You may have always wanted to raise a litter of puppies. However, breeding your dog is a huge undertaking, which should not be done without proper preparation. There are many people who breed their pets for the wrong reasons:
- my dog is so cute and would produce adorable pups;
- I want to give my kids the experience of birth;
- I want to make some extra money;
- I want my dog to have a litter before I have her spayed.
These may seem like good reasons to breed you dog, but let's take a look each.
- My dog is so cute and would produce adorable pups. There is no denying it: your dog probably is cute. However, there are hundreds of thousands of cute dogs in the world. And this is the problem. It is a hard fact to swallow, but most of those dogs will end up in animal shelters or will be euthanized because of a lack of loving homes to care for them.
- I want to give my kids the experience of birth. Birth is a mysterious and wonderful thing. But it can also be horrifying for young children. The actual birthing process, from a kid's point of view, might be too gross or messy for their comfort. Remember that there is a lot of fluid and afterbirth that is expelled during birth, which the mother will "clean up" in her doggie way. And what do you tell your kids if a puppy is born dead or deformed? There are so many books and videos available now to teach kids about birth that a live one becomes unnecessary.
- I want to make some extra money. The likelihood of making one penny on the sale of your puppies is pretty slim. You need to consider the costs of breeding. The mother needs to be examined by a veterinarian throughout her pregnancy to make sure there are no complications along the way. The puppies will need their vaccinations and first exams. There is the cost of food and other supplies, advertising, and unexpected expenses to consider. What if mama does have complications and needs a cesarean, for example? What if the puppies get sick and need medications? What if no one buys your puppies? These are all likely scenarios that need to be well thought out.
- I want my dog to have a litter before I have her spayed. Allowing your female dog to go through even one heat cycle can increase her chances of getting breast cancer. In fact, 52% of un-spayed female dogs will develop this disease. A spayed dog cannot develop pyometra, a serious, and common, uterine infection. Spayed females are less likely to wander and will not pick up unwanted diseases from male dogs. (On the other hand, spaying will not make an aggressive dog a model citizen; only training and behavior modification can do that.)
As you can see, there are many reasons not to breed your dog. What should be the goals of a responsible breeder? A responsible breeder's main goal is to improve or ensure the quality of their chosen breed. This means they will take all precautions to make certain that the dogs they are breeding are genetically sound, come from quality lineage, and have the proper temperament to make good companions. A responsible breeder will guarantee the health of their puppies and be willing to take back those that develop problems. A responsible breeder will ensure that every puppy has a good home, even if it means raising it themselves. A responsible breeder will make sure that their puppies are properly socialized and cared for until they go to their new homes. If you can meet all these requirements and have the willingness to undertake the challenges, you may be ready to start breeding your dog.
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