On March 19th 2012, during an extraordinary general assembly of the NVSW (the Dutch breed club for Stabij- and Wetterhoun), a historical moment took place. The assembly, in which more than 125 members participated, decided upon outcross in the Wetterhoun. The existence and future of the breed seems to be guaranteed now the genepool will be expanded. The road towards this major decree however, was long and bumpy.
It took more then 4 years for the genetic counseling committee and the board of the breedclub to prepare the new policy and finalize the discussion among club members. First and foremost, the Dutch Kennelclub needed to approve the proposal to open the studbook. The motive behind formalizing a new policy can be traced back to health and fertility problems resulting from a broad history of inbreeding.
By opening the studbook we’ll pave the way for new genes by outcrossing on other breeds and the use of assortive mating (bringing look-a-likes into the breeding program). Wetterhoun owners and breeders can participate voluntarily in the outcross program, as well as owners of look alike Wetterhoun. A designated jury, consisting of breed judges and specialists, will be supervising and monitoring the entire process, of course in close cooperation with the genetic counseling committee and board of the breed club. In total, ten studdogs from maximum six breeds will be mixed in the breed in eight years from now. Each year two breeds will be pointed out for outcrossing to prevent the ongoing stacking of recessive characteristics. In the upcoming months, the decision on which breeds to use in 2012 will have to be made.
At this particular moment, we are working on an English article about this breeding program and its underlying policy, which will provide in further insights in the subject-matter. We will extensively inform you as soon as possible.