I remember seeing an ad in the newspaper for "Purebred AKC Labrador Puppies - $500.00, OBO". I was curious to see why these pups would be put up 'for best offer'. I called the number and asked about the parents. The owner wanted to know why I was so concerned as these were AKC and she had the PAPERS TO PROVE IT!
The parents, I found out, were mill puppies. No, she hadn't had them OFA'D, CERF'D, or PRA'D - she had no idea why she should have them checked - they were only ONE YEAR OLD and quite healthy!!! Turns out she had bought a pair of Labs from the local pet store with the intention of making money by selling puppies! Haven't we all heard THAT before!
Right now there are approximately 300,000 homeless dogs listed on Petfinder.com. Countless dogs are being turned in to rescues & humane societies every day, many of which will eventually be euthanized due to lack of space, age, health, or behavioral problems. When you breed your dog, you are taking away their chances to be adopted. Have you ever seen a cage-crazy dog? Many are not able to adjust to life in the pound. Noises, smells, strangers all put extreme stress on a dog, and its personality changes, most times, not for the better. The dog becomes unadoptable - end of the road.
But this won't happen with your dog. Of course, you already have homes for the puppies, right?
Many people think that all they have to do is mate their dog and presto! Money in the bank! AKC registration is NOT a guarantee of quality!
We are not experts, but speak from experience. We've just about heard it all...I want to breed my dog because:
I want to get a puppy just like the Mom
My kids will learn a good lesson in birth and life
Females NEED to have one litter
My breed just won Westminster so that makes my puppies worth more
I could use the money
Have you considered that your dog may die giving birth and your children will be watching? Are you willing to take that risk?
Are you aware that venereal disease can be transmitted from dog to dog? You will have to test BOTH dogs & this can be quite expensive.
What if your female is not a good mom? First time bitches have been known to walk away from their newborns. Would you know how or what to do if she refuses to feed them? What if she tries to kill them?
Puppies are sometimes born with genetic defects. Are you able to face euthanisia of a deformed puppy?
What if puppies are breach? or get stuck in the birth canal? Would you know what to do?
Could you watch the mother as she struggles to give birth, only to have her deliver a dead puppy? Hear her screams as she fights to deliver a puppy that is too large? Do you know what to do to help her?
What if you can't stop the bleeding? What if a puppy isn't breathing? Do you know what a failing puppy is? or a Flipper pup?
Although there are many beautiful successes, the miracle of birth is sometimes unpleasant, sometimes a dance with death.
Have a male dog and think you're off the hook? There is absolutely no reason to not neuter your dog, but there are plenty of reasons why you should - testicular cancer, prostate problems, better behavior, less likely to wander, mounting and marking his territory are just a few.
Unless you have several Champions in your dog's pedigree, and unless your dog has attained his champion title, forget about 'stud fees'. There are NO professional breeders that will allow their dogs to be bred to yours! They simply will not allow their well-bred female's pups to be bred away from the standard. You will become a partner in back yard breeding, one step above Puppy Mills!
People mistakenly think that spaying or neutering their dogs will make them fat - not true! Food and lack of exercise make dogs fat. Spay/neuter along with a healthy diet and good veterinarian care can add years to your dog's life.
Leave the breeding to the experts. They breed for temperament and health and only to improve the breed. Everyone has seen that 100 lb Labrador, the ill-tempered Golden Retriever, the deaf Dalmations. Breeds made popular by the media have been bred down by back yard breeders to the point they no longer carry the characteristics or temperament of the pure breed of years ago.
If you love your dog, SPAY and NEUTER!
Almost every state has a spay/neuter program to assist in the costs of sterilization. www.friendsofanimals.org allows you to purchase low-cost certificates right on line to spay/neuter your dog at participating Veterinarians.
"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan."...Irving Townsend