20 Principles of Breeding Better Dogs 

20 Principles of Breeding Better Dogs by Raymond H. Oppenheimer

 “There are a number of different breeding methods, some good, some bad.

 I should never assume to try to tell the fanciers what is the right method because there is no such thing.

 Outstanding success can be achieved and has been achieved in a variety of different ways.

 So all I'm going to do is make some suggestions that I think helpful and to warn against certain pitfalls which trap too many of the unwary."


(Note: Oppenheimer was a great Bull Terrier breeder. But what he says applies to all breeds too.)

  1. Remember that the animals you select for breeding today will have an impact on the breed for many years to come.  Keep that thought firmly in mind when you choose breeding stock.

 2. You can choose only two individuals per generation. Choose only the best, because you will have to wait for another generation to improve what you start with. Breed only if you expect the progeny to be better than both parents.

 3. You cannot expect statistical predictions to hold true in a small number of animals (as in one litter of puppies). Statistics only apply to large populations.

 4. A pedigree is a tool to help you learn the good and bad attributes that your dog is likely to exhibit or reproduce. And the pedigree is only as good as the dog it represents.

 5. Breed for a total dog, not just one or two characteristics. Do not follow fads in your breed, because they are usually meant to emphasize one or two features of the dog at the expense of the soundness and function of the whole.

 6. Quality does not mean quantity. Quality is produced by careful study, having a good mental picture of what you are trying to achieve, having the patience to wait until the right breeding stock is available and to evaluate what you have already produced, and above all, having a breeding plan that is at least three generations ahead of the breeding you do today.

 7. Remember that skeletal defects are the most difficult to change.

 8. Do not bother with a good dog that cannot produce well. Enjoy him (or her) for the beauty that he represents but do not use him in a breeding program.

 9. Use out-crosses very sparingly. For each desirable feature you acquire, you will get many bad traits that you will have to eliminate in succeeding generations.

 10. Inbreeding is a valuable tool, being the fastest method to set good characteristics and type. It brings to light hidden traits that need to be eliminated from the breed.

 11. Breeding does not "create" anything. What you get is what was there to begin with. It may have been hidden for many generations, but it was there.

 12. Discard the old cliché about the littermate of that great producer being just as good to breed it. Littermates rarely have the same genetic make-up.

 13. Be honest with yourself. There are no perfect dogs, nor are there perfect producers. You cannot do a competent job of breeding if you cannot recognize the faults and virtues of the dogs you plan to breed.

 14. Hereditary traits are inherited equally from both parents. Do not expect to solve all your problems in one generation.

 15. If the worst puppy in your last litter is no better than the worst puppy in your first litter, you are not making progress. Your last litter should be your last litter.

 16. If the best puppy in your last litter is no better than the best puppy in your first litter, you are not making progress. Your last litter should be your last litter.

 17. Do not choose a breeding animal by either the best or the worst that he or she has produced. Evaluate the total get by the attributes of the majority.

 18. Keep in mind that quality is a combination of soundness and function. It is not the lack of faults, but the positive presence of virtues. It's the whole dog that counts.

 19. Do not allow personal feelings to influence your choice of breeding stock. The right dog for your breeding program is the right dog, whoever owns it. Do not ever decry a good dog; they are too rare and wonderful to be demeaned by pettiness.

20. Do not be satisfied with anything but the best. The second best is never good enough

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  • Far too many people are puppy peddlers. Very few are ethical breeders. That's not just in the bully community. That in ever community.

    • How many standards do the presa canaries have ?

      • You have the UKC standard and the FCI standard 

        • The Bully have about 5 and growing 

          • The FCI standard and the UKC standard are practically the same.  The difference is one allows for a slight under bite . I think the FCI increased the minimum weight by about 5 pounds. 

            • Like most breeds but the look isn’t different like the American Bullies with xl xxl , standard , extreme ,classic etc .  A presa to a presa won’t give u a pit bull or a bulldog looking offspring lol

              • This is true. That was all done be cause people decided to create through selective breeding what they wanted their ideal bully to look like. They took no consideration of what the breed standard was. Then the registry made different classed to accommodate the size difference.  That way they don't turn down any money .


                You aren't going to find a lot of that in breeds that are working dogs. You won't get a big interest in making a working dog smaller or micro. Of course we do get those that ignorantly want to breed them bigger.  The larger size is intimidating.  But it will lose functionality. Today most people don't use the presa to catch wild cattle or will hogs. They are mostly used as guardians. 

  • Lol I highly doubt this will get any attention from these bully breeders they have no morals when it comes to breeding 

    • Lol facts 

  • I didn't author this. However , I believe it should give us some things to consider.  No one has to agree with this 100 %.  Yet everyone can take something from it. 

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