This one is also worth a good read. 🙂 And a little philosophizing about your own breed.
Old article, but not out of date.
Just a taste:
…One reason is often that some breeders own a small number of animals and breed only within their own group.
…The result of the popular sire phenomenon is that almost all members of the breed will carry a little bit of that famous dog, and any undesirable trait carried by the famous dogwill no longer be rare. Finding a safe, unrelated mate then becomes very difficult indeed.
…If the conformation (or, for that matter, the temperament, intelligence, or whatever) is not good, then you are very likely looking at a dog or a breed that is homozygous for one or more recessive alleles that you would probably like to get rid of. If it is the dog and not the breed, you may elect not to breed him, or you may look for a mate that covers the problem. If it is the breed, the only solution would be to introduce some genes from another breed. (That would be a real outcross!). This practice is not uncommon in the KNPV line working dogs one see’s in Holland. It is however done rather subjectively based on «gut feel» rather than science. Still the results have often been good.
……The common practice of almost everyone rushing to breed to the currently-popular male show champion or excellent working dog is probably the most significant factor reducing whatever diversity remains. Consider your own breed (the situation for most breeds is similar). Can you find one or more males that appear in most pedigrees? Almost everyone decides they like the recipes of (insert name) — or at least the ones they can see readily — and abandons other recipes with little thought to the eventual consequences.