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How to Breed Dogs

Updated on July 3, 2009
Why breed or buy when there are so many great dogs and puppies in shelters and rescues?
Why breed or buy when there are so many great dogs and puppies in shelters and rescues?

So you have a great dog. You love puppies (and who doesn't). Why not have a bunch of puppies just like your dog? You start asking: Should I breed my dog?

The likely short answer: Absolutely not.

It may seem fun and sort of easy, and maybe you could even make some money off the pups, right? Wrong. Chances are, it will cost you a great deal in vet bills, and once the puppies arrive, it will completely consume your time.

The only reason to breed two dogs together is to "better the breed." This means that both parents are health tested to ensure they are not carriers of genetic diseases; that they are registered with a respectable kennel club and have championship titles; and that their breeders are active in a breed club, breed rescue, or a similar arena. And, believe it or not, homes should be secured before the pups are even conceived.

Disregarding these precautions can be dangerous to the dogs and ultimately very costly in time and money.

But I Love My Dog!

So do I! This is all the more reason not to breed. If you have a bitch, she will be in great danger during the pregnancy and labor. Some breeds of dogs always require a C-section to deliver, and it is traumatic for any dog to give birth. Do you want to unnecessarily traumatize your dog? Probably not.

And, if you love your dog, that means you have compassion for other living beings. So consider this. By breeding your dog, you are adding to the problem of pet overpopulation in the world. Do you have seven homes lined up for the puppies your dog will produce? Even if all your puppies find homes, you're just taking that many homes away from other dogs. Make sense?

Shocking Truth About Overpopulation

Questions to Ask

Still convinced that you need to breed your dog? Well, of course it's up to you, but there are a bunch of questions that you should ask yourself before you continue down this path. You always want to make sure that you're not getting in over your head, right?

Questions to ask about your dog:

  • Does your dog hold championship titles (aka Best in Breed, etc) from the United, American, or Canadian Kennel Clubs?
  • Is your dog active in breed-appropriate sports and activities such as herding, agility, water dog competitions, and retrieving?
  • Has your dog been recently tested for diseases common in the breed so that s/he does not pass it on (and therefore have OFA Certification and whatnot)?
  • Does your dog conform to breed standards (height, weight, brow slope, ear setting and size, depth of chest, and other pertinent standards)?

Questions to ask about yourself:

  • Do you have homes for each of the potential pups? Did you carefully screen these homes to ensure that they are appropriate and safe? Did you have the families sign adoption contracts?
  • Do you have enough money to pay for the vetting of the bitch while she is pregnant? To vet and vaccinate the puppies during the first 8-10 weeks of their lives? To cover any emergency surgeries or other expenses that could crop up during or after the pregnancy and birth?
  • Do you know how to whelp and eventually wean puppies (and when to do so)?
  • Do you have the ability to put in your adoption contract that if, for any reason, the puppies' families must give them up (for the rest of their lives), you will take the dog back and keep it or try to rehome it?
  • Are you knowledgeable about the breed, including special training requirements and tips? A good breeder must become a valuable resource to the families to whom they adopt.

This is just the beginning of the complex list of questions that you will need to consider before responsibly breeding your dog. For an excellent website about breeding, check out

A fixed dog is a happy dog!
A fixed dog is a happy dog!

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Benefits of Spay/Neuter

If you still want to breed your dog and feel that you can do it in good conscience, then go ahead. At least you are informed.

If you've changed your mind or might change your mind, then your next step is to spay or neuter your dog. Fixing a dog is not just an easy way to prevent unwanted pregnancies; it has overwhelming health and behavioral benefits for the dog!

Male dogs become more bonded to their families when they have no concern with finding a mate (unfixed dogs can be worse than teenaged boys when it comes to thinking about girls!), and there's less chance that he will run away to find one. It also, of course, eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and drastically will reduce the incidents of unwanted humping and "marking of territory." Neutered dogs are also much less aggressive and more likely to get along with other dogs; they're therefore much less likely to get in a fight and become injured.

Female dogs who are spayed do not have to endure heats (the dog version of the menstrual cycle), and their owners don't either. They are also less likely to run away in search of a mate. Spayed females tend to be less aggressive and territorial than their unfixed counterparts. Then, of course, there's the avoidance of unwanted pregnancies and the drastically decreased risk of breast cancer and the eliminated risk of ovarian or uterine cancer. Additionally, pyometria can come on suddenly in unspayed females and will easily kill even an otherwise healthy dog.

For a more detailed outline of the benefits of fixing your dog, please look at this website. It's a safe, easy procedure that does not have to cost much at all and could save you a lot in the long-run. And with organizations like Spay USA and Friends of Animals, there are affordable spay/neuter programs for everyone!


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    • afriqnet profile image

      Joe Njenga 

      6 years ago from Nairobi Kenya

      I came a cross your Hub since I am always adding onto what I know about dog breeding. I enjoyed reading your article and bookmarked it as important. Thank you for sharing.

    • brethodge profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      I simply love dogs as pets.. I feel they are the best friends.. One should have dogs of any breed.. I adore labby.. they are just great.. The pictures that you have put on are bful..

    • helenathegreat profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Manhattan

      I certainly do not know more than the AKC; I am a single human, whereas the AKC is a collection of many people. I would say, though, that I am probably a more reliable source when it comes to the breeding of dogs if only because I have no way to gain from people either breeding or not breeding their dogs, whereas the AKC has a vested and direct interest in perpetuating that tradition. Motive is a pretty important consideration when looking at advice-giving, Gracie.

    • profile image


      8 years ago


      The American Kennel Club has some good adive. I would say they give inteligent and well-thought out adice on dogs. Won't you agree helenathegreat? Or do you know more than AKC?

    • helenathegreat profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Manhattan

      I'm sorry, Hoffmaster, that you were not looking for intelligent, well-thought-out advice about where to start if you are considering breeding your dog.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This is a horrible misleading article. This is not what I was looking for.

    • helenathegreat profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Manhattan

      I disagree, FA. I gave you an extremely comprehensive list of questions that will help you start on the journey of breeding your dog. The easiest part is putting two dogs together and having them mate. The hard part is doing the testing, making sure to find another appropriate mate, etc.

    • profile image

      False Advertising 

      9 years ago

      The title of the article that I clicked on which directed me to this page read, "How to Breed Dogs". However, I cannot find any steps, tips, advice of any kind on how to do this on your page. Shouldn't the title read something like, "Dangers in casual breeding..." or "Don't breed dogs.."?? I feel like I was tricked and that the couple minutes I used reading this page were wasted.

    • nicko guzman profile image

      nicko guzman 

      9 years ago from Los Angeles,CA

      There are too many dogs in shelters right now so it is better.I agree with you a lot.

    • helenathegreat profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Manhattan

      I do try to respect as many opinions as possible, supermikayla, and thanks for your comment; not everyone that breeds is wrong. Responsible breeding is PERFECTLY okay, and if your friends who breed do so with national breed clubs and do all appropriate health testing and can answer all the questions I provide in this hub, then more power to them.

      But needlessly adding to pet overpopulation in the world is downright infuriating to me, and I admit that often I will stop listening at the point that people try to defend it. Thanks again for your comment.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      okay, guys. this is sorta unreasonable. i help with animal rescue, treated abused and neglected animals, and volunteer at various shelters. i care about animals just as much as the rest of you. not everyone that comes to this website is uneducated. most just want to pick up a few tips. yes, it's true that breeding is not for everyone. it isnt for me, and i know that. but many of my friends it their hobby. the pups go to wonderful homes after they have met and approve of the new owners. if done correctly, breeding can be a wonderful way to make new friends. not everyone that breeds is wrong. it isnt right to praise who you agree with and reprimand the others. they have a right to voice their opinion just like you did. let them, and listen. please respect them.

    • helenathegreat profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Manhattan

      Wow, Chris! Thanks for commenting. Once people do rescue, they realize that breeding their dog is completely unnecessary, even if their dog is more than qualified. Thank you for being responsible! :D

    • profile image

      Chris Miller 

      10 years ago

      All of my dogs are spayed and neutered even my MH field champoin dogs are altered and will never be bred. I work with a dog rescue and see so many perfectly great purebred dogs in rescue that even though mine have done everything they should have to be bred they will never be.

    • helenathegreat profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks for weighing in, Martin. The issue of spaying and neutering is a complex one, and if people could be responsible for themselves and their pets, we could explore it more.

      But consider this:

      If someone needs to look on a website to ask if they should breed their dog or not, they obviously are not educated enough (about dogs or the world around them) to decide whether or not to fix that dog.

      With such a vast overpopulation problem, I think we can afford a little "unnecessary" surgery.

      (Also, that study you linked has been discredited various times by various credible sources.)

    • profile image

      Martin Jefferson 

      10 years ago

      It looks like your online forum like many others chooses to dumb people down and assume that they are going to act irresponsibly. The plain facts are that people need to better educate themselves and act accordingly, is really right for us to mutilate our friends simply to make our lives easier?

      If you are not willing and able to care for your male pet, then get a plushy toy to cuddle up with; a thing that neither needs suffer neglect nor unnecessary surgery to compensate for your inadequacies.

      People are capable of making informed caring decisions, to bad we don't. Our rights to decide for ourselves are being taken away at an alarming rate. Soon we will have no power of choice, unless we learn to properly care for ourselves. How can we expect to care for an animal of another species?

    • helenathegreat profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks for sharing your story, gatados! You're the right thing by having them fixed, and congratulations for saving your little chi/pom from a life without ever seeing a doctor!! And thank you for your kind words, too.

    • gatodos profile image


      11 years ago from Texas

      I bought a dog from a lady that listed her as Chihuahua, In good health. When I went to meet this lady and dog. What I saw was a very timid, little Chi/Pom. I was going to breed her. I asked the lady if she was current on her shots,she informed me that she had never been to the vet. Needless to say I bought the little girl. Took her home to meet my year old male Chihauhau. Has been fixed. They got along right of the bat. I took her to the vet 3 days later, got her check up and shots. Was informed that a couple spots she had on her was the hereditary mange. That I should not breed her, so that is where I stand, she has had her dips and two of the spots have disappered one still flares up when she came into heat. Next step is to have her fixed. She is such a happy, spirited little love of my life, along with my little boy Chi. Thanks for a great Hub. Keep up the good work.

    • Peter M. Lopez profile image

      Peter M. Lopez 

      11 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

      Excellent hub. I think, too, people try their hand at dog breeding for money, which is the primary reason NOT to do it if you are going to do it properly. To anyone reading, I echo Helena's sentiments: GO TO A LOCAL SHELTER AND RESCUE AN ANIMAL.

    • AskSusanPeters profile image


      11 years ago from Oklahoma


      I have so many clients report they wish to breed their dog because it would be "fun" to have puppies. This is usually an anxious, poorly bred mut which resembles the breed the owner classifies it under which should never be bred to anything.

      I've had clients tell me they wish to breed their dog because the kids would like to have puppies. Can't you see that one coming?


    • Whitney05 profile image


      11 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks! I appreciate it!

    • helenathegreat profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Manhattan

      Thank you all for your lovely comments! Whitney, I will read your hub right now.

    • Whitney05 profile image


      11 years ago from Georgia

      I, too, thought that you were writting about breeding dogs. I was going to leave a slightly perturbed comment. Ha. But, yes I do agree strongly with you hub!

      Would you mind checking out my "Finding a mate for your dog" hub?

      It discusses spay/neuter, responsible breeding, etc.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 

      11 years ago

      GREAT Hub Helena!! When I saw the title, "Should I Breed My Dog?" I immediately clicked on it to list all the reasons why the answer is a resounding NO!! I have done animal rescue all my life!! I have sat of the Board of Directors for Happy Tails, Second Chance, No Place Like Home, PAWS, etc.!! I have four rescues of my own right now and twelve more in foster care!! THANK YOU SO MUCH for writing this GREAT Hub and pointing out all the reasons why NOT TO BREED!! You are a jewel for passing along such GREAT information!! Keep up the good work!! Blessings to you and your writing!! Earth Angel!!

    • MrMarmalade profile image


      11 years ago from Sydney

      the idea great and the room is small so no thanks.

      Nethertheless a wonderful hub


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