strategy for my own breeding program
One of the
things I do not prioritize is color.
A good dog can have any color ...
It is simply not important.
I know there
are people out there just dying for a white Silken while my dogs
are unlikely to carry the trait for white at all, but to make
breeding selections based on color, just to suit the "market"
is against everything I believe in. Unless I stumble upon a self
white male or two that I really want to incorporate in my breeding
program by importing semen, my dogs are unlikely to ever come
Another thing I do not worry much about is ears.
I started out with a foundation girl with huge pricked ears, no
matter how I select males it will take many, many generations
until my lines possibly can produce rose ears only. By avoiding
males with distinctly pricked ears I just takes what comes.
Now here is a pet peeve of mine.
I really do not like Silkens to become almost like mini Borzoi
A girl of 22 inches flat is big
to me. You have to remember that there seem to be an inherent
size difference between genders, males are often almost 2 inches
bigger than their sisters in the same litter.
says max 23,5 inches. If you want the entire litter to stay within
the size limits you have to aim at about 22 inches
as an average. This way both the puppies that turn out small and
the siblings who turn out bigger, have a chance to be in accordance
with the standard.
girl I have available is smaller than 22 inches and at this point
this gives me a relatively big freedom to choose a compatible
male without having to worry about size as well.
Luckily my foundation girl Omni brought the trait for quite descent
fronts with her from USA, now the biggest concern is to keep them
and not loose them.
A balanced dog is more important to me than a dog with exaggerated
angulation. Not that I am a fan of "too modest" rear
angulation, but I don't want a lot of rear angulation if it means
loosing overall balance.
My first generations have tails that are set slightly too high
and the length of the tails are adequate but no more. A
better tail set and a longer tail would be nice but is by no means
a top priority.
Length of legs
This is a problem. At home I can see some small very compact short
legged girls. When I look around the world for suitable males
I see several with legs I percieve as too long, making them look
a bit like spiders. The fact that this breed does not have really
deep chests is not helping with this impression. Add the fact
that young males have neither substance nor coat compared to a
fully matured male, I sometimes despair when I see all those long
legs with a tiny body on top.
Not sure what I think is worst. The too short legs or the too
Type vs diversity
I could of course breed for a certain type, but it would almost
certainly mean heavy linebreeding to set a type, in a breed that
already have high inbreeding coefficients to start with. As there
are so few Silkens in Sweden yet, the need for genetic diversity
far outweighs the wish to breed for type. To strive for diversity
in pedigrees also means diversity in types, this will cause my
own breeding program to seem a bit erratic when it comes to type
since it is not one of my priorities.
We have now approx 50 Silkens on the European continent. Some
of those Silkens are in countries it would take me 3 days of travelling
to reach, and with import regulations as another obstacle. The
reasoning "breed only the best to the best" is out of
the question here. We are still in a phase where we have to breed
what is sound and healthy even if they are mediocre compared to
some of the big show winners out there. As the population increase,
I can raise my requirements for whom to breed, but it will take
some generations still.