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My strategy for my own breeding program

One of the things I do not prioritize is color.
A good dog can have any color ...
It is simply not important.

I know there are people out there just dying for a white Silken while my dogs are unlikely to carry the trait for white at all, but to make breeding selections based on color, just to suit the "market" is against everything I believe in. Unless I stumble upon a self white male or two that I really want to incorporate in my breeding program by importing semen, my dogs are unlikely to ever come in white.

Another thing I do not worry much about is ears.
I started out with a foundation girl with huge pricked ears, no matter how I select males it will take many, many generations until my lines possibly can produce rose ears only. By avoiding males with distinctly pricked ears I just takes what comes.

Now here is a pet peeve of mine.
I really do not like Silkens to become almost like mini Borzoi in size.
A girl of 22 inches flat is big to me. You have to remember that there seem to be an inherent size difference between genders, males are often almost 2 inches bigger than their sisters in the same litter.

The standard says max 23,5 inches. If you want the entire litter to stay within the size limits you have to aim at about 22 inches as an average. This way both the puppies that turn out small and the siblings who turn out bigger, have a chance to be in accordance with the standard.

The biggest girl I have available is smaller than 22 inches and at this point this gives me a relatively big freedom to choose a compatible male without having to worry about size as well.

Luckily my foundation girl Omni brought the trait for quite descent fronts with her from USA, now the biggest concern is to keep them and not loose them.

A balanced dog is more important to me than a dog with exaggerated angulation. Not that I am a fan of "too modest" rear angulation, but I don't want a lot of rear angulation if it means loosing overall balance.

My first generations have tails that are set slightly too high and the length of the tails  are adequate but no more. A better tail set and a longer tail would be nice but is by no means a top priority.

Length of legs
This is a problem. At home I can see some small very compact short legged girls. When I look around the world for suitable males I see several with legs I percieve as too long, making them look a bit like spiders. The fact that this breed does not have really deep chests is not helping with this impression. Add the fact that young males have neither substance nor coat compared to a fully matured male, I sometimes despair when I see all those long legs with a tiny body on top.
Not sure what I think is worst. The too short legs or the too tall ones.

Type vs diversity
I could of course breed for a certain type, but it would almost certainly mean heavy linebreeding to set a type, in a breed that already have high inbreeding coefficients to start with. As there are so few Silkens in Sweden yet, the need for genetic diversity far outweighs the wish to breed for type. To strive for diversity in pedigrees also means diversity in types, this will cause my own breeding program to seem a bit erratic when it comes to type since it is not one of my priorities.


We have now approx 50 Silkens on the European continent. Some of those Silkens are in countries it would take me 3 days of travelling to reach, and with import regulations as another obstacle. The reasoning "breed only the best to the best" is out of the question here. We are still in a phase where we have to breed what is sound and healthy even if they are mediocre compared to some of the big show winners out there. As the population increase, I can raise my requirements for whom to breed, but it will take some generations still.


Puppies right now : Litter plans : Available puppies : Available youngsters : Available adults





Page updated February 22, 2008


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