A few thoughts on breeding
Dog breeding itself has repeatedly fallen into disrepute in recent years. Some breed standards led to severe physical restrictions on the animals. In the meantime, everyone has heard the term "torture breeding" before and has the corresponding images in their heads. Everyone knows the respiratory problems of the pug or French bulldog breeds. The statistic of c-sections is unusually high in Border Terriers because the dog has become too large a head in relation to the body, making it difficult for the bitch to give birth naturally. So breeding can do a lot of harm.
Why do we still want to breed? In our opinion, the different dog breeds belong to the cultural heritage of human kind. When breeding focuses on the health of the dog, it can do a lot of good. In this way, an attempt is made to create the best possible conditions for healthy offspring by selecting the parent pets. For example, the barbets are tested for hip dysplasia (HD), progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) or the gene for colour dilution (D locus). Further tests will surely follow when available. For example, research is being carried out on epilepsy in dogs or on distichiasis. Of course, there will never be a 100 percent planning of the absolutely healthy dog, because nature has a huge say in that.
Another advantage of pedigree breeding is certainly the better predictability of the dog's character traits. A livestock guardian dog will always have great vigilance and a disposition to act independently in its genes. A Malinois will have a good portion of protective instincts and our hounds don't live up to their name without hunting instincts. Within this framework, of course, a wide range of individual characteristics of the dog are possible, but the rough framework is set, you roughly know what you are getting.
Naturally, the external appearance of pedigree dogs is also predictable. You know how big the dog will be, what coat texture it will have, and what the head and tail will look like.
Of course, all this selection based on breeding aspects always involves the impoverishment of the gene pool of a breed. If I breed for a specific colour, all dogs of the breed that carry this colour gene either recessively or dominantly do not go into breeding. This means that under certain circumstances you lose many dogs with great genetic material in other areas for breeding. It works like that with every trait that I select as a breeder, be it the texture of the hair, the length of the snout or the size of the pets. The responsibility that the breeder bears here is great.
Our goal is to be as responsible as possible with our selection of breeding pets. This means that the health of the pets comes first. Keeping the wonderful Barbet breed healthy is also important to us. This means that we try to keep the inbreeding levels as low as possible in the matings. When selecting males, we try to consider how often a male is used for breeding in order to create greater variance in the gene combinations within the breed.
All this is not easy with a population as small as the barbet. Every new stud dog increases the possibilities of fresh gene combinations when mating. That's why we want to support our puppy buyers should they decide to have their male dog approved for breeding. The same goes for bitches, of course.
The puppies are raised in our house. Right from the start they will be used to the various everyday noises, such as the dishwasher, blender, hair dryer, vacuum cleaner, radio or one or the other family discussion.
We will also gently subject the puppies to mild stress. This begins with daily touching and short distances from the mother and siblings. This also includes cautious changes in position or short confrontations of a few seconds with different temperatures. This primes the puppies' nervous system to respond to controlled stress at a very early age. This seems to have a generally positive effect on the dog's later tolerance to stress.
The backyard, with various play facilities, will also be available to the puppies. They will experience approaching cars, birdsong or even one or the other tractor on the adjacent field.
There are many children living in our neighbourhood, from toddlers to teenagers. They will visit us again and again when they are puppies, so that the puppies will get to know people of different ages.
When the puppies are older, we plan to take small trips to the forest or to the nearby lake. In this way we try to prepare the puppies for their environment, to promote their resistance to stress and to simply enable their brains to have constant "input".
After eight weeks, the puppies will move to their new homes, equipped with the first vaccination and chip. You will receive an EU vaccination pass, a VDH pedigree, food for the first few days, a puppy collar with leash and a puppy folder with important and useful information.
For all questions and problems that arise at home, we are always available with advice and action. So we hope that together we can give the puppies a good start in their new phase of life.