All breeders want their puppies to be happy, healthy, and live a very long life. But, we also strive to protect and preserve our chosen breed for future generations, to use their amazing abilities in which they have been bred to work for us and be our treasured companions. This is the essence of what we strive to do at Aariel Ridgebacks with preservation breeding.
Purebred dog breeding is a balance act. We work hard to understand all the genetic disorders within our chosen breed. We account for these disorders and complete DNA testing to ensure the dam and sire will not produce problems caused by single mutations. We are aware of all offspring years before and monitor for higher rates of cancer, thyroid disorders, allergies, and other complex problems. We take dogs out of breeding programs who are connected to these very real problems and move in different directions.
Starting with the "Perfect" Sire and Dam
We know from genetics that the health of offspring will depend on the quality of the gene pool and how it changes over time. So, we begin the process with identifying ideal healthy individuals for use as sire and dam. Ideally, they are to be outstanding examples of their breed in terms of health, with all the necessary genes for physiology, anatomy, and temperament, as well as the genes for all the other traits that define type for the breed. We will take these ideal dogs to continue our sustainable breeding program, one that would preserve not only a population of dogs for ourselves but also individuals that could establish new populations for others that would like to have in our breed for the next generation of dogs. At Aariel Ridgebacks we work at retaining our excellent "type" in our dogs and at the same time improve an animal's faults. We always might want to change something about the sire or dam - increase bone, improve a length of upper arm, or produce more dogs of a particular color. We always use our skills as a breeder to preferentially breed the dogs with the traits we want.
The secret to producing healthy purebred dogs generation after generation is to maintain a gene pool that contains all the genes necessary for health, monitor for type, structure, temperament, companionship, and qualities for which our wonderful breed was originally bred.