It is a nice romantic concept to ‘allow your dog to have one litter before desexing’ or ‘letting the kids experience looking after puppies’, but the reality is that breeding takes time, effort and money and is a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly.
There are many breed associations that have very stringent rules surrounding breeding. They focus on the health and welfare of the breeding female primarily and are strict on enforcing these rules. It is always a good idea to be a member of the breed association you’re breeding as it gives a level of credibility to your breeding.
Discussing the idea of breeding with your vet prior to the event is also recommended as they can guide you in the process. Many areas need to be considered including nutrition and preventative health measures of the female dog prior and during pregnancy, options if the birth process does not progress, nutrition and worming of the puppies and responsibilities prior to selling. It is also important to consider the costs involved prior to beginning to breed.
Puppies require a significant time investment in order to teach them hierarchy and appropriate manners, especially in a public setting and with other dogs. During the formative phase up until 16 weeks of age, puppies are very mouldable in terms of their ability to adapt to new situations and learn socially acceptable behaviors. All of this training and socialization begins whilst with the breeder and mother.
Prior to breeding it is important to screen for certain genetic diseases that can be passed on. One such condition is hip and elbow dysplasia which can be inherited in German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Bulldogs and a range of other medium to large breed dogs. This condition can be costly to manage and an awareness of its potential presence is beneficial to future owners.
There are many factors to consider when breeding animals, including the time, energy and cost requirement. Please consider this and consult your vet prior to undertaking the breeding adventure.