Eaton from Executive

A Lesson in Linebreeding

The male Standard Poodle with the greatest influence in the past 20 years has undoubtedly been Eaton Affirmed, better known as "Snapper". Sire of 110 AKC Champions and a number of others in Canada and elsewhere, his record as the leading top-producer may never be seriously challenged. By most accounts, he was both handsome and charming, and for those who wanted something a bit different, his pedigree suggested less Wycliffe influence than many others.

The Eaton Kennel, located in Lake Forest, Illinois, takes its name from the owner, Wilmot Eaton Salisbury. Their foundation bitch was Bel Tor Cause Scandale, who was bred to Haus Brau Executive of Acadia (discussed previously) in 1971 and 1972.

Each litter produced two champions. At about 18 months of age, Eureka, from the first litter, was bred her half-brother, Acadia Command Performance to give Acadia Commanding of Eaton. At 2 years of age, this bitch was bred to her uncle, Bureaucrat (note 1) from the 1972 Executive x Cause Scandale litter, to produce a litter that most would call a great success, as 6 (including Trustbuster) became champions. This strategy resulted in Trustbuster owing 50% of his genetic heritage to Executive, which I presume was the intent, but at the cost of raising the inbreeding coefficient to 30% (note 2).
In the pedigree above, the Eaton dogs are shown in black and the kennel name omitted except where they are not Eaton. Haus Brau bred dogs are green, Wycliffe purple and others red.

Trustbuster's most successful litters, all to non-Eaton bitches, might be regarded as partial outcrosses, but many of them were to other descendants of Executive.
The best known is undoubtedly the one out of Torchlight Mitzvah, in 1977, that produced 5 champions for Aliyah including "Jesse" (Aliyah Desperado). Though the inbreeding drops back to 15%, Jesse still owes 37.5% of his heritage to Executive.

At least 27 of Jesse's litters, for almost as many kennels (including Acadia, Bibelot, Dassin, DeNevillette, Dhubhne, Graphic and Wycliffe) yielded one or more champions. He was also bred to Eaton's Bursting With Joy and her daughter Joie de Vivre, both of whom had considerable impact. The mother produced 13 Eaton champions in 4 litters (2 from Jesse) while the daughter produced 15 champions, also in 4 litters. The second of Joy's litters (the 1st with Jesse) included Eaton Affirmed ("Snapper"), named after the thoroughbred Triple Crown winner, Affirmed.

By breeding Jesse to his aunt, the inbreeding coeficient increased again, to 26%. Though Executive is now 3-5 generations back, he appears in the pedigree 6 times and contributes 44%.

Among Snapper's many sons and daughters, the most prolific seems to have been Deryabar Dynamic. However, Arabaca, shown in the pedigree above, conserves a greater proportion the Executive heritage (34%).

Without editorializing on the desirability of using inbreeding or linebreeding in an attempt to conserve the characteristics of an outstanding dog, we can nevertheless compare the success of Eaton and Wycliffe. The Wycliffe line retains a 70% genetic ccontribution from Thomas, even after 7 generations, but is also 70% inbred by that point. Eaton conserves 44% of Executive in Snapper, who is 26% inbred.


1. One of Bureaucrat's litter sisters, Balladier, was also bred to Command Performance to produce another six champions including the top-producing Acadia Stage Door Johnny who went to the Leander kennel in England.
2. Executive's inbreeding coefficient, based on a 10 generation pedigree, was 40.8%, but Bureaucrat was only 7.0% as his parents shared no common ancestry before Annsown Sir Gay, 6 generations back.

  © John Armstrong, 1998

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  June 24, 1998