Fertility problems in top females - Page 1

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by gimme10mins on 11 October 2011 - 04:10

Has anyone noticed that many of the top show females have reproductive problems? Maybe it's localized but it seems that the VA rated females or the very nice females all seem to have issues getting pregnant. However, their litter sisters who aren't as nice seem to have no problems. Can anyone explain this or have a clue as to maybe why? Or maybe I'm just crazy but let me know. I have been to and talk to several breeders and their top females either have qwerky cycles, or they have very small litter, or they just won't take, or the males just aren't interested in breeding them. Just want to hear others thoughts.

by NigerDeltaMann on 11 October 2011 - 08:10

That's what usually happens when "nature" is out-bred. I also noticed same in poultry birds: they actually lay infertile eggs and simply can't sit to incubate their man-induce eggs. Show females just too artificial as compared to workinglines, where nature takes the center-stage.


by gimme10mins on 11 October 2011 - 13:10

It's even like that withing the lines? For instance a litter sister to a top show female will be able to conceive naturally and easily. So you think it's because we as human select for an unnatural phenotype which has some implications on the genotype and due to that it causes what we think as the top dogs to not be able to reproduce?


by djc on 11 October 2011 - 14:10

NigerDeltaMan's statement makes no sence at all because why then do the full sister's NOT have a problem???
Personally I think it has to do with stress. I think top bitches lead a much more stressful life than others.
Don't know though,,,, just a guess.
Another thought occured to me and that is, human female athelets tend to have fertility issues.

by MR4166 on 11 October 2011 - 15:10

I personally think the reason the top female have issues getting pregnant is rigorous training they go through since they are a puppy, we try to get them as fit as possible intern hurting their chances to conceive later on in life. The major problems they have are low body fat and over-exercising because of that they are getting irregular cycles. Compare to their sister that are left alone since they will not be get to the top.  They are exercised less and we don’t worry about putting a bit more weight on them that allow them to be well rested, less stressed and have much more body fat making it easy for them to get pregnant.

by Nans gsd on 11 October 2011 - 17:10

Well are you speaking specifically of a particular bitch, if so, what bitch.  I am sure there are explanations with health related issues that would explain why the bitch(s) did not conceive;  sometimes with high strung bitches, A.I.'s are necessary or even uterine implants could be the answer;  sometimes it CAN BE THE MALE(s), and of course timing is everything.  Sometimes it is too much human intervention;  sometimes the bitch does not like the stud dog.  Millions of reasons why they don't conceive and less body fat while trying to get bred is better and is supposed help produce harmones.  Well, I could go on and on, sometimes the best working girls don't have time to raise puppies while their average littermate has all the time in the world to raise a litter.  Sometimes bitches don't like puppies they would rather work and show.  JMO  Nan


by gimme10mins on 12 October 2011 - 01:10

Thanks for the possibities. I don't want to share breeders bitches it was just things that I have noticed from visiting with people. It does make sense about the athletic females not having enough fat or being over worked kind of like of female athletes. Also with all the human intervention such as AI and uterine implants do you think that could be a bit extreme shouldn't all the breedings be natural. I'm not against any of the mechanism for conception what if the reasoning these females are having issues are due to genetic defects?
But thanks I was just curious why this would happen.



by Championl on 12 October 2011 - 03:10

Gimme10, I have also been made aware of exactly what you're talking about, about some of the top females having fertility issues. I know of  a VA female who is now 4 who has only been able to have two litters, and that's with the owners making every effort to breed her correctly. She either doesn't come into season, the breeding doesn't take, or she absorbs the litter. And she's not even showing or working anymore, no more stress in her life. What about split seasons? Could this be a factor? I have two unrelated females and their cylces are unpredictable; one comes into season 5 months from the last season, then 4 months, then 7 months. The younger one is looking to be more regular but I know her mother had a hard time conceiving so I hope she won't have the same problem. Anyhow, back to what I was going to say, you mention that maybe the issue is related to genetics. A worthy thought, but why then do the litter sisters not have these problems, when they share genetics? I hope more people comment on this, it's a good topic!


by gimme10mins on 12 October 2011 - 06:10

Championl, I really hope others do comment. But I know two VA females with ferility problems and a high V rated female with issues as well. But all of their sisters are producing just fine its strange. And even stranger the same phenomena occurs in their offspring for the ones that actually do conceive. For instance one of the females had a litter of three pups one male and two females. The better quality female has reproduction issues but her sister who doesn't look as nice produces just fine. As far as the sister having the same genetics. They do but they don't. Because there are so many different alleles that code for genes each puppy has a different combination of genes that come together and I think thats what makes the difference. I'm not saying that all top showing or working females have fertility issues but many of them do and those are the one who you would technically want to pass on their specific genetic combination.


by jc.carroll on 12 October 2011 - 18:10

Some lines have lower fecundity than others. Number of offspring being an aspect controlled soley by the female, a daughter from a mother with small litters has a better chance of producing small litters herself.

A daughter from a mother that has small litters and doesn't concieve easily? The daughter runs the risk of having smaller litters and a harder time getting pregnant.

I haven't noticed an appreciable difference in a "top" female being out-produced by her full siblings. In my experience and observation, they tend to produce similar. Fecundity is a trait, like anything else, that can be selected for. If not part of the equation in selecting breeding dogs, litter size and ease of conception can fall to the wayside. Some animals (pigs, strains of lab mice, etc) have been selectively bred to produce huge litters.

Reduced fertility can be a side-effect of inbreeding depression. Analyzing trends in the inbreeding coefficient of females from various motherlines, with an emphasis on fecundity, might yield results as to whether or not that is the issue in showline GSDs. Would be an interesting study, but alas I don't have time for it. I don't honestly think that's the case with showline GSDs; I think it's more likely fecundity hasn't been as prized as it should be.


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