Breeding Your Pet

Do you know the signs of your female dog being in heat? Have you been considering breeding her? Do you have a male whom you love and want to have more?

Most people who breed their pets once end up regretting the decision and neutering their pet. They had no idea how much it could cost, what a huge amount of work it is, and how hard it is on the female dog. Male dogs often become more interested in breeding than their owners and don't make good pets. They can be difficult to housetrain and become aggressive. It's not abnormal for several puppies to die, the whole litter can get sick, and there are tremendous risks to the female. When a breeder provides proper care to the mother and pups, a profit is unlikely.

Puppies and dogs from proven parent dogs and reputable breeders are not a part of the overpopulation problem. The puppies being produced that contribute to overpopulation are the ones with no special reason for being bred. The special ones have waiting homes. There are far too many dogs from untested, unproven parents for the homes willing to take them. Large dogs in particular have big litters, and the large dogs are the most likely to wind up homeless, or in shelters when they come from poor breeding.

Dogs should not be bred prior to 2 years of age when basic testing can be done for problems like hip and elbow dysplasia and congenital eye disease. The world does not need any more dogs born to be disabled because their breeders behaved irresponsibly. The rate of hip dysplasia in dogs is shockingly high.

Every dog to be bred should be AKC registered (ACA is not an acceptable registry- mixed breed dogs are even allowed!), a proven champion in their field, have impeccable personality and conformation, and pass their genetic testing with flying colors. The dog should also be evaluated for problems such as hernias, malocclusions, luxating patellas, heart murmurs, allergies and other heritable issues. They need to be current on their vaccines prior to breeding, and maintained on monthly heartworm prevention to decrease risk of parasites in the puppies.

Good, and even great dogs come from everywhere, including strays, but they cannot be expected to reproduce their good qualities through breeding unless they come from stable bloodlines. Does your pet have proven bloodlines?

A good breeder also is willing to have an animal that is not working out returned to them. Are you willing to keep another animal, possibly with a problem, if this occurs?

Are you willing to stay up all night watching the female give birth? Are you willing to drive to an emergency clinic for a Cesarian section or other emergency procedure if things go wrong? The cost of emergency care can range from $200 to several thousand dollars, and there is no guarantee the female or puppies will survive.

If you have the desire to breed dogs and the means to do it without expecting financial gain, you can make the world a better place by getting involved with dog breeding the right way. That starts with finding a mentor to help select the right dogs and becoming educated in all aspects of breeding. There is so much to learn.

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