Should you breed dogs?

Have you ever thought about breeding your pet? While it may be tempting to find out how cute the offspring of your beloved pet would be, irresponsible breeding does not help any pets in our care. We need to consider both our own pets and those in society and have a responsible attitude towards ALL animals.
Lazhar Ichir, from Breeding Business, asks if we are knowledgeable enough to even consider breeding our dogs…

Are you knowledgeable enough to breed?
Many people see dog breeders as evil beings and it’s true that many irresponsible dog breeders do not help this situation. In order to breed dogs ethically and the right way, each litter should have the ambition to better the breed as a whole – looks, skills, aptitudes, and confirmation to the official standard.

Wanting to better the breed is the initial motivation of a good dog breeder; but it should be followed by practicality:

  • Where is the breed heading towards?
  • Am I knowledgeable enough to breed dogs?
  • Do my dogs hold desired traits or should I breed other dogs?

Obviously, only healthy dogs should be bred. Websites like Dog Breed Health and Breeding Business will educate you on what health conditions you should breed out; and what canine genetics principles you should master before getting involved with dog breeding.

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Let’s review the main existential questions any dog owners should honestly answer before thinking of making more copies of their favorite dog.

What Is The Status Of Your Dog’s Breed?
The first thing before you even wonder whether your dog is a potential breeding partner is to check what is the status of the breed.

By status, I mean what is the current trend, what specimens do judges consider to be the ideal example for the breed. Compare these rewarded dogs to the official breed standard and exchange with local and regional breed clubs to check what improvements future breedings should provide.

Auditing the breed as it is today helps you know where is the breed heading towards. This helps you make decisions at a later stage, if you decide to go ahead with breeding your own line.

Do Your Dogs Qualify As Breeding Stock?
Once you have a more vivid image of what the perfect dog will look like in a few years time, you can start assessing whether or not your dogs qualify as breeding stock. Doing that assessment yourself is a bad idea because, let’s face it, most dog owners are biased and feel like their dogs are just the best.

Partake in small and local dog shows just to get familiar with the rules of the competition. Next step, try to go to bigger events with knowledgeable judges and peers – this is where the unbiased feedback will be given to you!

If other breeders start offering you breeding opportunities, it’s a good sign. If breed judges and mentors start complimenting and rewarding your dog, it’s an even better sign.

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Do You Embed Enough Breeding Knowledge?
Yes, a few ill-intentioned puppy farmers exist and they pump out puppies purely for profits. Now, the truth of the current situation of modern dog breeding is a lot less dramatic, yet still problematic.

Most breeders are start with great intentions, some of them just want to breed a one-off litter to see their female dog experience motherhood, while other truly want to start their own bloodline. They start learning and go ahead with a first breeding.

The problem is, they have learned enough to trick themselves into thinking they now have the knowledge required to get involved with dog breeding. The truth is, it takes months of intense book and online reading, plenty of attendances at dog shows, endless conversations with breed specialists and mentors, and so on.

So most dog breeders do indeed get started with amazing goals but end up failing at the execution.

Most of the time, they don’t expect how heavy vet bills can get between X-rays, health screenings, routine pregnancy checks, and so on. After that, they always underestimate how hard it is to sell all puppies in a litter. We have that weird belief that putting a single ad or two will suffice to complete the sale of all puppies in wonderful homes. The truth is most enquiries come from unsuitable families, and the price we think is right is going to yield very little interest. Eventually, you end up discounting your pups to bad families just to not have to take care of them yourself (it’s expensive…)

Unless you are fully able to cope with an unsold litter of puppies, don’t even get started with breeding your dog.

Hopefully, with this article, you now understand the pillars of dog breeding:

  • The Breed – where is it going and how to make it healthier in the long-run
  • The Dog – are breed experts saying your dog can better the breed?
  • The Breeder – do you master genetics, heredity, breed specificities, pregnancy, whelping, nursing, etc?

Only if you are in phase with these three main pillars and your motivations are honest and responsible, you may go ahead and start breeding your dog.

About the author
Lazhar Ichir is the founder of Breeding Business, an online platform educating responsible and ethical dog breeders worldwide.

More reading
Puppy farm issues
Choosing a dog

Your opinion?
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