Starting the Vulpes Fox Project
1.) Becoming a breeder and developing a ‘bloodline’ demands that you establish a breeding plan.
So first you have to identify breed characteristics that you want to see reproduced in the dogs that you produce.
Identifying your individual list of characteristics that you want to develop in your bloodline requires that you are familiar with the breed character and are knowledgeable about the breed standards that have been established by the experts within the breed.
You will also need knowledge about structural soundness and genetic health issues within the breed.
Develop your eye for a dog, to be able to evaluate one dog from another in terms of those traits that you are breeding for.
All bloodlines have been established by incorporating quality brood stock from someone else’s bloodline UNLESS you are the Breed Founder
Top producing dogs are most often inbred or line bred individuals from an outstanding bloodline.
Inbreeding and line breeding produces a prepotent dog whose genetic material is homozygous.
Homozygous is a term that indicates that the gene pairs are the same. Since only one gene is inherited from each parent, if the parents are related, as in inbreeding and line breeding, the chance of doubling up the gene pair is greater than in the case of breeding unrelated dogs, or outcross breeding.
The term prepotent means a dog that can produce offspring with his same characteristics.
The reason is that a dog that is homozygous for a certain trait will pass this trait 100% of the time to their offspring.
A dog produced from an outcrossed breeding that is heterozygous (the gene pairs being different) for a certain trait, even though they themselves have the trait will pass the trait on to their offspring only 50% of the time.
2.) A breeding dog needs to be selected based on the dogs bloodline, the method of breeding that produced the dog (inbreeding or line breeding) and the individual attributes that the individual dog will bring to the breeding program.
For breeders to know if their breeding program is working, ongoing evaluation of the pups is essential.
As a breeder, I only breed a litter when I need a dog myself to show or to breed, or if I have interested people that I feel will do a good job with the puppy.
Darwin’s theory of natural selection states that when a natural breeding in the wild takes place,’ NATURE’ places demands on the individuals produced and the strong survive to reproduce and the weak die. In this scenario, as a dog breeder you are ‘NATURE’. Your role is to give an honest appraisal of the dogs that you produce, and breed only the strong. The weak, or dogs with characteristics that you do not want in your breeding program, should be spayed and neutered and placed in good pet homes.
Establishing a Bloodline:
Once a breeder has developed a breeding plan, an evaluation of the brood stock that you are going to be using is the next step.
First and foremost, the individual stud dog or brood bitch must possess the outstanding traits that the breeder is looking for in the offspring.
The mating of animals with similar characteristics tends to produce offspring that resemble themselves. This is known as like-to-like, type-to-type or positive assortative mating.
An analysis of the dog’s pedigree is the second but equally important step that must be considered in the selection of brood stock. For novices, a dog’s pedigree is usually meaningless. For the experienced fancier, the pedigree is a profile of genetic potential, containing an unlimited amount of information.
Knowledge about the individual dogs in the pedigree can be obtained firsthand from the dog’s breeder.
Pictures and information on the dogs can frequently be obtained from the numerous breed magazines and breeders websites.
After a number of years into a person's breeding program, the breeder will have first hand knowledge of the dogs making up the pedigree of the breeding stock. Also a database of information concerning the littermates as well as offspring from repeat breedings should be available to the breeder. This first hand information will always be the most reliable if the breeder remains objective in his evaluation of his pups.
Pedigree analysis will also reveal the style of breeding that produced the stud dog or brood bitch. Why would this be important? Certain styles of breeding, namely inbreeding and linebreeding tend to fix and preserve desirable traits by increasing homozygosity of the genes.
This means that the gene pairs are the same. Since the gene pairs are the same, the genes for their quality will be passed to the dog’s offspring 100% of the time.
Outcross breeding increases heterozygosity of the genes. This is where the gene pairs are not the same. Dogs that are the product of an outcross breeding will pass the genes for their quality traits to their offspring only 50% of the time because most of the time their genetic makeup is heterozygous.
Laddy is a Rough Scottish Collie with AKC papers.
Boo Boo is an AKC registered Shiba Inu
Miss Corgi "Missy" is an AKC registered Corgi
Needle is a Registered American Alsatian with limited registration. She was hand selected for the Fox Project.
Pepper is a registered American Alsatian Male Stud used in both the Dire Wolf Project and the Vulpes Fox Project. He was selected for the Fox Project and was the runt of his litter and the sister to Elsie L. C.
Elsie and her mother in the photo. Elsie was chosen for the Fox Project with a litter or two going over into the Dire Wolf Project.