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Up Topic Dog Boards / Controversial Stuff / Why shouldn't I breed a litter of puppies. (locked)
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- By MarkR Date 02.02.15 11:14 GMT Edited 02.02.15 12:09 GMT Upvotes 4
In a recent post a new poster questioned why they were struggling to find a breeder once they had explained they might want to breed from the dog in future.

http://forum.champdogs.co.uk/topic_show.pl?tid=145067

There were some good answers explaining some of the potential reasons and I think the question has now been satisfactorily answered.

However, as is often the case, a forum member then took the opportunity to turn the question around and in an act that I can only describe as bullying (knowing that he/she would be in the majority and the original poster would be in the minority) posted the following :

Why do you want to have a litter of pups? As you haven't even found a suitable pup yet you have no way of deciding whether or not she is suitable to have a litter. I must admit I dont understand why someone would buy a dog with the aim of having a litter from her unless they have some involvement within the  breed and she is part of a breeding plan. This is not meant to criticise but rather to understand why breeding is a priority for your pup. I do sometimes have people wanting to buy my pups and they say they want to have a litter but when questioned have no clear idea why.

There are lots of unwanted dogs out there and I dont beleive anyone should be breeding a litter "just Because" A good breeder will be responsible for the puppies they produce for the lifetime of that puppy. Would you be willing to be responsible for any puppies you produce. Will you be willing to keep any you cant sell? Take back a pup you have bred if its owners circumstances change maybe years after you sold it? Do you know how to find a suitable stud and which health tests your dog would need. Do you have access to over £1000 should your bitch need an emergency c-section out of hours? and will it matter to you if you your bitch dies as a result of having the litter?


I have therefore removed the post and locked the original thread.

I have also removed the posters name as I have seen similar posts many many times from lots of different people so it is unfair to single this particular poster out for this one post. However I would like to question some of the the points raised in the post which is why I have created this new thread.

I have taken it upon myself to answer as if I were the original poster. Please note I don't actually want to breed a litter, I have three dogs and they are all neutered, but tell me why in your opinion I shouldn't be able to have a litter if I wish to do so. And alternatively those with a more open mind might see, and post to that effect, why I might (hypothetically) want a litter and why it is not such an unreasonable thing to want to do.

You will note this topic is in Controversial Stuff, so it will be moderated (by me !). Please only post if you can add the discussion as I will delete any posts which simply repeat another poster. Oh and I can't be bullied because as you may know I have very thick skin and I can always delete your post or ban you if you make me cry :lol:
- By MarkR Date 02.02.15 11:37 GMT Edited 02.02.15 11:43 GMT Upvotes 3
Why do you want to have a litter of pups? As you haven't even found a suitable pup yet you have no way of deciding whether or not she is suitable to have a litter.

And by the same token you can't assume that she isn't.

I must admit I dont understand why someone would buy a dog with the aim of having a litter from her unless they have some involvement within the  breed and she is part of a breeding plan.

Really, are you that narrow minded, surely you can see at least a few reasons why people might want a litter of puppies ?

Do you have children ? What involvement in "that breed" do you have ? When you chose your partner, was he/she part of a breeding plan ? Did you both have all the required health tests ?
 
I also have chickens. Do the same rules apply if I need a few more layers ?

This is not meant to criticise but rather to understand why breeding is a priority for your pup.

Unfortunately it comes across as a criticism and you are also making a further assumption that breeding is a priority.

I do sometimes have people wanting to buy my pups and they say they want to have a litter but when questioned have no clear idea why. There are lots of unwanted dogs out there and I dont beleive anyone should be breeding a litter "just Because"

Nor do I. However there is an implication in your post that any dogs I breed will be unwanted, what makes you qualified say that ?

A good breeder will be responsible for the puppies they produce for the lifetime of that puppy. Would you be willing to be responsible for any puppies you produce. Will you be willing to keep any you cant sell? Take back a pup you have bred if its owners circumstances change maybe years after you sold it? Do you know how to find a suitable stud and which health tests your dog would need. Do you have access to over £1000 should your bitch need an emergency c-section out of hours? and will it matter to you if you your bitch dies as a result of having the litter?

What if I answer yes to all the above, or not yet but that is why I am here to learn ?
- By Freyanodins mum [gb] Date 02.02.15 12:33 GMT Upvotes 8
Sorry Mark, but this is a contrived thread - and as such I refuse to join the discussion - especially as you retain the right to remove any post that you feel offends!   Skews any argument.
- By Goldmali Date 02.02.15 12:56 GMT Upvotes 3
Okay. :grin: My MAIN reason for thinking that somebody should NOT breed a litter would be if they were NOT involved "in dogs" -i.e. actively involved in the dog fancy either in showing or working. (So I would therefore NOT have a problem if somebody who had never had my breed before contacted me about a puppy and saying they may want to breed in future, IF they already had experience of being active within a different breed.) This is because breeding a litter doesn't just require the knowledge to mate and whelp the bitch and rear the pups, it also requires a LOT of general dog knowledge and a fair bit of breed related knowledge, so that as a good breeder you will be able to decide whether the people enquiring about your pups are right for them or not, and then after the sale be there with help and advice for all your puppy buyers at any point of their puppy's life. Somebody breeding a litter from their first ever dog (which has become common these days) are unlikely to have that knowledge.

Not being "in dogs" also makes finding the right homes for pups harder -unless you have a very popular breed that is easy to sell. I do not and so I have seen first hand what can happen. I have mentioned the following story not long ago, but I will recap as a example of what can happen when you breed a litter without first having gained plenty of general dog knowledge:

A puppy buyer of mine bought a bitch off me, and already had a dog from another breeder, who is a friend of mine. Both his dogs were pets -never shown, never worked. The owner got lucky in that both dog and bitch ended up being dogs easy to train, without any problems. In this breed, they can be very hard work indeed and most of us would say they should not be kept as pure pets unless the owner has plenty of previous dog experience. In my case, I sold this person a pup BECAUSE I got to meet his adult male dog of the same breed, and could tell he was a well behaved, well trained and happy dog.

Cutting out all the ins and outs about contracts and endorsements etc, the bitch was mated to the dog and got pregnant. (Health tests done on both.) I myself and the breeder of the dog told the owner that this breed often gives birth early, and so when she went overdue we were worried. The owner worried as well, as he listened to what we said. He went to the vet pretty much every day, had extra scans done etc and kept telling the vet that he was being told it was not normal for this breed to go over 63 days of pregnancy. The vets (several different ones in same practice) did not listen to a first time breeder and simply said pups were alive and well, and to just wait. Eventually the bitch was booked in for a caesarian on day 69. Pups were alive in the afternoon of day 68. When the bitch was opened up, all the pups had died. She'd had inertia but nobody had recognised it.

The next season the bitch was mated again, and this time there was a vet willing to listen and act sooner should there be a problem. Thankfully she gave birth naturally. The litter was small; just 3 pups. The breeder had felt sure he had lots of friends who all wanted a pup as so many had said so. Turned out he was only able to sell ONE puppy. He advertised but did not get a single reply. He wasn't known in the breed, people didn't know he or his dogs existed as his dogs had never been anywhere. Eventually the breeder of the sire agreed to buy one of the pups, the breeder himself kept one, and of course a friend of his bought the third.

48 hrs after the friend had bought his pup he gave up, realising he could not cope with this breed. He had ended up with one of these pups that is hard work even for the experienced, a pup needing a LOT of training, needing something to do. The breeder of the litter had not enough experience to realise not all dogs were as easy as his own, had not realised that this particular pup would not be suitable for a pet home, let alone an inexperienced pet home. And he was also not able to take the pup back. Again cutting a long story short, the pup now lives with me and has done since he was just under 9 weeks of age. He could very easily have ended up in rescue or being sold on to somebody equally unsuitable for this type of pup, but thankfully his previous owner realised he needed an experienced home and contacted myself. What would have happened had the bitch had 10 pups, which is not uncommon in the breed? It doesn't bear thinking about.
- By MarkR Date 02.02.15 13:24 GMT Upvotes 1

> Sorry Mark, but this is a contrived thread - and as such I refuse to join the discussion


You have just joined the discussion :lol:

This thread is not contrived, I could have easily have posted my response in the original thread. I chose not to do so because I did not want to appear to be singling out any one poster. I could for example have used a similar post by different poster in another thread, such as the example below :wink:

"You say you have spoken to an experienced breeder who says there is no issue with breeding her first litter at 4 - but have you carried out hip/elbow scoring?   Eye testing?   Other tests required by your breed society?    Would this "experienced breeder" advise you upon the best lines that you should be looking for when choosing a stud - or is it that she just happens to have a stud dog of the same breed?

Please read the responses here without getting angry and defensive - of course all breeders have to start somewhere - and good breeders (remember this is called Champdogs Forum) research their breed very carefully, find a mentor who can give sound advice before starting to breed."


Incidentally the last bit of that other post is very valid, unfortunately however, because of the way such threads go, the original poster will tend to get angry and defensive because they take (quite rightly) most posts as a personal criticism of them. They then disappear (has anyone seen Derbylou since ?) and an opportunity to educate and inform is lost.

Perhaps in this digital age if they hadn't have been scared off they could have found their mentor amongst the members at Champdogs ?

Do this correctly and you could create a quality reference thread than can be used in a non-specific and non-judgemental way to be shown to any similar new poster. Of course most of them will still disappear if they don't like what they read, but you never know the odd one might just stay around and learn from the considerable knowledge that the forum members here have.

You can say what you like to me in this thread and I won't take it personally, but if your argument doesn't stand up to scrutiny I will certainly let you know and hope you won't take my responses personally either.

I assume you missed the smiley when I mentioned "making me cry". Nothing will be skewed here, only "I agree" and off topic posts will be removed.
- By MamaBas Date 02.02.15 13:26 GMT Edited 02.02.15 13:35 GMT
I do have to say there were aspects of the post that was removed that to me, I'd whole-heartedly agree with.   Especially the point about being committed to a breed extending to wanting to become MORE involved - breeding.   The one off litter surely isn't necessary.   Most reputable breeders start breeding because having become involved in their chosen breed, they not only get to the point that they may like to have something they've bred themselves to take into the ring, they want to 'give back' to the breed and establish a recognisably good bloodline.

Pity this particular comment was removed :roll:   I thought this was a 'forum'?

ps    I don't know you Mark, so can't comment on why you should or shouldn't breed a litter.  Just to say in general terms not only is it not necessary for a bitch to HAVE a litter, but at least if the breeder has an interest in their breed to the point they want to become more involved, chances are they will be breeding to produce good quality stock, improving with every generation.   A one off?  Hum.   There are always exceptions and I'm sure you are one, but far too many people out there breed their bitch once 'so the kids can experience the joy of birth' - not to mention the tragedy of death if it all goes pear-shaped.   And if I remember the OP, this was about buying a puppy bitch with the express intention to breed her.   That would put me off as a retired breeder, right there.
- By MarkR Date 02.02.15 14:08 GMT Upvotes 2
Goldmali an excellent reply and one that it is difficult to pick fault with.

So it is important before you breed you need to know about dogs in general and also have extra knowledge of the particular breed.

I have owned dogs for 20 years and my wife has had a dog virtually all of her life. And fortunately in this hypothetical example we already own the breed I have chosen and it is also one of the most popular breeds.

Your point about not all dogs being as easy as each other is a very good one and one I suspect a number of people would not consider.

I always find there is an element of poetic justice when the smug person with the perfect first baby has the nightmare second child.
- By MarkR Date 02.02.15 14:48 GMT Upvotes 1
The only post I am aware of which was removed from the thread in question was moved in its entirety to my original post in this thread. You may be referencing a different post in a different thread. In order to keep this thread on topic please send me a PM if you want any further clarification.

I am not (hypothetically or otherwise) wanting to breed in order to take a dog into the ring nor establish a bloodline. And it is likely to be a one-off litter, does that mean I shouldn't do it ?

Interesting that you say you don't know me so you can't comment on whether I should or shouldn't breed. That doesn't usually stop people giving their opinion and nor should it. If I didn't want hear yours (and others opinions) I wouldn't have asked a question on a public forum.

However I actually think you are right, you don't yet know enough about me to make a judgement. At the start of this thread you didn't know how long I had owned a dog, nor the fact I was married and my wife has had dogs all her life, but now after reading my response to Goldmali's post you do. Maybe if I am not frightened away and stay around longer I might open up enough for you to make a decision about me.

I agree it is worth highlighting that it is a myth about a bitch needing to have a litter, however that is also not one of my reasons for wanting this litter. 

I have also always thought one of the benefits of giving children pets is so that they learn to deal with the nastier things in life such as death (otherwise just what is the point of Guinea Pigs ?)
- By roscoebabe [gb] Date 02.02.15 16:01 GMT Upvotes 3

> I am not (hypothetically or otherwise) wanting to breed in order to take a dog into the ring nor establish a bloodline. And it is likely to be a one-off litter, does that mean I shouldn't do it ?<br />


I would ask why you want to breed a "one off" litter?.
What do you wish to achieve from producing puppies?  Do you believe it would be beneficial to your bitch? Whether you are a first time owner or owned dogs all your life does not make an awful lot of difference really. It's the reason why that matters.
- By MarkR Date 02.02.15 16:24 GMT

> I would ask why you want to breed a "one off" litter?.


I have a few reasons, one of them is that my brother has always liked my dog and he is now in a position to have one of his own. I know he will give it a great home.

>What do you wish to achieve from producing puppies?  Do you believe it would be beneficial to your bitch?


No, but but I don't believe it will be detrimental to her either. She is in good health and not too old or young.

>Whether you are a first time owner or owned dogs all your life does not make an awful lot of difference really.


I disagree and agree with Goldmali - "This is because breeding a litter doesn't just require the knowledge to mate and whelp the bitch and rear the pups, it also requires a LOT of general dog knowledge and a fair bit of breed related knowledge, so that as a good breeder you will be able to decide whether the people enquiring about your pups are right for them or not, and then after the sale be there with help and advice for all your puppy buyers at any point of their puppy's life. Somebody breeding a litter from their first ever dog (which has become common these days) are unlikely to have that knowledge."

>It's the reason why that matters.


Is it ? Care to tell me why ?
- By dogs a babe Date 02.02.15 16:32 GMT Upvotes 6

> I have taken it upon myself to answer as if I were the original poster.


In truth - you cannot answer as another person.  Your thoughts and your opinions will be based on your own experience as a dog owner, but also as admin/moderator of this forum.  However, that aside there are still a few points which are going to make this a difficult topic to address effectively

1) You've started the thread as a negative question - i.e. why should I NOT breed.  If you ask a negative question you're going to get negative responses - you've actually asked people to tell you all the reasons why not.  Now I appreciate this is semantics but it's often as good a place as any to start.  If one is asking for specific information then it pays to frame the question carefully.  Even more so if it is a loaded question...
2) "Why shouldn't I breed a litter of puppies" is quite a different question to the OP's question which seemed more to do with "Why are breeders reluctant to sell me a puppy if I say I want to breed"
2)  Once you've accused some of your audience of bullying behaviour you're limiting the number of people prepared to join in and, as someone else has mentioned, you are in danger of skewing the results. If you feel strongly that some individuals are bullying then surely they should be challenged directly, if necessary.  I must admit it feels a little as though you are asking us to pillory the poster you have picked out.  Although we might not recall or know who they are, they will know they are being targeted for negative attention. 
3)  I'd rather stick to the original post, and question.  Pulling elements of the discussion into a new thread does mean that some of the original meaning gets lost and I'm less motivated to join in a vague catch all discussion.  I didn't get round to the original question before you locked it but would prefer to talk to the OP direct as it's likely they might not realise that this new thread is even relevant to them.  Sticking it in as a 'controversial' topic also implies that you don't have high expectations of our ability to answer!
- By roscoebabe [gb] Date 02.02.15 16:56 GMT

> I have a few reasons, one of them is that my brother has always liked my dog and he is now in a position to have one of his own. I know he will give it a great home.<br />


But that would only be one puppy out of a litter of 3-4 or 6-8. What would you do with the other puppies? would you be prepared to keep them should good homes not be available?


No, but but I don't believe it will be detrimental to her either. She is in good health and not too old or young.<br />

Bitches can have real problems having puppies. You could lose both the bitch and her puppies even if you sought vet help quickly. Being in good health is no guarantee that you will have a live bitch and puppies at the end of the day.

> I disagree and agree with Goldmali - <code>"This is because breeding a litter doesn't just require the knowledge to mate and whelp the bitch and rear the pups, it also requires a LOT of general dog knowledge and a fair bit of breed related knowledge, so that as a good breeder you will be able to decide whether the people enquiring about your pups are right for them or not, and then after the sale be there with help and advice for all your puppy buyers at any point of their puppy's life. Somebody breeding a litter from their first ever dog (which has become common these days) are unlikely to have that knowledge."</code><br />


A lot of people will breed without any knowledge. Bitches will have puppies regardless of the owners knowledge. Some of those bitches will suffer, some of the puppies will suffer and some will sail through the whole thing without a care in the world.

>> It's the reason why that matters.<br />Is it ? Care to tell me why ?


If you have a great bitch, in great condition and with good health test results and you (and breed experts) believe that a litter will add to your breed and you have done your research then I think that is a valid reason to go ahead. If on the other hand your bitch is just a great family pet, lovely little girl but no show stopper, no health testing done and may have faults either obvious or hidden from an untrained eye, then I do not see why anyone would want to put their bitch through the whole breeding process. And I have never come across a single byb who owned up to breeding for the money but that is what they do. Would you want to be classed as a byb?
- By MarkR Date 02.02.15 17:10 GMT
I agree I can not answer as another person. But what I have actually done so far in this thread is to consider what would happen if I did decide I fancied breeding a litter and answer accordingly.

Of course I could have started the thread with a positive question, but I knew I would have been met with posts telling me not to breed, so I just thought I would point the thread in the correct direction in the first place :)

Anyone is free to join in the discussion and I admire and respect all those posters who have already contributed. And far from asking you to pillory the poster of the post I originally highlighted , I am actually asking you take a shot at me. Shoot me and my arguments down in flames if you can. As I said before, do it right and there will be a valuable resource which can be used in future to be shown to anyone who considering breeding a litter.

In regards to the original post and question, the question the poster actually had already been answered and unlike me the original poster didn't ask for an opinion on whether they should breed or not. But if past experience is anything to go by they sure as hell were going to get one.

I do however think the question regarding suitability to breed should be answered, but not by a (virtually) defenceless newcomer to the forum, because they will invariably leave before the discussion has reached its conclusion. This is why I have put myself up to take on the might of the forum although I am happy for anyone to join in my side if they wish to do so :grin:
- By MarkR Date 02.02.15 17:33 GMT

> But that would only be one puppy out of a litter of 3-4 or 6-8. What would you do with the other puppies? would you be prepared to keep them should good homes not be available?


Not a lot of difference to the "I only breed when I want a dog for the show ring" line I often see posted on Champdogs, what do those breeders do with the other puppies ?

>Bitches can have real problems having puppies. You could lose both the bitch and her puppies even if you sought vet help quickly. Being in good health is no guarantee that you will have a live bitch and puppies at the end of the day.


So could you, does that stop you breeding ?

>If you have a great bitch, in great condition and with good health test results and you (and breed experts) believe that a litter will add to your breed and you have done your research then I think that is a valid reason to go ahead. If on the other hand your bitch is just a great family pet, lovely little girl but no show stopper, no health testing done and may have faults either obvious or hidden from an untrained eye, then I do not see why anyone would want to put their bitch through the whole breeding process.


I am sure all animals have faults in some way shape of form, if you take that to its logical conclusion then are there any dogs really fit to be bred from ?

>And I have never come across a single byb who owned up to breeding for the money but that is what they do. Would you want to be classed as a byb?


Who mentioned money ?
I didn't

I can see that you consider pregnancy to be a risky business and I understand the gist of your post to be it is not worth the risk unless you have good reason. Are there any figures published regarding mortality rates in pregnant dogs and is a canine pregnancy any more risky than a human one for example ?
- By Brainless [gb] Date 02.02.15 19:25 GMT Edited 02.02.15 21:58 GMT Upvotes 1
Well I always planned to breed, and told my breeders this when looking for a puppy.

I had previously been involved with showing and breeding small livestock (Rabbits) and intended to show my pup.

My first dog (different breed to that which I now have) was shown, but things in my life changed and also I and the breeder learnt by accident that the the litter brother of the dam of my bitch had epilepsy and the sister to mine also had it, so I had her spayed.

She sadly she died young at 3 1/2, and I wanted a breed better suited to my family situation and temperament.

The breeder of my foundation bitch in the breed I have owned for the last 23 years was more than happy to mentor me if I decided to breed, as was the owner of the sire (both were doyennes of the breed with 30+ years experience).

So when I am approached by owners who may consider breeding I tell them what is expected of a responsible breeder, not do not go on to breed.  Those who do have usually first shown their bitches and they have their hands held through the whole experience.  This includes finding suitable homes for the puppies with having more experience vetting.

I do have a numerically small breed, and we desperately need new enthusiasts and breeders.

You can never tell which puppy owners will become seriously involved in your breed for their betterment or for the breed clubs continuance.

One of mine only ever wanted a pet, started showing the dog when it was adult and made up a champion.  they then had a bitch from a fellow breeder who also did well, including BOB at Crufts.  They never went onto breed but the husband is now judging, and judged our national breed club Open show last year.  if it hadn't been for some health issues I am sure he would be judging a lot more.

Of my puppy buyers three have gone on to become breeders, one waited a long time, eventually buying in a bitch from a male she had from me, after having two others before him and one after, and bred her first champion in her first litter. All three have now bred a couple of generations.
- By Brainless [gb] Date 02.02.15 20:27 GMT Upvotes 2

> I am not (hypothetically or otherwise) wanting to breed in order to take a dog into the ring nor establish a bloodline. And it is likely to be a one-off litter, does that mean I shouldn't do it ?


If we accept that there are to many dogs bred for the good homes available then I would say you should not if it is a breed that is already over popular, with a rescue problem and has no shortage of breeders committed to the breed, to take the breed forward, as your pups would add nothing to improving/maintaining the breed.

On the other hand if your working in conjunction say with the stud dog owner or the bitches breeder and they will be placing some of the pups in homes where they may go on to make a contribution to the breed then maybe, but I would expect to be reassured that your interest in the pups welfare would extend for their lifetime.

I'd be more inclined to encourage an owner of a pet male to have their dog seen and perhaps used in a breeders breeding program.
- By MarkR Date 03.02.15 08:39 GMT
Brainless thanks for your reply.

The breed I have chosen is popular and I assume there will be plenty of this breed in rescue centres. However I am not sure why should this prevent me from having a litter if I wish to do so ?

I also don't understand what you mean when you say "your pups would add nothing to improving/maintaining the breed". Both parents are nice dogs and look and behave like typical dogs of this breed so I fully expect these puppies to have similar attributes. I am aware of the hereditary conditions which can be tested for in this breed (there are 5 plus hips and elbows) so if the test results come back as hoped for then the puppies will be as healthy as I can ensure.
- By roscoebabe [gb] Date 03.02.15 10:56 GMT

> Not a lot of difference to the "I only breed when I want a dog for the show ring" line I often see posted on Champdogs, what do those breeders do with the other puppies ?<br />


Because these breeders are involved in the show world you will usually find most if not all of a well bred litter will be spoken for before they are even on the ground.

So could you, would that stop you breeding?

If the mortality rate was as high in women in pregnancy and birth as it is in dogs there would be uproar. Bitches cannot tell you anything is wrong or does not feel right. They do not have the antenatal care that women do and because they have a uterus that is y shaped problems can and do develop at an alarming speed.

> I am sure all animals have faults in some way shape of form, if you take that to its logical conclusion then are there any dogs really fit to be bred from ?


Yes there are many breeds that are bred to work, have a purpose, are fit and healthy and excellent example of the breed. The breeders work hard to ensure that they produce the best they possibly can.

> Who mentioned money ?<br />I didn't<br />


As a one off litter you are unlikely to have homes lined up for all of them with friends. Some will drop out and you will be left with puppies if it is a big litter. You then have to keep them all (good luck) or advertise them. Now if you care what happens to them you would not advertise them free to good home, Trust me on this one you would have all manner of folk turning up promising that puppy will have a great home. They will say anything they think you want to hear just to get their hands on a free puppy. So money has to come into the frame.

> I can see that you consider pregnancy to be a risky business and I understand the gist of your post to be it is not worth the risk unless you have good reason. Are there any figures published regarding mortality rates in pregnant dogs and is a canine pregnancy any more risky than a human one for example ?


Now there you have me.lol. No doubt there is data available but you would need someone a bit more computer savvy than me to find it.
- By tooolz Date 03.02.15 11:17 GMT Upvotes 1
In many breed populations, even in so called 'popular' breeds, there is quite a lack of genetic diversity ..so there is an argument for you to breed your non show dogs if they are proven healthy examples. There are pitfalls of course....
Without a reputation for producing typical and healthy stock you would be offering your litter to market 'cold' so to speak.
With that in mind, and lacking the hard won experience of what can go wrong, you are less likely to ultimately end up with the owners you would truly wish for.
I've seen this so often with first time breeders especially with sizable litters. They need to advertise and sift through those who respond ..all with little or no experience of doing this...all the while the pups are growing. I've watched them start to let go of their original ideals.

We all have to start somewhere and experience is often achieved the hard way.
- By MarkR Date 03.02.15 12:13 GMT

> If the mortality rate was as high in women in pregnancy and birth as it is in dogs there would be uproar. Bitches cannot tell you anything is wrong or does not feel right. They do not have the antenatal care that women do and because they have a uterus that is y shaped problems can and do develop at an alarming speed.


So it would appear that risk of death is one of the biggest issues. It would be nice to get some figures so a comparison between dogs and humans could be shown. I have found a report that suggests the mortality rate in humans in the UK is 8 in 100,000, but so far have not found any figures for dogs. If the mortality rate for dogs was say 8 in 1000 i.e a dog is 100 times more likely to die during pregnancy than a human then that would make quite a compelling reason for not breeding.

Can anyone find any figures or perhaps make an educated guess based on their experience ?
- By MarkR Date 03.02.15 12:30 GMT Upvotes 3

> In many breed populations, even in so called 'popular' breeds, there is quite a lack of genetic diversity ..so there is an argument for you to breed your non show dogs if they are proven healthy examples.


Some support at last :)

Despite not being active in either showing or working my dogs I am confident I will be able find good homes for all the puppies even if it is a big litter.

I know a very good website which will allow me to list my proposed litter 8 weeks before it is due to be born and as well as the 15,000 daily visitors they also have over 500 people on the waiting list for my particular breed. I am sure with some assistance I will be able to find 8 or 10 suitable homes from all those people.

Being new to this I know I won't necessarily know everything to watch out for but I am sure I can draw on the assistance of forum members to help me choose the best homes (but that can wait for another thread).

"A wise man learns from his mistakes, a very wise man learns from the mistakes of others"
- By tooolz Date 03.02.15 12:46 GMT Upvotes 3

>Despite not being active in either showing or working my dogs I am confident I will be able find good homes for all the puppies even if it is a big litter.


Ah youthful enthusiasm!

Yes there are useful sites and from time to time I advertise one puppy if it doesn't fit the criteria of my waiting clients.
To sell 8-10 to perfect strangers with no fellow breeder references to fall back on is a daunting task.

When you have never bred a litter before you have no idea how many requests you will get and with 9 still to sell say....nerves kick in, deposits asked for, promises made and second thoughts creep in...will they sell.....was that family with the screaming kids quite SO bad?

We see it time and time again on this forum...." I've taken a deposit and now I'm having second thoughts...is it legally binding". " I thought it was such a nice home, they sounded lovely on the phone"

My stock answer when I'm approached for a puppy by a total stranger is NO....then ...if they can provide references, commit to visiting no matter the distance..and grow on me..then I may change my mind.

Yes we all have to start somewhere and some pups and owners will suffer along the way I'm sure. A lot to be said for embracing the Doggie Network out there in whatever sphere floats your boat..They may help you in so many ways.
- By Brainless [gb] Date 03.02.15 13:34 GMT Edited 03.02.15 13:42 GMT

> I also don't understand what you mean when you say "your pups would add nothing to improving/maintaining the breed".


As you say you are not actively involved in your breed and are not interested in starting/maintaining a line, you are very unlikely to be able to place the best puppies in homes where they will contribute to the betterment of the breed gene pool, unless as I suggested you are going to be working under the umbrella of an established breeder who can try to place some of the litter where they will be useful to the breed.

You haven't yet convinced me that you will have the knowledge to properly be a support to your puppy buyers and there for the lifetime of the puppies, or that without mentorship you will be able to home the pups successfully.

My personal experience has been that I have far fewer puppies come unstuck and need to be re-homed that when I bred my first litters, do my vetting of potential new owners has probably improved, as being a known factor within the breed so more serious owners are likely to seek me out.
- By Brainless [gb] Date 03.02.15 13:41 GMT

> Some support at last :)<br />


Oi :lol: I was supporting if you were going to take full responsibility and realised that breeding is to just about your litter but the breed and every litter should be bred with the hopes that some members will make a contribution to the breeds future.

In a climate where breeders are under constant attack for breeding when there are homeless dogs, (many of the supposed pedigree ones will be from such one off litters) breeding just 'because' seems not something an e5thical person would encourage.

On the other hand I am desperate to encourage new bred custodians in my breed where in 20 years our annual registrations have fallen by 2/34rds.
- By MarkR Date 03.02.15 14:38 GMT Upvotes 1

> you are very unlikely to be able to place the best puppies in homes where they will contribute to the betterment of the breed gene pool


If I understand what you are saying correctly, then I would agree with you. However I don't believe by breeding these puppies it will be detrimental to the breed gene pool and tooolz has said she can see how it might be of benefit.

> You haven't yet convinced me that you will have the knowledge to properly be a support to your puppy buyers and there for the lifetime of the puppies


I have already said I have 20 years of dog ownership, my wife has 40 years as do each of her 3 sisters and her parents even more than that. I reckon between us we have a fair amount of knowledge. I also have access to the internet where I can draw upon hundreds of thousands of years of collective knowledge if there is a question I don't know the answer to.

> or that without mentorship you will be able to home the pups successfully


I have common sense, I can read people pretty well and I am sure there plenty of capable forum members who can advise of the things to look out for (think of yourselves as a collective mentor).

> My personal experience has been that I have far fewer puppies come unstuck and need to be re-homed that when I bred my first litters, so my vetting of potential new owners has probably improved


You are obviously wise because you have learnt from your mistakes. I intend to use this forum to be very wise and learn from your mistakes as well.
- By MarkR Date 03.02.15 14:48 GMT Edited 03.02.15 17:23 GMT

> Oi :lol: I was supporting if you were going to take full responsibility and realised that breeding is to just about your litter but the breed and every litter should be bred with the hopes that some members will make a contribution to the breeds future.


I know but I think I would fall down (in your eyes) at the bit about making a contribution to the breeds future.

> In a climate where breeders are under constant attack for breeding when there are homeless dogs, (many of the supposed pedigree ones will be from such one off litters) breeding just 'because' seems not something an ethical person would encourage.


Perfectly valid point. However given that I am not just breeding 'because' should I be penalised for others' mistakes ?

> On the other hand I am desperate to encourage new bred custodians in my breed where in 20 years our annual registrations have fallen by 2/34rds.


The popularity of different breeds comes and goes. However taking a critical look at your own specific breed, do you think that might be in any way due to a reluctance of the "breed custodians" to welcome new blood (meaning owners rather dogs) into the breed at some point in the past.
- By MarkR Date 03.02.15 15:45 GMT

> When you have never bred a litter before you have no idea how many requests you will get and with 9 still to sell say....nerves kick in, deposits asked for, promises made and second thoughts creep in...will they sell.....was that family with the screaming kids quite SO bad? We see it time and time again on this forum...." I've taken a deposit and now I'm having second thoughts...is it legally binding". " I thought it was such a nice home, they sounded lovely on the phone"


I see those deposit threads and think that taking a deposit would be a definite no no with me. A search for "vetting" on the forum brings back lots of threads on the vetting process and our very Merlot has written a piece for the champdogs blog - http://www.champdogs.co.uk/blog/hints-and-tips-for-interviewing-new-puppy-buyers so there is plenty of information to read and digest on the subject as it is obviously a very important part of the whole process.

> A lot to be said for embracing the Doggie Network out there in whatever sphere floats your boat


Exactly. I am not really one for sitting down in a cold sports hall watching dogs parade up and down nor standing outside in all weathers waiting for a dog to bring back a bird someone has shot. But at home in the warmth on t'internet doing my research on sites like this, that will do nicely.
- By darwinawards Date 03.02.15 15:57 GMT Upvotes 3
I have a very popular breed. So popular that the puppy farmers and back yard breeders rub their hands all the way to their very fat bank account.

Would I mentor someone having one litter? Yes I would, to ensure that both bitch, puppies, owner and new parents were given the very best support and to hopefully stop at least one more litter being pushed out of the puppy farm factory line...

Backyard breeders and puppy farmers have, in my opinion, very little concern for the welfare of their dogs or puppies and no thought for conformation and type. They dilute the gene pool with health and temperament issues and sell puppies to completely unsuitable homes. They never seek to improve or educate and cannot see past the big fat cheque.

There are not enough "reputable" breeders to cope with the demand created by such popularity and many owners will not wait several months for what we deem to be the "perfect puppy" and so the puppy farms continue to dilute our breed with the "supermarket" style of production that you can see on every "puppy for sale" website. I think anyone with the right attitude and the right support can potentially produce a credible litter. Is this not the best compromise and alternative to what I see happening at present?

But, in complete honesty and being completely hypocritical, would I sell to someone who may want just one litter in the future? Probably not. There is no shortage of amazing prospective parents out there looking for a wonderful companion. I have spent several years creating a stunning line and an excellent reputation. Do I want to risk my kennel name being lost or diluted through generations of poor breeding once I lift an endorsement?
- By tooolz Date 03.02.15 17:11 GMT Upvotes 3
This is all very pertinent to my situation at the moment.

I am mentoring someone through her first litter, watching her go through the selling stage and am cringing at the people she feels may be suitable.
She is learning by this process, she listens and will make a good breeder of dogs and mentor herself one day.

The point about the commercial breeders taking up the slack left by breeders who don't want to supply the market is a very valid one.....so many people in my breed casting around looking for a fully health tested line of dogs to buy into....yet so few reputable people producing them.
During many such calls it really strikes me just how difficult it is to source the right puppy.

Do I want to step up production? No...
- By MarkR Date 03.02.15 18:04 GMT Upvotes 1
It is extremely refreshing to read in the last two posts an acknowledgement that it doesn't necessarily have to be "my way or the highway" when it comes to breeding.

I don't actually think it would be hypocritical to support and mentor someone who wanted a "one off" litter but also not feel able to sell them one of your own puppies.

If you have dedicated time and energy striving for perfection with your own particular breeding line then I can fully understand the need to want to protect it and only allow like minded people the opportunity to breed from one of your offspring.
- By Brainless [gb] Date 03.02.15 18:02 GMT

> To sell 8-10 to perfect strangers with no fellow breeder references to fall back on is a daunting task.<br />


Takes all the pleasure away from rearing a litter if you have not got homes lined up for most of them before they are born.

I must say thanks to repeat buyers and my own website I usually have quite a list of potential owners before the litter arrives.

Having got to know the people over the weeks and months, when the pups arrive, I am quite happy to take a 10% deposit from those who say they want to go ahead, try to assuage the others disappointment by putting them in touch with an alternative breeder.
- By Brainless [gb] Date 03.02.15 18:08 GMT Edited 03.02.15 18:17 GMT

> However I don't believe by breeding these puppies it will be detrimental to the breed gene pool


I'm not saying they would be detrimental, only that unless they go on to be added to the gene pool by a knowledgeable breeder They are very unlikely to be of benefit.

With the breed already readily available and overbred then with breeding full stop having a very negative image due to the number of dogs in rescue, you do need a definite justifiable reason to breed.

I know we should not forever be having to justify breeding when we do things properly and take full responsibility for the lives produced, but such is our society and the strength of the anti breeder feeling.
- By MarkR Date 03.02.15 18:28 GMT Upvotes 1

> They are very unlikely to be of benefit.


Can you define what you mean by "of benefit", because I think this actually a crucial part of this debate ?

I will pick upon two previous quotes in this thread (one from yourself) which I think show why my litter would be "of benefit"

There are not enough "reputable" breeders to cope with the demand created by such popularity and many owners will not wait several months for what we deem to be the "perfect puppy" and so the puppy farms continue to dilute our breed with the "supermarket" style of production that you can see on every "puppy for sale" website. I think anyone with the right attitude and the right support can potentially produce a credible litter. Is this not the best compromise and alternative to what I see happening at present?

I might not be rearing a litter of puppies able to compete with darwinawards' dogs in the show ring, but it would more than likely be better bred than the puppy farm litters.

On the other hand I am desperate to encourage new bred custodians in my breed where in 20 years our annual registrations have fallen by 2/34rds

If my litter was in your breed then it would increase your registration numbers.
- By Brainless [gb] Date 03.02.15 18:29 GMT Edited 03.02.15 18:34 GMT

> do you think that might be in any way due to a reluctance of the "breed custodians" to welcome new blood (meaning owners rather dogs) into the breed at some point in the past.


In my experience the established breeders in my breed are very encouraging to newcomers, and will help those they take under their wing as much as possible.

Actually no the breed has never been numerous, (close to 400 registrations at their peak and sadly some of those were puppy farmed, and caused a need for a rescue to be set up) and since the 1980's when other Spitz breeds (Akita's and Husky's mainly) that have had more public exposure, and sadly a huge rescue problem, numbers have reduced.

Because the core breed enthusiasts as a community have been wholeheartedly behind health testing and responsibility, with nothing less being acceptable,  this has also caused many people to be put off breeding as the tests are expensive and many people do not feel they can make the commitment lifelong to the puppies, once made aware of what is expected from a breeder.

No-one should breed if they cannot make such a commitment, but that is exactly what so many one off breeders want to do, breed and move on.

The numbers being bred have halved since the prcd-PRA was identified.  Now we are just getting a test for Glaucoma any day.  So to health test a dog/bitch of my breed you may need to Hip Score, Eye test, DNA test with Optigen and also with Genescoper, these tests could; easily set you back £500+.

We have a huge lack of potential studs to use as very few male owners are prepared to shell out those sort of costs jut on the possibility their dog will be used, and even those used will only be used a handful of times at most.

We have lost a lot of breeders in the last 20 years to attrition.  Most of them had more facilities than most modern breeders who breed from a standard home, and used to breed several litters a year.  New breeders at most breed a litter a year, many les with having to fit this in with the rest of their lives.
- By Brainless [gb] Date 03.02.15 18:38 GMT

> If my litter was in your breed then it would increase your registration numbers


It's no use having lovely pet puppies out there that are not health tested, and other breeders will never see, the pups breeder is unlikely to be able to use them themselves.

I am sure there are some super pups out there, but what we have to choose from when breeding is limited to what we get to see, and what has been health tested.
- By Brainless [gb] Date 03.02.15 18:46 GMT
Most puppies in any litter go to pet homes, but when planning that litter I would be looking for at least one/some of that litter possibly being of benefit to the gene pool by being used in a breeding program by someone breeding to maintain the standard and health of the breed.

As breeding takes so much time, money and responsibility, then there should be something tangibly useful from the effort.
- By Brainless [gb] Date 03.02.15 18:55 GMT
My comments apply to exploited numerically strong breeds. 

As already said I would mentor a one off breeder in my own breed helping to home pups with the hope that some would be added to the gene pool as we are desperate for new young stock for future breeding. 

So many of us have to regularly travel abroad or import at great cost to keep things going.
- By MarkR Date 03.02.15 19:03 GMT

> It's no use having lovely pet puppies out there that are not health tested, and other breeders will never see, the pups breeder is unlikely to be able to use them themselves.


There have been very few assumptions made in this thread so far, but you have just made the assumption that this litter will not have been health tested despite me stating earlier it would be.

> I am sure there are some super pups out there, but what we have to choose from when breeding is limited to what we get to see, and what has been health tested.


If you have a genuine concern for the gene pool drying up then maybe you and your fellow breeders need to take a different approach. If you feel there are super pups out there, then why not go and find them instead of expecting them to come to you in the show ring. You will know who bred them and they will know who they were sold to. And if you do find a suitable dog to use which isn't health tested then why not get it tested yourself.

I have also hypothetically offered to breed a litter of pups for your breed and you have in your last couple of posts basically told me not to bother because my litter will be of no use to you. That is not overly welcoming to new potential blood.
- By Brainless [gb] Date 03.02.15 19:19 GMT

> There have been very few assumptions made in this thread so far, but you have just made the assumption that this litter will not have been health tested despite me stating earlier it would be.<br />


Sorry you have misunderstood, I was referring to the puppies produced will not be health tested and available for use within the gene pool as they will most likely all go to purely pet homes, as you won't be breeding with the intention of producing or including your pups in a breeding plan.

Especially in numerically small breeds breeders are aware of what others in the breed are doing and where their potential pups may be able to fit in.

The MYKC feature for breeders is a useful tool as you can see at a glance how often a dog has been used how many of his offspring have been bred from etc, so trying to avoid too much use of any dog or line. 

This is not available to the pet owner using mate select I don't think???
- By Brainless [gb] Date 03.02.15 19:31 GMT

> You will know who bred them and they will know who they were sold to.


It's a bit unrealistic, the new owner may not welcome the intrusion, even with facebook where a lot of our pet owners join in, you rarely get a decent picture of peoples pets, have no way to assess temperament, and even after health testing the dog may be found unsuitable. 

If my own experience is anything to go by, so many of the pet homed males have been castrated before they are mature enough to be assessed as of interest.

That's a lot of financial outlay, then you have the situation of trying to use a maiden dog who may well not perform, having been discouraged from showing sexual behaviour.  Also many owners feel their dog may be less of a pet if bred from. 

This approach seems to work for breeders in Australia where the gene pool is even smaller, as they will collect semen and do AI, and also they do not tend to health test, so the only cost is the AI.

I have asked for males I have bred to be available but in time found the dog was castrated or the owners didn't want to have him used even if I paid for the testing. 

I have even approached a new exhibitor with interest in their young male in future, but they don't want to have him used in case it makes him dog aggressive.

I have hopes that a male I bred may be left entire long enough for me to use him if suitable but it might not be for another couple of year san the owners may not then be willing.

Generally with so many possible stumbling blocks re use of pet homed dogs, it's a lot less daunting to use a known stud abroad.
- By tooolz Date 03.02.15 19:50 GMT Upvotes 1

>I might not be rearing a litter of puppies able to compete with darwinawards' dogs in the show ring, but it would more than likely be better bred than the puppy farm litters.


The fact that you care for your dogs and treat them with love and attention immediately takes you into another class.....I may not want to buy one of your puppies but I'd applaud you for their ethical treatment.
- By MarkR Date 03.02.15 19:52 GMT Edited 03.02.15 21:15 GMT Upvotes 1
Brainless it would appear this topic is worthy a discussion in its own right. To avoid taking the original topic too far of track I will take the pertinent points and create a separate thread for discussion.

New topic : How to improve diversification in a numerically small breed
- By Tommee Date 03.02.15 20:13 GMT Upvotes 1
I would never buy a "pet" bred puppy, my breed is very popular & 1,000s are bred from pets every year, however I look for a dog that is(in KC terms "fit for purpose" not just physically( i.e. health tested), but mentally & the only way with my breed is for the parents to work & come from known working producing bloodlines. By working I do not mean KC activities but the work the breed is meant to do.

If you had my breed & wanted to breed a litter, the health testing is expensive, well over £400 per dog if the parents are not fully DNA tested & for real working dogs, even if the parents are DNA tested normal, the puppies must also be DNA tested, unless parental DNA testing has been done. I have yet to come across any pure pet breeders who fully health test their dogs & most don't even do the very basic tests.
So should you breed a litter from your pet bitch ? Will it improve the breed ? Or will she produce good working dogs ? Have you the facilities to take back every puppy from the litter should the new owners no longer want them or cannot keep them at any age ? If the answer is no to any of these then you should not be breeding a litter.
- By MarkR Date 03.02.15 20:49 GMT
Tommee, having seen your occupation your requirements in a dog are different from the majority of the population. And therefore having vetted you with the help of my mentors on here I would deem you not suitable for one of my puppies. :grin: (I feel I should state that is a joke just in case it is taken the wrong way)

The reality is the majority of dog owners do not actually need a dog that is capable of doing the job it was originally bred for. They just need a dog that is healthy, has a good temperament and that they can walk round the park each day.

In my example the money is not an issue, my dogs already cost me a fortune in food, vets bills and the like so what is a few more quid on health tests. All appropriate tests will be done prior to mating.

> Will it improve the breed ?


This question keeps coming up. So what exactly do you mean when you ask that ?
- By Tommee Date 03.02.15 21:33 GMT
To produce offspring that are better than the parents in health, type & ability. For example every breeder should aim at producing puppies without HD(0:0=0 score with perfect pelvic construction)

You wouldn't get the chance to turn me down as I would never consider your puppies anyway:wink:

As to having spent lots of money on vet bills<~~~~~another reason you shouldn't breed from a bitch that required so much veterinary treatment !
- By MarkR Date 03.02.15 22:09 GMT

> To produce offspring that are better than the parents in health, type & ability. For example every breeder should aim at producing puppies without HD(0:0=0 score with perfect pelvic construction)


With regards to health, my dog is clear of all known hereditary conditions and I will choose an appropriate stud dog such that all the puppies will also be clear. Hips and elbows are a less exact science so there can be no guarantees.   

When you say "type" can I take it you mean adhering to the breed standard ?

Forgive my slightly naive question, but in an ideal world would all dogs of the same breed look identical and be exactly as described by the breed standard ?

Regarding ability, although my dog is a working dog, in my opinion for the potential puppy buyers I have in mind the only real ability she needs is to be able to walk round the park without running away.

> As to having spent lots of money on vet bills<~~~~~another reason you shouldn't breed from a bitch that required so much veterinary treatment !


Touch wood, other than injections etc. she hasn't cost a penny so far. It's the other 2 dogs I own !
- By Jeangenie [gb] Date 03.02.15 22:10 GMT

>I might not be rearing a litter of puppies able to compete with darwinawards' dogs in the show ring,


Are you suggesting that the owners of the dogs should be removed from the gene pool, or the dogs in the showring themselves? After all, that's what the Darwin Awards are all about, and the positioning of the apostrophe suggests that you mean the owners.
- By MarkR Date 03.02.15 22:23 GMT

> Are you suggesting that the owners of the dogs should be removed from the gene pool, or the dogs in the showring themselves? After all, that's what the Darwin Awards are all about, and the positioning of the apostrophe suggests that you mean the owners.


Off topic post coming up.

I was referring to the dogs belonging to the poster named darwinawards. After I had posted I looked at what I had written and suspect I should have actually put darwinawards's dogs, but thought I would leave it as is. How was I to know a pedant would come along later :grin:

If you want to take this particular discussion further the Foo forum is perfect for discussion of non dog related topics such as the positioning of apostrophes and the hillarious subject that is the Darwin awards.
- By Jeangenie [gb] Date 03.02.15 22:32 GMT Edited 03.02.15 22:36 GMT Upvotes 1

>How was I to know a pedant would come along later :grin:


I've only been here for 13 years, after all .... :wink:

But as you were referring to a member the position was correct and it all makes sense. (y) Carry on. :cool:
- By Jeangenie [gb] Date 04.02.15 08:04 GMT Upvotes 1

>When you say "type" can I take it you mean adhering to the breed standard ?


Yes, because that is the 'blueprint' of the breed. In an ideal world a breeder would have access to previous incarnations of the standard and would be aware of changes (or not) over the decades.

>Forgive my slightly naive question, but in an ideal world would all dogs of the same breed look identical and be exactly as described by the breed standard ?


To many people they already do look identical; if you asked a 'Joe Public' to describe the differeneces between 10 black labradors, for example, I hazard a guess they'd have a hard time. Even in breeds with individual markings such as mine we get asked how we can tell the difference between them. However the standards all allow for differences between individuals to be equally correct, thus allowing for diversity.

>although my dog is a working dog, in my opinion for the potential puppy buyers I have in mind the only real ability she needs is to be able to walk round the park without running away.


So they don't need a dog of your particular breed or breeding, because that applies to the huge majority of pet owners whether they have a toy poodle or a border collie or a staffie. You'd still need to answer the question in your own mind of why your particular dog, out of all the others of its breed, should be bred from.
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