Dale Martenson, renowned breeder at Touche Japanese Chin, joins host Laura Reeves for a conversation about when, why and how to prioritize male dogs in a breeding program. Everyone knows to keep a bitch. But it can be much more challenging to keep good stud dogs to move a breeding program forward.
With a shoutout to Kenny Rogers, “You gotta Know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em”…
“Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away
And knowin' what to keep
'Cause every hand's a winner
And every hand's a loser”
“Most breeders have two or three bitches,” Martenson said. “But (if they) keep a male puppy, he's too closely related to the mother, the sister and the aunt that they already have … so really what needs to happen, is people need to get a circle of friends together where they can keep stud dogs in kind of a joint ownership that they can share … because very quickly after you've used your dog once or twice you may not need that dog … your other option is you can go ahead and collect that dog, freeze it and put it on ice … so you can reuse that later on when your pedigrees are open enough to take it, when you’ve gone down the road a couple generations.
“We really have to try to keep as much diversity as possible (in our breeds) and it helps having those dogs available. But the other thin,g when you go to just use a stud dog and you haven't bred from it, you really don't know what you're gonna get from that dog until you've had a couple of outcross litters, and a couple of line bred litters and you've watched the puppies grow up out of them. You won't know your long run health testing for four or five years,” Martenson said. It’s a long range proposition, he added.
“We take such comfort in what we don't know. Not knowing is like the blind faith in the universe that we're not gonna worry ‘bout this it's all gonna be fine… You go and you import something from another country … you don't really know much of anything behind it… they're pretty radical outcross and you just don't know.”
For more of Dale’s take on prepotent sires, “name brand” sires, NOT breeding to ribbons and so much more, be sure to download and listen today.