How to Breed Dogs - Introduction to Breeding
Many dog lovers and owners contemplate becoming a breeder. Most of us imagine breeding as being surrounded by puppies all the time and finding them a good home and a family that will make them feel loved and welcomed. We are aware of the joy, and love dogs brought to our world, and providing that to someone else seems like a great idea.
However, dog breeding is a serious business. It is not just being surrounded by puppies. In fact, puppies are the tiniest part of it. The answer to the question, “How to breed dogs?” is complicated and has many layers. If you are interested in becoming a dog breeder, here are the basics we need to cover.
The first thing you need to clear with yourself is the reason why you want to breed dogs. Money shouldn’t be the only reason you are breeding. Even though money is essential, you will probably not earn millions from dog breeding.
Responsible dog breeders need to have a clear goal and direction for their breeding. American Kennel Club puts it this way - Breed to improve. First, look for desirable traits in the breed you want to perfect and breed dogs to improve the whole breed. Then, with careful and selective breeding, you can create healthy bloodlines that can significantly impact cynology. That’s why you should have a clearly set goal before you become a dog breeder.
Dog breeding is not something you can do in your free time. It is a full-time commitment to your breeding dogs and the puppies when they eventually arrive. In best-case scenarios, the puppies’ mum will take care of their needs, but potential problems can happen. As a breeder, it is your job to jump in and provide everything puppies in need might require.
Taking care of a litter can be tiring, frustrating, and heartbreaking. You have to understand that before you decide to become a dog breeder. Raising puppies will require vet treatments, training, socializing, screening, feeding, and many things you must be ready for. If you can’t do that, it would be best not to go into this line of work.
One aspect many new breeders overlook is the cost of raising puppies. These costs will start even before the dog is pregnant. Dog breeders need to check the breeding dog’s health and buy special food that can support developing puppies. In addition, you must prepare a budget for breeding. You don’t want to run out of money halfway through.
When puppies finally arrive, the costs will not go down. You will have to regularly check the mother during the pregnancy, and vets are not cheap. Puppies will require parasite medications, vaccinations, dry food, formula if the mother doesn’t have enough milk, health tests, toys, and other supplies. It is not enough to bring puppies into the world and hope everything works out.
It is the breeder’s job to make sure everything is in perfect condition.
All dog breeders should have a basic understanding of genetics, but the best breeders continuously educate themselves. Genetic studies will play a huge part in selecting breeding partners for your breeding dogs. The future puppy’s health will be determined by the health of their parents, grandparents, and all the dogs from both families. You must learn at least basic genetics.
Perhaps the most crucial reason dog breeders need to learn genetics is - diseases. Many genetic disorders can be passed from parents to puppies. If you don’t know how to spot them, you will become a breeder that breeds unhealthy and sickly puppies. Some genetic diseases can affect all dog breeds, like hip dysplasia, but some are specific to certain dog breeds with unique characteristics, like brachycephalic syndrome. Studying genetics should be a big part of every breeder’s life.
Many dog breeders prefer the company of dogs, but dog breeding will require you to work on your social circle. Great dog breeders are a part of breeding clubs and often discuss breeding issues with other members that breed the same breed. One of the best pieces of advice anyone can give you is to find an experienced mentor. Having someone with years of dog breeding experience in your corner will help you avoid many potential problems new breeders come across. Plus, experienced breeders probably have high-quality dogs that can become great breeding mates for your dog.
If you want to become a serious and respected dog breeder, you need to be registered with your national kennel club. In the US, that is the American Kennel Club and breeding clubs for specific breeds. Each country has its own national cynology association that is in charge of issuing documents for puppies. If you are not registered there, potential buyers will not trust you, nor can your dogs be a part of dog shows. Another thing you won’t be able to do is to post your dogs on World Dog Finder. The first thing we ask dog breeders that join us is proof of registration.
The key thing that separates fantastic from average dog breeders is the support they provide to their puppy’s new families. We can tell you from personal experience that great breeders will gladly stay in contact with you after you bought their puppy. They will be interested in the puppy’s development, health, and character. They can even ask you to use your puppy to further improve the breed.
Outstanding dog breeders will make a commitment to the puppy that doesn’t stop when they leave their home. If anything terrible happens, a great dog breeder will gladly take the puppy back. It is a life-long commitment, and if you want to become a dog breeder, you have to be prepared to make it.
Dog breeding is not easy, and if you wonder, “How to breed dogs?” -you should know it involves a lot of studying, worrying, and time. It is not something that can be done in your spare time, and you should not treat it as a hobby. Breeders have to set a clear breeding goal and not focus exclusively on the money part. It is a fulfilling job that will fill your life with dogs and puppies, but make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.
World Dog Finder team