Posting a "What should I breed to" on an Internet chat room will certainly get you lots of responses. Some of them you probably won't like. |
"Start with the absolute best female you can find that is capable of raising puppies. Once you have that female determine what her particular strengths and weaknesses are." - Mike Jordan
Mike has hit the nail on the head IMO. You must have a good individual female to breed as at least 60% of what the pups turn out to be comes from their mama. The really proven female (and contrary to some I don't give a rip about her trial wins IF you can accurately evaluate what kind of bird dog she is in the first place) is VERY HARD TO FIND. If you are lucky, you'll have one in your kennel after weeding thru a number of prospects. Rarely will an average guy have two of these real deal females at once!
Having said all this about the female, who is going to breed their really good female to your stud dog? There are literally hundreds of champion winning males that do not get bred with the possible exception and only a couple times by their owner. Are they not worthy? Many are probably very worthy but there are only so many great females and the "popular" studs are usually selected for these matings.
There is incredible danger in going to the popular stud over and over again as there may be negative qualities hidden that saturate the brood stock with later identified "problems". I think of the example of cocker spaniels in the US. There was a cocker on TV frequently in the earliest days of television. He won the Best In Show at Westminster and was very photogenic and personable making him a TV star. Unfortunately, he carried a crankiness "gene" towards children and he ended up in almost every cocker pedigree in the US. Cockers to this day will nip a child if they feel the urge. I can feel the cocker people bristling right now!!
Stepping back from this process, a long term breeder will make his or her choices based on the dogs THEY want to produce FOR THEMSELVES. Rarely are these litters for sale as the breeder will sit on them and watch the dogs for a year or two.
So your real goal should be to produce the best dogs you can from your breeding. There are lots of potentially great stud dogs - some of which are very popular and consistently proven. The issue though is the female and selecting the one that you absoutely think is near perfect for your needs. Breed her to nearly anything of decent quality and you'll get some dogs you really like.
Back in the day, the old adage said, "Breed a daughter of Red Water Rex to anything and you'll get good bird dogs". Probably still true today if we could distill the essence of good breeder decisions and wash away all the clutter of the marketplace.