What Is Outcross Breeding, Or Outcrossing?

 Outcross Breeding English Bulldogs
Outcross Breeding

Breeding rare color Bulldogs that are unrelated does not equate to quality …
Proper pairing is still just as critical, maybe more so, regardless of the pedigrees

Outcrossing is a term used to describe any breeding of two dogs with completely unrelated bloodlines. This is normally required when bloodlines become too close, due to line breeding, and an outside, or ‘outcrossed’ bloodline is needed to add new traits and characteristics.

Line breeding, on the other hand, is the pairing of two dogs with similar relatives, commonly practiced to maintain strong genetics. This provides consistent structure, build, temperament, and other desired characteristics.

When line breeding, the bloodline will need ‘freshened up’ every few generations with the use of an unrelated stud, referred to as an outcross. When an outcross breeding is performed, the idea is to produce one or two desirable puppies to add to the breeders bloodline. It is well known that any breeding following this will require special planning and preparation for proper pairing.

However, in the English Bulldog world, this term is most commonly used (and promoted) when referring to rare color. The term outcross, in this case, is used to describe bloodlines that do not include the more common rare color names. While some seem to feel that breeding Bulldogs that do not have ANY of the same bloodlines is a positive step, the downfalls are the inconsistent and unexpected results that can occur.

With really just a few main Bulldogs as the cornerstones of color, the characteristics have went in so many different directions, that many of today’s Bulldogs are far from considered line-bred. So, pairing them with Bulldogs that have no common traits or backgrounds is not only unnecessary, it can also result in puppies with less and less quality (i.e. longer legs, narrow heads, thin bodies).

This superficial type of breeding is irresponsible in the fact that the pedigree and color become more important than the health and quality. Cosmetic traits, such as color, should never be the priority or determining factor when it comes to breeding. Worse yet is the fact that in most cases, these puppies are produced with the main goal of making a profit by selling them with Full AKC registration for breeding!

When others begin to add these puppies to their bloodlines, quality only deteriorates more. Rebounding from just one undesirable breeding can take years to not only breed the traits out, but also to regain a positive reputation.

To avoid these types of situations, take your time to research both parents from an outcrossed breeding, and carefully consider how an ‘outcross’ puppy fits into your future goals of breeding. This is not something that should be attempted without proper knowledge of the process, as well as the expected results.

Regardless of the pedigree, proper pairing is the most important aspect when it comes to breeding of any kind. A true breeder will not combine bloodlines in hopes of making money with the rarest color Bulldog, or simply because of what the pedigree looks like. Instead, they should be working toward preserving and/or improving the breed.