Looking for Mr. Good Dog
Weimaraner breeder Judy Colan discusses the
art and science of selecting a stud dog.
A dog is capable of producing hundreds of puppies, but a bitch is limited in the number of puppies she can produce. Choosing the right stud dog is of the utmost importance and can make or break a breeding program.
Courtesy J. Colan
The author and Ch. Colsidex Standing Ovation, all-time Weimaraner Bench Register of Merit sire, with 147 champions.
Accentuate the Positive
Making the right choice is based on your ability to study and evaluate dogs and bitches of your breed. First, honestly evaluate your bitch. Where would you change her? Once you have determined where you need to improve her, go out and look at all the dogs and bitches in the ring.
Look for those who have what you want to improve. If several of these have the same sire, that is the dog to consider. This dog is prepotent for producing that attribute.
Another consideration is evaluating the pedigree. Does the pedigree of the dog you are considering “click” with yours? Look at similar breedings, pedigree-wise, to see if quality puppies resulted from these breedings. It has been my experience that linebreedings have produced not only quality puppies but puppies that can produce.
One of the hardest issues to face is that your bitch is not a good producer. You can have two litter-sisters that are both exceptional examples of the breed. One may be a good producer and the other may not.
Whether it is evaluating puppies or evaluating a stud dog, I like to focus on the positives, not the negatives. There are a good many cynics out there who love to blame everything on the stud dog. If you listen to knowledgeable and successful breeders, you are headed in the right direction.
Quick and Not-So-Quick Fixes
I was very fortunate to have as a mentor Dorothy Remensnyder, of Shadowmar Kennels. My foundation bitch was from Dorothy, and many a night and weekend were spent discussing the breed and the dogs that came before my time. One statement that Dorothy made that has stuck in my mind was, “If you see a dog you like, breed to the dog who produced that dog.”
Another issue to be aware of is what is easy to fix in one generation and what is not. I think if you talk to breeders of any breed the one thing most will say is the biggest problem in their breed is shoulders.
Why are shoulders such a problem? There are several parts that make up a shoulder:
Length ratio of scapula to humerus, angle of scapula and humerus, set-on of shoulder. If one is not correct, the shoulder is incorrect.
The easy things to fix are rears, tail-sets, toplines, and heads.
You must have a plan if you are going to be a successful breeder. You have to know the dogs that are behind your dogs and know what they have produced. You have to focus on a line you admire.
My breed has a Bench Register of Merit. If you study the BROM, you will find that some dogs produce dogs that produce and other dogs produce bitches that produce. Do your homework and study your breed. These tools will lead you to success as a breeder.
Judy Colan was the American Kennel Club 2006 Sporting Group Breeder of the Year. She has breed Colsidex Weimaraners for over 40 years.