Breeding Genetics

“There is hope and dream and fairy dust in every well thought-out plan…”

Breeding is a three-legged stool:

  • Reproductive soundness — we want to breed easy keepers, bred naturally, whelped naturally, with no chemical or artificial help. We want hardy bitches and thrifty puppies — not to say we won’t go to great lengths to save the life of a bitch or puppy.
  • Structural soundness — we only breed bitches who can do their jobs in harness, in the show ring, and on the couch. No Malamute is perfect, but an unsound dog in harness will be an unsound dog on your leash. Our chosen studs are all proven in some way or another — in harness, in the show ring, or in obedience, and preferably in all three.
  • Temperament soundness — stability, friendliness, willingness, heart. Our dogs are Malamutes, which means they won’t necessarily be best friends with every strange dog they meet. But they will adore their families, even if that doesn’t mean slavish obedience, it will mean devotion and bonding, in the exquisite… persnickety… outrageous… devoted… Malamutey way. Our studs & dams have FABULOUS temperaments or they don’t get chosen…

Balanced on top of that stool is Type — the things that make a Malamute a Malamute and not a Siberian Husky, a Samoyed, or a Saint Bernard. These are things like heavy bone, large feet, broad backskull, board muzzles, furry erect ears, tails carried like a plume over the back, double coats…

We strive to breed by Assortive Mating for genetic diversity – our studs are genetically unrelated to our bitches (as much as possible), but they all contribute to the ideal dog that lives in our heads, so we end up with bitches who look very similar to each other but are genetically very different. 

Inbreeding/Linebreeding are common practices in the dog world.  We will very carefully consider a linebreeding between, for instance, two dogs that are half Wayeh each — they share a grandmother/great-grandmother, but their sires are both outcrossed to the Wayeh lines.  

——–Snow Song’s Rider
—-Wayeh’s Snowman
——–Wayeh’s Summer
————Wayeh’s Justice <——
Possible 1/2 Wayeh to 1/2 Wayeh Litter
——–Masasyu’s Charles
—-Wohali’s Storm
——–Wayeh’s Faith
————Wayeh’s Hope
—————-Wayeh’s Justice <——

*The dog in common is back several generations, while Snow Song is an outcross to Wayeh, Masasyu is an outcross to Wayeh, Snow Song would actually be an outcross to Masasyu, but all together, Snowman X Storm is a linebreeding only on Justice

Or two dogs that are uncle X niece, but with the same pattern of outcrossing, and the common ancestor would be the grandmother & great-grandmother, herself OFA Excellent, in a pedigree of OFA Excellent outcrosses.

——–Artic Luv’s Yogi (OFA Excellent)
—-Wayeh’s Amak (OFA Excellent)
——–Wayeh’s Singer (OFA Excellent) 10-gen COI 1%
Possible Uncle X Niece Litter, 10-gen COI 9%
——–Wayeh’s Maestro (OFA Excellent)
————Wayeh’s Singer (OFA Excellent) 10-gen COI 1%
—-Wayeh’s Music (OFA Excellent prelim)
——–Black Ice’s Hannah (OFA Excellent)

*What to do after a linebreeding like these… well find another outcross stud who looks like that ideal dog of course.

It’s a science (not ignorance, not superstition) that generations of inbreeding creates inbreeding depression which affects not only litter size and thriftiness, but also long-term health.  Outcrossing is no panacea, but it also doesn’t concentrate deleterious genes the way inbreeding does.  Judicious outcrosses, to researched bloodlines, is a lot harder method than pairing up cousins.  But the hoped-for result is a healthy AND beautiful dog.  (See The Canine Diversity Project.)  


  • Co-efficient of Inbreeding (COI) is generally figured on a 10-generation pedigree.  An algorithm checks to see how closely related the sire and dam are to each other.  Under 7% is an outcross. Over 7% is inbreeding.
  • Co-efficient of Relationships (COR) is how much influence a particular dog should have on the breeding.  If the maternal granddam has a COR of 43% and the paternal grandsire has a COR of 26%, you can forget about him, you probably won’t see him in the whelping box.  But you had also better pay attention back in the 5th, 6th, etc generations if you have a dog like Uyak Buffalo Bill in the 6th generation for only 23% but he occurs 49 times…  You’d better love Bill, because he’s got a HUGE influence on that breeding.  (See Sno-Storm COR.)

Inbreeding is something we consider carefully.  Genetic health is as important as temperament, performance, health, and type.  Outcrossing for the sake of outcrossing will gain a breeder nothing.  But as with inbreeding, breeding similar style to similar style produces more consistently than breeding 2 different styles together.  Our goal is to outcross our bitches consistently to the same style of stud, and with an eye to improving her faults and not loosing what we love about her strengths.

And we intend to build our kennel on bitches.  After 19 years under Billie’s stewardship, Wayeh was handed to Liz and Sidney, who started over with half sisters Summer and Hope (10-gen COI 25 & 28% — 6th generation Wayeh), both linebred on littermates Yuke and Cherokee (10-gen COI 16% – Kiwaliks/Uyak/Tobe).  Hope’s daughter Faith was further linebred, so we knew we were going to be looking at Assortive Mating — structurally similar dogs who were not genetically related.  In other words, we would be inbreeding on type, not pedigree — phenotype, not genotype.  

Rider (COI 7%, SnowSong = Mals-About/Sarge/Wild Wind)
X Summer (COI 25%, 6th-gen Wayeh = Kiwaliks/Uyak/Tobe
Singer & Snowman (COI 1%) born 11/21/1999
An outcrossed dog to an inbred bitch, an outcross breeding for longevity, temperament, pigment, & leg. Rider’s parents lived to be 10 and 13. His grandparents lived to be 10, 10, 10, & 12. Rider, his siblings Gale and Elric are almost 11 years old (2/05) and going strong.

Cherokee (COI 18%, 2nd-gen Wayeh)
X Hope (COI 28%, 4th-gen Wayeh)
– Faith (COI 37%) born 2/2/2000
Last 100% Wayeh inbreeding, grandfather to granddaughter.  This was an oops.  Who knew 11 1/2 year-old Cherokee still had it in him to sire a litter?  He lived to be over 12 years old.  Hope will be 10yo 2/05 and is active in her roll as a therapy dog.

2002 (Breeding by Wohali)
Charles (COI 3%, Masasyu = Kohoutec X Baylor/Barrenfield/Northeast)
X Faith (COI 37% 5th-gen Wayeh)
– Storm (COI 5%) born 10/31/2002
An outcrossed dog to an inbred bitch, with similar type in 4/4 of the pedigree.  Charles and sibs Bomber & Corsair are nearly 9yo and their dam Hannah is still ruling the roost @ 13yo.

Charles (COI 3% Masasyu = Kohoutec X Baylor/Barrenfield/Northeast)
X Singer (COI 1%, SnowSong X Wayeh)
– Sunny & Maestro (COI 3%) born 9/9/2003
An outcross to an outcross, but 3/4 of this pedigree has the same type.  Hoping to add Snow Song pigment, leg, and feet to the 2002 breeding head and type.  See Charles & Hannah notes above.

Nikko (COI 16% Totem)
X Singer (COI 1% Snow Song X Wayeh)
– Sera-nade (COI 2%) born 2/23/05
Nikko’s pedigree doubles on Laz & Ready (as Charles’ pedigree does).  Should strengthen Singer’s head, bone, coat, and tail set.  Nikko’s sire finished his CH @ 8yo, & is still going strong.

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