For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
--  I Corinthians 13:12 

Our Breeding Approach

Breeding has never been an exact science!  As breeders, we make decisions based on the information we have available to us at any given time.  As human beings, our knowledge and experience is limited, so our ability to make breeding decisions is likewise limited.

We chose the picture above for this page because it provides an excellent illustration of these limitations.  Much of the picture is blurry, just like so much of the knowledge we have at our disposal is not necessarily completely accurate.  But the good news is more and more knowledge is coming into focus.  See the puppies nose and snout protruding through?  See how focused they are?  Well that illustrates how new technologies are providing more and more knowledge to breeders so that we can make good, scientifically-based breeding decisions.  

Our Focus

At Seeking Shalom Acres, we focus primarily on producing healthy puppies.  Our secondary focus is for temperament, but this is also significantly influenced by our puppy-raising methods.  At this point in time, we are not aiming for specific colors or other physical traits.  

Breeding for Genetic Health

Breeding with genetic health in mind is a must for every breeder, especially with 75% of dogs estimated to be at risk to be a carrier of genetic diseases.  Recent advances in genetic testing allow us to test our dogs for known genetic problems and make sound, scientific decisions using the test results we receive.  We have a huge advantage over breeders less than half a century ago who had to rely on Pedigree information to try and determine the probability of genetic health problems arising.  Pedigree is no longer the best way to determine likelihood of inbreeding and by extension, the health issues that can arise from inbreeding!

We have a personal example to illustrate this point.  We purchased a beautiful AKC-papered stud based on his stellar Pedigree!  But after we did genetic testing on him, we discovered he carries a dominant gene that could lead to severe health problems in him and in 50% of his offspring!  Imagine how many puppies we might have sold with this genetic problem if we had not been able to screen him.  

By contrast, we also have another sweet AKC-papered stud, whose Pedigree was not as good as the first!  But after screening him for genetic problems, he came back completely clear of any known genetic defects!  Clearly, using him as a stud would be a better decision than the first dog!

In addition, we also own a dog that did not come with his Pedigree, but when we genetically-tested him, his test results show he carries no known genes that lead to serious health problems!

Since we are focused on genetic health, we would substantially miss the mark if we made our decisions on Pedigree alone, as demonstrated in the example above.  Therefore, genetic testing is a crucial part of our program!

Embark Genetic Testing 

We use Embark genetic testing for all our parent dogs.  Each breed has breed-specific genetic issues for which they are screened.  For our breeds these include: Glycogen Storage Disease Type IA, Von Gierke Disease, GSD IA (G6PC, Maltese Variant), â€‹Chondrodystrophy and Intervertebral Disc Disease, CDDY/IVDD, and Type I IVDD (FGF4 retrogene - CFA12).  Our parent dogs are also screened for around 230 other potential health-related genes.  

Embark COI Testing

Embark testing also provides breeders with the genetic COI (Coefficient of Inbreeding or percentage of inbreeding) of each dog.  This is extremely valuable information as it helps us to determine how much inbreeding has already taken place with our dogs' ancestors.  

Embark Breeder Tools

Couple Embark's COI testing with Embark's Pair Predictor tool, and we are also now able to examine potential breeding dog pairs.  Importantly, this Pair Predictor tool uses over 230,000 genetic markers to predict the eCOI (estimated COI) of their offspring.  Additionally, it predicts potential genetic problems their offspring might inherit.  Because of this, this enables us to choose the best parent dogs to breed together.  So Embark's Pair Predictor removes much of the guesswork usually involved in selecting potential breeding partners.

Embark Test Results

We provide the Embark test results for each dog on their individual pages.  Go to our Parent Dogs page and select a parent dog to visit their page. 

To inquire about our puppies for sale , please toss us a question here . We'll be sure fetch!

Breeding Approach: Other Pages

What's Included?
Why COI Is Important
Rearing Methods
Waiting List
Our Parent Dogs
Upcoming Litters
Puppies For Sale
Contact Us