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Considerations Before Breeding Dogs

Updated on August 17, 2009

Puppies are cute but are you ready for the challenge?


Owners of dogs often forget one of the biggest factors which is the real core of responsible breeding.This often forgotten but fundamental factor is that breeding is an improvement. What this means is that dogs, even if purebred should not be allowed to mate unless they have proved to be free of any defects of any kind. This means that they should not have any structural, temperamental or genetic faults. This does not mean that a well mannered and eye appealing dog is a good candidate for breeding. Rather, breeding dogs should be evaluated by the professionals.A good way to go is  by having the breeding candidates evaluated carefully by specific organizations that provide certification. Two examples are OFA (orthopedic foundation association) and CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation).

It is important as well to realise that just because a dog is registered with the AKC does not mean that it is show quality. Often these make wonderful pets but the AKC registration is not proof of perfection.  Following are some important factors that people intending to breed their dogs should bear in mind:

  • Responsibility

With millions of unwanted pets, breeding dogs can be an irresponsible act. A good quantity of these dogs found in shelters are actual purebred dogs with ''papers'' that were unable to be adopted. It is sad that often such dogs are surrendered in shelters or given away to irresponsible dog owners that will chain the dog all day or let it run in the streets. 

  • Costs

When done responsibly, breeding dogs is not a quite profitable business as many may think. As a matter of fact it is often a loss. This is because the responsible breeder will invest a lot of money  in providing health care, vaccinations, certifications, food, stud fees, advertising and more. Not to mention, taking care of the potentials health problems that may arise from unexpected C-sections or other complications.

  • Losses

Often not all puppies can be given away. What would be your option then? Will you surrender the puppy to the pound? Will you sell it to somebody perhaps engaging in obscure activities? Will you dump him on a country road? As a breeder you should consider the chance of not being able to sell all the puppies. This often means not only not making money but also remaining with some left over pups.

  • Eventful Births

This is for all those that want their kids to witness the miracle of birth. Please consider first of all, that your dog may give birth in the dead of the night when nobody is around. Also consider that the birthing process is not always uneventful as we would like. There may be complications where your dog may be screaming from pain and the pups may be stuck in the birth canal or worse, born stillborn. Your child may be traumatized more than delighted.

  • Effort

Thinking of mother dog taking care of the pups 24/7 is wrong. You will instead find yourself working around the clock after the puppies are born. You may lack sleep and rest. You will find yourself feeding, checking the pups, weighing, socializing and cleaning. Then you must advertise, interview prospective buyers, have paperwork done and get the pups and mothers checked and de-wormed. 

This article is not meant to discourage breeding but simply to allow owners to acknowledge what really goes on. Truth is, there are not really many dogs out there that deserve being bred even if in the owner's eyes they look like eye appealing specimens. And truth is, that with three and a half million of dogs surrendered in shelters, there is not much need for more puppies in this world. So please use common sense and spay and neuter your dog!


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    • BJC profile image


      9 years ago from Florida

      Something all potential dog owners should read. Good hub.



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