WHAT IS A GREAT REPRODUCER?
A specimen (male or female) that we consider to be a great reproducer is not one that wins more exhibitions or that has many children due to its fame.
A great reproducer is one that, mainly, produces a homogeneous line of descendants according to the qualities of said reproducer. In more plain words, it is that dog that transmits its qualities to its children with different females. In this way we will use this specimen to improve the physical or functional qualities of the females that cross it.
Analyzing the different crosses that a male has made (and knowing beforehand the virtues and defects of both his bloodline and his own), observing his offspring and valuing the females that have been used with him we can make a detailed report both of the virtues that it transmits as of those it fixes as well as the defects it brings to light.
Normally we speak of blood lines from the male reproducers since it is the males that have the possibility of having a greater number of offspring in front of the females. Well, it is not the same for a male to mate with 30 bitches in all his life and produce 150 children than a female that has 4 litters in all his life only.
This is why we speak of paternal blood lines normally because they are based on breeding males that have transmitted their qualities very well with different bitches and for that reason they have created a specific line that differs from the rest of the specimens at a glance.
In the canine world it is easy to hear what this dog is from this line or from that other one and it is because that dog comes from that great player that has marked its line. Normally the specimens that offer these qualities are because they have this great pedigree in their pedigree both by maternal and paternal line, they are dogs with a certain degree of consanguinity and therefore we can expect them to continue reproducing with those qualities and continuing their line.
Despite this, the big breeders of breed dogs have always based their breeding on their female stock and therefore on their maternal lines using stallions external to their bloodline to refresh the inbreeding (or consanguinity) they have in their kennel.
A great reproducer is not the dog that makes him a champion and that after that, he does the minimum health tests to raise. And because of his fame in the exhibitions he makes a few crosses that year and has a high number of children in a short space of time. Possibly after a time and very few results in their children, that reproducer disappears from the breeding establishment of their own breeder, sold or given to a family because the title of champion is not associated with being a great breeding in the breed of Spanish water dog and many of them are simply beautiful dogs but offer nothing to the selection of their own breed.
Not being a champion in the exhibitions will be a great reproducer. It is much more complicated. While it is true that dogs famous for their children and creators of their own line of blood almost always become champion as the effort of their owners to give them fame as reproducers is strengthened with a high upbringing and the results of their own children.
There are weekly champions who have never offered anything to the breeding and die without leaving descendants to continue their line and are those cases in which the ambition of the owner goes beyond the value of the stallion in its breeding. And there are dogs that have made clear their great value as stallions leaving a wide repertoire of good children and who were never champions since their owners did not even care about making them champions but good breeders have used them for years with their bitches getting great results of a dog that has never stepped on an exhibition carpet.
Dog and owner go hand in hand and are a binomial that we should not stop analyzing. A dog with many titles and few quality children is not a worthy dog to use in breeding. But a dog without titles and with an offspring that lives up to its father should be a stallion to be used by the breeders. In fact there are examples of each model and we can see them in the current breeding without having to dig a lot.
The breeds that are governed by a professional Cub breeders, for example in the German shepherd or rottweiler. We can see how in the monographic exhibitions all the specimens closely resemble each other and all come very close to the standard of their breed. Although it is true that if we look at more detail if we can distinguish the blood lines to which certain dogs belong in that monographic exhibition and that it is possibly those individuals who win the title. Why? Well, because they are ideal examples, so to speak. Exemplars that are still closest to the standard of the breed are distinguished by having certain characteristics of their bloodline; either a big head, a good expression, a great pigmentation, or a stronger and more stable upper line than the rest.
The ideal of a great reproducer is this. A male that is distinguished from others by possessing qualities of their bloodline and that also processes their offspring.
Our job as breed breeders is to compete against the standard, not to create dog types that we like.
In short, a great player (both male and female) shows it with their children, grandchildren and the grandchildren of their grandchildren. As their qualities are perpetuated in each generation as fixed elements that breeders seek.
IN SEARCH OF THE “PREPOTENT” STALLION
The term “Prepotency” is often used by breeders to refer to a particular stallion, which has the ability to produce offspring with a remarkable resemblance to it.
The arrogance is manifested in certain individuals by the homozygosis of a group of genes that manifest a typical character of the race. Therefore we could say that the more consanguineous an animal is, the more homozygous it will be, and therefore there will be more possibilities for it to be overbearing.
It is very important to know the stallions that we could use in our breeding program to select the one that best suits the female we want to cross. Analyzing his “arrogance”; that is, its qualities as a reproductive, the defects it transmits and the virtues it sets (whether virtues or defects of the bloodline to which it belongs or its own as an individual)
Obviously a prepotent stallion normally belongs to a line of blood already established and well defined, so a breeder can use it without it being a lottery as long as the females are appropriate. Therefore, the use of those males that are the result of open crosses (that is, they have a high degree of heterogeneity) can only offer offspring without security in the results.
It is better to use a prepotent stallion (consanguineous = homozygous) with our dogs and then go selecting those daughters more similar to their father to then move forward in a clear line marked by the original stallion.
DO NOT EXPECT ANYTHING GOOD FROM THE COPIES THAT COME FROM OPEN CROSSINGS
Understanding open crossing to a litter whose parents do not have ancestors in common and come from different bloodlines. The genes will go crazy, contributing some good things and others not so good to the puppies.
And I do not say that they should not be done, but if it is done it is studying very well the next step that we will take, because the open crosses although they give more litters and the blood is refreshed (very positive things), they are used only for these reasons and not to obtain copies of our line that we hope will be great players.
Of these litters of open crosses we will always keep the copy that looks more like our line (morphologically speaking) and then make a next crossing with our large “arrogant” player that we know perfectly what it offers in breeding. In this way we have refreshed blood to be able to continue with our line.
Dogs champions in exhibitions that are the result of open crosses and then have not contributed anything to the breeding is the world full of examples because you can have a nice copy but do not transmit anything at all to your upbringing. It would be just one more champion of the many who do not pass from there.
Personally, I prefer a male breeder who, even if he is not a champion, has shown a thousand and one times that he transmits his qualities well; a male that belongs to a line of clear blood, that is faithful representative of the same and that also transmits it. That is, a male “arrogant” because knowing what it offers can be used a female or another according to the qualities of it.
BRIEF POINT ABOVE THE BLOOD LINES IN THE SPANISH WATER DOG
The breed of the Spanish water dog is very old and has a wide and varied genetic base but when it was established as an official breed and the first dogs with pedigree were registered, only a few were chosen for it and it is those dogs that have marked the great bloodlines for today.
Of those first dogs only some were the great reproducers that marked their line for contributing their descendants their qualities. I speak for example of Ch. Moro (father of Ch. Vudú or of Ch. Morruo) or those examples of the line of Finca La Fantasia (Ch. Manolo, Ch. Terra or Ch. Álamo).
Over the years these lines have been diluted and few are the breeders currently with a line marked in their copies of which we can say that they recognize at a glance where their dogs come from.
Breeders with a marked line and outstanding there are and although they may or may not like those small differences between lines we have to recognize the great work that entails and the first thing is respect for all of them that there are currently and very good in my opinion.
Virtues and defects exist in all bloodlines and in detail it is impossible to know if one is not raising under that line.
Everyone knows the famous virtues of a certain line or the famous faults of another; I personally believe that each line has its good and bad things and that knowing how to make the right crosses the results would be ideal and we would get closer to the standard of the race than some are.
There are blood lines in the Spanish water dog that stand out for their qualities in the work, others that have males that are very large reproducers because they transmit what they are with almost every female that crosses them. Other lines sin of defects that are seen with the naked eye and hidden virtues, or vice versa.
In short, the Spanish water dog is an old breed recently arrived in the world “Canine Professional” because it has been breeding for a few years for breeders that the so-called bloodlines themselves are being created in our noses right now.
How will the race evolve in the future?
I hope and I hope that the breed will evolve better because there are many breeders who do a great job of selection not only in beauty but also in work. And it is that in the binomial beauty-work there has always been controversy because the breeding for exhibitions that has been taken by some breeders has given rise to a type of dog quite different from what a water dog or Andalusian Turk really should be.
Respect the standard in its fair proportions and take care of the character of our specimens should be the norm to be followed by all of us breeders.
breeder and owner of Afixx UBBADAT