This page is dedicated to the girls of Edgegrove Gundogs. They are listed in chronological order and date from my first spaniel to the current youngsters that Gill and I are trialling. All the springers have at least one line back to my original bitch – “GYP” – Rodent House Queen
Spaniel breeders have observed over many years that some notable sires do not produce top quality sons, but instead they sire great daughters, who then go on to create great sons. Why might this happen? Well a female has two X chromosomes (XX) and a male has an X and a Y (XY). As the X chromosome from the sire can only be given to his daughters, his sons will never inherit those traits. It is the dam that gives the X chromosome to her offspring. Since some desired traits are passed down on only the X chromosome it makes the dam line even more important.
The above sounds very scientific, but on the other hand over-simplifies the problems and chance of breeding top quality spaniels or any animals for that matter. However, it does shine some light on one fact that any breeder should take into account and that is of course the importance of the female line. For it is the positive traits that the female contains that the breeder is wishing to replicate. This does not mean that the male line is unimportant or any old sire is acceptable. Sires who, through their own bloodlines, have also demonstrated their ability to pass on similarly required traits should be considered for breeding.
Successful breeders realise they are always fighting “the drag of the breed,” which is the tendency for all animals to breed back towards mediocrity. If it didn’t work that way super species and indeed super racies would have developed long ago in every animal on earth. For instance in human beings it is impossible to breed parents with high IQs together to produce even higher IQs in their children. Even when two genius parents have children the average IQ of their children will be half way between normal and the average of their IQs. By the way Einstein himself was the off spring of parents who were themselves first cousins – and he married his first cousin. Obviously a bit of line breeding going on there.
Jeremy has always recognised, from the days of his farming experiences to the breeding of his spaniels, the importance of a strong female line and he has managed to keep a very strong female line in his springers right from the day he acquired his first bitch to the present.