Breeder Education

Breeder Defined: A person who breeds animals or plants.

By reading the above definition, it is easy to see why so many people claim to be dog breeders. However, we differentiate a true breeder from a puppy raiser. Not just any person can be a breeder of the American Alsatian. Each American Alsatian breeder must become 'certified' through an extensive process designed to allow only the most dedicated breeders this honored title.

Job Requirements

Previous work-related experience is required. When applying to become a certified breeder of the American Alsatian, it is necessary to have bred animals in the past, including having directly participated in the birth process.
Each individual wishing to become a certified breeder must complete the American Alsatian breeder's course and pass the standardized breeder's exam. It will also be beneficial if a potential certified breeder has or obtains university courses in genetics, animal husbandry, and/or other animal science related courses.
After completing the comprehensive breeder's course, it will be necessary to become an intern for one year, apprenticing under an experienced American Alsatian certified breeder. During this time, if any puppies are whelped by the potential certified breeder, the puppies will be under the direct supervision and guidance of the experienced certified breeder. After a mandatory one year internship, the potential certified breeder will continue to be assigned a mentor breeder who can answer questions and guide the new potential breeder toward the final steps of certification.

Job Tasks

  • Attach rubber collecting sheaths to genitals and stimulate animal's organ in order to induce ejaculation.
  • Package and label semen to be used for artificial insemination, recording information such as the date, source, quality, and concentration.
  • Prepare containers of semen for freezing and storage or shipment, placing them in dry ice or liquid nitrogen.
  • Maintain logs of semen specimens used and animals bred.
  • Feed and water animals, and clean and disinfect pens, cages, yards, and hutches.
  • Examine animals in order to detect symptoms of illness or injury.
  • Place vaccines in drinking water, inject vaccines, or dust air with vaccine powder, in order to protect animals from diseases.
  • Select animals to be bred, and semen specimens to be used, according to knowledge of animals, genealogies, traits, and desired offspring characteristics.
  • Treat minor injuries and ailments, and contact veterinarians in order to obtain treatment for animals with serious illnesses or injuries.
  • Observe animals in heat in order to detect approach of estrus, and exercise animals to induce or hasten estrus, if necessary.
  • Be able to properly groom an American Alsatian.
  • Measure specified amounts of semen into calibrated syringes, and insert syringes into inseminating guns.
  • Inject prepared animal semen into female animals for breeding purposes, by inserting nozzle of syringe into vagina and depressing syringe plunger.
  • Adjust controls in order to maintain specific building temperatures required for animals' health and safety.
  • Examine semen microscopically in order to assess and record density and motility of gametes, and dilute semen with prescribed diluents according to formulas.
  • Record animal characteristics such as weights, growth patterns, and diets.
  • Brand, tattoo, or tag animals in order to allow animal identification.
  • Exhibit animals at shows.
  • Build hutches, pens, and fenced yards.
  • Maintain professional appearance on websites and in life.
  • Work with computers, pictures, videos and other media equipment.
  • Analyze information and evaluate results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Assess the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
  • Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Related Majors & Degrees

Agricultural Production Operations
Animal / Livestock Husbandry and Production
Agricultural and Domestic Animal Services
Agricultural and Domestic Animal Services, Other
Genetics, General
Cell & Developmental Biology

Breeding information

The science of ANIMAL breeding is defined as the application of the principles of GENETICS and biometry to improve the efficiency of production in farm animals.

The practice of animal breeding dates back to the Neolithic period (approximately 7000 BC), when people attempted to domesticate wild species such as REINDEER, goats, hogs and DOGS.

Domestication was performed through the reproduction of captive animals which were selected and mated based on their behavior and temperament.

Robert Bakewell, an English animal breeder of the 18th century, is considered the founder of systematized animal breeding. He was the first to emphasize the importance of accurate breeding records, introduced the concept of progeny testing to evaluate the genetic potentials of young sires, and applied inbreeding to stabilize desired qualitative traits.

He also promoted concepts such as "like begets like," "prepotency is associated with inbreeding" and "breed the best to the best." Bakewell and his contemporaries in Europe pioneered the development of diverse breeds of BEEF cattle, DAIRY cattle, SHEEP, hogs and HORSES.

Most livestock breeds with pedigree herd books and breed associations were established between the late 18th century and the second half of the 19th century. Colour, conformation, geographical origin and some production characteristics were the main factors that differentiated these breeds. Wide geographical redistribution of animal populations was also an important factor in the formation of new breeds, as invading armies, migrating people and traders transported livestock to new lands.

Animal breeding as a modern SCIENCE belongs to the 20th century. Although numerous geneticists and biometricians have made significant contributions to the development of this science, J.L. Lush of Iowa State University is considered the father of the modern science of animal breeding. Lush and his students developed major scientific procedures applicable to the genetic improvement of farm animals.

Studies on crossbreeding were first performed at the University of Saskatchewan in 1930, under the direction of J.W. Grant MACEWAN and L.M.Winters. Studies on quantitative genetics in Canada were initiated by Jack Stothart (1934). Since 1940, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada RESEARCH STATIONS at Lacombe and Lethbridge, Alta, Brandon, Man, Lennoxville, Qué, and Ottawa have been active in animal breeding research. Among educational centres, the universities of Guelph, Alberta, McGill and Manitoba have been active in animal breeding research and training. The relative scarcity of scientists and active research centres in this field reflects the high cost of research on genetic improvement of farm animals.

Major crossbreeding studies and breed synthesis projects have included the investigations of R.T. Berg and associates at the University of Alberta and Howard FREDEEN and associates at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The results of long-term controlled selection studies in hogs by Stothart and Fredeen, in POULTRY by Robert Gowe (Ottawa), and in beef cattle by Berg and scientists at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada demonstrated the effectiveness of systematic selection, and were all in agreement with theoretical expectations. The Lacombe breed of hogs was the first livestock breed developed in Canada, by Stothart and Fredeen. This breed is popular in many countries around the world.

During the past 2 decades, scientists at the University of Guelph (B.W. Kennedy, J.W. Wilton, L.R. Schaeffer), in cooperation with scientists at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, have made significant contributions in the development of modern statistical procedures to compare the genetic potentials of breeding animals (primarily males) by breed or by herd. These procedures use all relevant information available on an animal and its relatives in estimating its relative breeding value.

Show-ring standards, once accepted as authoritative criteria for breeding merit, have been gradually replaced by performance tests that objectively measure the differences among promising breeding animals for traits such as growth rate and production of milk, eggs or wool. Performance test stations have been established across Canada to evaluate the individual performances of male animals, primarily hogs and beef cattle, under standard conditions for growth rate, feed efficiency and carcass merit. Livestock exhibitions and fairs now serve primarily to promote breeds and to sell breeding animals that have met performance test criteria (see AGRICULTURAL EXHIBITIONS).

Are you ready to begin the process to become an American Alsatian certified breeder?

    Answer the following questions to find out:
  1. Are you a member of the National American Alsatian Club (NAAC)?
  2. Do you have one or more registered dogs through the National American Alsatian Registry (NAAR)?
  3. Are you a member of the National American Alsatian Breeder's Association (NAABA)?

If you have answered "no" to any of the above questions, then you are not yet ready to begin the process to becoming a certified American Alsatian breeder.

If you answered "yes" to all of the questions above and are interested in becoming a certified American Alsatian breeder, please contact Lois Schwarz to begin your journey on the road to becoming a certified American Alsatian breeder.