So…..You Want To Breed
To make lots of money! Do you realise the actual expenses involved in breeding, such as advertising, stud fee, vet. bills, food, etc.to name a few?
Because it would be good for the children to watch the birth and play with the puppies as they grow up! Actually, the gory part of the whelping repulse most children who are more than happy to skip the viewing of the miracle you planned for them to see.
A litter of puppies growing up is usually too rowdy for small children who are usually disinterested or terrified of the leaping creatures with sharp teeth and nails. If you want the children to see a puppy growing up, buy them one of their own. If you want them to watch the litter being born, it’s better and easier to find a breeder who will let them come over in the middle of the night to watch puppies being born.
Because we love Fifi and we want another one just like her! The chances that you will get another one just like her are very slim, indeed.
Because everyone who comes to the house and sees Fifi wants one of her pups when she has a litter!
But…just wait until your litter of 12 is ready to go to their new homes, watch those people back out with excuses like: The kids are too young, the kids are too old now to be bothered with caring for a dog, we are going to have a baby, the house is too small, we are moving in three months (wait till then), the carpet is too new, Grandma doesn’t like dogs, the old dog hasn’t died yet, it might not get along with our cat. The list goes on and on.
Because we really love puppies!
You’d better be sure you love puppies because until you have them, you can’t imagine how much is fully involved, such as: The mess the litter makes. Can you put up with constantly cleaning and scrubbing up after the puppies, their whelping box, the yard, the kennel, or wherever you keep them? As soon as you feed them, they dump out of the other end. They then step in it, roll in it and drag it through whatever else is in the puppy box at the time. With a large litter of puppies, there is always something to be cleaned up. The responsibility you have with the litter is not as small for you as it is with Fifi, when taking care of them until they are ready to go. Most of it is up to you and you are tied to the litter like any new mother, only you can’t take the litter to the inlaws at the weekend, or anywhere else for the weekend, for that matter. You had better be content to spend all your time at home. There will be no more all day shopping sprees or any other activity that keeps you away from home for too long, as you have to be there to feed the pups 4-6 times a day.
Now that you have some idea as to what’s involved other than playing with cute cuddly puppies, and you are still determined to go ahead anyway, here’s something else that should be considered.
Is your bitch of suitable breeding quality?
Do you know her faults as well as her virtues? Does she meet the Standard of the breed? Is she of desirable temperament? Is she of sound health? Do you have customers so that the pups don’t end up in the pound?
If you can answer “yes” to all of these questions and are still determined to try your hand at raising a litter, then read on for the list of things to do next (time consuming, isn’t it?
Get an opinion of your bitch from reputable breeders.
Learn about genetic problems within the breed.
Seek advice about potential stud dogs.
Go and look at the offspring of your chosen stud dog.
Be sure that the stud dog has no genetic problems. You can be sued for selling genetically unsound puppies Costs Money
After you have chosen your stud dog, take your bitch to the vet.
She needs to be x rayed and hip scored Costs Money
Her eyes need to be checked for defects Costs Money
She needs to have a full health check Costs Money
Many bitches die in whelp due to unforeseen problems Costs Money
The bitch needs to be wormed and vaccinated Costs Money
All this is going to cost money, but it’s necessary when planning for a health litter.
Now,while you’re waiting for her to come into season, read all the books you can on your particular breed, breeding, whelping and rearing young puppies.Start saving all the newspapers and have you friends and relatives do the same (remember what we told you about all that cleaning up. You will need all the newspapers you can get your hands on. Have a whelping box built. Costs Money
When your bitch comes into season: Contact the stud owner and you will be advised when to take your bitch to him. Plan to pay the stud fee at the time of breeding. Costs Money There may also be a boarding charge if the bitch has to stay. Costs Money Be sure you understand, in advance, what the stud fee you pay guarantees. The stud dog may live some distance away from you, so this could involve transportation costs. Costs Money Bitches don’t get mated on cue, so repeated visits may be necessary Costs Money
After your bitch has been mated, you have 63 days to do more reading and thinking. Laced within these thoughts about the precious little darlings will have to be some terrible thoughts about what can go wrong, and what that may cost you. We hate to keep dwelling on this, but things do go wrong so you must be prepared in case it happens to you.
What happens if something goes wrong and Fifi needs a caesarean. Costs Money
What if the puppies die? Costs Money
What if she’s not pregnant, waste of stud fee. Costs Money
What if she has a miscarriage? Costs Money
What if you were not diligent enough and next door’s X breed got her. Costs Money
What are you going to do with a litter of puppies you can’t sell and don’t have the heart to destroy? Costs Money
What if Fifi won’t or can’t feed the puppies. Are you prepared to get up every two or three hours to feed them? Costs Money
And worst of all…..what if Fifi dies–was it really worth it?
The days pass and Fifi has her puppies without too much trouble but you still need to take her to the vet to be sure. She will probably have hormones and antibiotics to prevent infection. Costs Money
Lucky for you–Fifi had ten healthy pups. They are now ready to have their dewclaws removed. Costs Money
At six weeks, they are ready for vaccinations and worming X 10 Costs Money.
Now they are healthy and ready to go and you are exhausted. Where are all the people who promised to help you in the middle of the night?
You go to see a breeder for an opinion on price and quality. You want the truth, so the breeder gives it to you.
The big male has only one testicle (drop in value–not showable).
The next biggest male toes out (but he does have both testicles).
The really pretty bitch has an undershot jaw (can’t show that).
The bitch with the nice head is cow hocked.
The smaller bitch is not cow hocked but has a weak back.
One of the boys has blue eyes (how did that happen?).
There are three nice puppies, but not really outstanding.
There is one outstanding puppy who are show quality.
The show quality puppy is the one you are going to have to keep because the children like it best–another mouth to feed ï¿½ï¿½s, not to mention your disappointment with the litter. It has not really contributed to the breed, has it? But, you’re told to cheer up–after all, one show puppy is better than none at all and you should consider yourself as successfully breeding a litter. Not much consolation when all were going to be show quality.
Now you have your litter graded and priced accordingly, ready to sell them. By this time, are you knowledgeable enough about the breed to be the expert that the buyer assumes you are? Are you prepared to answer questions on training, housebreaking, grooming, and feeding? Are you prepared to answer these questions at the time of the sale and for months afterward, in the middle of the night, because one of the dogs you sold has stopped eating? Can you direct your buyers to obedience classes, help them into the show ring, recommend a local vet or dog groomer?
Remember: You are now a dog breeder and your responsibility does not end when the dog leaves with it’s new owner. Do you have a pedigree form filled in for each puppy? What do you mean you don’t know who the grandparents are? Better hope there are no genetic problems or–yes, you guessed it.
Are you prepared to advertise extensively if necessary. Advertising costs can really add up. Don’t expect buyers to come flocking to your door the day the pups are ready to go.It may takes weeks or months before they are all sold. This involves extra food and vet bills that will be incurred by you.
Let us hope that if you breed your bitch, that it is for the right reasons and in the right way, with lots of love, thought, and care put into your decision.
There are too many unwanted puppies already put to sleep each year due to ignorant and irresponsible breeding. Don’t let Fifi’s children end up this way.
David the Dogman