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Dog breeding guide

Updated on June 8, 2008

Puppies can be adorabile but do you have what it takes to become a responsible breeder?

Guide for the novice breeder


Dog breeding can be overall a pretty easy task, all it takes is a male stud and a female dam and puppies will be soon on the way. Anybody,really can be capable of breeding two dogs and rejoicing 63 days later, in front of the miracle of life.

However, responsible dog breeding is a whole different story. The sole factor that so many puppies and dogs are filling the already overwhelmed animal shelters, should be sufficient for any aspiring novice dog breeder to call it quits.

Responsible dog breeding takes a lot more effort than simply breeding two pretty dogs of opposite sex in your backyard. Serious breeding takes years of studies, knowledge of the specific breed, comprehension of all possible genetic faults, the understanding of dog temperament, the importance of early socialization and the acceptance of the high chances of losing money rather than making money. These are just a few things that dog breeders take care of on a daily basis.

Sounds pretty challenging now, doesn't it? If you are considering breeding responsibly and not as the all too common backyard breeders then consider carefully the following:

-It's not about the money. You may notice that many breeders may pop up on newspaper ads near Christmas time. These are planned breedings focusing only on stashing some cash. Professional breeders breed because they are seriously passionate about the breed and work hard on finding ways to improve qualities and decrease faults.

-You must be knowledgeable about the breed. You must read a lot of books and get acquainted as much as possible with the breed's standards. Dog shows should be a must as you will be able to see a variety of specimens of the breed you have selected.

-You must be willing to have all your dogs screened for potential genetic flaws and if applicable, get hip certified(OFA),have eyes examined and certified free of hereditary diseases(CERT), and be registered with AKC.

-You must pay high vet bills. All dogs and puppies will need to be dewormed and vaccinated regularly. Stud services may be very high. Consider other veterinarian expenses such as having dewclaws removed and tails docked if necessary. If there are birth complications the dam may need emergency care which can be pretty costly. Your dam will also need to be on a good balanced diet versus cheap store bought kibble.

-You will need to socialize the puppies well. There is a particular "grace period' up to when the puppies are 12 weeks old when the pups need to be exposed to as many people, pets and situations as possible. Most pups are given away at 8 weeks so then the owner will have to take over for the next four weeks.

-You will have to screen potential owners carefully. The puppy's welfare comes first. If you find people willing to pay you more for the puppy but they do not seem appropriate owners, you will have to deny them the puppy and wait for a better owner. This should come natural as the puppy comes first.

-For the dam's welfare you may not breed her for some seasons. Skipping heat cycles may mean not breeding for even 1 or more years.Dams are also prone to diseases and conditions that are unlikely to develop in spayed females. Again, the dog's welfare comes first in responsible breeders. Dogs are not puppy machines but animals that deserve respect and a healthy life.

-You will be responsible for the puppy if there are problems. Let's say the puppy turns out destructive, chomping down half the furniture of the new owner's house and the owners want to take the pup to a shelter, as a responsible and caring breeder, you should step in and take the pup back.

-You will provide follow ups to the owners as needed. The new owners will have your phone number handy if they have any questions about the dog. You will have to be always available to give advice and help, even well after the deal was done.

-Last but not least, you will have to have the courage to give away adorable puppies which who you have bonded. This can be tough once you have watched them grow and flourish on a daily basis.

If all this work has discouraged you then perhaps you should consider another profession. Instead, if on the other hand, you are still excited and think you may have what it takes to become a successful dog breeder then you should learn as much as you can about the breed, read books, attend dog shows, and ultimately consider getting started.


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    • RavynSteel profile image


      10 years ago from North Wales

      We bred our bearded collie with another beardie, and resulted in 10 gorgeous puppies, none of which matched either parent! It was a fantastic time, even though (or perhaps because) we had to hand-rear the pups - the mother couldn't cope with all ten, lost heart after the first week and wouldn't feed them. We must have done something right because all ten puppies thrived and became big, healthy dogs, excellent examples of their breed.


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