Pursuit of Excellence
"Webster's gives us some interesting definitions: "To nourish, cherish...to generate, engender...to cause, to occasion...to bring up, to nurse and foster," and more to the point, "to produce by special selection of parents or progenitors."
Anyone who puts two animals together for the purpose of producing young does "generate, engender, cause, or occasion" the propagation of that species or breed. Most breeders, thankfully, "nourish, cherish, bring up, nurse, and foster."
Ahh, but here's the rub: Only a handful of persons involved in the production of companion animals can be said to "produce by special selection of parents or progenitors." A Breeder (with a capital "B") is one who thirsts for knowledge but never knows it all, one who wrestles with decisions of conscience, convenience, and commitment.
A Breeder is one who sacrifices personal interests, finances, time, friendships, fancy furniture, and deep pile carpeting. A breeder gives up dreams of a long, luxurious cruise in favor of turning that all-important specialty show into this year's vacation."
- B. J Andrews
(The hall of fame breeder of O'BJ Akitas)
THE FANTASTIC 4
Setting Up Goals
After a couple of years into showing and breeding, it was becoming more and more clear to me that we hope to establish a world class breeding program, become an exceptional Akita handler, and a respected judge. It may take me a lifetime to achieve one of these goals, all of them, or none. But I will never give up on trying.
When we first started, we knew little about almost everything. So we went on spent six figures for a few bitches and males from some exceptional breeders including a top winning male and proven stud from UK. Although half of them didn't make it to our breeding program due to mediocrity or genetic disease, the rest managed to build us a solid foundation to carry on.
Our first five years into breeding was about studying the breed standard and our foundation: their pedigrees, pros and cons, outcome when mating with different strains, and strength and weakness in their abilities as producers, invisible characteristics inherited, and so on.
All puppies are cute but there is the standard and the intention of each particular mating. Put the emotions aside, we evaluate each puppy in terms of the type, balance, soundness, etc. Also compare them with their parents, and other litters. Only those who are spectacular and may better our breeding program will stay.
Finding Right People
Modern breeding is not individualist. It is a team work that requires strategic partnership. It is the breeders' role to activate people, and find the potential. With this method both breeder and families gain so much more information and resources. Along with those who share our passion and determination, we can do so much more!
Many breeders claim they have strains in their lines. The fact is only very few in the world of breeding have real strains. We were lucky enough to start out with two of the best: Redwitch and Regalia. That is just the beginning, we have a very long way to go building our own that requires great patience, intelligence and perseverance.