Do You Know the Basics of Canine Breeding?

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It is said that a dog is a man’s best friend. There is a lot of evidence, both historical and present, that supports this fact.

Dogs were among the earliest animals to be domesticated. At first they were mostly used to pull sleighs and other transportation devices. With time however, they became more of companions. Today, there are various types of dog breeds depending on various factors. There are those dogs that have been bred to have certain physical features while some dogs have been bred to fulfill certain roles. In this article we look at the basics of canine breeding and what it all entails.

Natural Breeding Vs Canine Breeding

Dogs are naturally meant to breed without any human intervention whatsoever. This is referred to as naturals breeding and natural selection determines the kind of offspring that will result from the breeding.

Canine breeding on the other hand is a case where someone intentionally causes the mating action so as to get offspring with desired qualities. Canine breeding is usually necessary when certain qualities and physical features are required. As simple as it sounds, canine breeding is no easy task and requires quite some knowledge in dog genetics and health.

History of Canine Breeding

When dogs were first domesticated, humans used them mostly for transport and hunting. Over time, they realized that different dogs had different characteristics. This led to a situation where canines with unfavorable characteristics were starved or killed and the good canines fed and strengthened. The desired characteristics in a canine depended on the intended use of the dog. For instance there were various dog types depending on their tasks. There were;

  • Sighthounds that operated best using sight.
  • Scenthounds that were known for their ability to track smells.
  • Hunting dogs that were used in hunting expeditions.
  • Livestock dogs that were used by grazers to help in the grazing and management of large herds of livestock.

With time, better methods of breeding were used and today the practice of canine breeding requires a lot of knowledge and skill.

How it’s done

What basically happens is that the breeder looks for a dog with certain favorable characteristics. This hound is then mated with another one with another set of characteristics. The intention is to produce an offspring that is much better than the parents. Some people have set up businesses to produce puppies of various breeds and sell them to people. There are also organizations that cater of dog breeds and require new breeds to be registered.


The most dangerous effect of canine breeding is the inheritance of unfavorable characteristics or defects. A dog may have some recessive genes that only become dominant in the offspring. Some dogs suffer from eye diseases, heart problems and deafness due to inheritance of genetic defects from the parents. To prevent this, there are organizations that work to educate breeders on the basics of breeding and provide extensive information on various breeding defects. These organizations also recommend that only qualified breeders should be allowed to breed canines.