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Suzie and the Stud – Should You Breed Your Dog?
If you are a die-hard dog lover, you might consider breeding your dog. Maybe you want to give your adorable little shih tzu Suzie a taste of motherhood, or maybe you’re looking for some extra cash to fund your dream vacation to the Bahamas or top up your child’s college fund. It could be that you want to improve the breed, or allow your children to witness the pain and ecstasy of birth (from a dog’s point of view).
Breeding your dog can be educational and profitable.
Whatever the reason, owning a dog can be educational, fun, and sometimes even profitable. But don’t venture into this past time until you’ve fully weighed the pros and cons. Many people think that raising a bitch is as easy as introducing Suzie to a charming stud dog, waiting 63 days, and then having clean towels and hot water ready to welcome the adorable pup into the world. The reality is far from this.
It is estimated that a quality breeder devotes at least 130 hours to raising a litter of quality pups – which translates to about two hours a day – and that statistic doesn’t even take into account the financial costs involved. Keeping a dog is a time-consuming endeavor that requires a lot of energy and money and should not be ventured into without careful thought.
If you are considering getting your dog, remember that you must be willing to:
Taking responsibility for the health of mother and puppy
Accept all financial expenses that their reproduction and health will incur
Care for the puppies until they are ready for sale.In some states, it is illegal to give away or sell a pup who is at least eight weeks old
Willing to take care of puppies who may have problems. What if one of Suzie’s offspring was born deaf or epileptic, or has other problems? It is your responsibility to care for them – or if you send them to a shelter, can you live with yourself? There is no doubt that they will be placed there?
Be emotionally prepared to be separated from your puppy when the time comes – and prepare your child for a final goodbye.First babies in particular can be particularly difficult to let go, and your child may be upset for months afterwards
Breeding is a much bigger expense than you might imagine. You’re going to have to spend a lot of money before your dog is born — and you’ll still have at least eight weeks of expenses after that, or eight weeks if the dog doesn’t sell easily. Fees will include:
Potential Breeding Fees – Some Owners Will Accept Puppy Commitment
Potential travel expenses to meet studs.You may have to hunt around to find the perfect match, sometimes out of state is the only way
X-rays for relevant breeds, including hip, elbow and knee x-rays
Some breeders pay for a fertility test as well as an ultrasound to see if the breeding was successful
Farrowing costs, including surgical equipment such as farrowing boxes, heat lamps, forceps and scissors
Suzie’s puppy formula, feed and medication during pregnancy, along with a host of nutritious foods
Eye certification (to be completed within seven weeks), vaccinations, deworming, and more.You also have to pay for vet bills if mom or puppy gets sick
Suzie takes time off to give birth, take care of sick pups and more
Advertise trash and make sure they find a safe, good home
Advice before farming
If you’ve thought long and hard about breeding and decided this is the path you want to take, you’re going to need to invest a lot of time and effort in preparation. Most dog breeders plan up to two years in advance. You should be willing to:
Talk to experienced breeders and attend dog shows. This is mandatory, not only to help you decide if this is the route you want to go, but also to help you get advice on what you need to do next.
Determine if Suzie is of sufficient quality to reproduce. She should have at least three generations of blood, preferably more, and be properly registered with the AKC (American Kennel Club) or UKC (United Kennel Club). It’s also important to know her breed standard — she should be as close to standard as possible.
Make sure Suzie is in good health and free from genetic defects. This will involve having her thoroughly examined by a trained veterinarian, specifically screening her for the defects typical of her breed.
Make sure Suzie has good temperament and can do what her breed requires. Breeders admit that temperament is genetic, which means that if Suzie is vicious and only bites, her children will no doubt follow suit.
Make sure Suzie is the right age for a puppy—she should be at least two years old—and determine when she’s likely to have puppies.
Trust that Suzie’s schedule will complement your own. Planning a two-week family reunion in Yellowstone the week she gave birth was not a good idea.
Prepare a list of potential puppy buyers, and/or be financially prepared to advertise.
Having a dog — especially a beloved pet — is an amazing experience. But it also has its flaws. It is estimated that more than 3.5 million homeless dogs are euthanized each year because they cannot find a loving home, and while you might think only mutts fall into this category, almost a quarter of these animals are Documents of purebred dogs. Do you want Suzie’s puppy to end up like this?
Before you consider getting a dog, think carefully about whether this is really the right decision for you and your family. Weigh the pros and cons of breeding and don’t make this decision lightly. When done correctly, breeding can be a great experience for the whole family as well as the dogs involved. If not done properly, many lives could be threatened.
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