The goal in dog breeding is functionally healthy dogs with a
construction and mentality typical to the breed, dogs that can live
a long and happy life for the benefit and pleasure of the owner and
the society as well as the dog itself. Breeding should be carried
out in such a manner that it promotes the health and well-being of
the progeny, as well as the welfare of the bitch. Knowledge, honesty
and cooperation, both on national and international level, is basic
in healthy dog breeding. Breeders should be encouraged to emphasize
the importance of the combination of dogs as well as selection of
the individual dog to be used for breeding. The FCI members and
contract partners should conduct education programmes for
breeders,preferably on an annual basis. Education of breeders is to
be recommended rather than strict breeding regulations and stringent
demands in breeding programmes, which can easily result in reduced
genetic diversity in the breed as well as exclusion of excellent
breed representatives and reduced cooperation with conscientious
breeders. Breeders and breed clubs should be encouraged to cooperate
with scientists in genetic health issues, to prevent combination of
dogs from lines that will result in unhealthy offspring.
Any dog used for breeding or screened for inherited diseases, must
have identification (chip or tattoo).
The breeders should keep the breed standard as the guideline for the
breed specific features; any exaggerations should be avoided.
2. Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical
conformation, should be used for breeding; i.e. to only use dogs
that do not suffer from any serious disease or functional
2.1 If close relatives of a dog suffering from an inherited disease
or functional disability are used for breeding, they should only be
mated to dogs from bloodlines with low or no occurrence of the same
disease or disabilities. If a DNA-test for the disease/functional
disability is available, the breeding stock should be tested in
order to avoid mating of two carriers (see point 5).
2.2 Mating combinations which from available information increase
the risk of serious diseases or functional disabilities or
impairment in the progeny, should be avoided.
2.3 Only dogs having a sound temperament, typical for the breed,
should be used for breeding. That is to only use dogs that do not
show signs of behavioural disturbance in the form of excessive fear
reactions or aggressive behaviour in unprovoked situations or
situations that can be considered as everyday situations for the
3. To preserve, or preferably extend, the genetic diversity of the
breed, matador breeding and heavy inbreeding should be avoided.
Mating between siblings, mother to son or father to daughter should
never be performed. As a general recommendation no dog should have
more offspring than equivalent to 5% of the number of puppies
registered in the breed population during a five-year period. The
size of the breed population should be looked upon not only on
national but also on international level, especially in breeds with
4. Screening results (positive or negative) for phenotypic
appearance of polygenetic diseases should be available in open
registries. The results should be used to aid the selection and
combination of breeding dogs.
4.1 Breeding values based on screening results should when possible
be computerised to facilitate selection of the breeding stock not
only on the phenotypic appearance but also by indicated genotype. As
a general rule the estimated breeding value for a combination should
be better than the average for the breed.
4.2 Screening should only be recommended for diseases and breeds
where the disease has major impact on the dogs’ functional health.
5. Results from DNA tests for inherited diseases should be used to
avoid breeding diseased dogs, not necessarily to eradicate the
disease. Dogs shown to be carriers (heterozygote) for a recessive
inherited disease should only be bred to a dog that is proven not to
carry the allele for the same disease.
6. Any dog should be able to mate naturally. Artificial insemination
should not be used to overcome physical inabilities of the dog. A
bitch should be excluded from further breeding if she is unable to
give natural birth, due to anatomy or inherited inertia, or if she
is unable to take care of the newborn puppies, due to mentality or
inherited to agalactia (no milk production).
7. Health issues that cannot be diagnosed by DNA-tests or screening
programmes should have equal impact in the breed specific breeding
8. As a general rule, a breeding programme should not exclude more
than 50% of the breed; the breeding stock should be selected from
the best half of the breed population.
9. The raising of puppies, with correct feeding, environmental
exposure, stimulation by their mother, breeder and others to develop
social sense and response, must be basic in every breeding.
More specific details about healthy dog breeding are given in FCI
International Breeding Rules and FCI Standing Orders (Article 12 -
Code of Breeding Ethics). SEE BELOW
strategies were approved by the FCI Breeding Commission in Naples,
May 23rd 2009.
The document was approved by the FCI General
Committee in Madrid, February 2010.