BREEDING AND THE BROOD BITCH BY JACK KELLY


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The brood bitch is the single most important ingredient you can possess, if you want to be a breeder of high quality Bull Terriers. The most obvious reason, of course, is that if you want to produce puppies you must have a bitch. Some may argue that a top stud dog would be of primary importance. Basically, however, as the owner of the stud, you allow the owner of the bitch to be the breeder, and raise the resulting pups. But just what makes a top brood bitch…

• She  must come into a reasonably regular heat period.

• She must be physically able to whelp puppies.

• She must possess the motherly instinct to take care of her puppies, and most important of all

• She must be capable of producing top quality dogs.

No stud dog or brood bitch has ever produced 100% first class dogs. They will not even produce a majority of first class dogs. I once heard Joe Corvino say that if 10%, of the dogs he bred, turned out to be match dogs, then he figured he was ahead of the other breeders. Joe’s percentage was probably better than 10%, but the point is that only a small percentage are going to be first class. Let’s take a look at Champion Honeybunch R.O.M. She was one of the finest. Her bloodlines were neither a product of inbreeding nor was she out crossed. Her sire Bullyson, in three generations goes back to Tudor’s Dibo. Her dam Carver’s Amber goes back in a few generations to Dibo and Dibo’s half brother Trahan’s Rascal. So she had breeding.

Honeybunch ROM…although death is inevitable, some dogs seem immortal

She was a champion, so she had talent and she was a producer. James Crenshaw, who owned Honeybunch at the time, over a cup of coffee at his dining room table, wrote out the name of 27 winners out of Honeybunch and that was prior to her greatest litter, by Finley’s Bo, did most of their winning (Ch Jeep, Ch Charlie, Ch Holly). Still she too produced her fair share of curs. What were the reasons? Could the poor ones be blamed on a poor stud? Hardly, in all of her litters, some pups were great, others good and others no account. Then the reason must be simply that the pooling of her genes together with the stud’s genes to make up the Jeeps, Charlies and Hollys and if the genes didn’t mesh the right way, then poor dogs were the result. However, this tells us very little of the practical breeding procedures. We can’t see genes. We can’t tell which genes are going to create the traits we are looking for. I’ve read all the books, talked to some of the experts and have come to the conclusion that we cannot apply the study of genes to help us get the traits we want. If our interest say was merely to reproduce color then it would be simple enough to breed a black bitch to a black male and marvel at all the black pups we’ve produced. We can never look at a fresh litter and say “Look at that little hard mouth bitch” or “That red male is dead game” only time will tell you that no matter what you do about genes. But then it’s easy to choose a Honeybunch as our brood bitch, great breeding, great ability and a great producer. You won’t find a lot like her. Let’s look at the other extreme. The best bitch I ever saw was named Noguiera’s Patches, sired by a dog that quit in 12 minutes in a roll and out of a bitch that wouldn’t hit a lick. These two produced the greatest performance bitch I’ve ever seen. The dam was only bred that one time and the rest of the litter was nothing.

So would you save Patches dam as a brood bitch? I would. She produced one great dog so she must have the potential to produce another. Another example: I owned a Colby bitch called Fay, I raised her meticulously, when she was old enough I tried her on something easy. Fay’s main ambition in that roll and one or two others afterwards was to get as much room between her and the other bitch. I gave her to Pete Sparks, who gave her to Jim Loposay, who sold her to Alonzo Pratt who was just getting started in the dogs at the time. He bred her and she produced the most firey pups, the exact opposite of their mother. She also turned out to be the grand dam or great grand dam of Gr Ch Zebo and Ch Homer. Would you have kept Fay as a brood bitch? Well I certainly don’t advocate going out and looking for the least likely candidate to be a good brood bitch however, although she probably never should have been bred in the first place, she was bred and produced some excellent dogs. So in this case too, the potential was proven to be there. She has the capability to produce first class dogs. While bitches like Honeybunch are not easy to come by, there are bitches out there that have produced good dogs, maybe not champions, but there are also a lot of winning dogs that never made their cham ionship, that was every bit as good as any champion. I personally, have come across many bitches that produced a pretty good line of winners that were relatively unknown. With the number of good studs available these days, a smart breeder might be able to raise some really first class pups.

 

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