Sometimes I go to write a quick post on Facebook and it turns into a larger, more involved blog project, or even a course.
This is one of those times.
I was thinking about breeding goals and wanted to ask the question in one of my groups and ended up creating a long list and then deciding I really needed to create a planner. And maybe there needs to be a way for us to help each other think through our goals.
So here we are, a blog post with a planner and a mini course on breeding goals and planning in the wings.
Do you have breeding goals?
If you do
Are they clear and concise and well thought out?
Are they written down?
Are your breeding goals published on your website?
If not, you may want to consider creating some.
What are breeding goals?
Breeding goals aren't about your next litter or even your next 5 or 10 litters.
They are about what you ideally want to produce and what you value most as well as what you try to eliminate or correct in your lines or breeds.
You want to specify the traits you are breeding for and which ones you emphasize most.
Breeding goals are about more than you and your program. They are about your breed and the future of your breed.
Breeding goals are where you are taking your population because that's where you think the BREED needs to go.
Breeding goals can be big and important, but they must also be possible and sustainable.
Breeding goals include physical, structural, health, and temperamental traits you are breeding toward or away from.
When thinking about your breeding goals, you should ask yourself some questions
Do your breeding goals involve traits that are highly heritable or traits with a stronger environmental component?
What are the ethical, environmental, and sociological implications working toward or achieving your breeding goals?
Planning to meet your breeding goals
Once you have your breeding goals, you design your breeding program to move toward those goals in the next generations.
How are you going to achieve your goals?
How many generations do you think it will take to achieve them?
What do you need to change or improve in your puppy husbandry practices?
What are some of the problems you may encounter in implementing your plan?
How will you handle dogs or puppies/litters that don’t move you toward your goals?
Breeding goals should also inform your business plans.
Even if you don't breed for profit, there are still financial implications and you need to plan for those.
What will the overall cost be to achieve your breeding goals?
Will you need outside genetics?
If so, what is the cost, will you be purchasing dogs or stud service to obtain those genetics?
Are they present in your region or country or do you need to look beyond your borders?
Do they even exist?
What do your goals mean for your market? Do people want what you are breeding toward or do you need to educate them?