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This is one of the best flowcharts I have seen regarding whether you should breed or not. Please chime in, but I see posts here and elsewhere with people looking for a stud dog/bitch or have what is in my humble opinion, a different definition of whether their dog should produce puppies!

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A few separate thoughts though....

1. OFA or Penn Hip is not necessarily an either or situation. Penn Hip does not check elbows. Additionally, Penn Hip can be done with 4 month old pups, but you cannot get OFA finals (hip and elbows) prior to 24 months. Additionally, heart clearances (OFA) should be done by a cardiologist (not regular vet) after 12 months. With golden retrievers the clearances are pretty simple: hips and elbows at 24 months, heart clearance by cardiologist after 12 months, eye clearances YEARLY, or very least the same year prior to breeding (no expired). Additionally, most breeders are now pushing for DNA tests to avoid breeding carriers to carriers where it concerns serious conditions like NCL. <= Basically, clearances are more specific than shown in the above graph.

Additionally, in the box where it is suggested that a basic 3 generation pedigree have 4 dogs who have any titles at all. More important than titles should be every single dog in a 3-5 generation pedigree should absolutely have full clearances (hips/elbows, eyes, and heart). There should not be any holes in a 5 generation pedigree where it concerns clearances.

2. Contracts are important to some breeders, especially new ones. However, sometimes contracts are written for no other reason other than covering a breeder's butt and making it difficult for a puppy buyer to demand $ back when a pup has hereditary health issues. Sometimes contracts are also written in such a way as to discourage a puppy buyer from coming back and demanding money back. A good example would be all of the breeders who will not honor a hip/elbow guarantee if the puppy buyer does not return the puppy. Most people are very bonded with their pups by 6 months old and would never consider throwing them away for money - an sometimes these breeders are counting on that. Just be aware that existence of a contract is not always a sign that a breeder is up-and-up and reputable. Just like the nonexistence of contracts with other breeders is not a sign of them being shifty or careless.

3. UKC is not in the same category as AKC and CKC. In fact, if a litter is only registered UKC, I would suspect that the owner of the breeding dogs is a cheat and a liar who is breeding a dog who was purchased with a pet registration (UKC does not honor/protect limited registration from AKC).

4. "If you are doing it right, you will not make any money breeding dogs" - is false. People make money all the time. What they do with that income is what matters. Somebody who is in this because they compete in sports with their dogs - the money they make off puppies goes back into their breeding program. In some cases, it allows them to spend a little more on things that they did without prior to breeding. In some cases, it just goes into what they can spend on showing (including travel) in a year while taking time off their real jobs so they can travel.

What this statement is intended to discourage would be those people who basically just want to breed dogs for a living and they are all googly eyes adding up the prospective income of a single litter of puppies. There was a lawsuit or something or other that I saw a few years ago where a person was suing another person for loss of income with a show dog during seasons they could not be bred. They were throwing around pretty big figures....
 

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This is one of the best flowcharts I have seen regarding whether you should breed or not. Please chime in, but I see posts here and elsewhere with people looking for a stud dog/bitch or have what is in my humble opinion, a different definition of whether their dog should produce puppies!
Where does this sit in your flowchart?

"In the 2008 television documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed, after which the BBC and some sponsors withdrew from Crufts following the exposure of overweight labradors, pekingeses that can’t breathe properly and bulldogs that can’t breed naturally, the chairman of the Kennel Club (KC) was pressed on this matter. Under-standably, he looked distressed when asked if he would consider having children with his granddaughter."

 

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Where does this sit in your flowchart?

"In the 2008 television documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed, after which the BBC and some sponsors withdrew from Crufts following the exposure of overweight labradors, pekingeses that can’t breathe properly and bulldogs that can’t breed naturally, the chairman of the Kennel Club (KC) was pressed on this matter. Under-standably, he looked distressed when asked if he would consider having children with his granddaughter."

So... you don’t want anyone to breed purebred dogs?
 

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So... you don’t want anyone to breed purebred dogs?
"Once, all breed-type was rooted in function, and informed breeders of sporting dogs have long bred for performance. Breeders may not want to utilise their dogs’ innate field capabilities, but if they only respect a breed for its appearance, then the outlook for them-and, more importantly, their dogs-is bleak."

I think there should be laws against breeding from a high COI. Murphy's COI is 5.5%. His father is 9.9%
 

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"Once, all breed-type was rooted in function, and informed breeders of sporting dogs have long bred for performance. Breeders may not want to utilise their dogs’ innate field capabilities, but if they only respect a breed for its appearance, then the outlook for them-and, more importantly, their dogs-is bleak."

I think there should be laws against breeding from a high COI. Murphy's COI is 5.5%. His father is 9.9%
What do you consider to be a high COI?
 

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"Once, all breed-type was rooted in function, and informed breeders of sporting dogs have long bred for performance. Breeders may not want to utilise their dogs’ innate field capabilities, but if they only respect a breed for its appearance, then the outlook for them-and, more importantly, their dogs-is bleak."

I think there should be laws against breeding from a high COI. Murphy's COI is 5.5%. His father is 9.9%
Hate to break it to you, but function for bulldogs is bull baiting, which is now illegal, and function for Pekingese is being pets. That’s what they were developed as. Not all breeds can focus on function, especially those in the toy and non sporting group.
 

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I don't know, and it is something I would like to see experts debate. The breed average, according to KC, is 7.9%
The breed average on k9data is now 7.99% and has decreased some recently - this includes all dogs from any country that have been put into the database. It used to be above 8% I think. Anyway, I personally don’t like to see COIs above about 12%. And my preference would be to keep them pretty low (<5%) unless doing a strategic line breeding.
 
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Hate to break it to you, but function for bulldogs is bull baiting, which is now illegal, and function for Pekingese is being pets. That’s what they were developed as. Not all breeds can focus on function, especially those in the toy and non sporting group.
These are both very difficult examples to justify. The Bulldog of today is a caricature of what would’ve been seen in the bull baiting ring two centuries ago. The Pekes we see in the show ring are very different from their light coated counterparts.
When we have breeds we’re breeding solely to be pets, perhaps it would be fundamental to consider the effect the extremes we’ve produced have made that difficult.
I do love purebred dogs but I cannot be unbiased when I’ve been surgery side countless bulldogs on scheduled or emergency cesareans because they simply can no longer deliver naturally.
 

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The breed average on k9data is now 7.99% and has decreased some recently - this includes all dogs from any country that have been put into the database. It used to be above 8% I think. Anyway, I personally don’t like to see COIs above about 12%. And my preference would be to keep them pretty low (<5%) unless doing a strategic line breeding.
Felix always surprised me because his calculated COI is quite high and his Embark COI is like 22% or something. I’d have to check again but I remember being like “dang”
 

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Felix always surprised me because his calculated COI is quite high and his Embark COI is like 22% or something. I’d have to check again but I remember being like “dang”
Eevee’s pedigree COI is 3.65%, yet her genetic COI from Embark is ~30%. 🤷🏼‍♀️
 

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Eevee’s pedigree COI is 3.65%, yet her genetic COI from Embark is ~30%. 🤷🏼‍♀️
I didn't know about Embark until now. "Embark’s genetic COI assesses over 230,000 markers and can detect inbreeding in far more past generations, as well as better inform on strategic breeding crosses than typically expected from pedigree based calculations."

Buyers look to pedigree metrics because not all breeders can be trusted, and yet the pedigree COI relies on breeders accurately reporting the parentage! My view is that Embark is a better approach - assuming it works as advertised!
 

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I didn't know about Embark until now. "Embark’s genetic COI assesses over 230,000 markers and can detect inbreeding in far more past generations, as well as better inform on strategic breeding crosses than typically expected from pedigree based calculations."

Buyers look to pedigree metrics because not all breeders can be trusted, and yet the pedigree COI relies on breeders accurately reporting the parentage! My view is that Embark is a better approach - assuming it works as advertised!
The pedigree COI and the genetic COI mean different things though - the pedigree COI is only calculated for 12 generations. The genetic COI can "see" further back than that - and it could be different for different dogs from the same litter (thanks recombination!). Even though Eevee has a higher genetic COI, she is still from an outcrossed litter. Her two littermates really don't look much like her. Her half-sister from a relatively (because purebred...) unrelated mother looks more like her than her littermates do.

The bit that you quoted about better informing strategic crosses really only means something to breeders and people super interested in genetics. The practical application is ONLY useful if the stud a breeder is considering also has a profile on Embark. A breeder can't use DNA profiles from other companies to inform their decision. Embark makes it sound so beneficial, but they do have an ulterior motive for trying to get people to use the genetic COI and their matchmaking service.

An ethical breeder is not going to lie about parentage, so in general, the pedigree COI can be trusted for someone like me and someone like @Tagrenine. We both bought dogs from ethical, involved, preservation breeders with nothing to hide.
 
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We both bought dogs from ethical, involved, preservation breeders with nothing to hide.
As did I.

Despite our dogs being born on other sides of the world, I suspect they share a lot of DNA. I did some digging after Murphy's arrival and there is a fair bit of "international" goings on. My concern is that their gene pool might be smaller than we think.
 

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I suspect they share a lot of DNA.
Of course they do. They are both Goldens.

Thankfully we have many more tools at our disposal now than when the breed was developed. There is a wonderful webinar discussing genetics and health, including bottle necks on the GRCA Breeder’s Ed YouTube channel that I think would be beneficial to you.
 

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These are both very difficult examples to justify. The Bulldog of today is a caricature of what would’ve been seen in the bull baiting ring two centuries ago. The Pekes we see in the show ring are very different from their light coated counterparts.
When we have breeds we’re breeding solely to be pets, perhaps it would be fundamental to consider the effect the extremes we’ve produced have made that difficult.
I do love purebred dogs but I cannot be unbiased when I’ve been surgery side countless bulldogs on scheduled or emergency cesareans because they simply can no longer deliver naturally.
There's this really interesting documentary called "How Dogs Got Their Shapes" on Disney+ that I watched a while back. Bulldogs while used for bull baiting a looong time ago looked a lot different, but after their function ceased to exist, people began breeding them for looks, and since most people thought that the cutest bulldogs were those who had shorter snouts, that trait became inherent in the breed as we see it today.
 

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There's this really interesting documentary called "How Dogs Got Their Shapes" on Disney+ that I watched a while back. Bulldogs while used for bull baiting a looong time ago looked a lot different, but after their function ceased to exist, people began breeding them for looks, and since most people thought that the cutest bulldogs were those who had shorter snouts, that trait became inherent in the breed as we see it today.
In the bulldog club of America standard, it says that the pushed in nose is to allow the dog to breath while its face is pressed close to a bull. I think that the only people who could tell us about this are probably long gone, so who knows!
 
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