ATL King Pits’ Blue Pitbull Breeding Philosophy

Producing bullies and pit bulls is simple. Producing quality bullies and pit bulls is a much more difficult undertaking. Not only do they have to be healthy, they also need to be attractive to look at, built correctly, and sound.

It is possible to throw dogs together without any thought and produce a dog with good type and beautiful color. It doesn’t happen very often, and when it does happen there is no formula on recreating that type.

One of the things that real breeders love about breeding correct bullies and pit bulls, is the challenge of producing dogs who are an improvement on their parents. These breeders immerse themselves in the challenge of researching their dog’s background, finding a mate that not only enhances its good points but improves on its faults, and then breeding the litter to see if the expected outcome corresponds to the expected results.

In doing planned breedings, a fancier always uses one of the three sets of breeding formulas. Each formula is a tool to produce a certain kind of result.

Outcrossing is the breeding together of two dogs that are not related to each other in any way. This method of breeding is the least likely to produce any problems, but it is also the least likely to give you consistency. In its basic form, an outcross is what produces dogs that will carry the traits of both parents. Outcrossing is used when new blood needs to be introduced into a line or when a feature in your dogs needs improvement and your stock does not have the required feature. These lines are completely unrelated , so the outcome is a roll of the dice.

Good Breeders use an outcross for a very specific reason. If they have a line that excel in all but one of two points, they will look for an unrelated line that consistently produces dogs who do well in those areas.

The danger of outcrossing is twofold. There is always the possibility that your choice for an outcross will have a fault that your line has never had a problem with. You may have a line of dogs that have huge heads, but have long muzzles. If you bring in an outcross with shorter muzzles, but have bow legs, you will most likely improve your dogs’ head shape. You also may discover some time down the line that you are now having problems with bow legs.

The other problem with outcrossing is that it is very hard to predict the outcome from breeding. You take your best guess and hope you are correct. Often the characteristics of the resulting offspring vary widely from puppy to puppy.

Line breeding is the most commonly used breeding method by both novice and experienced breeders. When line breeding, you breed together two dogs who are related, but not closely. Aunt to nephew, uncle to niece, half brother to half sister, and cousins are all considered line breedings. Breeders consider line breeding to be when a particular sire or dam is bred upon and appears several times throughout a pedigree.

Line breeding is used to develop a distinctive line of dogs. Unlike outcrossing, where you are throwing a bunch of features together and hoping they combine the way you want, line breeding is much more controlled. Because the animals are all related to one another, they are genetically very similar. This means that their offspring will differ much more minimally than those of outcrossed breedings.

The key to line breeding is to pick an animal who is very nice, and who also produces nice puppiess. At various times this animal will have been bred with different females who all had different attributes he did not. In line breeding, you are attempting to combine all the good attributes together while getting rid of the bad ones.

Inbreeding is a technique that has been the most misunderstood by both novice and experienced breeders. It is a tool that can improve a line when used properly or cement problems into a line that are then very hard to eliminate if not used correctly.

Inbreeding’s primary purpose is to bring out all the good points of two animals while bringing to the surface any bad points that can then be eliminated from the line. By inbreeding you will be bringing out any undesirable recessive traits that can then be weeded out from the gene pool you are working with. It is necessary to know what undesirable traits are lurking in the line rather than continually passing them down the generations, only to appear years later when you have established a particular line and may have passed offspring on to other breeders who are then continuing a flawed line making it difficult to eradicate the problem. With all the bad traits eliminated, you can then concentrate on working with all the good features of your dogs. The desired result of inbreeding (or line breeding) is to produce animals that are uniform in their features that in turn produce similar results that are always an improvement upon the parents.

When inbreeding (or breeding in general), never breed together two dogs that have the same flaw and never breed an animal that has only one strong feature and fails in the rest. Any dog you use must have sufficient good qualities overall or you run the risk of setting up a line of mediocre dogs that only have one nice feature, say really big heads. Always use your best dog to each other. By breeding only the strongest, healthiest, best examples of their variety you can produce puppies that meet or exceed the standards. The key is proper selection of the dogs retained for further use in your breeding program and removal from the breeding pool those that do not meet the minimum standards. Serious breeders are very strict in their selection process and make sure any inferior/weak animals are kept from the breeding population.

Serious breeders not only need to select animals with the correct intelligence, conformation, and color for the desired outcome, but health and temperament must be right up there in their selections. For example, if you have a line that has vision problems, you should stop breeding that line. Period. Breeding dogs with serious health issues such as this just because their color makes them easy to place into pet homes, is no excuse to continue a flawed line. Not all Blue bullies have this issue and new healthy stock must be sought out to work with. After all, no pet owner wants to have their pit bully go blind at 2 years old.

Responsible breeders will discontinue a line if they discover it produces a major defect. They will also cull from their breeding program any animals that don’t meet their goals, whether that is by keeping undesirable offspring themselves or neutering/spaying any with health or temperament problems. Many breeders will place into pet homes animals that are not suitable for breeding, but even with a contract signed by the pet owner does not mean that that animal will not be bred either by accident or on purpose, thereby continuing a flawed line that you tried so hard to stop. Some breeders think that if they don’t inbreed, then there won’t be a bad trait to worry about, not realizing that if the trait is recessive, it will be carried down the line for many generations.

But that does not mean health and temperament are the only things to breed for whereby you ignore conformation. Also, selecting only color or markings and not the other important points of the animal, are not the reason to breed as well. The bully community is seeing far too many bullies with mild to serious structure (conformation) issues and these dogs are continually being bred by pet breeders whose only goal is to make more bullies of a pretty sellable color, marking, coat, or body type. This is an example of how you can “fix” bad traits into a line—breed poor type to poor type and you may have animals that have beautiful color or markings, and make nice pets, but seriously lack the body to go with it.

With more and more casual breeders getting into breeding bullies and pit bulls, we are seeing more and more inferior, weak dogs and the continuation of serious health and temperament issues being sold as pets and to other casual breeders. These breeders do not understand nor research breeding and genetics for their particular dogs and get culls (animals sold strictly as pets) or pet shop animals that should not be bred in the first place. They also do not understand culling or stopping a line when necessary and the importance of keeping inferior individuals out of the breeding population. They hear the term “cull” and their only knowledge on the subject is cutting back a litter at a young age that is done for the health and betterment of the mom and remaining babies—to them babies should never be killed for any reason even if they have something wrong with them. They don’t realize that culling is just eliminating from the breeding population, whether it is at a young age or later when weaned babies are sold strictly as pets or the breeder keeps back any questionable ones themselves rather than run the risk of “pet only” ones being bred, especially if there are health, temperament, or structure issues that have shown up in the line.

There is much misconception about inbreeding and what it does. Most breeders believe that inbreeding will cause major deformities, dramatic health problems, infertility, or other issues. If you inbreed and these problems arise, that is because the problems were already present in the line and have become visible. If you didn’t inbreed, these traits would be passed down the line to only occasionally surface. Only by inbreeding and then eliminating any stock that has serious issues or stopping a line when a major health problem or defect comes to light, can a breeder then continue their work on producing an animal that not only has the correct conformation, color, markings, coat type, etc., but also has the health and temperament to go with it.

Inbreeding is not for everyone. It requires research into the backgrounds/pedigrees of the animals you are breeding, and knowledge of genetics. You also need to know how to interpret the standards and seeing what an ideal specimen looks like that meets the standards, is important.

Serious fanciers use inbreeding as a tool to improve a line of animals which they have been working on for many years. With these many years of breeding experience, they know their dogs, and know what they are likely to produce.

So whether you breed a few litters or a lot, you will use one of these breeding methods at some point. The stock you obtain from other breeders may have been heavily line bred or inbred and it is important to know how and why each method was used. Each one has a time and place for their use to obtain the desired results. Breeding dogs is more than just placing two together and waiting for the babies to come. It takes skill and patience to produce animals that excel in all parts and are an improvement on their parents. Remember, quality, not quantity.