Dog Breeding (Good or Bad?)
Are thinking of breeding that dog you have? Well, the first thing that comes to my mind is - Why? Is it because you have heard that old wives’ tale that allowing your bitch to have at least one litter will calm her down for the rest of her life? Is it because you believe it can lead to an extra income you so desperately need? Or is it just to find out how it feels to see your best friend have a litter and watch her care for those new little ones? All these reasons are the wrong reason to breed your dog!
Unfortunately, this world is much too full of backyard breeders, and even worse puppy mills. Because of this, millions of unwanted dogs are euthanized each year. Every dog that is irresponsibly brought into this world means one dog in a local pound that will never find its forever home, instead having its life cut short.
However, there is a place for responsible breeding; it may even be a good thing by improving the breed with each successive litter. But, are you ready to become that “responsible breeder”?
A good place to start is by completing the Responsible New Dog Breeder Checklist. If you cannot answer “Yes” to each and every item in this checklist, you will do everyone a favor by electing to spay/neuter your pet, and not allow her to breed. But if you pass the checklist, your work may just be beginning.
Make sure your dog is free from hereditary diseases
All breed clubs are trying to eliminate diseases known to be hereditary for their particular breed. The only way to do this is to test all dogs being used to breed more puppies for signs of those diseases, prior to actually breeding the dog. This includes both male and female dogs, so before offering your dog for stud service, you need to get these tests done also.
Most of the official dog breed organization websites contain information on the general health of the breed, as well as hereditary conditions they are trying to overcome. Also, if that particular breed organization is a participant of the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC), not only are the diseases to test for listed, but your results can and should be stored for others to look at.
If you find that your bitch or stud has one of the listed diseases or conditions, please do not breed that dog. Instead, help eliminate problems in your dogs breed by spaying/neutering your pet right away.
Is your dog healthy enough to have puppies?
So, you are continuing on your quest to breed your dog, having passed the exams discussed above. It is now time, once again, to visit your favorite vet, this time for a general health examination. Your vet will be able to determine if your dog is ready to breed now, or perhaps should wait at least one more heat. Never get in a rush, and never intentionally put your dog in harms way if she just is not quite up to it yet.
We will discuss other aspects of breeding your dog in other pages. This is probably enough information to at least get you started! If you have any questions, or need more clarification, please comment below.