Pedigrees and Generational Lineage

Selah at Lake Reduced Generational Lineage of Airedale Terriers

Just like people, dogs have generational families—known as their generational lineage. And just like people they have certain DNA markers that can determine how healthy they will be and what tendencies they will have in regards to specific skills or talents.

As breeders of dogs for several decades we strive to do the best possible breeding based on our knowledge and technologies available today in the modern world.

Breeders who have been doing this for many years have always said if you want to know what kind of dog you have look at the 3 previous generations of your dog on the Dam or Female side. The female carries the X chromosome and dominates the Gene pool.

This is not to say the Sire or Male side does not significantly impact the breeding as well, but rather that over several generations the genetics coming off the female side can have a greater impact. We have found this to be accurate in our breeding program as well.

We screen all of our breeding dogs for Hip Dysplasia and we are consistently getting better reports with each generation. Should you visit our kennel you will see many awards our dogs have won but that is not what we are primarily about. Our main objective is to breed selectively and to strive to keep our kennel stock as healthy as possible. We know the history of our dogs and do not engage in breeding out to bloodlines we have little knowledge on. We stud our dogs out to other kennels only when we believe a quality litter will be produced.

There are 2 primary methods in the breeding of purebred dogs. One method is accomplished by utilizing a method known as a Co-Efficient of Relativity. In a Co-Efficient, breeding a pedigree database is pulled on the proposed Sire & Dam just to check their percentage of a relative bloodline. When you have a low Co-Efficient like 4%, you know there is little relativity and you can be assured you are bringing new DNA into the gene pool.

But once again the most important factor in this scenario is to know the history of both the male and female sides of the lineage. Having a low Co-Efficiency can be counterproductive if there are the same recessive traits coming in from both sides. The second method is line breeding where a breeder while staying in their immediate generational lineage, will for example take a past generation male and breed it to a female 2 generations later.

Unlike using the co-efficient method, line breeding is done more sparingly as you are breeding to preserve the stock you have developed and past history has proven the overall health of your bloodline is good with no elevated risks of disease. Breeding by using the Co-efficient method along with selective line breeding has proven over past centuries to produce high quality dogs of good health. And lastly line breeding is not to be confused with inbreeding which is the breeding of adult dogs that originated from the same litter or from a closed loop lineage.

This is a practice typically used by puppy mills who are just trying to quickly produce a lot of dogs to sell. Reputable breeders steer clear of these types of practices as over time the end results can be quite dismal as engaging in inbreeding may cause recessive traits to double down in a worst case scenario and can also inadvertently create a process known as breeding the stock out where the gene pool is weakened significantly.