To Breed or Not To Breed
So you think you might want to breed your dog …
This article was written to help our Pet puppy buyers understand our spay/neuter policy. Every puppy should be planned for and wanted, which means the spaying and neutering of all animals not intended for breeding.
Every dog should have a home where it is wanted and loved. This means that owners have made every effort to keep their dog from roaming and to see that he or she is wearing ID tags. Breeding a litter of puppies is a responsibility not to be undertaken unless you have the time, energy, money, knowledge and facilities to do it right. Puppies are not “play toys”; they are living, feeling, intelligent beings. When you bring a litter of puppies into the world you must accept the responsibility of caring for them properly and finding responsible homes for them.
If you bought your pet puppy from us, you signed an agreement to have him or her altered by the age of one year. We take our responsibility very seriously and we do not want to see any of our furry “grandkids” at a shelter or alongside a road somewhere or even perhaps for sale in a pet shop. Unless you have put many years into the study of the German Shepherd and the Standard to which German Shepherds should conform, you are probably not equipped with the knowledge that it takes to be a breeder. Do you know the dogs in your pet’s pedigree? Are you familiar with pedigree research? Have you a vast knowledge of the genetics involved? What health tests should be done beforehand? Are you equipped to deal with prenatal and whelping complications? Are you willing to risk your dog’s life? These are just some of the reasons we do not allow our pet puppies to be bred.
Please do not breed your pet because you want a puppy just like him or her. Chances are you will not get one just like him or her, and it is far easier and safer to just purchase a pup. In doing so you will not be bringing more puppies into this already crowded world. Also, keep in mind that most people who “want one of his or her puppies” will actually change their minds once the puppies arrive. (Try asking for deposits before you breed.) If your intention is to allow your children to experience the miracle of birth, remember to also visit your local humane shelter on euthanasia day so your children can see the reality of death as well.
If you are still interested in breeding, we have listed the following questions to help guide you in making the right choices:
1. What is your reason for breeding? Is it a good reason?
2. What are your future plans for your male or bitch? (Do you want to show him or her, etc.) Remember that raising a litter will take up most of his or her time and attention, as well as yours.
3. Will your lifestyle allow for a litter? Will there be someone home all the time? Do you work long hours?
4. Do you have the proper facilities? Often this means setting aside a separate room for the whelping area.
5. Can you afford this? There are many expenses, including:
A. Medical care of the mother. $
1. Prenatal veterinary visit.
2. Brucellosis tests and vaginal culture (required by most stud dog owners).
3. Postnatal veterinary visit.
B. Medical care of the puppies. $$
1. Inoculations and wormings.
C. Supplies. $$$
1. Whelping box and heat lamps.
2. Puppy food and vitamins.
3. Cleanup supplies.
4. Whelping supplies (towels, scissors, hemostats, thermometer, iodine, cotton balls, rubbing alcohol, disinfectant, blood clotter, etc.).
D. Other expenses. $$$$
1. Stud fee and shipping if needed.
3. Lost salaries and sleep.
All this is assuming your bitch has a normal uneventful pregnancy and a healthy litter! Sometimes they do not get pregnant or they will reabsorb the litter or miscarry due to stress or other factors. Sometimes they have false pregnancies. There may be complications, Caesarean sections, birth defects, sick puppies, or mom may become sick. The average litter size is three to ten, but sometimes only one puppy is born. So, as you can see, if done properly, breeding is not a money-making endeavor.
6. Are you prepared to deal with:
Complications, medical problems, added expenses?
Health care of the puppies–not all puppies survive. What if they become ill?
Health care of the mother–are you willing to risk his or her life? Sometimes complications do occur.
Screening potential puppy buyers to ensure good homes?
Unsold puppies–is there a ready market in your area? Usually not with your first litter–most people prefer to buy from an established, experienced breeder.
A lifetime obligation to the puppies you sell?
Legal complications–contracts, guarantees, etc.?
7. Is your male or bitch a good representative of the breed?
Remember that it takes more than just a pretty face! Should he or she really be bred? Temperament, soundness, health and conformation are prime considerations–Have you studied up on the breed? What is his or her pedigree? This is important–breeding is not just putting a male and female dog together, you must know the dogs in his or her background. This will give you an idea of what you will be producing in regard to size, temperament and potential health problems as well as other considerations. Will you be inbreeding, line breeding or out crossing?
8. Before breeding you must:
Study up–know your breed and its problems.
Study your dogs, know their weaknesses and strong points and breed accordingly.
Do some pedigree research to know what is behind your dog.
9. Reasons for not breeding:
- Overpopulation–difficulty in finding good homes.
- Expenses and complications–this is not a get-rich-quick scheme!
- Responsibility to the breed and your dog. Only breed when you feel you can make an improvement to the breed. Remember, your responsibility does not end when you sell those puppies–it lasts their lifetime.
- The terms purebred and AKC do not guarantee quality, nor do they mean your dog should be bred. They only mean both parents should be of the same breed.
But remember — in breeding there are no shortcuts. If you are not prepared to do it properly–do not do it at all!