My Dog & I: Adam and Eve

Share the love by going into dog breeding!

It’s just not enough for some of us to have acquired a beautiful, well-bred, valuable dog to share our lives with. Being the entrepreneurial, acquisitive, and yes, expansive creatures that we are, we then need to “share the love” by going into the “dog breeding” business!! It seems so easy and will be so much fun to find a nice male Golden Retriever, Labrador, Yorkshire Terrier, Bulldog to mate with our beautiful Female Golden Retriever, Poodle, Labrador, Yorkshire Terrier!!! Loads of puppy fun, a bit of cash, and the chance for our Girl to “experience the joys of motherhood”! Just once….

Well, here are some reasons not to do it… Some of the nicest purebred puppies I have encountered have come from “Backyard Breeders” so I can honestly say that these attempts at amateur breeding are sometimes marvelous, happy accidents. These breeders also often raise at least the first litter of puppies, (before they know better) in the kitchen or garage and the puppies are handled, socialized, and fussed over so that they are great with people, kids and other dogs.

However, along with the fun stuff, comes an enormous amount of work and time as well as some potentially really scary scenarios. Dog breeders with good reputations really dedicate their lives to their profession and are well-informed, careful, picky, precise, and organized people.

Consistent standards of the puppy.

They take their time choosing the correct partners for their dogs. They do genetic and temperament testing in order to produce consistent standards of the puppy. They have already developed a network of potential, appropriate future homes for the puppies and they make sure that their females are the right age, weight, and health in order to become pregnant. They pay attention to the temperament of the Male. They make sure the whelping areas and nurseries are geared towards the correct developmental requirements and they are prepared to forego sleep for long periods of time.

Here in the country, I am sad to say, it seems so easy to get another Border Collie, German Shepherd, Husky…and simply allow them to “make a family”. This scenario usually does not occur when one is living in a high rise apartment in the City.

Without some education, even the mating process can result in damage or injury to a beloved pet. So many uninformed amateur breeders have had sad situations with litters that could have been avoided easily by taking the time to learn about the pros and cons of dog breeding.

High priced designer dogs.

It is so tempting, in these days of high priced designer dogs to believe that a quick few thousand dollars can be made in a relatively short time. It is also tempting to believe that one can “recoup” the cost of a high priced dog by producing a high- priced litter.

The problem is that we tend to underestimate the costs of breeding and raising a litter and over-estimate the potential profits from the endeavor. Some of the unforeseen costs can almost swallow the profits of a litter.

When do we call in the vet? When are the puppies failing? How to tell if the Mother is thriving, feeding well, has an infection, worms, or nerve damage?

The first two seasons of a breeding female can be a nightmare…

Going through the first two seasons of a breeding female can be a nightmare…Blood everywhere, (and try to keep a diaper on!!! Haha) fights, destruction, extreme temperament changes, and then….she

decides she is not really interested in that Boy…she wants the Pitbull around the corner. What do we do when mom doesn’t want to feed/ Babies don’t want to feed? How can you tell when the pups should go or stay? What do you know about dog Psychology or Body Language? Who will stay awake at 3 in the morning for two weeks?

Oh yes, what do we do with the last puppy at seven months old who still has not found a home? And one more thing…How does a potential puppy buyer know whether your puppies come from good stock, have had a great start, any genetic predispositions or even been fed well?

Breeding puppies should never be done in a casual way.

Breeding puppies should never be done in a casual way. It is not a path to a “quick buck”. The really legitimate breeders spend years developing their knowledge base and consistently produce a certain standard of the puppy. Wouldn’t you want to buy your dog from one of those guys?

So let’s put a little thought into the process and decide if we really want to be accountants, lion tamers or amateur dog breeders….

Janine Lazarus, Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper #127. October 2020. Follow Janine at Goodladd.net and on facebook @goodladddogtraining. Find this feature at hashtagwv.com

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