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Family pet having a litter - is it a bad idea?

(42 Posts)
pebbletime Wed 21-Oct-15 16:03:07

We have a family pet dog (bitch) who has not been spayed (we got her at the beginning of this year).

We wanted to get her a companion dog (she has separation anxiety).

My ds has asked if she could have a litter, and we could keep one of the puppies. (we have had enquiries for 3 others, if she ever has them)

I am very sleep addled today, so sorry if this is stonkingly obviously a stupid Qu.

Is this a Bad Idea? (she is just 6 btw, is this too old anyway?)

Costacoffeeplease Wed 21-Oct-15 16:08:14

Yes, it is most definitely a bad idea, please don't even consider it

Costacoffeeplease Wed 21-Oct-15 16:08:53

And I would get her spayed as soon as possible

Oliversmumsarmy Wed 21-Oct-15 16:12:08

Why would you want to bring more dogs into a world where so many are PTS for want of finding a loving home. For every puppy your dog has that is how many will not find the home they could have had.

Get her spade immediately.

AnotherDame Wed 21-Oct-15 16:22:02

I would second that it is a bad idea too I'm afraid.

1) Pregnancy and birth isn't always straight forward, it can be expensive and distressing and 6 years is on the older side so I think it would be riskier.

2) There are plenty of unwanted puppies in shelters looking for homes

3) Seperation anxiety isn't always cured by having another dog. Sometimes it's anxiety based around separation from any people or a particular person. The best thing to do is work on reducing her anxiety bit by bit. By building up the seperation from a few seconds to a few minutes etc (keeping her below her anxiety threshold at each stage) and try to make her time alone rewarding by providing a stuffed kong or something. It can take a long time but it's good to help her feel more confident alone.

Bubble2bubble Wed 21-Oct-15 16:56:38

Very bad idea. Please get your dog spayed.

Another dog will not necessarily help with separation anxiety and if she is already an anxious dog just imagine what being pregnant could do to her.

I'm afraid one of the reasons rescues everywhere are full to bursting is because people thought 'just one litter ' wouldn't do any harm.

Cheerfulmarybrown Wed 21-Oct-15 17:06:52

Very bad idea for lots of reasons - one is that she has separation anxiety - breeding your own companion is hard way to go about helping this!

SurlyCue Wed 21-Oct-15 17:12:04

Why would you risk your dog's life? Never mind the pain and risk of long term impact on her health. Please get her spayed ASAP. Unless you live in a bubble i dont know how you cant be aware of the massive crisis of unwanted dogs in the UK. Shelters are brimming over with dogs that already exist. Why would you think more dogs in the world is a good thing? confused

pebbletime Wed 21-Oct-15 17:26:56

OK - don't all jump on me, pls?
I DID say I'm sleep addled and was only thinking about it grin

My Vet said she thought it would be lovely, which is one reason why I had considered it.

Yy, I agree that breeding a companion is a hard way to do it.
Easier to get another rescue to keep her company.

I DO realise that there are many unwanted dogs, which is why my dog (and indeed my small furries and fish too) are all rescues. I have never had a pet which wasn't a rescue, now I think about it, except one.

As I said, I have homes for some (potential) pups already.

I was wondering if it would be ok for HER at her age - Vet seemed to think so but I wasn't so sure, which is why I was asking. Sounds like not?

Yy, if not having pups, then spaying her would be a good idea, I thought.
Previous owners had not bothered. Would she be okay with this at her age?

Bubble2bubble Wed 21-Oct-15 17:39:09

Please, please think about it some more. There are many practical and moral reasons why this is genuinely a bad idea ( and you did ask...)

Her age is far from ideal. Is she a breed which is prone to genetic health issues and were you intending to test for these? Did your vet who thought it was lovely go over costs with you, and potential complications?

You could be allowing a rescue ( unwanted ) dog to have potentially unwanted pups.

You have potential homes for some of the pups - what if there are more you can't get homes for? What happens if the homes don't work out - can you look after several more pups for the rest of their lives?

TrionicLettuce Wed 21-Oct-15 17:58:09

Terrible idea. She's far too old at six to be having a first litter plus the SA and the fact she's a rescue/private rehome (unless I've read your posts wrong?) make her a completely unsuitable candidate for breeding anyway.

This from the KC site is worth reading though in case you're still considering:

If you are contemplating dog breeding, there are certain questions that you will need to ask yourself before proceeding:

Have I the time to devote to a litter until the puppies are old enough to go to their new homes, which is usually around eight weeks?

Am I knowledgeable enough to advise new owners about the various aspects of caring for their puppies, including rearing, diet, training and health problems?

Can I afford to pay for the recommended health tests for the bitch prior to mating her and, where necessary, her litter?

Do I know enough to help the bitch during the whelping, if necessary?

Can I afford to pay for a caesarean should the dam have difficulty whelping the litter?

Could I cope with a very large litter e.g 10 or 12 puppies?

Do I have sufficient knowledge to rear the litter correctly, including on worming, vaccinations and socialisation?

Would I be able to find good homes for the puppies?

Am I in a position to take back or re-home any puppies if it becomes necessary?

If you have not been able to say yes to all of the above questions, then dog breeding may not be for you. You may therefore wish to consider having your bitch spayed to prevent unwanted or unplanned pregnancies; your breed club or the breeder of your bitch may be able to provide you with further expert advice.

If you have been able to say yes to all of the above questions, do not forget that you will also need to keep the following in mind:

Responsible dog breeders believe that each litter that they breed, should be an improvement on the parents.

Responsible dog breeders give careful consideration to health issues, temperament and soundness.

Responsible dog breeders plan ahead of each mating so as to ensure that each puppy produced will be bred in the best possible environment.

Responsible dog breeders accept responsibility for a puppy which they have bred, and make themselves available to give advice, help and information to new owners.

Costacoffeeplease Wed 21-Oct-15 18:00:07

Your vet sounds misguided to say the very least - I have never heard a vet say it would be 'lovely' to breed a first litter from a 6 year old bitch in these circumstances hmm

My parents have just taken on a rescue dog, who is probably 7 or 8, who hadn't been spayed. She has been done now, and in the process they discovered she had several mammary tumours, which have now also been removed. Had she been spayed as a younger dog she probably wouldn't have developed these tumours

So yes, she can be spayed now, and to avoid diseases like pyometra, which can be fatal, she should be done ASAP - and I'd look for another vet too tbh

pebbletime Wed 21-Oct-15 18:40:06

costa - not entirely fair to say 'misguided' - but certainly looking for guidance, yes.

My Vet did say 'it would be lovely' and 'what a romantic idea'. It's entirely possible she was being sarcastic and I missed the tone however, as my two kids were zooming around the Vets at the time and I was slightly distracted.

Trionic - that is a VERY helpful list to read, thank you.
I could certainly say yes to some of them, but, hand on heart, perhaps not all, and I can see that that is what is required.

I had considered it as she is SUCH a good example of her breed and has a wonderful temperament (apart from the SA).

However, I did think she was 'too old' and I wouldn't want to put a strain on her body. I might struggle with a large litter to pre-arrange homes for ALL of them (so that would be a big no-no) and I would struggle to let them all go, I expect.

I think it would be better to get her spayed.

Thank you for the good advice. I will follow it.

Costacoffeeplease Wed 21-Oct-15 18:48:21

I said the vet sounded misguided - although the with the 'romantic' comment perhaps she was being sarcastic

I'm glad you've decided to get her spayed, it really is for the best, and as soon as you can arrange it

pebbletime Wed 21-Oct-15 19:06:28

you did say the Vet, sorry <defensive>

She had her first 'season' just after we got her (private re-homing though really I feel it was more of a rescue as she was in a bit of a bad way). We didn't even know if she was spayed or not, so it was a surprise when she had her first season. She is just starting her second, so I imagine she'll need to get it over with before we can book her for spaying?

Costacoffeeplease Wed 21-Oct-15 19:49:47

Yes, I think the vet will probably be happier to do it after her season has finished, maybe have a chat and book her in?

dyouthinkhesaurus Wed 21-Oct-15 20:14:46

I'm surprised she wasn't speyed before she left the rescue to come to you. I thought that was standard.

Costacoffeeplease Wed 21-Oct-15 20:17:19

The op says it was a private re-homing though

LeaLeander Wed 21-Oct-15 20:23:29

Terrible idea. I would consider it immoral to be party to whimsically creating more dogs on a planet where so many are starving/killed each year, and it's shocking that a responsible veterinarian would espouse the idea.

This is a good time to teach your daughter a realistic message about animal welfare and how the "cuteness" of puppies and kittens soon wears off, leaving many animals homeless, desperate and/or abused.

pebbletime Wed 21-Oct-15 21:38:19

Dear Dog was a private re-homing nor through a formal rescue.
I think of her as a rescue dog though as she was in a completely unsuitable situation.

I think we've been over the Vet comment thing.

My dd is quite young. I will simply tell her that our dog is too old for puppies.
We live in a rural area and she knows where her food comes from and we support our local rescue and volunteer there so she knows enough, thanks.

As I said, I'll be getting her spayed after this season, which has now started.

EasyToEatTiger Wed 21-Oct-15 21:41:52

I think lots of us dream of breeding from our own gorgeous and delightful hounds. I too have asked the question, though not on the terrifying and ferocious boards of Mumsnet. I am glad I asked the question, because at the time I didn't know that there are more spare dogs than you can shake a stick at bla bla bla. If you know how long it has been since her last season, you should spay her somewhere in the middle, so if she's in season now, and it was 6 months since the last time, 3 months in would be good. My mum bred a couple of litters from her bitch, but she was in the fortunate position of having people queuing up to get a pup, and take them back.... I think she was lucky, given that she was not a breeder.

So, all things being equal, it is far, far better to have your bitch spayed, and if you enjoy rescue animals, get another one, or do more research than I did and get a puppy!!!!

pebbletime Wed 21-Oct-15 22:03:42

Thanks, EasyToEatTiger for your understanding smile
It was a lovely dream (she is a LOVELY dog), suggested by a child and perhaps not squashed hard enough by the Vet.
I posted on here thinking it would be squashed (kindly) and it has been and I think that is probably for the best, certainly for her at her age etc.

I shall dream away about puppies from another dog down the line but I don't suppose it will ever happen.
As I say, the KC 'list' posted upthread is very helpful and salutary when considering such dreams.

Yy, her seasons seem to be every 6m so it is handy to know re when to get her spayed. I'll speak to one or two local Vets too, to get their advice.

I do enjoy rescue / '2nd hand' animals so yes, I will get her a companion this way next year and do a 'good turn' to the dog world at the same time, hopefully.

Thanks again to everyone who has helped me see sense.x

Costacoffeeplease Wed 21-Oct-15 22:10:30

Tbh, I couldn't think of anything worse than breeding from any of my cats or dogs - several times we've rescued very young pups and kittens (the latest were about 3 weeks old and had to be hand-reared) and I haven't been able to re-home them, hence why we currently have 15 cats! I couldn't deal with the stress of the pregnancy and birth, then the responsibility of selecting excellent owners - much better to give a homeless dog a loving family op smile

digerd Thu 22-Oct-15 12:20:30

Vets like to spay 3 months after the start of her previous season.

Good luck.

mrslaughan Thu 22-Oct-15 15:28:08

To give you a perspective on having a litter of puppies, the breeder we got our dog from, sleeps with the mum and pups for the first 2 to 3 weeks to make sure they are all feeding, and also to make sure none get smothered. She logs there weight daily to start with to make sure they are all gaining.

She is experienced and knows what to expect, on her last litter a puppy got stuck ( and unfortunately died) however because she new the signs , got her bitch to the vet for an emergency Caesarian and didn't loose any more pups or the bitch , which would have happened if she hadn't acted as quickly.
Another breeder had a litter of 8 (not as experienced, but it was far from their first litter) , of which only 3 survived..... Do you really want to deal with that? Explain that to the children?

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