20 PRINCIPLES OF BREEDING by Raymond H. Oppenheimer
Remember that the animals you select for breeding today will have an impact on the breed for many years to
come. Keep that thought firmly in mind when you choose breeding stock.
Consistently breeding top show dogs is an art and the legendary British expert succeeded in a difficult breed - the Bull Terrier. These basic breeding principals must be studied if you intend to breed your own show dog!
1. Don't make use of indiscriminate outcrosses. A judicious outcross can be of great value, an injudicious one can produce an aggregation of every imaginable fault in the breed.
2. Don't line breed just for the sake of line breeding. Line breeding with complementary types can bring great rewards; with unsuitable ones it will lead to immediate disaster.
3. Don't take advice from people who have always been unsuccessful breeders. If their opinions were worth having they would have proved it by their successes.
4. Don't believe the popular cliché about the brother or sister of the great champion being just as good to breed from. For every one that is, hundreds are not. It depends on the animal concerned.
5. Don't credit your own dogs with virtues they don't possess. Self-deceit is a stepping stone to failure.
6. Don't breed from mediocrities; the absence of a fault does not in any way signify the presence of its corresponding virtue.
7. Don't try to line breed to two dogs at the same time; you will end by line breeding to neither.
8. Don't assess the worth of a stud dog by his inferior progeny. All stud dogs sire rubbish at times; what matters is how good their best efforts are.
9. Don't allow personal feelings to influence your choice of a stud dog. The right dog for your bitch is the right dog, whoever owns it.
10. Don't allow admiration of a stud dog to blind you to his faults. If you do you will soon be the victim of auto-intoxication.
11. Don't mate together animals which share the same fault. You are asking for trouble if you do.
12. Don't forget that it is the whole dog that counts. If you for- get one virtue while searching for another you will pay for it.
13. Don't search for the perfect dog as a mate for you bitch. The perfect dog (or bitch) doesn't exist, never has and never will!
14. Don't be frightened of breeding from animals that have obvious faults so long as they have compensating virtues. A lack of virtues is far the greatest fault of all.
15. Don't mate together non-complementary types. An ability to recognize type at a glance is a breeder's greatest gift; ask the successful breeders to explain this subject - there is no other way of learning. (I would define non-complimentary types as ones which have the same faults and lack the same virtues.)
16. Don't forget the necessity to preserve head quality. It will vanish like a dream if you do.
17. Don't forget that substance plus quality should be one of your aims. Any fool can breed one without the other!
18. Don't forget that a great head plus soundness should be another of your aims. Many people can never breed either!
19. Don't ever try to decry a great Bull Terrier. A thing of beauty is not only a joy forever but a great Bull Terrier should be a source of aesthetic pride and pleasure to all true lovers of the breed.
20. Don't be satisfied with anything but the best. The second best is never good enough.