Frozen Semen's New First Lady
By Faye Strauss
After 30 years I tried it, and the results were stunning.
#8220;Sweetie,#8221; my 6-year-old bitch, was in
search of a sire for her final litter. Two years ago
we drove 3,500 miles round trip from Seattle to Palm
Springs to breed Sweetie to a top dog. This litter
produced one of the best bitches we#8217;ve ever
bred. We turned down a substantial offer for her purchase.
I knew the decision was a good one when her extraordinary
potential breeding qualities began to manifest themselves.
Her best qualities are her ideal, medium size, alert
expression, dark eyes, clearly defined dark markings,
parallel head planes and a wedge-shaped head that
is in balance with her body. Depth of body is to the
elbows and equal to the length of leg. Her topline
is straight. She is poured into her skin, is sound
coming and going and possesses a superb temperament.
And Sweetie#8217;s story is just beginning.
Enter Kennie Munch, my dear friend
for more than 20 years, the proud owner of one of
our studs who sired 37 champions #8211; Best Puppy
at the Doberman Pinscher Club of America (DPCA) Futurity
and a multi-year Top-20 Doberman. The stud comes from
a breeding that produced nine champions, including
multi-Best in Show winners, the number-one Doberman
in the nation and DPCA Grand Prize Futurity winner.
He had cancer and lived his last three years actively
as an alpha male on three legs. I watched him race
around Kennie#8217;s backyard, where he kept the
peace. His temperament was and is an inspiration,
and we were blessed to carry it forward. Kennie had
carefully preserved this sire#8217;s frozen semen.
There was enough semen for two breedings.
A graceful full-grown
Credit: Leslie Newing.
In 2003, Sweetie was bred using the frozen semen and
produced four puppies. The first few weeks I took
them out, my pups won Winners Dog, Winners Bitch and
Best of Winners. One of the male pups finished in
two consecutive weekends with four majors, including
a Best of Breed. His litter sister took two 4-point
majors, one from each weekend. All this happened because
Kennie and I had the courage to gamble on 20-year-old
frozen semen. The puppies have their father#8217;s
temperament: steady, fun-loving, alert and fearless.
They thoroughly enjoy the world. The strategy of the
breeding was to double up on our foundation bitch
and a key stud in our breeding program.
I then decided to breed Sweetie#8217;s daughter.
She is an outcross and, bred to this semen, returns
to our classic breedings. Kennie had only enough semen
left for one more frozen-semen breeding. It was a
tough decision. But one look at the magnificence of
the get, and the decision was made. There was no room
for error. The timing of shipping the semen and implantation
had to be precisely executed. After implantation,
we sat on pins and needles for the next four weeks
waiting for the results. The ultrasound showed five
That is my breeder#8217;s story. I am thrilled and
can#8217;t wait to see her puppies. I feel remorseful
when I think back on the extraordinary qualities of
some of our great studs and the fact I never thought
to collect and preserve their semen.
There#8217;s no question about it: It is always good
to go back into your pedigrees to your great sires
and dams and recapture their glory. If you have the
opportunity, grasp it. Chances are, you#8217;ll capture
a new rising star.
Faye Strauss established Sherluck
Dobermans in 1973 and has produced 85 AKC Conformation
Champions out of 27 litters, an unprecedented average
of three AKC Conformation Champions per litter. She
is an approved AKC conformation judge.
Article may not be reprinted without permission.
|| Ronald N. Rella, director,
Theresa Shea, editor | Email: AKCbreeder@akc.org
| Joanne Beacon, designer
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© The American Kennel Club 2005