The truth is that at some point, every pure breed dog breeder realizes that he is confronted with more and more hereditary diseases.
…or, he becomes aware of the fact that his dogs, with a more fragile health, often spend a lot of time at the veterinary clinic.
Or, again, he realizes that some of his dogs have a shorter lifespan.
More often, it is the « Mushroom Effect » that is the cause of this realization.
This means that suddenly, a great male appears somewhere along the way; great conformity, good temperament, and with good results on the health tests (if those are done properly).
Then, a few years later, the breeder becomes aware of the fact that many dogs from that bloodline have the same problem in an area. The problem is that at that point, it is often too late as the male has already had a lot of offspring, making it almost impossible to correct the problem (health issue).
If the breed is a common one, a serious breeder can try to fix the problem by selecting subjets from a distant bloodline.
Nonethless, with a breed that becomes more and more rare, and with different problems in the bloodlines that exist, it is almost impossible to « create » a dog that does not have any health issues.
We test our dogs for:
Ectopic urinary syndrome
Therefore, often one bloodline is more affected by one disease, and the other one is confronted to another issue
It is nevertheless impossible to find a completely new bloodline, meaning we have three choices:
We live with the truth, and hope we will not have too many sick puppies, and that the sick ones can be detected before they meet their new family. But remember: no one who has not done it knows how heartbreaking it is to take a 7 week old puppy to the veterinary to euthanize him. For a breeder it is such an inhumane feeling that brings many tears, a lot of pain and drains alot of energy.
2- We stop breeding
3- We look for a solution
Personally, I chose the 3rd option; looking for a solution
As we are speaking, there are breeders and a Canine Club in Europe working on it since 2009.
They breed two healthy purebred dog-types, from among two different breeds of the Swiss Mountain Dog family (tested for all the health tests), to get a litter; the “Hybrid F1”.
Those « Hybrid F1 » puppies bare very similar traits, never have any hereditary diseases, and become robust dogs with a long lifespan.
This result is obtained through the bringing in of completely new genes.
Usually, this hybridization is done with the short-hair Swiss Mountain Dogs.
Nonetheless, there is also a small number of Swiss farm dogs, not registered but tested and approved for all the hereditary diseases that have received a special registration. Those dogs are then crossed with the desired pure breed in order to, four generations late, have purebred puppies again.
It is important to understand, though, that it is among the first generation that the puppies have the largest amount of healthy genes.
The Swissydogs are thus not « crossed » dogs, but « hybrids » which means they are the result of the breeding of two pure breeds from different breeding lines. They are Swiss Mountain dogs with the typical colors; the tricolours. I take great joy in seeing the puppies from their first moment to their last, and I enjoy spending those eight weeks with them; from birth to the moment they leave to their family. I must say to keep my joy and my passion alive as a breeder, I join those “old” breeders who have already started the Swissydog breeding before me, because of the stress they had to go through with every new litter, being afraid the puppies could have a genetic default.