The Paw Print Genetics Blog

Genetic Screening: Cornerstone of Bettering a Breed

Genetic Screening: Cornerstone of Bettering a Breed

Nearly everyone espouses the belief that we should produce puppies that better a breed. However, ‘better’ is a subjective term; what it means to one person is completely different than what it means to another. ‘Better’ is something that’s often based in our ultimate goals, the end results of which are sometimes dictated by success in the dog game we play.

What isn’t subjective is sound genetic health. Science seeks objective and discernable answers regardless of the subjective nature of an issue. Genetic screening therefor is the cornerstone of bettering a breed, regardless of the game being played. While we should always strive for proper and acceptable form and function, the perfect dog does not exist – we do the best we can with the sires and dams available to us.

When deciding pairings, we should seek dogs that complement each other in form and function so as to produce consistent puppies. We should also seek to strengthen weaknesses in both parents' conformation by pairing them with a dog that offers a contrast to the flaws in each. With the randomness of how genes combine in all aspects of puppy's physical, mental and psychological attributes, it’s a tough order to fill and a balancing act that’s nearly impossible to consistently reproduce in a repeat breeding or even throughout a litter. 

Genetic screening though, is accurate, consistent and makes our dog a known entity. It’s just another piece of the breeding puzzle; it’s the easiest, most objective and verifiable piece. With a Canine Genetic Health Certificate, we know our dog’s status when it comes to the mutations responsible for inherited diseases.

Paired with accepted opinions of a dog’s physical, mental and psychological attributes, as well as performance accomplishments, genetic screening gives you the easiest, best and most affordable means to better your breed – regardless of the dog games you choose to play.

*Photo courtesy of S. Carter via Flickr Creative Commons License*