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Things First Time dog Breeders Should Know

Updated on March 8, 2009

Things all novice dog breeders should know before starting

Dog breeding takes much more than allowing a male and  a female dog to breed and rejoicing sixty three days later. It takes responsibility, hard work, commitment, research and the acceptance of possibly not seeing one penny after the pups are sold. As a general rule of thumb, if you are reading this article because you want to start breeding soon but lack the knowledge, this is a sign suggesting that you do not have sufficient experience to breed your dogs in the first place, and that unfortunately, you will not be able to gain such knowledge and experience in the next weeks nor in the next months to come.

There are two category of breeders in this world: professional dog breeders and BYB aka back yard breeders.

Professional breeders are knowledgeable individuals that have put all their effort and money in researching, learning and making careful selections in order to generate, healthy well tempered puppies. They often start out by reading books, frequenting dog shows, learning about strengths and weaknesses of the breed. They have not experimented with the breed but have worked hard in having their breeding stock tested for health and temperament. They hardly make any financial gains as lots of money goes away in between tests, providing veterinary care, feeding and caring for the puppies.

They screen carefully potential owners. They will question them and assure that the puppy is placed in a well cared environment. They will promptly take back the puppy with no questions asked if the owners are not satisfied. They really care for the breed and work hard to overcome weaknesses while bringing out the strengths.

Back yard breeders generally, select a handsome couple of dogs and allow them to breed repeatedly. They care less about temperament, they care less about genetically inherited flaws. They know little about the breed and put no research on what kind of specimens they select. They experiment with the breed and try to sell the products of their experimental breedings for a profit. They often like to sell around Christmas and plan their breedings accordingly. You may see their ads in the newspapers around December.

They tend to sell to the first people that are willing to write a check. They are even willing to sell two litter mates if asked to. They often make the selling a one time transaction with no follow ups and no commitments. If you are unhappy with the pup or if it develops health issues, they may be hard to reach. They may never return your phone calls. They offer no type of warranties or certifications. The dogs produced offer no guarantee of being temperamentally stable and they may suffer serious health related issues such as eye problems or hip displaysia. Because they will not take back a puppy once given away, they are ultimately, one of the biggest causes of dogs being abandoned to shelters.

As seen there are major difference between the two types of breeders. It is ultimately, up to you  to choose which type of breeder you want to be. If you are looking to learn more about a specific breed and how to start breeding, keep your breeding plans for the future, and invest the present in learning as much as you can so you may one day become a professional and knowledgeable breeder with a great reputation.


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is my dilema. When I went looking for a new dog all I found were very specific breeds that I knew were no match for my lifestyle and personality. The breeds that I knew would fit in were not available and most breeders keep a tight rein on where their puppies go, etc. (which is fine). However that meant I needed to pay for a purebred; $1k - $2,500 and insane for a housedog. I would have gladly accepted a mix, older dog, younger, special care - anything but the very, very few breeds found in shelters. I checked out about 20 or more (including foster homes) in the 5th largest city in the US for over 6 mths. I needed a toy dog that's calm, dependent (not headstrong) and low space needs. All I found were chiuanas (can't spell), daschunds, terrier mixes; I love terriers but I know enough to know I wouldn't be abile to devote the time required for training. What I finally found was a chinese crested and crested / japanese chin mix (since they do better with a companion because they are more dependent) which was perfect.

      The point is that it's very sad to see the same breeds represented in shelters over and over and over again. Even large dogs were mixes of a few breeds - obviously many people do NOT understand what "breeds" mean as far as characteristics go. A lot more education should be stressed about personality traits, space needs, energy levels, grooming than what I've seen.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      8 years ago from USA

      Mr gdam, sorry to hear you are taking it this way, with all the abandoned dogs out there, you can never say me, I worked for a shelter and saw too many dogs euthanized, if you would see it too, you would be ''preaching'' as well..

    • profile image

      mr gdam 

      8 years ago

      i was looking 4 info, not for a preacher

    • goldie77 profile image


      8 years ago from Scotland

      yes,these are wise words. I was planning to let my yellow lab have a litter but maybe I shouldn't bother. I'm not that knowledgeable but I would take the puupy back so I guess I fall somewhere between the two catagories

    • bill komissaroff profile image

      bill komissaroff 

      9 years ago from Portland O

      Wise words...thanks.


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