God's Breeding Plan
God's Breeding Plan™ is a term assigned by the American Alsatian founder, Lois Schwarz, to describe a way of breeding through artificial selection that is fashioned after Charles Darwin's idea of Natural Selection. Natural variation regularly occurs in individuals of any species. Many of these traits do not affect one individual's survival (such as eye color), but some of these variations do make a big difference in an animal's chance of survival in its natural environment. For example, the peppered moth's ability to blend in with its environment and pass on its color traits to its offspring increases the chances that any one peppered moth will survive to reproduce and allow its species to grow.
Although American Alsatian breeders cannot utilize natural selection, it is possible to mimic this natural genetic event when selecting individual dogs for breeding. When choosing specific traits to improve the American Alsatian dog breed, the American Alsatian certified breeder must be able to select dogs that, if in the wild, would naturally be the ones to continue production and exclude dogs that, if in the wild, may have naturally perished or not been allowed to reproduce. God's Breeding Plan™ means then that humans breed with a plan that mimics the natural selection that would occur in the wild as it pertains to the CONFORMATION and HEALTH of each pup.
While American Alsatian breeders regularly practice God's Breeding Plan™, it is necessary to differentiate between natural selection for health that would occur in the wild and natural selection for temperament that would be detrimental to most in our current lifestyle.
The temperament needed for carnivores to survive in the wild is not beneficial to average families living today. Therefore, we do not use God's Breeding Plan™ to select for temperament. The American Alsatian breeder must think of the companion traits that would be selected for life in our modern world. Those would include quietness, calmness, aloofness, confidence, friendly when approached, etc.
The following are a few traits that American Alsatian breeders use to determine which dogs will be considered to improve the next generations and which will not.
Traits to Choose
- Above all, correct leg and hip positioning as well as correct movement and performance ability is needed. This means that an American Alsatian dog must be able to walk, jump, stretch, jump down, climb, sit with correct placement, play, etc. It also means that all dogs should pass OFA hip scores with good or excellent.
- Correct bite.
- Confident and quiet companion dog temperament. The more the American Alsatian dog is able to easily live in our modern age, the more it will continue to be a benefit to us as a companion animal.
Traits to Exclude
- Any faults in leg/hip positions or movement are to be considered a major fault and dogs exhibiting these faults will be completely disqualified from breeding. OFA scores are necessary to prove hip wellness, but it is also necessary to directly observe range of motion and movement capabilities within the hips and each leg.
- One descended testicle.
- Any health issues related to the heart, lungs, liver, bowels or other internal organs, whether shown through a licensed veterinarian or OFA.
- Skin redness and/or any signs of allergy symptoms.
- Epilepsy or any signs of neurological problems (tremors, disorientation, obsessive/compulsive behaviors, etc)
- Wry mouth, overbite, underbite or any other issues related to the jaw or skull growth.
- Panosteitis or any signs in relation.
- Any degree of shyness and/or aggressiveness temperaments.