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Frequently Asked Questions

1What is a Lurcher?
The term Lurcher comes from England. It is used for dogs that are a cross between sighthounds and non-sighthounds.
2What benefits does the puppy buyer have from buying through SSS&L?
The most important thing is that we, together with our breeders, do our utmost best to breed dogs that are as healthy as possible, and give them the best possible start in life by paying a lot of attention to the socialization of the puppies. Hoping the puppy buyers can enjoy a nice family dog for as long as possible. Together with our breeders we act as a source of information and place where we can discuss anything related to our dogs. If people are interested we can organize activities such as walks, lectures, BBQs, grooming days, etc. Suppose that puppy owners encounter behavior with which they need help, a number of behavioral therapists involved in the foundation can help out. And, if the purchased puppy proves interesting for the breeding program, we can guide the puppy buyer in this process. What this entails you can read at the question "What benefits does the breeder have from breeding through the foundation?". Life can take a different turn than thought / planned / hoped. If, for whatever reason, the puppy buyer is no longer able to care for a dog that has been bred through the foundation, the foundation and the breeder will do everything possible to offer the best possible solution or guidance in finding that solution.
3Can I indicate which breeds I want a crossbred puppy of?
No, whether it is a one-off occasional litter, or a part of an outcross project, each combination must be carefully considered. The health committee determines which combinations are made, in consultation with specialists in the field of genetics, behavior, construction, movement, etc. But constructively thinking with us about these combinations is certainly appreciated. When you send us a message, the health committee will contact you.
4Can I be on a waiting list for a puppy?
Yes. You can contact us through the form on the contact page. We will contact you to see if you can qualify for a puppy from our breeding program.
5What is an outcross?
There is some discussion about the term outcross. Within a closed gene pool it means that in a number of generations of parent animals you do not have duplicate names. The hope is that the parents are relatively unrelated to each other in that case. Usually the term outcross is used when you cross a breed with a different breed, so outside the closed gene pool. This is how we use the term as a foundation.
6Why is outcross being done?
Outcross is the only way to add new genetic material to a closed gene pool. When there is not enough genetic material left in a gene pool, all kinds of health problems can arise within the breed. One can choose to increase diversity within the breed by means of outcross, thereby reducing health problems.
7Is there is a lot of difference in the character of an outcross dog compared that of the purebred dog?
The advantage of a purebred dog is the fact that the appearance is very predictable. The character is much less predictable and can vary considerably per individual within the breed. But in general every breed has its characteristics that occur more than average and therefore’belong’ to that breed. The appearance and character of an outcross dog is much less predictable, especially in the first generations and even more so when you make a combination with a very unrelated breed. So yes, there can be a lot of difference in the character of an outcross dog and the pure-bred dogs being crossed. That is part of the reason we pay a lot of attention to the socialization of the puppies. The challenge in working back to the phenotype of the breed that is being aided through outcross is in finding a balance between selecting on appearance and character and maintaining the introduced genetic diversity.
8Is it really necessary to use outcross in certain breeds?
The way to find out is through population genetics. Calculations can be based on a complete database of pedigrees or based on a large population of dogs in a DNA database. Based on pedigrees has some disadvantages. Not all breeds have a complete database, meaning a database that goes all the way back to the founders of that breed. Errors may have been made when entering the data, fraud may have occurred with the pedigrees, and the assumption is made that the founders were completely unrelated to each other, which of course does not have to be the case. When you look at the Parker circle you see that some breeds are more related to each other than others. When 2 breeds are next to each other in the Parker circle, for example the Irish Wolfhound and the Scottish Deerhound, you have to take into account that they may already share genetic material. If you were to start a new breed based on these 2 breeds, then those 2 founders are not necessarily unrelated to each other. Finally, you never know which 50% of its genes a parent animal passes on to its offspring. When you use DNA, you have exact data, but you do have to build up a large database in order to apply population genetics to it. When the inbreeding percentage stays below 1% per generation, nature can correct that itself and you don't have to expect major problems. With a percentage above 5% you can expect problems in the individual animal and in the population.
9What are the pros and cons of an outcross dog?
There are a number of differences between a purebred dog and an outcross dog. An outcross is a dog from a combination of 2 different breeds. The genetic diversity of this dog is therefore higher than that of a purebred dog. A high genetic diversity leads to a less predictable appearance. In addition, the result of a high genetic diversity is that there is smaller chance of hereditary health problems and that the life expectancy of the dog will increase. Fitness will also improve, which may mean that he/she is more active than the original purebred dog. To a greater or lesser extent, a dog receives character traits from both parents. If a different breed is crossed in, the dog can therefore have different character traits than we are used to within the breeds of the parents. Just like with a purebred dog, an estimate of the character of the puppy can be made for an outcross pup. The outcross dog does get a proof of pedigree/parentage but not an official FCI pedigree. This means that it is not possible to participate in official FCI shows.
10What is the difference between an outcross dog and a random crossbred dog?
With an outcross dog bred through this foundation you know that kinship has been considered (degree of genetic diversity), that the necessary health examinations have been done and assessed and you have clarity about the lineage. Either through pedigrees with a number of generations of the parents' pedigrees, or through a DNA report. In addition, attention was paid to which breeds were selected with the aim of a healthy and well-moving dog. The improved health and mobility also make a positive contribution to the dog's energy level and fitness. There are welfare requirements for the parent dogs and the litter and much attention has been paid to the socialization of the puppies so that they can function well in our busy society. The foundation and the breeder will always remain available for questions and, if possible and desired, guidance. And your puppy may contribute to maintaining a breed in the long term.
11What benefits does the breeder have from breeding through the foundation?
Our main goal is to breed dogs that are as healthy and social as possible. It has been scientifically proven that increased diversity, and therefore reduced kinship, leads to healthier dogs. We will ask Embark to calculate the expected inbreeding coefficient of the offspring for each intended parent combination and use that information in our decisions. Our hope is that we can improve the genepools of existing breeds if the regulations about outcross are adjusted accordingly. We offer intensive guidance to breeders who want to breed healthier dogs through outcross. For example by spreading knowledge by organizing lectures, referring to good courses and through this site and Facebook. But also individual guidance during the entire process of choice of the parent animals, the preparations before the mating (testing, condition and care of the parent dogs etc.), with the mating itself, the gestation, the birth and raising the litter. And help finding suitable owners for the offspring. Together with Embark we ensure that there is a good database in which the offspring are registered and in which we can register information about the health and traits of the offspring. We also take care of a pedigree (non FCI), valid sales contracts, a check of the litter and collection of DNA. We are always available for questions and guidance. We will also organize meetings where the offspring will be assessed by a panel of experts so that we can look forward to the next generations.
12I have a male / female dog, can I register for a breeding program?
Absolutely. You can contact us via the form on the contact page. Members of the health committee will contact you.
13Which requirements must my dog meet to participate in a breeding program?
You and your dog must meet a number of requirements. This may depend on the chosen combination. Please contact us about the requirements.
14Who determines which breeds are crossed, and which criteria apply to that provision?
The health committee determines the combinations, in consultation with specialists in the field of construction and movement, genetics and behavior. The goal is and always will be a healthy, fit for function dog. So the goal is not to get back to the appearance and character of a chosen breed as quickly as possible, but as healthy as possible.
15Can I also sign up if I just want to breed a one time litter with my bitch?
Yes, our goal is, among other things, to guide breeders who want to breed good, healthy, social dogs. That does not necessarily have to be part of a larger project, but it can certainly also be a ‘fun’ litter.
16Have their already been puppies born in these SSS&L projects, and can I continue to follow them on this site?
At the time the SSS&L foundation did not exist yet, but at kennel From Gaia’s Den the first outcross litter of the Irish Wolfhound was born in September 2018, 1 male and 3 females. Mother an Irish Wolfhound, father an Altdeutscher Schaferhund. In May 2019 the second outcross litter was born there, 2 females and 4 males. Mother an Irish Wolfhound, father a Tamaskan. The project for the Irish Wolfhounds is now part of this foundation. We invite breeders of puppies born through this foundation to regularly post a small update about their offspring in the Facebook group of the foundation, Sound Sighthounds and Lurchers. This is a closed group, anyone who supports the foundation can register. In addition, it is possible that breeders have their own website or Facebook page where the offspring can be followed.
17What guarantee can the foundation offer the puppy buyer?
The guarantee that we dare to offer is the guarantee that the foundation and its breeders have done their utmost to breed as healthy and social dogs as possible. Unfortunately, it is still possible that a living being becomes ill. Everyone, all dogs, cats, people and so on, carries several hereditary diseases. The chance that you will find a partner who bears the same hereditary disease, and that your children will suffer from it, is very small for people, a few percent. For purebred dogs, they estimate that the chance is around 40%. Our goal is to bring that chance back to the few percent that you can't avoid. Furthermore, the foundation and the affiliated breeders will do their utmost to always be available for help and guidance of the puppy buyers during the entire life of the puppy.
18What is the price of a puppy?
The puppy price is determined by the relevant breeder. This price depends, among other things, on the chosen parent combination and the costs incurred by the breeder.
19How does SSS&L obtain financial resources?
• Donations from private individuals who support our foundation.
• Sponsoring by companies.
20Can I become a sponsor?
Yes, please. For information about this, go to the donation page.