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So You Want to Become A Breeder

    No matter how you look at it, breeding PROPERLY is an expensive and time consuming business. Lots of people successfully manage to have a litter of mixed-breed puppies in their closet or perhaps under the bed, throwing them out in the garage or down in the basement when they grow to the smelly and active stage. The puppies are then given away at garage sales or perhaps to friends and acquaintances and are forgotten.

    This is NOT being a breeder.

   A breeder cares about the lives that they are responsible for bringing into this world.  A good breeder doesn't just throw any two dogs together and hope for the best...breedings are planned with careful regard to health, temperament, longevity and quality. More often than not a breeder won't use a local dog, or even one in their own kennel, but will rather go to the VERY BEST dog that they can find and afford.  A breeder studies pedigrees, and has knowledge, not just about the dogs that are being bred, but about the dogs in the background of those dogs for several generations.

   When the litter is born you will most likely find the good breeder taking vacation time.  Its funny that you will never hear good breeders talking about their cruises or trips to Europe (unless its to England to go see Crufts!).  Most breeders take their hard earned vacation time to babysit mom and puppies, or if none are expected to travel to dog shows to exhibit what they have produced.  Having a litter is constant laundry, paper changes and keeping a watchful eye.  It is imperative that a breeder quickly catch the puppy that isn't nursing as vigourously as its littermates, or the puppy who has caught a chill, or has become trapped behind Momma and can't find its way back to the "wet bar".

   What do you mean "vacation time", you ask? Don't professional breeders make a living from their dogs?   You will find that most caring breeders work full time to support their kennels, not the other way around. To raise a litter properly is usually a break-even proposition at best - and that is if all goes well. Sometimes there are horror stories - and some of the links below describe some of the possibilities that you may face.

   Breeding dogs is not as you see it on TV - pristine female with half a dozen happily nursing contented babies in a spotlessly clean box in the kitchen. The truth is your female will have bleeding for a few weeks after the puppies are born, as the sites where the placentas were attached heal. She will spot your floor, your carpets and if you aren't careful your couch. You will go through mountains of bedding - you will need to beg every person on your block to start saving you newspapers. Keeping the whelping box clean is very important, and an almost continuous job.

   Most breeds will need to have dewclaws removed at 3 days. So you will now need to pack up all the babies, keep them warm and truck off to the vet for this procedure, and if all went well with the delivery and a C-Section wasn't required - this is the beginning of the mounting vet bills.

   For the first 3 weeks Momma will feed the babies, but then it is necessary for you to begin the weaning process. Keep the mop handy to wipe up the floors as the babies track through the dishes more than eat the food for the first week.  Now it is also important to socialize the babies, to spend time one on one playing with them and teaching them interaction to make sure they are mentally fit to go to their new homes.  After 5 weeks of puppy feeding you'll feel you should own shares in your dog food company as you are sure that you have just paid off some monstrous bill for them.

   At 6 weeks you will need to have your vet give the puppies their first innoculations.  Unless you are fortunate enough to have a vet who makes house calls this means once again packing up all the babies in your vehicle for a trip to the vets office - only this time they are a lot bigger, can see what they're doing and don't want to stay in the box!

   At 8 weeks your little darlings are ready to leave the nest. Did you have reservations before you bred your litter?  If not you can add the expense of advertising to your costs.  In Canada the CKC requires breeders to individually identify each puppy before it leaves your premises by tattoo or microchip.  If you have decided you never want to do this again you won't bother to register a tattoo combination with the CKC so you'll use the microchips. Add to your costs - the costs of the microchips, and the cost for your vet to implant them.  Are you ready to screen potential buyers?  How are you going to keep tabs on these babies after they have left?  A responsible breeder is a 24 hour a day/7 day a week resource for the guardians of the lives they are responsible for bringing into the world.  Are you ready to make that commitment?  Are you knowledgable enough to talk to a purchaser intelligently about medical options they may have to chose between?  And are you strong enough to be there for support when the last difficult decision must be made?

   So now you are ready to add up your profits:

   Puppy #1 - the sale of this puppy covers the cost of the stud fee.

   Puppy #2 - the sale of this puppy covers the cost of the food the litter consumed.

   Puppy #3 - this puppy is sold to cover the vet bill (IF there were no complicaitons!)

    Puppy #4 - this puppy covers the cost of advertising to sell the puppies you didn't have reservations for.

    Puppy #5 - this puppy covers the incidentals - the microchips or tattooing equipment, the whelping box, pehaps the new linoleum to replace where they found a loose corner and ripped it back, Mom's health clearances prior to breeding, and if you are really lucky, maybe the cost of the registrations.

   Puppy #6 - well with any luck you are going to recoup the cost of purchasing mom!

   Puppy #7 - and lucky #7 will repay part of your costs of raising mom to breeding age, but probably not include your expenses to show her to her championship.

   So if you don't have 7 puppies - you have no hope of even breaking even on the litter - and remember these costs did not take into account any of the multitude of problems which could have occured.  Take the time to browse through the links below - they all explore the darker side of breeding - which, there but for fortune, may go you or I.

   Breeding is not a decision to be made lightly.  Be sure you have the commitment, the knowledge and the resources to take this on - because once the puppies are on their way there is no way to return your order for a refund.

   Links:



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Breeding/Breeder Information
This page is dedicated to the memory of Bbiach Velvet Beauty CD who's life would have been made only better if she had been bred by a breeder who cared about the genetic health of his/her dogs.

If you are considering breeding or purchasing your dog (do please consider rescuing a dog that already needs a good home), please throughly read ALL the links. If you do not have time to do that much, you do not have time for dogs. If you want a purebred puppy, please do right by him or her, yourself, and your family, choose a good dog from a good breeder. Please also see Choosing A Dog
 

Defining and Finding a Responsible Breeder Petshop Dogs, Puppy Mills, and Backyard Breeders Breeding your own dog, what you need to know
Be fully informed. Be part of the solution and not part of the problem. 
They deserve nothing less.



Defining and Finding A Responsible Breeder
It might not be easy, but it is sure worth it in the long run! Some of these pages have been written
for a specific breed, but the info given will apply to all breeds. 
 
What Is A Breeder

Defining Responsible Breeders

Finding A Responsible Breeder

Finding a Responsible Breeder - Myths and Facts

How To Find a Quality, Healthy Puppy

Selecting A Puppy

How To Choose A Reputable Breeder

How To Select A Breeder

Thoughts On Responsible Breeding and Breed Clubs' Codes Of Ethics

What is a Responsible Breeder?

How To Evaluate A Breeder

How To Purchase a Purebred Puppy

Buying a Puppy, What you should Know

How To Find a Quality Puppy and a Reputable Breeder

Responsible Breeding

How To Recognize an Unethical Breeder
And How To Read Those Ads!

Is This Breeder Reputable?

Finding a Reputable Breeder

Questions to ask your Breeder

Is Your Breeder Experienced?
 

 

Responsible Breeder, Backyard Breeder, Puppy Mill (1)

Responsible Breeder, Backyard Breeder, Puppy Mill (2) 

Responsible Breeder vs PuppyMill/Pet Shop*

A Comparison of Responsible Breeders and Backyard Breeders

Backyard Breeder vs Reputable Breeder

The Price of a Golden Retreiver Puppy

A Terrible Beauty (Purebred dogs) -
 Time Magazine

Much Ado About Poo (as in Cocka-poo, Peke-a-poo, etc)

Puppy Aptitude Test

Dog Registries

About Dog Registries and Kennel Clubs

What does AKC Registration Really Mean?

AKC Limited Registration

AKC ILP Registration

Titles, Awards, and Certificates

What's in a Pedigree?

Canadian Kennel Club info and General Info on buying a Purebred Dog

Puppy Papers, Guarantees, and Contracts

Back to top of page



Pet Store Puppies, Puppy Mills, Commercial and Backyard Breeders
You might not be as aware as you think!
 
 
Why You Should Not Buy That Puppy from a Pet Shop (1)

Why You Should Not Buy That Puppy in the Window (2)

10 Reasons NOT To Buy A Puppy From A Pet Shop

How Much is that Doggie In the Window

How Much is that [Mixed Breed] Doggie in the Window

Considering a Pet Shop Pup? Thanks from your Local Pet Store Owner

What to do when you see a Puppy in a Pet Store
Rule#1 - Don't buy him!! Written about Kerry Blue, but applicable to all breeds.

Puppy Mill Information

Puppy Lemon Law States

Nopuppymills.com
Has info on commercial pet industry, researching websites and ads, much more. 

Sources of Pet Store Puppies

Just What is a Puppy Mill?

APHIS/FOIA Database - Animal Welfare Reports
Regulation of USDA Commercial Breeders

Compliance Inspections

The Scandal of America's Puppy Mills *
Reader's Digest On Line

Breeding in Pennsylvania
Philadelphia Equirer article

Hauling Puppies
Trucker's News article

Puppies for Sale
MSNBC Coverage

The Politics of Puppies
KMOV News St. Louis

A Cruel Industry
Postnet.com - St. Louis Dispatch

The Lyles, Tennessee Puppy Mill
The Horror of It All

Critter Haven

Merry Christmas, From Ye Olde Puppy Shoppe

All About Puppy Mills
Extensive links

Back to top of page



Breeding Your Own Dog - what you need to know...
Also be sure to read the "Defining a responsible breeder" links. Can you live up to being a responsible breeder? It's tough!
 

An Open Letter to Prospective Breeders

Should I Breed My Dog?

Breeding Your Dog (1)

Breeding your dog (2)

Confessions of an Ignorant Breeder *

Things to Think About Before Breeding your Dog

So You Want To Breed Dogs, Do You?

Canine Waltons

Backyard Breeding Blues

Should You Breed Your Dog or Bitch?

So You Want A Litter of Puppies? 

It Can Happen to YOU
A Dog you bred ends up at the Pound. *

So You Want to Use Your Dog as Stud

4 Big Questions
And a letter to a potential stud dog owner

Virtual Breeding
Making Decisions

Getting Started as a Responsible Breeder

Should I Breed My Poodle?

Interested in Breeding Your Dog?

Eliminating Genetic Disease

Health Tests for Breeding Dogs

Popular Sire Problems

Illustration of the Genetic Reasons that Breeding Mixes gives you unpredictable results
Genes are genes

 

Becoming A Responsible Breeder

Thinking About Breeding Your Great Dog?

The (Very) Basics About Breeding Your Golden Retriever

Considerations to Make before Breeding your Rottweiler

Cost of Whelping a Litter
Why Responsible Breeders Cost More

Breeding Expenses

Breeding Costs

The Reality of Breeding Dogs

Why Not to Breed Your Dog

Checklist for Breeding Your Dog

Planning for Healthy Puppies

Breeding, Whelping, and Raising Puppies 

Whelping

Whelping Information

Birthin' Puppies

Whelping Guide

Age to Take Puppy Home

From a Rescue Person

Spay and Neuter Links

Back to top of page

 

If you don't rescue, don't breed!

Choosing A Dog

Ladies and Gentlemen, Start your Research!!
Please click here for links about giving pets as gifts
 
So You Think You Want A...
A breed MUCH is more than looks

Pets for Presents

How To Love Your Dog (For Kids)

Dogs and Kids

Picking The Perfect Puppy

Are You SURE You Want A Dog?

Thinking Of Getting A Puppy?

Thinking Of Getting A Dog?

Definition of Responsible Ownership

Students Should Think Twice

Military Members and Their Dogs

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Getting A Dog

Are You Ready for a Dog?
For Kids

Is This the Best Time To Adopt a Pet?

Do You Really Want A Puppy?

Things To Consider When Adopting a Pet *

Should I get a Puppy?

How to Select a Pup

Selecting a Pet

Dog Owner's Guide's Articles On Choosing The Right Dog

Choosing the Perfect Dog
Doesn't work well in Netscape, use MSIE

Choosing Your Best Friend

Northbay Canine Rescue's Articles on Choosing a Dog

Getting a Second Dog

Help with Finding a Dog

Getting A Dog (1)

Getting a Dog (2)

Adopting a Dog

Your New Dog

Dr. P's Basic Testing and Selecting Links

Dalmatian Plantation - Things to Consider

 

10 Tips to Successful Dog Ownership

Editor's note on Questionnaires:
These questionnaires can only point you in certain directions based on your answers.  Their suggestions might NOT be the best choice for you, be sure to research any breed further. 

AOL Dog Match
Questionnaire

Pet Net - Selecting a Dog 
Questionnaire

Canadian Kennel Club Survey Questionnaire

Dog Smart Breed Selector
Questionnaire

Great Pets Dog Profiler
Scroll down a bit to link for questionnaire

Dog Decision Guide
Questionnaire

The Puppy Aptitude Test - Choosing The Right Individual Puppy

Baron & Nevar's Index of Small Dog Breeds

Why Not a Boy Dog

Good Child Companions

10 Reasons To Adopt An Older Dog

Adopting an Older Pet

Adopting an Older Dog

Older might be better

Considering the Older Dog

Pre-owned Dogs

Finding an Older Dog

Guide to Classified Ads

Reading Classified Ads

Why You Shouldn't Buy That Puppy In The Window

Pedigree vs Mixed Breed

Dog Breed Information Center

Much Ado About Poo (as in Cocka-poo, Peke-a-poo, etc.)

Breeder Information 
Info on finding a purebred dog and not getting ripped off. Includes info on pet stores too. 

Rescue And Adoption Links General Info too, about older dogs, purebred rescues...




Pets as Presents 
Written about Christmas, but applies to any occasion

Pets as Gifts

Puppies as Christmas Gifts

A Canine Christmas - articles on Christmas Puppies

Responsible Pet Giving During  the Holidays

Merry Christmas from Ye Olde Puppy Shoppe

Avoiding the Christmas Rush