I occasionally receive email asking
why I sell the majority of my puppies
without breeding rights.
The simple answer is...Because I do....
But it is actually a little more complex than that.
Breeding is not something to enter into lightly.
Wherever Murphy's Law can come into play, it generally does.
This page is dedicated to the lovely person
who recently emailed me
to call me a "Puppy Pig"
In her opinion, I do not grant breeding rights
because I want to "Hog" the puppy market for myself.
Well, all I can offer in way of my defense is ...
A big fat OINK! SNORT!
I've been called many names over the years
but I really have to admit that
is right up there
with the best of them
That has to be one of the most
"Hee-Haw-ish" statements I have ever heard.
There are literally hundreds of breeders out there selling Labradors.
Many of them will grant you breeding rights.....
So, I don't understand the problem.
My personal practice
of not granting breeding rights
does not hinder your opportunity to breed.
You can pick up any newspaper
and find several Lab breeders
who are more than happy
to sell you a puppy
with breeding rights
if that is your desire.
I am not one of them.
This page is my pea brained attempt to explain
why I place very few puppies
with breeding rights.
To begin with, I sell "Companions".
I do not sell breeding stock.
Not every puppy born
is breeding quality.
Any breeder that tells you
that every puppy they produce
is "breeding quality"
is not telling you the truth.
It is also next to impossible to know
if a puppy will actually be breeding quality
at the age of seven weeks.
Breeding potential? - Yes...Guaranteed breeding quality? Nope!
Do I feel that everyone has the right to breed?
Yes,of course I do
Do I believe that I have the right
to place my puppies in companion homes
without breeding rights?
I don't place my puppies with breeding rights
to anyone except professional breeders
with at least five years experience in breeding.
A professional breeder to me
is someone who takes breeding very seriously.
It is their chosen profession.
In my opinion ~
Puppies need more than five minutes
of your undivided attention.
Puppies need to be stimulated, held, loved,
spoken to & played with
several times throughout the day.
What we do as breeders
is crucial to the temperament & trainability
of the puppy for it's entire lifetime.
Puppies raised in garages, basements and barns
as an "After Thought" for a little extra income
can suffer lifelong problems as a result.
When someone sees a hyper or ill tempered Labrador,
it is the professional breeder
who spends hours defending
the breed we love.
We also spend hours
educating and consoling
the buyer who had to relinquish
their uncontrollable pet.
In many cases, we are fostering & rehoming that pet.
To be honest, I am tired of
cleaning up a few other "breeder's" messes.
The "breeder" who sold the puppy
through the classifieds
has changed their phone number
or can't help the buyer now because
"They Are Not Really Breeders"
"This Was Just A One Time Thing"....
It's not that I don't want to help anyone ~
but there are only so many hours in the day.
I don't want one of my buyers
to be the next irresponsible breeder
through the classifieds
and more importantly,
I don't want one of my puppies
to be the mother of the litter
advertised in that ad.
I am not a "Puppy Pig".
If you don't believe me.....just ask "Pork Chop"...
See, he doesn't think I am...and he should know....
He's a PIG.
I really don't care how many litters you produce ~
but I do have a responsibility
to make sure the puppies I place
are well cared for.
I am not responsible for your puppies.
I am responsible for mine.
The old assumption ~
"You are just worried about the competition"
is absolutely FALSE.
Competition has nothing to do with it.
There are many things
that are much more important.
The last thing I am worried about at this point in my life is competition.
Labradors are the number one breed in the country.
They are also being severely over bred.
Purebred Labradors end up in shelters everyday.
This should not be happening.
There are many Lab mixes euthanized every single day.
This should not be happening.
It makes me sick and it breaks my heart.
Unless you are prepared
to take back any puppy you produce
for any reason, at any time....
You should not breed even one litter.
Do you have the room, the time, the patience, the finances?
I am not going to add
to the overpopulation problem
by allowing every puppy I produce to have a litter.
I am also not going to stop breeding
because other people think
it's an easy way to earn a few dollars.
It is not easy and it is not always profitable.
It can be very costly.
While you may want to produce "just one litter"
because all your friends & relatives
LOVE your dog....
and want a puppy "just like her",
One emergency vet visit
can leave you in the red.
Those same friends & relatives
usually find an excuse for not wanting the puppy
once it becomes available.
When you have puppies to place at the age of 7 weeks ~
believe me, you will be in a panic & feel desperate.
Ten 7 week old puppies can be difficult to deal with
if you aren't prepared.
If you are only having one litter ~
Trust me...You won't be prepared.
When you feel desperate,
you are more apt to sell them
to the first family
who comes along.
You won't take the time to screen your buyers.
Selling through the classifieds at 7 weeks leads to impulse buys.
Puppies should NEVER be an impulse buy.
They are more important than a pack of gum or a tabloid.
Some impulse buyers
are turning those cute little impulse purchases
into rescue a few months down the road
because they now weigh 90#
and they never took the time
to properly train them.
I do not find that acceptable.
You won't want to think about that.
You will want to take the money & run.
I am speaking from experience.
Been there, done that, got the T-shirt!
That T-shirt doesn't flatter anyone.
I've been told ~
"Thank God breeders didn't feel that way when you started breeding".
Who said they didn't?
I was fortunate enough to have two excellent mentors.
All I am saying is "I don't have time to help you."
If you want a puppy with breeding rights,
I suggest you try to locate one
from a seasoned breeder in your area.
It doesn't help when you need hands on assistance
if your mentor lives 3000 miles away.
And please do not purchase the puppy
from someone who has only had
one or two litters.
When it comes to breeding ~
It may be a case of the blind leading the blind.
My puppies are not sold with breeding rights
simply because I do not want the added responsibility.
I want them to be appreciated and valued
as a member of a family.
My extended puppy families
are all wonderfully kind,
loving, responsible people
who just want to share their lives
with an amazingly entertaining Labrador.
They want to give and receive "Unconditional Love"...
That's the way it should be.
I want to know my puppies are cared for & treated humanely.
I want them to play in the park,
swim in the lake,
celebrate their birthdays,
receive Christmas presents,
get tummy rubs & scratches behind the ears,
have lots of tennis balls
and enjoy life as a Labrador
being part of a responsible family.
I want my buyers to be happy through it all.
I do not want to have to worry
if one of my puppies
is being bred to death.
I don't want to hear
that a puppy I produced
has died from pyrometra
because one of my puppy buyers
just turned over night breeder
and thought the black discharge
was a part of normal after birth.
I don't have the time to hold their hand
through the first whelping
or help them place their puppies
or grieve with them when the dog dies
as a result of negligent breeding and whelping.
I don't want to have to rehome their puppies through rescue
because they no longer want to be responsible for them.
I do assist a few new breeders
but they all live nearby
and have made it evident to me
that they realize that breeding
is a serious undertaking
and a huge responsibility .
I don't have the time to walk
all my puppy buyers
through their first few litters.
I wish I did, but I don't.
I also don't have the time
to conduct training seminars
for those of you
who purchased your puppy
from someone else.
Your breeder should be the person mentoring you
if they granted you breeding rights.
Why do I require five years?
Because even if you only have one litter a year ~
that translates into at least five litters.
In those five litters,
just based on the law of averages...
you are going to have an emergency.
You will then be able to search your own heart
and know if breeding is something
you really want to do.
You will be more confident
in your ability
and hopefully, better equipped
to deal with difficult situations.
I do not want my puppies
to grow up
and be practiced on
for your first litter.
I don't allow six year olds to drive my car
and I don't permit people
with virtually no animal husbandry skills
to breed my puppies.
As much as I would like to help you ~
I am only one person.
If I don't have the time to help you if you need it,
then the practical thing for me to do
is to require that my buyers agree not to breed.
That way I don't have to worry about it.
I have enough to worry about.
I don't want to have to worry
about any puppy I produce
I want happy reports ~
Not hysterical phone calls
pleading for advise
in the middle of the night.
My job is to assist my buyers through
the crate training, puppy chewing antics
that all Lab puppies go through.
After that, we often enter the rebellious teens
where they seem to forget everything
you've ever taught them.
Lab puppies can be "puppy like" for two years.
That's a lot of hand holding as it is.
If you hang in there & do the work....
Eventually, you'll have the well trained dog you've always wanted.
I want lifetime placements for my puppies.
I want them to be "good canine citizens".
I don't want to be held accountable or responsible for anything else.
For those of you who tell me
that you want to breed
to give your children a wonderful experience....
It is very often not wonderful at all.
I really hate to be this graphic,
but there is no other way to get my point across.
I recently received a call
from a person wanting to know if their dog
could be in labor.
I ask if the female's temperature had dropped.
The response was "I don't know."
I ask her to take her dog's temperature -
and after telling her "how" to take it...
the voice on the other end of the phone said
Believe me, you will be doing much worse things
than inserting a thermometer
in the dog's rectum.
If it makes you squeemish....you should not become a breeder.
If you call me on the phone to ask if your female
could be ready to breed
and I ask you if her vulva is swollen...
it would be in your best interest
not to ask...."HER WHAT"???
If you do, you will probably hear a loud "Click".
I am not interested
in providing stud service
for people who stammer & stutter
when they hear the word "vulva".
If you gasp & feel faint at the thought
of wiping her with a tissue
to let me know what color the discharge is.....
Please spay your dog.
Please, please, please THINK before you breed....
Heartbreaking things can happen during whelping.
They still happen to me
and they can also happen to you.
Whelping females can get eclampsia during & after whelping and die.
Do you know how to prevent it?
Are you familiar with the symptoms?
Puppies get stuck in the birth canal and die.
It is often on a Sunday
or in the middle of the night.
Emergency C-sections are not cheap.
What do you tell your children
when you arrive home
with no puppies?
Even worse, what if their beloved Molly
comes home as ashes
in a cremation box?
Whelping mothers can chew the cord too short on a puppy
and the puppy can bleed to death
right before your eyes.
Puppies are sometimes born with their insides on the outside.
Whelping mothers have been known
to accidently bite off a paw
while chewing the cord
or stimulating the puppy.
Puppies can be born DEAD.
Puppies can be born perfectly healthy
and fade from "Fading Puppy Syndrome"
for no apparent reason.
What do you tell your children then?
Puppies can die from cleft palettes, toxic milk, round worms,
coccidia, giardia, parvo, distemper, upper respitory infections...
and the list goes on....
Some mother's have no milk.
Some mother's have bad milk.
Are you prepared to bottle feed
10 puppies round the clock
every few hours
until they can drink formula from a dish?
Do you know how to tube feed the small ones who are too weak to suck?
Some puppies get colic....
and you warm and rub their tummy's
and walk the floor day & night
praying for some sleep
and listening to them
cry in pain.
What do you do with the puppies that don't survive
in the middle of winter in a cold climate?
Are you willing to work on
a puppy that appears to be dead
for twenty minutes
to see if you can revive it?
Are you able to emotionally handle it
if you can't save it?
Are you willing to suction mucus
from a newborn puppy's nostrils
using your own mouth
if an emergency requires it?
Do you know what after birth smells like?
What about the mothers
who retain puppies or placentas?
They can get a severe infection
and die on the operating table
because you didn't know
what signs to look for
or how to give a shot of oxytocin.
What will you do
when a puppy is being born feet first
already out of the sack,
stuck in the birth canal,
and the only way to get him out
is to break his bones?
Warm & Fuzzy??????
You and your children have plenty of life's experiences to enjoy.
Whelping is not one of them.
It is not always the warm & fuzzy experience you are expecting.
The things I've mentioned
are some of the less graphic.
What about studding out my male?
Do your dog a huge favor
and research brucellosis.
If you think you can just put two dogs together
and let nature take over ~
you need to think again.
It's a bit more complicated than that.
Have you ever seen a male
that had a huge portion of his face destroyed
by a female who was not ready to be bred?
I have & it's not a pretty site.
Is it worth it for that one time stud fee?
Research has shown that it is better
to never use your male
or to use him frequently -
than it is to use him once or twice a year.
Spaying or neutering your dog
has also been proven
to increase the average life span
and cut down the risk
for many forms of cancer
and other health problems.
So, there you have it...
You may think I'm a "Puppy Pig"
but I'm not going to be a Pig-In-A-Poke.
I've offered you my explanation.
If you are still of the opinion that I am a puppy pig, that's okay.
I promise not to be a "Cry Piggie" if you call me names.
I admit I may be a little obsessive/compulsive....But a Puppy Pig????
I just want the best
for my puppies
If you would like to comment,
feel free to sign my guest book.
Virtual Breeding is an excellent site
designed to help anyone
interested in breeding their pets
learn all about breeding,
without actually having to breed a dog.
Click Here For Virtual Breeding