Breed to improve
Daktari da Ponta da Pinta.
Photo: Alexandre Vidigal
With that purpose in mind, we choose the stud dogs that seem the best choice as to make up for any faults the females might have, and also to reinforce their good qualities. In order to do that selection, we have to put ourselves into a never-ending search and drive many miles as to find new dogs that could be used at stud, as well as other dogs of the same families, in order to gather as much information about those lines’ genetics as possible, which will allow us to predict each litter’s results.
We usually choose to outcross, using stud dogs whose bloodlines are seldom used by Estrela breeders. The goals are reducing the risk of genetic problems and preserving genetic diversity as well as certain genes that are responsible for important traits in the breed – namely rare colours and temperament traits that are fundamental for the dog’s working performance. Eventually, in the case of dogs with outstanding qualities that prove non-carriers for severe detrimental traits known to exist in the breed, we might decide to line-breed them, so as to fix those great qualities.
All our breeding dogs are screened against hip dysplasia and dilated cardiomyopathy.
We plan every single mating long beforehand, so that nothing is disregarded or forgotten. According to each brood bitch’s traits, bloodlines and genetic make-up, we set specific goals to each litter that aim to improve the results of any previous lltters the bitch might have had, and also, in the long run, to contribute to develop our breeding project as a whole.