What can established breeders and exhibitors do to help and encourage and assist new and aspiring br

Following on from my post earlier this month as I was about to embark on the next chapter of my own life, opening my new business I asked the question... 'Is anyone really interested in breeding lines or do they just want to own a dog that will win?????'

Following on from my first blog post I had a lot of responses from aspiring and new breeders exhibitors explaining that they found it increasingly more difficult to obtain sound and credible advice from established and reputable breeders. In my opinion this is disappointing - without the transference of honest experienced knowledge of those that have witnessed the results of a multitude of different matings and subsequently the offspring of the combination of different lines over past years how can we expect the next generation of breeders & exhibitors to understand what to expect in their planned litters and how to continue to strive to improve the health and type of their breeding lines.

On a practical level the Kennel Club and breed societies continue to do a great deal to promote the welfare of all the varieties of Dachshund which is great news but when it comes to planning a litter what advice does the new breeder get apart from the practical health & welfare advice from DNA health checks and screenings and which is imperative to producing healthy offspring to Inbreeding coefficients designed to help keep gene pools as large as possible - but will the resultant puppies be typical of the breed type and meet our definitions of the current KC breed standard? Breed Clubs offer to its members mentoring and tutorial days by breed experts to better understand correct construction and understand breed standards and there have been a lot of quality Dachshund publications over the years which are all a great source of information.

In my opinion it takes a lot more research into specific pedigrees and past information to help to produce a good idea of what you might see in your planned litter of puppies. The ability to understand all aspects of information regarding colours, construction, type, temperament and most importantly past faults in breeding lines is essential when planning a litter of puppies by anyone. Experienced breeders will have used and made copious notes about resultant offspring of different matings, and will use this knowledge in their own future breeding plans.

The questions is - how can we best pass on this unique variety specific knowledge on to future breeders of our beloved Dachshunds?

Champion Loggeta Flower Power

Websites such as the excellent Showdach site www.showdach.co.uk maintained by Fay Hutchings gives any aspiring dachshund owner/exhibitor/breeder a fantastic library of information about each individual variety with historical information going back to the early days of the Dachshund in the UK - this information has been and is still used by the majority of dedicated Dachshund breeders to identify a lot of dogs from the past within the pedigrees of our own currently owned dogs. The gallery of champions is also a great tool for those genuinely interested in the varieties to see and understand how the dogs have developed and changed over the years and what lies within your own dogs pedigree and what its decedents looked like. When looking at type this can be a good medium to use however only the Champions within your pedigrees have photo's to view - this is certainly not a criticism as I know from experience the time and dedication needed to maintain and retain the interest of any website - we should all be very grateful to Fay for pooling all this informational resource into one place.

The myKC ( www.mykc.org.uk ) facility operated by the Kennel Club is also superb and allows us all to go back into the distant generations of our own dogs to understand better the parentage of our dogs and read the overviews of each of our dogs decedents. This information is a fantastic aid to planning litters however I personally would love to have the ability to see more images of all dogs past and present and for me this would be the ultimate library tool to better understand the construction and type of all dogs past and present and not just the champions. There are probably a lot more non-champions in all our dogs pedigrees than the champions and I for one would love to see what they looked like.

It's a tall order to build and maintain a pictorial pedigree site accurately but I think there are a few global websites at the moment within our breed that if individuals subscribe to they can add updated information and post images to them. Maybe it would be good to progress the gallery images available further to include dogs that didn't achieve champion titles to better help us understand the origins of our own dogs? I know that in both America & Eastern Europe there are sites where pedigrees of every dog listed show images of each dog within that pedigree going back many generations including imported dogs. A replication of this within the UK would certainly be of great interest I am sure.

Stargang Sansa

So an image database would help tremendously - but how can a newcomer better understand what faults have been generated by different matings in the past - I think this one boils down to the honesty and willingness of individuals to pass this on. I for one am happy to be transparent about my breeding programmes and will advise anyone interested in past successes of matings as well as issues confronted. How about others??? Are we all really happy to be transparent about our own breeding programmes. I know that in the past some experienced breeders have been subjected to misinformed bad press from others within the breed which is unfair, unfounded gossip and scaremongering will never improve our variety but to avoid this maybe a more transparent and informed approach might be more helpful and avoid these unsporting events. Newcomers and interested parties should always respect the time, money and dedication put into the breeding programmes of dedicated longstanding Dachshund enthusiasts - in a lot of cases it has been a life's work and should be admired, appreciated and used to improve ones own knowledge.

Next time having moved into the study of breeding programmes I would like to talk about my thoughts about the latest revolution of internet breeding experts who are condoning non-registered 'pedigree' dogs. Are these people really the experts they claim to be and are unregistered puppies really as healthy as the breeders would like us to believe.....??? Please communicate any thoughts you have on my opinions on any of the subjects I post on my website: www.hairofthedogccs.co.uk- whether you agree or have a different opinion it's all good healthy discussion.

Have a great week and happy Halloween to those that are supporters of the institution :)