BEFORE YOU BREED YOUR DOG
Planning to breed your dog? The puppies sure are cute, but are you really prepared? There's more involved with raising a litter than you could ever possibly imagine! Here's a pre-breeding checklist:
Test both parents for genetic and hereditary diseases
and good temperament.
Why? Most major health problems in dogs can be prevented by breeding only healthy dogs. By having the parents tested for hip dysplasia, genetic heart, thyroid, or liver conditions, and numerous other problems, you can avoid passing these painful and debilitating problems on to the next generation of puppies. The same goes for temperament. Breeding a dog without making sure it is free from genetic conditions is selfish and irresponsible. If you're going to do it, do it right.
Obtain Your Championship
Responsible breeders only breed dogs that when paired together will improve upon the breed. Before you consider breeding your dog, it's important to make sure he or she meets the breed standard - that is, your dog's proportions, features and general appearance are what they should be. Showing your dog in AKC/UKC conformation shows gives an opportunity for experienced third parties to give feedback on your dog.
Save up at least $1000 to invest in vet bills in case
of an emergency.
It's not uncommon for a female to require a c-section, ultrasound, or other emergency procedures, and they're expensive! Not to mention, if any of the puppies are born with problems, they'll need to be hospitalized. $$$!
Be prepared for your new full-time job raising a
litter, and spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to raise the puppies.
Yikes. Puppies are a lot of work, especially in mass quantities! You need to be dedicated to spending the time and money it takes to raise them properly if you're going to do it. Quality formula, food, vet checks, toys and shots are expensive.
Be prepared to help the newborns feed, urinate and defecate
if the mom can't or won't, or if she dies.
Newborn puppies can't potty on their own - they need help. If mom won't do it, you'll have to help them. In cases of large litters, you'll probably have to help out anyways - mom will have a hard time keeping track of the pups she's groomed and fed.
Get ready to scoop
a ton of puppy poop from inside your house every day!
No, they can't be kept outside. Too many diseases and germs, and they need to be kept at a constant cozy temperature. Not to mention socialization (being around the family) is incredibly important.
Be prepared to take the time to properly socialize the
puppies and to interview prospective buyers to make sure they will take
proper care of the puppy.
Each puppy needs individual attention every day - this takes a considerable amount of time, especially with large litters. And after you've put so much time, energy and love into these little creatures, you'll want to make sure they all get the best homes. Interviewing buyers is a time consuming, and sometimes scary, experience.
Be prepared to take back your "puppies"
years from now when their owners don't want them any more.
Why? It will happen. I don't understand it, but some people think pets are disposable. Since you don't want to:
a) Let them take your puppy to the pound to be killed, or
b) Make it someone else's problem by turning the dog in to a rescue, or
c) Let them give the dog to their cousin Bubba who will tie the dog to a tree and feed it once a month for the remainder of it's miserable life...
The responsible thing to do is to take back the dog and find it a new home.
Be prepared to spend cash out of your pocket years
from now if the owners of a puppy return a sick dog to you.
Sometimes people with the best intentions fall into situations where they find themselves unable to care for their pets. Get out your visa card...
Routinely call or visit to check on the puppies and
make sure they are OK.
This sounds crazy now, but after you've invested so much in raising them, you'll want to make sure they're OK. Breeding truly is a life-long commitment.
Why Do I Care?
Animal overpopulation is a HUGE, SERIOUS issue. Hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats are killed in the US each year simply because no one wants them. Before doing some research on the issue, I always thought that the unwanted dogs that were "put down" were old, sick or mean. Not True! Did you know that a large percentage of the dogs destroyed at shelters are happy, healthy, well trained, and even purebred? My goal in creating this site is to inform others of the problems that occur when people breed their dogs without thinking of the best interest of the puppies, and the puppies' puppies, and so on. What if the person who may have adopted a dog from a shelter buys your puppy instead? Like it or not, when you randomly create dogs, other dogs will lose their lives as a result.
I don't have anything against responsible breeders that breed for the love of the dogs and to improve the breed, do temperament and genetic testing, and find loving, responsible owners for all the pups. If no one ever bred dogs, there wouldn't be any! However, many of these people also work in rescue as well, trying to save the lives of other dogs that may not have been responsibly bred, and responsible breeders usually require all or most of their puppies to be spayed/neutered. This page is here to inform "hobby breeders," those intending to make some quick cash, or those who are simply careless or uninformed and neglect to get their pets altered, that there are consequences for those actions, and many dogs will pay with their lives.
There is no money to be made breeding dogs if you intend to do it right and provide the best care possible for the mother and the pups. If you decide to breed, please do it responsibly. For more information, please talk to your vet and local breed associations, and contact your local humane society or breed rescue organization to see how you can help out. You can find more information on animal overpopulation at www.hsus.org