Dog Breeding – Genetics
Suppose breed x and breed y were mated. Both dogs are purebred and were able to meet with their specific health standards. Do you think that the breeding will result to healthier pups as compared to breeding them with the same breed? In dog breeding, this question is often asked and it needs immediate answers.
When you breed two top-shape and healthy dogs, it will always result to healthy and cute puppies. It doesn’t really matter if they come from different breeds (i.e. breed x and breed y). However, you’re not considering the recessives. What if both the dog breeds possess and is a carrier of recessive health problems? There is a high chance that the pups will also inherit the recessive problems. If the dog breeds don’t have any recessive health-related problem, then the pups won’t be suffering from any problem. The 1st generation ‘hybrid vigor’ explains the situation mentioned earlier.
Keep in mind that when one of the dogs is a carrier of a defective gene, the defect gene is not removed and it will stay with the pups. The next generation pups are likely to exhibit the problem. If both dog breeds are carriers of the defect, then their offspring will obviously demonstrate such defect.
In the case of purebred dogs, diseases are quite common as compared to mixed breeds. As a responsible and experienced breeder, you should always take into consideration the genetic makeup of your dog, whether male or female. Mixed breeds do possess harmful genes just like the purebred ones but it’s up to the breeder to do something about it.
Mixed breeds are often not tested and so when they are suffering from any health problem when they age, owners tend to blame it on old age. Most owners of mixed breeds no longer find it necessary to test the dogs to identify hereditary problems.
So what you mate breed x with breed y, variations are already expected to surface. For instance, when you mate toy poodles with cocker spaniels, the pups vary a bit. Some pups look more as poodles and the rest cocker-like. However, all the pups are shaggy, buff-colored, and small-sized dogs. When two cockapoos are mated, the resulting pups have wider variations. Some look like cocker while others like poodles. Hidden genes can surface on the 2nd generation.
Perhaps you’re already familiar with out-crossing. Two unrelated dogs are mated. The puppies produced are not uniform in terms of markings, color, coats, sizes, and in other distinct characteristics. The pups are considered heterozygous and so in the future, they might produce extremely different pups. This procedure is often used when breeders want to introduce something to a certain line of dogs such as better colors, front, head, etc.
You must be aware that even if dogs appear to be healthy, they might have genetic problems. Test mating is necessary to identify which dogs are affected. Tests are always required before mating to make sure that the produced pups are the best in order to be saleable.
Genetics can make it more complicated for dog breeders to mate different lines of dogs. It’s up to them whether they will conduct in-line breeding, out-crossing, etc. What matters is that only the best pups are produced. Be extra careful when mating dogs of different breeds and check out the genetic make up of the dog’s ancestors.