This article is from the rec.pets.dogs: Breeding Your Dog, posted to rec.pets.dogs newsgroup. Maintained by Cindy Tittle Moore with numerous contributions by others.
You must carefully consider each dog's pedigree for compatibility. Try to select strengths to offset weaknesses. Do not allow your bitch to be bred to an unsuitable dog, and conversely, be picky about the bitches you allow your dog to breed. This phase alone requires considerable research to find a suitable candidate, and you should definitely work closely with a knowledgeable person, ideally the breeder of your dog. Simply because two dogs "look good" or even *are* good does not mean that they necessarily complement each other: suppose they are both carriers for the same disease? Suppose they both have a tendency to overbites or other disqualifying faults?
Be honest with yourself. If your dog is not a good representation of its breed, do not let it reproduce. It is much easier to improve a few faults than to try and get excellent pups with a mediocre dog. Check the breed standard for your dog and ask a knowledgeable person for their evaluation of your dog.
We'll return the the importance of scrutinizing a pedigree in the genetics section below.