Prepotency Baffles All Dog Breeders
(From January 1916) By D. Mansberger and Son
Breeding problems are among the most interesting things that a dog breeder has to deal with, and in the intricate ways and whys and wherefores often remain a mystery. Why one dog in a litter should be much better sire than any of the rest in the same litter often is open to conjecture. One may work out his ideas by the help of figures or by the strain, the accumulated experience he or someone else has handled. But the reason why and his breeding operations he often comes across that mysterious force called prepotency is still an unexplained fact, and one that is apt to appear in anytime in breeding operation, but, like the wind, no man knoweth whence it cometh or whither it goeth. The chief thing seems to be after bloodlines that are arranged as well as possible according to the most correct theories extant, still one has to be on the lookout for that mysterious force that comes I’ll breeders once in a while, a prepotent sire or dam.
It often is lost sight of in breeding operations that after the often proved theories that inbreeding fixes type yet this same inbreeding may intensify faults as well as the virtues if not properly carried out, and of course the more this is carried on in the wrong direction the worse it becomes. Probably the success of a large majority of successful breeders does not come so much from trying all the latest sires that come to the front as it does from a knowledge of the strong points and weaknesses of the families that they are trying. Another reason why many fail in their breeding operations is that they expect in one mating to breed something that an old experienced breeder would not lay plans for perhaps a generation ahead.
Strains of blood that are reliable are the work often of those who have succeeded, and on acquiring some of these they are mated together and perhaps great results are forthcoming, but the credit hardly belongs to the breeder unless he can tell why he made it the two dogs to get the desired results. Success in breeding beagles will be short-lived unless a breeder knows why he mates a certain dog with another. The faculty of prepotency may often come in from the dam as well as the sire, and this force, which may be carried on for several generations, is just as likely to come from a female as a male.
A question that often presents itself to mind is, do males follow the good quality of their dams, and do the females follow the the good qualities of their sires? Of course this is only problematical, but there seems to be abundant evidence to show that in all varieties of stock, certain families will excel in males and others of producing females that excel in quality.