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Selecting for the Future

Selecting for the Future

Choosing to breed dogs should come from a desire to improve a breed or solve a common problem with a particular breed. Selecting good sires and dams is so important to breeding dogs responsibly and improving their breeds as their traits, health, and temperaments are passed on. Base your breeding stock purchases on quality not price. Many dog breeders talk about “Raising the Bar” for the professional breeder. The world is changing and we as breeders need to continuously work to improve or breeding stock if we want to rise to the next level.


Having set traits in mind that you want the puppies to have will further help you find
a dam and sire that reflect these wishes. If you want puppies that are gentle and good with children, seek out a sire and dam that reflect these qualities.


The sire and dam’s health should be examined before they are used in breeding to make sure they are in good health and have no negative genetic conditions. By doing breed specific DNA testing, X-rays, and/or evaluations a dog breeder can prevent or diminish the impact of the disease on the
pet. Some items to pay attention to are, hernias, over/under bite, recessed vulva, and hip dysplasia. Try to avoid buying puppies out of litters that show any of those issues.


This can reward you if you are looking for a new sire. Hair coat and some genetic issues can be detected early on and save you from problems in the future. Some sources for genetic testing are AKC, Animals Genetics, and Pawprint Genetics. For example, you can buy a gorgeous poodle male and invest an entire year only to find out that the sire has a improper hair coat, 50% of his off-spring have straight hair coats, and you almost can’t sell the puppies. A $200 genetic test would have revealed all that right away. When choosing a sire don’t be stingy.


You’ll want to breed dogs whose genetics, lineage, and pedigree are known. Choosing to breed a dog with an unknown background can lead to major issues arising in their offspring. Before choosing to breed a dog, examine their pedigree to ensure they come from lines with good health and temperament.


When breeding purebred dogs, you’ll need to make sure the sire and dam meet the breed’s standards. Likewise, if you would like a litter to be registered with a particular club, such as the American Kennel Club (AKC), both the sire and the dam need to be registered with that desired club.

Remember, no matter how well a dog is bred, their training, handling, and the environment they grow in are also important to their successful development and temperament.

Making a name for yourself as a reputable breeder by breeding sires and dams with good temperaments can help bring in more buyers as your careful selections will reflect in high-quality puppies. Additionally, it’s hard to know what a matured dog will be like when they are still
a puppy, so having the sire and dam, as well as their genetic background, available for
buyers to meet will give them an idea of what their puppy will be like as an adult.



PAWS (Pennsylvania Animal Welfare and Safety) is a group of pet breeders who are dedicated to
helping the industry by providing guidance in areas such as pet safety, marketing, public relations,
and legal requirements. We believe that pets should be treated humanely and with respect. We
work to provide our members and the industry with tools and education so they can meet and
exceed state and federal standards.

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