extremely important to learn the facts and possible consequences in advance if
you are contemplating breeding your dog. In today's overcrowded world, we - the
wardens of our domestic pets - must make responsible decisions for them and for
ourselves. Please review the following points carefully.
QUALITY: AKC or CKC registration
is NOT an indication of quality. Most dogs, even purebred, should not be bred.
Many dogs, though wonderful pets, have defects of structure, personality or
health that should not be perpetuated. Breeding animals should be proven free of
these defects BEFORE starting on a reproductive career. Breeding should only be
done with the goal of IMPROVEMENT - an honest attempt to create puppies better
than the sound, wonderful parents they come from. Ignorance is NO excuse!
Once you have created a life, you can't take it back - even if it's
blind, crippled or a canine psychopath!
COST: Dog breeding is NOT a money
making proposition, if done correctly. Health care and shots, diagnosis of
problemsand advance genetic testing to determine quality and breedability, extra
food, proper facilities, stud fees, advertising, etc.are all costly and must be
paid BEFORE you sell any pups. An unexpected Caesarean or emergency intensive
care for a sick pup, or even a litter of sick pups as often happens with parvo,
will make a break-even litter become a BIG liability.
SALES: First-time breeders have
no reputation and no referrals to help them find buyers. Previous promises of "I
want adog just like yours" evaporate. Consider the time and expense of caring
for pups that may not sell until 4 months, 8 months, or longer ... what WOULD
you do? Send them to the pound? Dump them in the country? Sell them cheap to a
dog broker who may resell them to research labs or other unsavory buyers?
Veteran breeders with a good reputation often don't even think about breeding
unless they have people waiting for the puppies, with cash deposits in advance
for an average-sized litter.
JOY OF BIRTH: If you're doing it
for the children's education, remember the whelping may be at 3 AM, or at the
vet's on the surgery table. Even if the kids are present, they may get the
chance to see the birth of a monster or a mummy, or watch the dog they love
scream and bite you as you attempt to deliver a pup that is half out and too
large. Some bitches are not natural mothers, and either ignore or savage their
whelps. Bitches can have severe delivery problems, or even die in whelp. Pups
can be born dead, or with gross deformities that require euthanasia. Of course
there can be joy, but if you can't deal with the possibility of tragedy, don't
TIME: Veteran breeders of quality
dogs state they spend well over two hours a day, every day, for months, to raise
an average litter. The bitch CANNOT be left alone while whelping, and only for
short periods for the first few days after. Be prepared for days off work and
sleepless nights. Even after delivery, mom needs care and feeding, pups need
daily checking, weighing, socialization, and later grooming and training, and
the whelping box needs lots and lots of cleaning. More hours are spent
with paperwork, pedigrees and interviewing buyers. If you have any abnormal
conditions, such as sick puppies or a bitch who can't or won't care for her
babies, count on double the time. If you can't provide the time, you will either
have dead pups or poor ones that are bad tempered, antisocial, dirty and/or
sickly - hardly a buyer's delight.
It's midnight ... do you know where your puppies are?
There are more than FIVE MILLION unwanted dogs put to death in
pounds in this country EACH year, with millions more dying
homeless and unwanted of starvation, disease, from automobiles,
abuse, etc. A quarter or more of the victims of this unspeakably
tragicsituation are purebred dogs "with papers." The breeder who
creates a life is responsible for that life. Will you carefully
screen potential buyers? Or will you just take the money and not
worry if the puppy is chained in a junk yard all of its life or
runs in the street to be killed? Will you turn down a sale to
irresponsible owners? Or will you say "yes" and not think about
that little puppy you held and loved now having a litter every
time she comes in heat, which fills the pounds with MORE
statistics - YOUR grandpups? Would you be prepared to take back a
grown puppy if the owners could no longer care for it? Or can you
live with the thought that the baby YOU caused to be brought into
this world will be destroyed at the pound?
CONCLUSIONS: Because of these
facts, dog breeding is best left to the PROFESSIONAL BREEDER!
What makes a breeder professional?
A professional breeder is one who has made a lifetime
commitment to the well-being and IMPROVEMENT of one,possibly two, breeds.
A professional has studied and researched his breed and knows,
intimately, its history and Standard, its strong points and drawbacks.
A professional has spent time, effort and MONEY researching
and proving the qualities and health of her potential breeding stock. Those
that do not prove out are NOT bred. She plans a litter only with the goal of
puppies better than the parents, not for profit or vanity.
A professional considers his dogs' health and well-being far
more important than their ability to reproduce.
A professional has both the time and mental fortitude to BE
THERE for her breeding dogs and her puppies. She evaluates her litters and
makes every effort to match puppy to buyer in temperament, attitude, and
A professional is, first and foremost, selling only to
responsible, loving homes. While some exceptional pups may be saved for
special show homes, the professional does not force entangling contracts or
arrangements for "puppies back" on people who are only interested in a pet.
A professional keeps in periodic contact with the owners of
puppies he's sold, not only to see the development of his breeding program,
but also because he cares about them.
A professional does NOT have so many dogs that she has no time
for individual attention, play and grooming, or has to skimp on food quality,
space, preventive medicine and health care.
A professional assumes responsibility for the life he creates
- carefully screening buyers, helping find new homes, making a comfortable
life for his retirees and yes, being able to make the decision to euthanize
when a puppy born with a mental or physical problem has no chance for a
A professional builds a good reputation slowly, based on
dedication and consistent quality, not on volume, advertising, or from a
casual or self-glorifying attitude.
A professional goes further and assumes some responsibility
for the problems of her breed as a whole - she belongs to an organization for
the breed, she continues to read about new developments, and she works to
reduce the number of her breed that are carelessly bred, ill cared for, or
A professional can look at a bigger picture than dog show wins
or puppy sales, and contributes in some way to the betterment of dogs as a
Educated owners want to buy from such professionals. If you want
to join the professional ranks, involve yourself in a club for your breed, and
take advantage of the knowledge and experience you will find in your fellow
members. Begin the months and years of research that will be necessary for you
to know your breed thoroughly before you think about breeding a litter. If you
feel this is MORE obligation than you care to take on, choose the RESPONSIBLE
alternative - have your pet spayed or neutered!