HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL BREEDER- STARTING OUT, TO PURCHASING BROOD STOCK & INTO THE BASICS OF LINEBREEDING, INBREEDING & OUTCROSSING

Article Originally appeared in Venomline on Medium

HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL BREEDER: AMERICAN BULLY TYPES, CLASSES, FOUNDATION DOGS & BREEDING TECHNIQUES

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ORIGIN OF THE AMERICAN BULLY BREED

The American Bully breed was created around 1990 and gained recognition and establishment in 2004 with the inception of the American Bully Kennel Club, also known as the ABKC Registry.

THE AMERICAN BULLY KENNEL CLUB (ABKC)

THE UNITED KENNEL CLUB (UKC)

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THE AMERICAN BULLY BREED TEMPERAMENT & PERSONALITY

THE BREED’S EXPLOSION IN POPULARITY

The American Bully first became one of the fastest growing new breeds in 2014 and it has remained in the Top 5 every year since. In 2018, the American Bully breed became the fastest growing dog breed in terms of popularity and it hasn’t shown signs of slowing down since. The breed is on track to finish 2019 in similar fashion. So why are so many falling in love with this breed?

CONFUSION ABOUT THE BREED

BECOMING AN AMERICAN BULLY BREEDER

DECIDE ON A CLASS

This is one of the first and often overlooked steps when deciding to purchase an American Bully puppy or adult. Ask yourself, what size of bully best suits your interest? Do you want something smaller or shorter? In this case, you’ll probably want a Pocket. Like your dogs bigger? Then you probably want a Standard. If that’s not big enough for you and you’re wanting something over 100lbs and massive, then the XL class is probably for you.

4 DIFFERENT AMERICAN BULLY CLASSES

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For those who may be new to the breed and still learning, let’s take a look at the different Classes in the American Bully breed according to the founding registry- The American Bully Kennel Club, also known as the ABKC Registry as well as the United Kennel Club, referred to as the UKC.

AMERICAN BULLY CLASSES

BREED STANDARD (ORIGINAL)

ABKC Breed Standard (Original)

ABKC AMERICAN CLASSES 2014-PRESENT

POCKET

This is an amendment to the basic standard which a Pocket Bully is determined by its adult height.

STANDARD

The American Bully should give the impression of great strength for it’s size. It is a compact and medium/large size dog with a muscular body and blocky head. The American Bully should have the appearance of heavy bone structure with a bulky build and look.

CLASSIC

This is an amendment to the basic standard. A Classic Bully is determined by it’s body structure and build. Both sex dogs with lighter body frames and less overall body mass, but still exibiting “bully” traits.

XL

This is an amendment to the basic standard, determined by it’s adult height. It is important to note that the XL Bully variety is simply taller than the Standard American Bully. XL dogs share the same build, body type and breed type as the Standard American Bully.

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BEFORE DECIDING TO BECOME AN AMERICAN BULLY BREEDER

Before making the commitment to become a breeder and establish your own bloodline, an honest appraisal of your resources is in order.

First, do you have the money and time to invest in this endeavor? A large kennel facility is usually not necessary if you get two or three quality “foundation” bitches to begin with. Do you have cash on hand for progesterone testing, artificial inseminations, emergency c-sections, vet bills, and proper care for the puppies?

BE PREPARED

Are you prepared if one of your breeding females becomes ill or develops an infection like pyometra? Do you have 3K–5K saved in the event of an emergency? One of the he worst possible things that you can do is to make the decision to become a breeder and then being unable to care for your dogs in the event of an emergency.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

PURCHASING “FOUNDATION” DOGS

Venom daughter Khaleesi

“First you will need to the right kennel to purchase from. Personally I started out with two males and a female, but that was not the best move. I wish someone had advised us to start with females!

Unfortunately I had to learn through trial and error, but to anyone reading this, you can save 3–4 years of time by listening to me on this one. If your goal is to become a breeder, you’re going to want to start with quality females. You’ll want to get your foundation females from a kennel that has been around for a while.”

– Venomline’s Matt Siebenthal

UNDERSTANDING PEDIGREES

Be sure to get detailed pedigree information on the dogs to ensure you are getting a quality linebred dog (meaning that the same ancestors appear more than once in the 4 generation pedigree) Linebred dogs usually produce more consistent litters. Kennels that have been around for a while, that have quality productions to show and an idea about what they’re doing will usually linebreed.

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DHB/Venomline’s Apache at 10 months

PRODUCTIONS MATTER

DECIDING TO USE A STUD

STUD SERVICE

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BENEFITS OF USING A STUD FROM A BREEDER RATHER THAN PURCHASING ONE YOURSELF:

1. Using a well known stud can help with litter sales

A STUD VS A “PROVEN” PRODUCER… THERE IS A DIFFERENCE

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Any male dog that produces semen has the ability to become a Stud. But, a Stud that is a “Proven Producer” is one that can out produce themselves on a consistent basis. They are the few with the ability to stamp their look with every litter. Top producing dogs are most often inbred or linebred from an outstanding bloodline.

INBREEDING & LINEBREEDING

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Understanding these simple principles will help anyone who’s serious about becoming a Top Breeder pass up the competition, sometimes in just a few generations.

SHOW DOGS VS STUD DOGS

“A dog can be a truly great show dog and a poor sire. A dog can hate the show ring and never win a point and be an outstanding sire. It is just as simple as that.”

You can get every judge in the country to agree that the dog of the hour is the dog of the hour, but that same dog can be a complete disappointment in the breeding department.

If a dog’s quality is not realized in the whelping box, all we have is a box full of ribbons and nothing more.

CONFUSING SHOW DOGS WITH PRODUCING STUDS

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This is not to say a winning dog cannot also be an outstanding producer. Records prove otherwise. But I cannot stress strongly enough that it is the producing ability that must be looked to and not the show record! Even the outstanding show sire can be misused. Most breeds have had those truly wonderful show dogs who develop records that become the envy of one and all. Unfortunately, they become the envy of too many who feel if a dog is good enough to win every award in sight, it must be good enough to breed every female in sight.

TRULY GREAT SIRES ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN

BECOMING AN AMERICAN BULLY BREEDER

Breeding a litter of pups is not the same as becoming a breeder and developing a bloodline.

We have within our breed bloodlines that are known for producing great dogs as well as bloodlines that are known for producing mediocre dogs with certain problems, i.e. conformation faults, health issues, temperament faults etc.

STEPS TO BECOMING A BREEDER

“Pedigrees are great, but they don’t mean jack if the two dogs being bred don’t carry the desired look/traits. Look at the dogs in front of you.”

– Double L’s Ty Lumley

It is obvious that breeders should avoid mating animals with the same faults, as this type of mating will also tend to produce offspring with those faults set within the family of dogs.

“You will want to become familiar with these. You’re going to want to add your own productions once you start having them. But perhaps more importantly, you can research which breeding pairs and bloodlines produced top dogs. There is almost unlimited information at people’s fingertips, but most are too damn lazy to use it.”

SHOWS & EVENTS

The breeder who would achieve a consistent color or size at the cost of breed type or honest structure is a different kind of person from one who prefers a correctly made dog.

Read that again out loud.

THE FATHER OF MODERN GENETICS AND THE MAN WHO APPLIED IT TO ANIMAL BREEDING

Although Gregor Mendel is the father of modern genetics, Jay Lush is the fellow who brought genetics to animal breeding. Lush was a student of Sewall Wright, who devised the coefficient of inbreeding, and a background in both genetics and mathematics allowed him to develop animal breeding into a quantitative science.

Perhaps his most important contribution is a book first published in 1937 called Animal Breeding Plans, in which he laid the foundations on which the scientific breeding of both animals and plants still rest today. While parts are necessarily outdated now, much of what he wrote is as useful today as it was then.

INBREEDING VS LINEBREEDING

CARRYING THE TORCH

Any time that a significant advancement in any field is made (especially science) it is often left at the feet of the next generation. Equally important are the ones who pick up the torch and expand upon the point where the previous generation’s research left off.

90 CHAMPIONS OVER 12 YEARS

BRACKETT’S FORMULA

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CONSISTENCY & TYPE

LINEBREEDING

BRACKETT’S FORMULA

Figure 1 Pedigree of a Brackett Stud Dog

BRACKETT’S FORMULA APPLIED: A REAL LIFE EXAMPLE

SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM THE COMPETITION

You can pass up the competition in just a few short years by dedicating the time and energy to study up on those who have had success and by applying those techniques to your breeding plan.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist either. I’m not. Far from it. But you have a small supercomputer with unlimited information in your pocket. Quit being lazy and Google some shit. Respectfully, of course.

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TYPES OF BREEDINGS

We have covered the basics of linebreeding, inbreeding, outcrossing, backbreeding and grading up in previous articles. In our next article, we will weigh the benefits and risks of each as well as going into further detail on each as well and also when an outcross should definitely be considered.

I. LINEBREEDING

II. INBREEDING

III. OUTCROSSING

IV. BACKBREEDING

V. GRADING UP

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