So You Want To Be A Breeder?
Breeding the female So you want to breed your female. You know what to expect if everything goes right. Your little girl will present you with tiny bundles of joy. She will lovingly nurse them and care for them until they are old enough to be weaned. You and your family will find great joy in watching and playing with these little dolls, and then when the time is right they will all (or maybe you keep just one) go off to special homes to live out their lives as cherished companions. But have you given consideration to what if something goes wrong? I have listed here a few of the problems that I myself have personal knowledge of. Everything listed has happened either to me or someone I know. These are not isolated incidents. I'm sure other breeders could add miles to my list. Learn by others mistakes!. Let the breeding up to those who know what they are doing, have the experience, know what to expect.
WHAT IF DURING THE BREEDING
• The stud dog you have chosen is carrying a venereal disease and gives it to your female. She not only doesn't conceive but you have to pay the vet bills to get her infection cleared up and she is now sterile.
• The stud dog you decided to breed your darling to is not experienced. Once the two dogs are joined tightly in a tie, he decides to chase the neighbors cat out of his yard. He bolts for the cat ripping his penis loose and causing your bitch to hemorrhage from within.
• Your modest girl decides she doesn't want the attentions of this gigolo mutt chosen for her without her consent. She snaps at him catching her tooth on his loose cheek and rips it open sending blood flying everywhere. He retaliates by sinking his teeth into her left eye.
• You leave your dog with the stud owner because the breeding is not going very swiftly. In fact, it's been three hours and nothing is happening. The stud owners leave the two dogs alone in the back yard. The dogs get out through a tiny hole in the fence and a truck hits your female.
• You pay the $250-$1000 stud fee up front figuring you will make that and more back when the pups sell. The breeder guarantees the stud service to work or you can come back again. After 2 months you discover it didn't work and now must wait another 4 months to try again. Of course it doesn't work again, so in another 4 months you take your dog to another male and risk loosing another stud fee.
• You get her bred. Bring her home. She bothers you so you let her out she is still in heat and still receptive to males. You hear a commotion outside there is your girl tied up with the neighborhood mutt. When she whelps there will need to be DNA tests done on the pups.
• You get her bred. Bring her home and let her out. (She is still in heat and receptive to other males) but you do not see the neighborhood mutt breed her. The pups are born but look odd. You call the stud owner he suggests DNA testing (At your expense). You have a litter of mutts! What do you do about the ones you have already sold? • Or knowing she tied with the neighborhood mutt you decide to terminate the pregnancy and try again being more careful next time. But a few weeks later your female is very sick because you had her given a miss-mate shot creating a hormonal imbalance causing a uterine infection and now she has Pyometra and needs a complete hysterectomy. All plans of getting a litter are gone and your female's life is now in danger if she does not have the operation.
WHAT IF DURING THE BIRTH?
• The puppies are too large for the female. She never goes into labor, the puppies die and she becomes infected by the decaying bodies.
• The puppies are coming breech and they drown in their own sacks before they can be born.
• The first puppy is large and breech. When it starts coming your female starts screaming, and before you can stop her she reaches around, grabs the puppy in her teeth and yanks it out killing it instantly.
• A puppy gets stuck. Neither your female nor you can get it out. You have to race her to the vet. The vet can't get it out either. She has to have an emergency caesarian section of course it is 3:00 am Christmas day.
• A puppy is coming out breech and dry (the water sack that protects them has burst). It gets stuck. Mom tries to help it out by clamping her teeth over one of the back legs. The head and shoulders are firmly caught. Mom pulls on the leg, hard, peeling the flesh from the leg and leaving a wiggling stump of bone.
• A dead puppy gets stuck in the birth canal, but your female is well into hard labor. She contracts so hard trying to give birth that her uterus ruptures and she bleeds to death on the way to the vet. WHAT IF DIRECTLY AFTER THE BIRTH?
• The mother has no idea what to do with a puppy and she drops them out and walks away, leaving them in the sack to drown.
• The mother takes one look at the puppies, decides they are disgusting droppings and tries to smother them in anything she can find to bury them in. • The mother gets too enthusiastic in her removal of the placenta and umbilical cord, and rips the cord out leaving a gushing hole pulsing blood all over you as you try in vain to stop the bleeding.
• Or, she pulls on the cords so hard she disembowels the puppies as they are born and you have a box full of tiny, kicking babies with a tangle of guts the size of a walnut hanging from their stomachs. Of course all the babies must be put to sleep.
• What if because of some Hormone deficiency she turns vicious allowing no one near her or the babies, who she refuses to nurse, or you have to interfere with.
• You notice something protruding from her vagina when you let her out to pee. You take her to the vet to discover a prolapsed uterus, which needs to be removed.
WHAT IF WHEN YOU THINK YOU'RE IN THE CLEAR?
• One or more of the puppies inhaled fluid during birth, pneumonia develops and death occurs within 36 hours.
• The mother's milk goes bad. You lose three of your four puppies before you discover what is wrong. You end up bottle feeding the remaining pup every two hours, day and night. After three days the puppy fades from infection and dies.
• The puppies develop fading puppy syndrome you lose two. You bottle-feeding or tube feeding the last remaining baby. It begins to choke and despite your efforts to clear the airway, the pup stiffens and dies in your hands.
• Your female develops mastitis and her breast ruptures.
• Your female nurses too much and becomes dehydrated, then the pups become dehydrated from lack of milk. You now need to nurse six puppies every two hours for at least a week or more until your female is healthy enough again.
• Your female develops a uterine infection from a retained placenta. Her temperature soars to 105. You race her to the vet, he determines she must be spayed. He does the spay in an attempt to save her life, you pay the hundreds of dollars bill. The infection has gone into her blood stream. The infected milk kills all the puppies and the bitch succumbs a day later.
• All the puppies are fine but following the birth the female develops a hormone imbalance. She becomes a fear biter and anytime anyone tries to touch her she viciously attacks them.
• Mom and pups seem fine, the puppies are four weeks old and are at their cutest. However, one day one of the puppies disappears. You search everywhere but you can't find it. A few days later another puppy is gone. And another. You can't figure how on earth the puppies are getting out of their safe 4' x 4' puppy pen. Finally there is only one puppy left. The next morning you find the mother chomping contentedly on what is left of the last murdered puppy.
WHAT IF THE NEW HOMES AREN'T SO HAPPY?
• You give a puppy to a friend. Their fence blows down so they tie the puppy outside while they go to work. A roving dog comes along and kills the puppy. Your friend calls you up to tell you about the poor little puppy and asks when you are having more puppies.
• You sell a puppy to an acquaintance. The next time you see them you ask how the puppy is doing. They tell you that it soiled their new carpet so they took it to the pound.
• You sell a puppy to a friend (you give them a good price and payments). They make a couple of tiny payments. Six months later they move to an apartment. They ask you to take it back. You take it back and of course the payments stop. The dog they returned is so shy, and ill mannered from lack of socialization and training it takes you a year of work providing socializing and training to be able to give it away.
• You sell a puppy to a wonderful home. They love her like one of the family. At a vet check done by their vet it is determined that the puppy has a heart murmur. (Your vet found nothing when he checked the puppy before it was sold.) They love their puppy and want the best for her. They have an expensive surgery done. The puppy is fine. They sue you for the medical costs. They win, because you did not have a contract stipulating conditions of guarantee and so as breeder you are responsible for the puppy's genetic health.
• You give a puppy to your mother. She is thrilled. Two years later the puppy starts developing problems. It begins to develop odd symptoms and is suffering. Hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of tests later it is finally discovered that the dog is suffering from a terminal condition that was inherited. possibly from your female since you know nothing about her family lines.
• One loving home decides your puppy is untrainable, destructive and wants to return the pup and get a full refund, which you have spent on your vet bills. • One loving couple calls you and is very upset because their pup has crippling hip dysplasia and want to know what you are going to do about it. You have spayed your female so a replacement is out of the question, looks like another refund.
THE SALE ?
• You put your ad in the local paper for your pups at the usual price and get only 2 responses and no sales. You cut the pup's price in half and broaden your advertising to 3 other newspapers in which the advertising totals $120.00 a week.
• You get a few more puppy inquiries from people who ask all about health testing you did before breeding and if the pups are registered. You tell them your dogs are healthy and it was enough and that you could get the papers. The callers politely thank you and hang up.
• The pups are now 4 months old and getting bigger, eating a lot and their barking is really beginning to annoy the neighbors who call the police who inform you of the $150.00 noise by-law.
• Your neighbors also call the humane society who comes out to inspect the care of your dogs. You pass inspection but end up feeling stressed and harassed.
• You finally decide to give the rest of the litter away but still have to pay the $1200.00 advertising bill and the $600.00 vet bill.
So you gotta ask yourself: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, "breeder?"
Breeding the male
Only the very best males should ever be used at stud. The only reason anyone should breed his animal is to try to improve the breed. A bitch owner can go to any of the top stud dogs in the country. So, what does your dog have to offer?
• Has your male been evaluated in the show ring by qualified judges against top competition?
• Has he been OFA certified clear of hip and elbow dysplasia?
• Have his eyes been checked by a veterinary ophthalmologist, who certified him clear of PRA and other hereditary eye defects?
• Has he been tested clear of brucellosis?
• Is he of the proper temperament? If you can answer yes to all of the above questions and you are one of the lucky few to own an outstanding dog, are you ready and qualified to handle a stud dog? Breeding doesn't always happen 1-2-3.
• Do you have the necessary facilities to board a bitch in season to keep her safely in and the neighbor dogs out?
• Are you prepared to board a problem bitch or a bitch that the owner just doesn't want around while she is in season because it is too much of a hassle?
• Are you prepared to spend sleepless nights with your boarding bitch in season barking and your male pacing and howling?
• Are you prepared to handle the problem bitch that doesn't want to be bred and tries to tear your dog to shreds?
• Are you qualified to evaluate pedigrees and judge if your dog's five-generation pedigree will complement the bitch's? After all, it's your dog's name and reputation you're passing on to that litter.
• Are you qualified to advise the bitch owner on whelping and puppy care?
• If your dog is bred to a bitch belonging to a novice owner, that owner is going to expect you to have all the answers.
• Do you have a ready market for offspring of your stud dog to help the bitch owner place the litter? (This is usually achieved by showing your dog and having him become well known. A lot of time and money must be put into your dog if you want to get anything back.)
• Have you seen many bitches in season at all, and can you tell when it is best to breed the bitch?
• Have you ever assisted in a breeding, or even seen one so you will know what you have to do? Do you realize that its more than putting the two dogs in an area together?
• Do you realize that leaving a dog and a bitch in season alone together can be disastrous and may even physically harm both?
• Are you prepared for the change in your male's temperament? Once he's been used for stud, that will become the only thing on his mind. Or are you prepared for the wear and tear on your stud dog ... his not eating, pacing and constant whining will not be easy to cope with. As you can see, its not all that easy. Please think about it. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE BREEDING YOUR DOG
We think it is extremely important to learn the facts and possible consequences in advance if you are contemplating breeding your dog. In today's overcrowded world, we, the wardens of our domestic pets, must make responsible decisions for them and for ourselves. The following points should be reviewed carefully.
• QUALITY AKC/Can.KC/UKC REGISTRATION (OR ANY OTHER REGISTRY) IS NOT AN INDICATION OF QUALITY! Most dogs, even purebreds, should not be bred. Many dogs, though wonderful pets, have defects of structure, personality or health that should not be perpetuated. Breeding animals should be proven free of these defects before starting on a reproductive career. If you do not know what these defects are that we are talking about, you should not be breeding. Breeding should only be done with the goal of improvement - an honest attempt to create puppies better than their parents. Ignorance is no excuse - once you have created a life, you can't take it back, even if blind, crippled or a canine psychopath! There are also many registries that if you give them money, they will give you "papers" (even mixed breeds!) - the most common in the United States are the Continental Kennel Club (CKC) and American Pet Registry Inc (APRI).
• COST Dog breeding is not a money-making proposition if done correctly. Health care and shots, diagnosis of problems and proof of quality, extra food, facilities, stud fees, advertising, etc, are all costly and must be paid before the pups can be sold. An unexpected caesarean or emergency intensive care for a sick pup will make a break-even litter become a big liability. And this is if you can sell the pups.
• SALES First time breeders have no reputation and no referrals to help them find buyers. Previous promises of "I want a dog just like yours" evaporate. Consider the time and expense of caring for pups that may not sell until four months, eight months or older! What would you do if your pups did not sell? Send them to the pound? Dump them in the country? Sell them cheap to a dog broker who may resell them to labs or other unsavory buyers? Veteran breeders with good reputations often don't consider a breeding unless they have cash deposits in advance for an average-sized litter.
• JOY OF BIRTH If you're doing it for the children's education, remember the whelping maybe at three a.m. or at the vet's on the surgery table. Even if the kiddies are present, they may get a chance to see the birth of a monster or a mummy, or watch the bitch scream and bite you as you attempt to deliver a pup that is half out and too large. Some bitches are not natural mothers and either ignore or savage their whelps. Bitches can have severe delivery problems or even die in whelp; pups can be born dead or with gross deformities that require euthanasia. Of course, there can be joy, but if you can't deal with the possibility of tragedy, don't start.
• TIME Veteran breeders of quality dogs state they spend well over 130 hours of labor in raising an average litter. That is over two hours per day, every day! The bitch cannot be left alone while whelping and only for a short period of time the first few days. Be prepared for days off work and sleepless nights. Even after delivery, Mom needs care and feeding, puppies need daily checking, weighing, socialization and later grooming and training and the whelping box needs lots and lots of cleaning. More hours are spent doing paperwork, pedigrees and interviewing buyers. If you have any abnormal conditions such as sick puppies or a bitch who can't and won't care for her babies, count on double the time. If you can't provide the time, you will either have dead pups or poor ones that are bad tempered, antisocial, dirty and/or sickly - hardly a buyer's delight.
• HUMANE RESPONSIBILITIES It's midnight - do you know where your puppies are? There are THREE-AND-A HALF MILLION unwanted dogs put to death in this country each year, with millions more dying homeless and unwanted through starvation, disease, automobiles, abuse, etc. Nearly a quarter of the victims of this unspeakable tragedy are pure-bred dogs with papers. The breeder who creates life is responsible for that life. Will you carefully screen potential buyers? Or will you just take the money and not worry if the puppy is chained in a junkyard all of its life, or runs in the street to be killed? Will you turn down a sale to irresponsible owners? Or will you say "yes" and not think about the puppy you held and loved now having a litter of mongrels every time she comes in heat, filling the pounds with more statistics - your grand-pups? Would you be prepared to take back a grown puppy if the owners can no longer care for it? Or can you live with the thought that the baby you helped bring into the world will be destroyed at the pound?
CONCLUSION Because of these facts, we believe that dog breeding is best left to the professional breeder. Out of 4 litters we have had, despite all the best testing and care, we have had 2 C-sections and lost one puppy from 3 litters. It's tough and heartbreaking and you worry about your puppies their whole lives - especially if the new owners stop communicating (luckily, we've only "lost" one owner).