Bad Breeding and Inbreeding
A cause of unsocial or disruptive behaviour in dogs
Inbreeding is the breeding of genetically
closely related individuals - Blood relatives.
In human terms we
would regard inbreeding as incest.
In breeding increases the
chances of pups being born with recessive genes and as such they are
more likely to suffer from physical abnormalities, psychological
disorders and pass on genetically related problems to any offspring
Closely related dogs share very similar genetic
material and are identical by descent so by breeding closely related
dogs the chances of getting identical offspring is much greater than
breeding from dogs that are not in any way related other than by
breed but inbreeding needs to be carefully done in order to avoid
The greater the degree of inbreeding the greater the
chances of producing pups with inherited issues.
In a program
of inbreeding one would expect a proportion of negatively affected
offspring so a certain amount of culling would be part of the
process in order to prevent these negative traits being passed on.
Bad breeding can be simply summed up as the pairing of dogs for
the production of puppies without any knowledge or understanding of
genetics or hereditary disorders or without any form of screening of
sire and dam to identify the presence (or absence) of genetic
abnormalities that could manifest in pups or passed on to future
generations further down the line.
To summarise the root of many of the Border Collie's behavioural
problems we first need to consider these inherited t
Some consequences of Inbreeding and Bad
Problems that can arise from
inbreeding or bad breeding fit into two categories.
Physical abnormalities and
On this page we are most
concerned with psychological abnormalities which result in
abnormal behaviour but before looking at these it is
worthwhile considering how some physical abnormalities can
In bred dogs suffer from a
lack of genetic variation - some time known as 'hybrid
One result of this is a low immune
system that opens the dog to all manner of infections and
diseases that it finds difficult to shake off. Although most
of these infections are not serious it makes life unpleasant
for a dog suffering from constant illness and is likely to
make it withdrawn and generally unhappy.
There is a greater risk of hip
dysplasia and other bone conditions like Osteochondritis
dissecans which can be a painful
and sometimes fatal condition.
Some inbred or badly bred
dogs suffer partial or complete deafness, blindness or both.
are more prevalent with inbred dogs.
There is thought to
be higher risks of genetically related cancers developing
because of inbreeding.
Occasional genetic mutation.
Reduced life span.
caused or exaggerated by inbreeding can range from low IQ
and difficulty in training to spontaneous aggression.
A short list would
go like this -
Fearful and timid
OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or
Abnormal Repetitive Behaviour.
Hyperactivity and excessive vigilance.
It pays to be aware of the problems related to inbreeding if you are looking at buying a puppy of an breed.
Professional breeders and breeders of unusual coat types are more likely to use inbreeding within their breeding program because they want all their pups to look as much like each other as possible.
These are most likely to be kennel club registered breeders.
There will always be some casualties in breeding programs that
rely on extensive inbreeding, but the survivors will look good
even if they are not so smart.
Backyard and hobby breeders often have
little or no understanding of genetics so the results are often pot
Good breeders have a good knowledge of
genetics and only produce a small number of litters a year. Their
pups will show variation rather than uniformity of appearance. These
breeders won't be so reliant on inbreeding so the chances of taking
on a pup with physical or behavioural issue is lower. These are
likely to also be Kennel Club registered.
You should always do some research before
committing to a particular breeder or bloodline. Look beyond their
website. Look at their records on their Kennel Club listings to see
how many litters they register and search the internet to find out
waht people are saying about them.
If you are interested in adopting a Border Collie from us,
please phone 0845 604 4941 during office hours.
(2 pm to 5 pm Tuesdays to Thursdays)
Please do not write to us or email us about adoption - we want to speak to you before we start the process.