American & European
THE HYBRID PROGRAM
HPD - Prince Najee
HPD - Marilee Skye
The modern Doberman(n) has many challenges. Despite what some organizations and breeders may say, the actually lifespan of our breed is closer to 9 years old, and is declining. The Hybrid Program Project EXtend is our attempt at countering premature death in this breed. Project X is not the cross-breeding of dogs outside of the Doberman(n) breed (although it may eventually come to that). It is the breeding of Doberman(n)s that are not typically bred under normal circumstances by professional breeders. Reputable breeders have tried to decrease genetic faults such as von Willebrand Disease, Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Degenerative Myelopathy, Cancer, Hip & Elbow Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, Gastric Dilation Volvulus, and many other problems plaguing our breed through testing and selective breeding. In addition to selective breeding to eliminate genetic faults, breeders selectively mate for consistency and predictable traits in offspring. "Line Breeding" is used to accomplish this goal. Line Breeding is the mating of related individuals from the same family or bloodline such as aunt to nephew, first or second cousins, uncle to niece, etc. Whereas this form of breeding creates consistency and a relative reliability of the type offspring produced, it simultaneously reduces the breed's gene pool. This simply means that there is a continual decrease of unrelated dogs within the breed. Subsequently, more closely related dogs are mated together. This is problematic because as the level of inbreeding rises in a dog, so do the risks of disease-associated genetic mutations. Thus, by trying to eliminates problems in the Doberman(n), we are simultaneously creating more severe issues. Breeders must now begin to ask ourselves the question, do we continue the selective breeding that is narrowing the gene pool, or do we breed to expand diversity. The answer is we must attempt to do both. However, this means the inclusion of dogs that may typically be deemed undesirable. The dire state of of our breed has brought us to this point.
The current candidates in our Hybrid Program has shown in pedigree a propensity for lifespans beyond 9 years of age. We suspect the reason is that there is more diversity in these unknown bloodlines. The more popular a dog is, the more it is used in breeding programs. The more it is used in breeding programs, the less diversity is present. We believe that the lack of diversity is the core problem of our breed. This seems plausible when you consider that there is research that indicates that mixed breed dogs show signs of longer life expectancy than pure breed dogs. It is then reasonable to hypothesize that unrelated dogs of the same breed may have longer life expectancy than that of more closely related dogs of the same breed. We know that there are many factors that must be considered when examining life expectancy. Nevertheless, diversity seems to be a fundamental ingredient.
We are aware that our candidates for this program may not be correct in conformation(form), character, or secondary health. However, we believe that these candidates possibly contribute the most important factor that will allow us the time to hopefully save and improve our breed. Without longevity, nothing else matters. Though not guaranteed, the candidates in Project X demonstrates the potential of possibly extending life expectancy beyond nine years of age. We pair these contributors with exceptional European bloodlines. It is our hope that the European bloodlines will help correct the secondary flaws, as the Project X contributors extend overall life. The current candidates pedigree have demonstrated possible indicators of 11, 12, and 13 year lifespan. It is our hope that more dog kennels and breeders will implement similar projects in their breeding programs for the preservation of the breed. Breeding for specific standards has no value if the lifespan continues to fall. The urgency of preservation calls for us to abandon typical processes for the sake of the longevity of our beloved Doberman(n).
HPD - Paris Rayne