Puppies born using 20-year-old frozen semen

Artificial insemination is becoming commonplace for Australian breeders, according to detector dog trainer and registered breeder of working German Shepherds and Dobermans, Kris Kotsopoulos from Victoria.


The modern breeding technique of freezing semen is used because it enables breeders to access genes that are normally unavailable, due to the original dog passing away young, or it is not for sale or to preserve desirable genes.


“Using frozen semen from dogs born years ago is more common now, particularly among breeders of working dogs, but it wasn’t when we started breeding and training dogs in the 1980s. We can preserve traits now that have been suppressed in next generations,” said Kotsopoulos, co-director of Detector Dogs Australia and managing director of Performadog Ultlra Premium pet food, scientifically formulated to enhance pets’ physical and emotional states.


Kotsopoulos has recently proved this technique is successful by using frozen semen from a dog born in 1989 to create a new litter of German Shepherd puppies. The semen sample cost around $16.5K, including semen storage and the insemination procedure, he said.


The donor dog, Hassan v Gruntal DDR, had strong character traits that were a must-have for future generations.


“Hassan had a very stable temperament. He was open, relaxed and great with people,” said Kotsopoulos. “He also had an intense grip and prey drive, which means he was suitable for engaging with training aids and possessed an assertive character for policing scenarios.”


Born in Berlin, Germany, Hassan travelled to Belgium and then South Africa before settling with Kotsopoulos in Melbourne, Victoria where his semen was frozen and stored at Monash Vet Clinic.


“There are AQIS requirements to be met before semen collection and all shipping is handled by a shipping agent,” said Kotsopoulos. “At the Monash Vet Clinic, I have about 20 samples frozen from both German Shepherds and Dobermans.”


Hassan’s latest creations have already gone to good homes in Victoria and NSW, supported for life by Performadog Ultra Premium Dog Food. Kotsopoulos is keeping one of the puppies – a female pup yet to be named – for breeding and detector dog training. 


“She has perfect black sable pigment and functional construction, which is desired and not the over-angulated style we have in modern German Shepherds,” he said. “She also has an unbelievable retrieval instinct – she could chase a ball and return it at seven weeks of age, something very difficult to see in many German Shepherds. She’s also very cheeky and has already put holes in my jeans!”


Performadog Ultra Premium Dog Food specialises in providing nutrient-dense food for not just active dogs but all dogs, containing ingredients such as omega-3s and prebiotics for high workload and optimal microbiome support.

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