Dog breeders(4 Posts)
Is anyone a dog breeder. Just wondered what is entailed and do you enjoy it?
I am not a dog breeder but I do know people that do it. It's a lot of work, especially since one of the breeds they breed usually has to have a cesarean due to the size of the puppy's heads. It involves a lot of vet bills if there are complications with the births.
The people I know are registered with the kennel club as they breed pedigrees, they have to have home checks to make sure the dogs are well looked after etc. I think they also have to pay a fee for being a kennel club recommended breeder but I'm not sure.
To be honest, I got my dog from them but would never buy a dog from a breeder again. It's nothing to do with them, they are wonderful people but there are a lot of dogs that need rescuing. If you are considering breeding your dog I would think long and hard about it. I would also do a lot of research and weigh up the pros and cons. Most people just think of the money, but what about if someone brings a puppy back because they can't handle it or because it has medical problems. Your dogs need to be checked for common problems associated with the breed e.g. hip dysplasia, to ensure the puppies are at low risk. It's about being a responsible breeder, not just breeding for money.
The people I know do enjoy it but it's a full time job. They have a lot of dogs just to breakeven with vet bills and it can be heartbreaking if a litter doesn't make it because they were premature. I personally could never do it.
I don't breed but I'm good friends with the breeder of my dogs and I know many more through showing.
It's a huge amount of work and very expensive to breed responsibly, not to mention emotionally draining even when everything goes well.
There are so many things to consider before you even get as far as a mating; showing/working/competing/some kind of independent evaluation of your bitch, health testing (which can be very extensive and expensive for some breeds), finding the stud dog who is the best possible match for your bitch taking into account conformation, temperament, health status, pedigrees and inbreeding coefficients. The best stud is rarely the most local so there's the costs (and time investment) of travelling to the stud, plus potentially accommodation, to take into account on top of the stud fee.
Even when everything has been done right things can still go wrong during whelping and breeding expenses aren't covered by standard pet insurance policies. A good breeder needs to recognise when things aren't progressing as they should, or when a bitch is struggling, and get suitable veterinary intervention. Ideally someone breeding their first litter would have an experienced mentor on hand to help them to help.
Raising puppies takes a lot of work, it's not as simple as just letting the bitch get on with it. There's a lot of socialisation to be done on top of all the washing, cleaning and feeding (once the puppies start weaning) in order to give the puppies the best possible start in life. This website gives you a good idea of all the things a breeder should be doing during the various stages of the puppies' development.
Finding good prospective owners who have really done their research and would make ideal homes is tough. It takes a thick skin to be able to tell people they aren't the right sort of home, or to let someone down if they seem great initially then concerns creep in during later conversations. It's not always possible to do home checks if puppies aren't staying locally and even if home checks are performed there's always an element of risk. It's always sad letting the puppies go, even when you're sure they're going off to excellent homes.
It's certainly not something to enter into lightly and responsible breeding is pretty much mutually exclusive with making any kind of profit.
I'm not one, but again I know some and to breed well and responsibly...
You get a puppy from a responsible breeder telling them that you are planning to breed, you then get the puppy to be successful in its field, sport, work, showing...
Then you do all appropriate health tests for the breed (which can cost between £500 and £1000 depending on which breed and tests)
You start looking for an appropriate stud with traits that will counteract any minor faults in your dog with a complementary but not related pedigree, that usually costs about the same amount as a puppy.
You wait for her to come into season presuming she's now around 2 and take her to the stud.
Spend the next few weeks trying to work out if she's having puppies...
Make sure she's appropriately fed and wormed throughout, buy and install things like a whelping box.
Assuming nothing goes wrong during delivery and that she doesn't become ill afterwards and can feed them all you spend the next 8 weeks, worming, weaning and socialising the puppies.
Then you weed through potential owners to make sure they're all potential good owners, make up puppy packs and make it very very clear that you'll take them back at any point in their lives.
Repeat after 2 years.
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