It is possible to make quite a few compromises in breeding. It is actually a must to do compromises every now and then. However I would say there is one thing a clever breeder can´t make a compromises with. That is not temperament as a whole but with nerve structure. One compromise can strike back so many generations after. I feel too many breeder´s and too many breeds have done terrible mistakes by doing compromises with the nerves. There are too many nervous breeds and too many nervous individuals because someone did not care? Why someone makes the compromise with nerves? Why should you never play with nerves of the dogs in your breeding? I feel like as planning my breeding there is four major issues to be counted in breeding. They are 1) overall physical health ,2) temperaments, 3) nerves and 4) the look. What is the difference in breeding with temperament and nerves?
If taking nerves and temperament in consideration in breeding like two separate things it will “double up” the influence of mental issues in breeding. I feel that is good because the mental well being of the dog is so very important in serious dog breeding. Temperament is a large variation of things. Many of them are qualities that a breeder and owner can influence a lot in puppy´s and dog´s life. We may want to add activity or playfulness in our breeding to our lines. We may have occasional bit too soft dogs in breeding that we can work with in future generations. They can have excellent life as we just respect the dogs limits.
However the nerves are things that can make dogs life a mess. Nerve structure is something that is very difficult to change in breeding. If the nerves gives up it can show in so many different ways. Shaking, throwing up, loose stomach and nervous behavior usually can influence the dogs life in so many different situations. More active the life is more the dog need to struggle. In breeding these are not good dogs at all. If the nerves do give up in every day life. These are not dogs that should be used for breeding, no matter how good they look or how healthy they are otherwise. This is how I believe.
I have seen too many times in name of look or health people use dogs with bad nerves for breeding. If the nerve structure is weak the dog usually suffers. Owner must adjust his life to weak dogs behavior. Sometimes people even get blind and learn to live with unnatural temperaments and with weak nerves. That kind of blindness is terrible and I feel there are some breeds that people have hard time to understand anymore what is normal and what is indication of poor nerve structure. People learn to live with shy, nervous and shaking dogs and some even believe this is the breed like. Living with sudden dog or breed with bad nerves can turn into collective blindness.
Do remember to keep strong nerves in your breeding program. Do not make compromises with the nerves. I have seen it in my own breeding how one compromise generations behind will come through in later generations. I feel you can play safe with nerves if the pedigree is free of weak nerves through out 5 generations. This is how I believe. One single compromise somewhere in 5 generation and you can be in trouble. This is how difficult it is to get riddle of weak nerve structure of the dog.
Do remember to test also the males you use for breeding. try to have them in your house for a while. This is what I do. I want to know the males I am using for breeding. Dog with bad nerves can be a show star. Owner or handler can do a clever work hiding the weakness but in breeding you cant fool genes. So make sure you do not play games with nerves.
I think one of the biggest secret in my breeding is that I have tried to build u stronger and stronger nerves structure to my dogs now over two decades. That do pay off. Dogs with strong nerve structure are healthier and happier dogs. They are much easier dogs to live with. they are much easier dogs to show and breed. So keep in mind how much more you can do with dogs with strong nerve structure. Do remember they are also happier dogs.
I feel it is important to know also the males perfectly before using them in breeding. You can´t make any compromises with the nerve structure in good quality breeding. Strong nerves will secure the dog much healthier, happier and better life. In the end of the day also breeder´s life is so much easier with dogs with excellent nerve structure. Demian is deerhound male visiting from Germany and this dog truly have the best nerves in the world. This is so importnat in breeding. Do not make compromise with nerves – ever .