Monday, February 11, 2008

Impact on the breed

Richard Sandomir has a funny article in the Times about dog breeding:
Chilled or frozen semen is collected from a stud dog egged on by a “teaser” female in heat, a practice similar to what is used in horse breeding. Once the sample is received, it is injected into the female or implanted into the female’s cervix, said Bill Truesdale, a veterinarian who owns the International Canine Semen Bank franchise in Seekonk, Mass.

In Seekonk, stud fees run from $800 to $1,500, depending on the qualities, merits and rarity of the breed.

“The advantage to frozen semen is storing it forever, but the problem is, once you thaw it, the active motility is 12 hours, so we have to make sure the bitch is fertile,” Truesdale said.

Truesdale’s bank holds more than 1,000 cryogenically frozen samples. About half are derived from deceased or now-sterile dogs, including a few collected from a golden retriever 21 years ago and 40 from his boxer Biff (Ch. High-Tech’s Arbitrage), who was profiled in the New Yorker in 1995.

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