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Definition and Meaning of Backbreeding in Dogs

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Back-breeding involves mating a dog with their offspring and then their strongest descendants to maximise the percentage of their genes in the offspring.
  • It is a useful method for maintaining desirable traits in a champion stud's descendants and homogenising litters.
  • The Kennel Club has outlawed the mating of close relatives for registration purposes due to concerns about negative effects on puppies' features, but may allow it in special circumstances if welfare concerns are scientifically proven.
  • Back-breeding can be seen as a mixed-use of inbreeding and linebreeding.
Breeding Business is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Highly educated researcher and DVM with extensive experience in Clinical VetMedicine, Veterinary Nano Medicine, and Preventive Veterinary Medicine.
Published on
Sunday 15 February 2015
Last updated on
Thursday 25 May 2023
Definition of Backbreeding in Dogs?
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Back-breeding is another form of inbreeding where one dog (S) is mating with another specimen (D) to then mate with the strongest from that new generation (D1). And again, the original dog (S) will mate with the strongest from that newest generation (D2), etc.

In the illustration below, we can see an intensive form of back-breeding where an individual S is mated to his daughter D1, granddaughter D2 and so on, in order to maximize the percentage of S’s genes in the offspring. 87.5% of D3’s genes would come from S, while D4 would receive 93.75% of their genes from S.

Back-breeding is an amazing method when for example you have a huge champion stud and want to fix its traits to its descendants until litters become more homogenous. To put it differently and use the terms we reviewed in the last pages, back breeding can be a mixed-use of inbreeding for the first stage followed by linebreeding for the next generations.

Although back breeding has some advantages, some of its disadvantages are low immunity for the new puppies, getting undesirable traits, increased chances of getting some illnesses, and it can involve lots of work on the side of the breeder.

The Kennel Club’s verdict on Backbreeding

Because back-breeding and inbreeding do not only improve positively the puppies’ features, the Kennel Club decided to outlaw and stop registering litters from a mating between very close relatives such as brother and sister, father and daughter or mother and son. They would allow it if welfare reasons were clearly and scientifically established and proven.

Backbreeding in Dogs
Back-breeding chart

For more information, feel free to read our article on inbreeding, linebreeding, and grading up.

2 comments on “Definition and Meaning of Backbreeding in Dogs”

  1. Really want to become a good dog breeder

    1. Lazhar Ichir

      Read some posts here, read the 101 and definitely the dog breeder’s handbook!

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