Breeding is often heart-wrenching when things go wrong, and
it happens. Talk to breeders and ask questions. 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 must make responsible decisions
for them and for ourselves. The following points should be
There is no medical or psychological
reason to breed any dog. It will not settle your dog
down (although neutering very well might!), and females do
not need to have a litter .
You will not get an exact replica
of your dog. Puppies are a combination of their ancestors.
You can just as easily get another dog of similar lineage
from an established, responsible breeder, which will get you
about the same results and will cost you a lot less!
AKC/CKC/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 it has seizures, low
thyroid, MPS IIIB (lethal), needs surgery to repair patellas
or hips, cataracts, or a temperament problem!
Pet shop and back-yard-breeder dogs have not been selected
for the goal of quality improvement.
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. Schip litters are usually small in
size so you won't cover your costs. If you have a large litter
it can be hard to sell them.
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? Sell them cheap to a dog
broker who may resell them to labs or other unsavory buyers?
Breeders usually breed planning to keep several in the litter
for themselves to further their breeding program or if they
have a long waiting list for puppies.
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 kids 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.
Milk often doesn't come in for a few days of a week and you
will feed all the pups every two hours around the clock. Of
course, there can be joy, but if you can't deal with the possibility
of tragedy, don't start. Truly, whelping is not for the faint
of heart. Breeders keep their mentors close at hand.
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 time around the clock for the first couple of weeks.
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 backyard 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?
Because of these issues, we believe that dog breeding is best
left to the serious hobby breeder or the hobby breeder with
full support from an experienced Breeder mentor.