Is having knowledge of genetic principles important

to a successful dog breeding program?


The below statements represent answers from the average hobby breeder when asked the question:  

Is a knowledge of genetics important to a breeding program? 

“Much of what I read about genetics is over my head – I’m not a scientist!”

“Genetics deals with a lot of complicated math and many topics which don’t apply to my breeding program.”


“I don’t know where to begin to learn about genetics.” 

“Breeding dogs is all chance and luck, what’s the point of applying genetic principles?”


 Test yourself on general rules of genetics. 

Are the below questions TRUE or FALSE?

  • It’s alright to breed a lesser quality dog as long as he/she has an excellent pedigree. 
  • Breeding to the littermate of a favored dog is the same as breeding to the favored dog himself.
  • The pedigree is more important than the dog itself. 
  • There is scientific support for the tail male / tail female theory of breeding. 
  • If we wanted to duplicate the genes of a favored ancestor in our litter, the offspring would average a higher percent of his genes from a mating in which he appears12 times in the 6th generation vs one in which he appears only twice in the 2nd generation.
  • In a puppy born with an overshot or undershot bite, only one parent is responsible for passing on genes for this recessive genetic defect.
  • If a dog ‘s phenotype (external appearance) does not display a particular genetic defect, this means he/she can’t be a “carrier” for this defect.