Monday, August 10, 2009

To breed or not to breed...

In the beginning I had dreams about breeding cute little puppies. But then I began to learn about some of the hard realities of being a proper breeder. Dog breeding is complex, time consuming, expensive, requires expert knowledge and is not necessarily profitable. It is also full of pit falls.

The most difficult part is the huge anxiety about whether your puppies are going to loving, dedicated and knowledgeable caretakers.

Then I let all the compliments about Jemma's great temperament and what a perfect breeding dog she was, go to my head. Even my breeders (from whom one needs permission to breed with their puppies) encouraged me to think about it.

But she can come into heat anytime between 6 and 8 months. If Jamie as a result of his problem testicles can only be neutered after 9 months, there is a distinct possibilty that an accident might happen. The consequences could be disastrous as one should not breed with a female until she is at least two years old. Otherwise one is endangering her health and even her life. Everything was becoming a bit complicated.

But the truth of the matter is that if I breed, I really want to be a good breeder.

I will need plenty of time, energy, patience, finance and knowledge about how to produce well bred and well behaved puppies. It's not just about genes, its also about understanding the early learning period of pups and how this will influence their future behaviour. I think one has a responsibility to hand over not only a healthy puppy but one that has been well socialised.

So until I am ready and able to do that, breeding is not an option.

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