I spent several hours with Karl-Heniz Sachau, the head breed warden for the German Club, discussing their breeding program. One of the things I had noticed in the breeding records was that a male with outstanding test scores was most often bred to females whose test scores were quite average. His explanation was really the core to their breeding program. Karl said that they now have records on 25,000 SMPs (Small Munsterlander Pointers) in their German Club’s database.
At one time, there was a belief that breeding prize 1 dogs to prize 1 dogs (top level dogs) would produce the best dogs. After monitoring the results for many years, they determined that selecting mates by score alone was a poor predictor of how the pups would turn out (emphasis added). Now, they pay very little attention to prize level and concentrate on the scores the dog and its ancestors received for nose, search, point, desire, cooperation, etc. Their data base enables the breed warden to combine the individual dog’s scores with every dog in it’s ancestry for each area (e.g., nose, search, etc).
When a dog is being considered for breeding they will look at these averages and try to find a mate that will complement or offset a below average score. They want to see an average score, between the dogs being considered at least 100. For example, the females has a score (average of her and all her relatives) for nose of 98. They would want to find a male whose nose score is at least 102 so that when combined with the females score of 98, the average is at least 100.
If you think this is a little difficult to follow, try having it explained by someone whose native language is German! After a few beers, it all seemed very clear to me. (As strange as that may sound.) The whole idea is to find a mate with high scores in areas where your dog has low scores. If both have high scores in an area, so much the better. Obviously, with 25,000 dogs in their database, they can do things that we aren’t able to do yet here in the United States.
Some of you may wonder why it is important for every one to submit profile sheets on their dogs. This is one of the reasons we need to have better information on our Small Munsterlander Pointers her in the United States. In order to match up our dogs and do a better job of breeding according to each dogs strengths and weaknesses, we must do a better job of getting all of the information centralized and gathered properly.
Tom McDonald is the founder of Wolfsburg Kennels , one of the most respected Small Munsterlander Pointer Kennels in the world. Tom McDonald is the only American Judge who has completed the Zuchtschau Richter Apprenticeship as a fully accredited international Judge. Tom has bred Small Munsterlander Puppies for appreciative owners throughout North America.