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Breeding Better Dogs – Authors Q&A

We have asked Dr. Cecere and Dr. Sponenberg a few questions about their new book Breeding Better Dogs: Genetics and Reproduction – below is the full interview:

  • What was your inspiration for the book?

We have been offering a series of annual “breeder excellence” seminars here at the vet college, and discovered a need as well as an eagerness for information concerning both the complicated world of genetics with that of breeding management in dogs. Both authors have seen a significant disconnect in our practice where these two subjects intersect.

  • Who is your book addressed to and how might they benefit from it?

The target audience is both veterinarians and dog breeders. Both will benefit from reading this work.

  • What special knowledge or research was required to write Breeding Better Dogs?

Both genetics and reproduction are very complicated fields. Dr. Sponenberg is a world renowned geneticist and has a unique ability to impart a better understanding of genetics that anyone can understand. Canine reproduction is very complicated and as a board certified specialist in reproduction, Dr. Cecere assists in improving the knowledge of physiology of the canine cycle and relate that to practical breeding management. They both have decades of experience in teaching a wide variety of audiences, and that experience has helped to organize the material in a way that can be understood and used by a wide variety of readers.

  • What are the current challenges in dog breeding and how have they been addressed in this book?

Both genetics and breeding management prove challenging for breeders and veterinarians alike. This book combines the two topics in an easily digestible and quick reference format. The use of proper genetic terminology as well as the role of genetic testing and goals of an individual breeding program are addressed. Kennel management to newborn puppy care is broken down to include discussions pertaining to relevant physiologic backgrounds that allow for a deeper understanding of how to manage all of the complicated details of a dog breeding program.

  • What are your thoughts on the future of dog breeding and welfare?

Dog breeding that is accurate and visionary is needed to assure that dogs can continue to do the many jobs they do in a wide variety of human cultures and settings. The production of sound, capable dogs assures that they have a secure spot in human society. Unfortunately, several dog breeds are in the beginning stages of true genetic and reproductive crisis that may well signal the end of “business as usual” for many of them. One specific issue is the pressure that arises due to a lack of genetic diversity, which leads to several fertility, behavioral, and soundness problems. The current moment therefore offers real opportunities. If breeders and veterinarians garner knowledge that addresses the underlying genetic causes to these problems and are able to effectively manage breeding programs, the result will be a trajectory towards better outcomes for dogs, dog breeds, dog breeders, and dog owners.


Read an excerpt of Breeding Better Dogs here or get the full book here or on Amazon!