Very often beginner breeders will come to me, pedigree in hand and ask me for advice about breeding their "little girl". There is no way to evaluate a Pedigree properly because it is impossible for me to know the genetic make-up of any of the ancestors.   So I decided to offer some explanations of our breeding philosophy.   

INBREEDING "The inter-breeding of closely related individuals esp. to preserve and fix desirable characters of and to eliminate unfavorable characters from a stock" Quoted from 'The Merriam Webster Dictionary'

LINE BREEDING "The inbreeding of animals descended from an ancestor having some desirable characteristics which it is wished to strengthen and perpetuate" Quoted from 'The New Lexicon Webster's Dictionary'

  As you can see from the dictionary quotes, inbreeding and line breeding are actually the same thing. The use of ancestors to perpetuate or eliminate characteristics. Out breeding is used to gain characteristics your stock lacks or to hide detrimental characteristics your stock has.

Is the use of related individuals in a breeding program when intensely used such as father/daughter, mother/son, brother/sister, grandfather/granddaughter, grandmother/grandson, this is called inbreeding.

Inbreeding is used to establish type, I.E., when an exemplary individual comes close to your 'ideal' of the perfect cocker you might inbred to that cocker to create puppies with similar type to use in your future breeding efforts.

You might use inbreeding to establish a specific color or coat pattern such as breeding a non brown bitch back to her brown father to produce brown puppies.

You can, also, use inbreeding to check your stock for detrimental recessive genes.

The difference between the use of the terms inbreeding and line breeding is that inbreeding is usually thought of as coming from one side of the pedigree, but line breeding comes from both sides such as both parents having the same dog in their background, in reality they are the same. They are the accumulation of homozygous genes. The only, per se, thing to be concerned with in inbreeding is loss of vigor.

Inbreeding can be used for many purposes, specific traits such as color, length of ears, size of feet and bone, neck, etc, any good reason. But inbreeding just because they are handy is never a reason to inbred. This will bring down your quality and stamp it on succeeding generations.

Inbreeding can be used to bring up the quality of your breeding stock but line breeding will maintain it. This means a closed breeding group all future breeding animals are selected from within a related group.

All of these methods of breeding must be done with caution and careful selection of future breeding stock.

Out breeding is dangerous when traits both visible and those inherent in the mating pair's ancestors are not known. 

A breeder is gambling when he makes an outcross breeding..

An out cross breeding is when there is no common ancestor in four or at least 5 generations.                                    


It is not my intention to promote any particular method of breeding, or my intention to de-value any other breeders philosophy. My only purpose for including this information is to assure you and explain why we have devoted so many years to develop our breeding program. 

The results of our program (our type* of shih tzu's) can be predicted more then the average breeder. Few breeders do more then mate mama to papa hoping for results with no scientific reason behind the hope.

While one criteria used by any experienced breeder is "selectivity", this does not mean that an exceptional looking female bred to an exceptional looking male with nothing behind them (ancestors) in sufficient strength to dominate, can be expected to produce as well as another pair who has a family tree line-bred upon superior quality.

The purpose of line breeding is to acquire the best possible puppies from our matings. No other method of breeding equals this for intensifying bloodlines and making the best use of exceptional individuals.

Don't always consider it as absolute that "Like produces Like".

While Champion Pedigrees can be impressive to the puppy purchaser, when breeders turn this into their main objective without consideration to the strength of the bloodline, they succeed only in producing a jumble of "Types".

All characteristics both good and bad exist in various degrees in different dogs, a responsible breeder strives to secure and retain only the desirable characteristics. This can best be accomplished by line-breeding in my opinion.

TYPE: ( A strain within a breed)

The type of Shih Tzu we produce consistently, is:

1. Healthy

2. Sound temperament

No matter what YOUR preferences are, here are some questions to ask the breeder of the puppy you fall in love with.

1. What are they breeding for? (Example= health, color, size, confirmation, temperament etc)

2. What method do they use to achieve these results?

3. How many ancestors possess the traits you are looking for.

Any conscientious breeder will be glad to explain their breeding program to you.

Remember, your new Shih Tzu is an investment in love and companionship for many, many years, you have a right to expect to get what you are looking for in your new best friend!

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