March 15, 2005

Breeding Experiments

Bruce Cattanach says "crossbreeding is no longer a recognised option but for the first 50 or so years of this century, crossbreeding to allow the introduction of new or otherwise desirable characters into established breeds was permitted by the Kennel Club". A breeder of Boxers for over 40 years, he was always irritated by the need to dock tails to achieve the desired characteristics. So when faced with potential changes in tail docking legislation, he acquired two boxers with screw tails and bred them but found it was not an hereditary condition - all the puppies had long tails.

Friends asked him to look into the inheritance of a bob-tail condition in Corgis that exists in a few show lines, and he found that the condition bred true, with no associated abnormalities.

He decided that "it would really be fun to try and breed a Boxer with an inherited short tail." The story of his experiment makes interesting reading.

In quite a different experiment the Soviet Union's Institute of Cytology and Genetics tested a hypothesis to look at whether selection of breeding foxes for tameness could bring with it the changes in appearance that were associated with the domestication of dogs.


Anne said...

I'd come across that story before, about breeding the bob-tailed boxer - interesting. Wasn't there some rule that after out-crossing to another breed you had to back cross for three generations or similar to be regarded as purebred?

Natacha Moscoso said...

The British Kennel Club registered the 4th generation dogs. Dr. Cattanach has certainly done a great job developing the bobtail Boxer. Current dogs (6th, 7th generation) are truly excellent Boxers that are doing very well in the (very competitive!) breed rings.
I imported 2 bobtail Boxers from his line, the male has already some litters on the ground, you can see him here: