Facts About Breeding Your Dog
Many owners become so enamored with their dog
that one of their goals of ownership is to breed their dog. For the owner who
purchased their dog from a reputable breeder, this is not an issue. A reputable
breeder will ALWAYS assess the quality of their breeding stock and, if you
purchased a dog solely as a pet, there will be stipulations that the dog is to
be altered by a given age or the breeder will have already had that procedure
performed for you. If you purchased your dog from a less than ideal source
(e.g., pet shop or backyard breeder), you will not have been given any
guidelines on whether your animal is of high enough quality to positively
contribute to the gene pool.
What breeding is .......
Breeding dogs is time consuming, very expensive, and at times extremely
heartbreaking. A breeder in the true sense of the word is always a student of
is/her chosen breed. Breeders constantly read the latest information about
genetic problems and testing for those problems. They study many pedigrees and
individual dogs as well as read countless books on anatomy, nutrition, and
medical breakthroughs. A breeder spends exhausting hours on the road attending
dog shows and seminars, driving to board certified specialists to have their
breeding stock tested for various heritable conditions, and hours on the phone
counseling owners (these calls usually occur during dinner or when you're right
in the middle of helping your child with homework). Having a litter can become
expensive very quickly and, since mother nature usually plans emergencies to
occur in the middle of the night or on holidays, you can expect an even heftier
bill since you will need to go to an emergency clinic. This could also mean time
missed from work, especially if you need to bottle or tube feed puppies. Let's
face it, most employers aren't too sympathetic when you call in saying you need
to stay home with a sick dog!
What breeding is not..........
Breeding is not a way to get rich or even give yourself some extra pocket
change. Even top breeders rarely, if ever, break even, even if the litter is
highly desirable. The mother must be in top condition and fed a high quality
diet. There's a stud fee to take into consideration and, if you want to breed
your bitch to a top quality male, unless she is a champion of outstanding
quality with compatible lines to the stud owner's dogs, you are very unlikely to
be able to give the back a puppy rather paying a stud fee. A responsible dog
breeder breeds to continue on with their own line and NEVER wants to give up the
pick puppy. It defeats the whole purpose of breeding in the first place.
Marketing your pups may not be as easy as you think. Those homes who
wanted a dog exactly like yours are apt to change their minds once the pups are
here. You may find yourself with an aging litter and no takers. Even
experienced breeders are all too familiar with those who were desperate for a
puppy when they were born only to back out when the pups got old enough to
place. The key point is: Puppies are MESSY! Oh yeah, for the first two weeks mom
does most of the work, but after that she'll expect you to do it and, even
though puppies are small, you will be amazed at the amount of poop they produce
and even more amazed at the places they can put it!
The sure sign of a novice in the dog world is the person who has a male and is
looking for a female to breed to their male. There are so many outstanding
champion dogs with the proper health clearances that it is an effort in futility
to try to offer a pet quality dog at stud.
You will not reproduce your own darling dog by breeding her. Au contraire, if
you don't know the dogs in her background and what their health and temperaments
were like, you have a crap shoot. Especially since you will not have enough
knowledge to know how to select a stud dog that will offset or improve any
problems that are lurking in her background. It's easy to say that, "She's
healthy. I've never had a problem", but you are lulling yourself into a
false sense of security. Outward appearance is only part of the genetic formula
(that part which is expressed). There are many other aspects that cannot be seen
with the naked eye. A dog can be a carrier for a disorder and the disorder,
although not showing up in your dog, will be expressed if your dog is bred to
another carrier. With many states now having "puppy lemon laws" on the
books, this is a very real concern to the casual breeder when they are faced
with a lawsuit (ignorance is not a suitable defense).
A breeder IS responsible for every dog they breed until the dog dies. In dogs, a
sale is NOT final and we would go a long way in lessening the rescue of purebred
dogs from shelters and the horrific euthanasia numbers if people would be
responsible for the animals they produce. Are you willing and are you
knowledgeable enough to answer breed specific questions on behavior, health,
etc. at all hours? Are you able to make the commitment to take back any dog you
breed for the life of that dog?
The absolute WORST reason for breeding is to show children the miracle of life.
From a child's eye, the miracle of life is pretty gross (blood, afterbirth,
etc.). Some bitches, especially new mothers, are not very cooperative during
this birthing process and may even bite due to the pain. You might also find
yourself not even discussing the miracle of life, but rather the process of
death if complications arise and you wind up losing the bitch and/or pups;
especially if you are not experienced enough to notice early signs of problems.
There are plenty of excellent books and videos that explain the birth process
without having to traumatize your child in the process.
In the long run, spaying or neutering your pet is the best thing for your dog's
health. Spayed females are less likely to develop mammary tumors and will not
run the risk uterine infection later on. Males will have decreased risk of
prostate enlargement and will not go off food when a neighborhood girl comes
© Five Valley Kennel Club