Sunday, October 12, 2008


- - a rationale for lazy breeders, or following the natural model?

I've heard breeders articulate perspectives on breeding that range from highly assisted (or in some cases, totally usurped) to complete laissez faire. I suspect most breeders fall somewhere in between these extreme approaches.

But a "new" idea has surfaced that makes a case for letting nature take its course as a means of evaluating the dam's suitability as a brood bitch, but more importantly, the individual pups in a litter.

Referred to as Biotinus or "Vigor for Life", the contention goes that dams should be left to break sacks and cut cords free from human assistance, and then those pups (and their now suddenly non-interfering dams) who quickly seek out and find a teat - show greater "Vigor", and should therefore be immediately considered much more strongly for favored selection.

The argument has its merits, but thanks to our husbandry, dogs stopped being wild animals millenia ago. How much should the reproductive life of dogs in general terms, and first day of life of a puppy specifically, mirror the wild experience?

My jury is still out.

For a more thorough explanation of Biotinus, see Suzanne Clothier's article on the topic here: