A phenomenon in canine competition circles known as popular sire syndrome can produce strong, competitive and intelligent puppies that go on to become, and produce, champions. The occurrence can also produce puppies that fill the breeding pool with genetic maladies.
When a male dog wins a prestigious championship, he obviously has what it takes to win at the highest levels. The effect is that his value as a stud dog skyrockets as breeders with females hope to produce puppies that can replicate their father’s accomplishments.
Often that trendy stud dog is bred with many female dogs throughout the country. When this happens, you can see that male dog show up in pedigrees from previously unrelated lines. In a large breeding pool, say with Labradors, the effects aren’t as profound as in a smaller population, but they’re still present and can cause issues for future generations regardless of population size. If that popular stud dog has any genetic disorders in his DNA, his puppies will likely harbor those mutations – at best becoming carriers and at worst being affected with the related disorder – and can continue to contaminate the breeding pool.
Even in a large breeding population, the bottleneck of genetics that can ensue due to popular sire syndrome can have long-lasting repercussions. Each dog in the line will need to deal with that stud dog’s mutation, and great care needs to be taken when selecting a future mate – especially if their pedigrees both contain that dog in past generations.
Fortunately, most breeders at the highest levels of the sport understand the benefits and responsibility they have to produce healthy pups. Conscientious breeders will opt to panel screen their dogs so that they know if they carry the most common and exasperating disorders, as well as the lesser known ones.
However, just because your puppy has a highly bred, trained and popular male somewhere in its pedigree, that doesn’t mean that all generations of that dog’s progeny were as thoughtfully bred. When selecting a puppy, especially if close line breeding has taken place or both sides of its pedigree contain the popular male, make sure that the parents and puppies have undergone genetic testing to clear them of known genetic mutations.
photo courtesy of petadviser