulfilling prophecy.
If people are not going to do anything with their females, or, very little, why would you expect someone to pay much attention to them?
If the answer is, "Because I say so", it is a weak answer unless you really have the reputation to back it up. Other than maybe a handful of people I have very sparingly seen on this board, or Prager, no one here does, myself included.
I'll ask this question to PL (not picking on you either), do you show a lot of videos on your web site of your females working or just the males? (I haven't looked so I do not know) If I were looking for a dog from you I would want to see what Rush is sticking his dingus in when you produce pups, not just, "Uh, yea the bitch is great!"
Jen, As you know, I have seen Capri and you know that I like her. This is my opinion only, but, I think that it is a disservice to your beautiful dog to not title her further. If you remove the sport aspect from it and the scores, because at the end of the day, who gives a crap about the scores, having a 3 (or a PSA title, or AKC, or whatever) on her proves that she can work/train over time (as in years) and do it while producing pups. It is very valuable to this breed to know that with every female that is being bred. Dogs do wash out and I would want to know that mine didn't if I were breeding her. Otherwise we are left with a bunch of females that we really do not know if they are a much better working dog and working dog producer than what the showline folks have.