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If you think owning a dog is hard work, breeding is a whole ‘nother level!
There are a lot of factors to consider before you decide whether you want to breed your female dog or not.
It can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time to have your dog bred. But even having a basic understanding of dog breeding will help you get a good start.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Is it easy to breed dogs?
- What to know and what to do before the actual dog breeding
- Mating and the type of breeding
- Preparing for your dog’s pregnancy and whelping
- Welcoming the litter
- Caring for your dog and her newborn puppies
- Registering the litter after they’re delivered
- Finding new homes for the litter
- Should you breed your dog?
Is it easy to breed dogs?
No, it’s not. In fact, it takes a lot of hard work as it demands time and research. Before deciding on anything, ask yourself: what is your goal in breeding your dog? Responsible breeders aim to improve the breed that they have to create a canine with better quality.
All dogs are a blessing, but as a breeder, you have to evaluate all the bad and good aspects of your pet. Examine your pooch carefully and recognize her flaws.
To get an objective opinion, test your dog against others by attending a conformation show. It’s a great way to see if your dog measures up to the best of the best. While you’re there, you can check out the national parent club of your dog’s breed so they can give you tips about breeding.
You also have to understand that taking care of a pregnant dog and raising puppies demands commitment.
Aside from learning everything you can about your dog’s breed, as well as the pros and cons of owning that kind of dog, get ready to take on responsibilities.
Your soon-to-be-momma dog would normally care for her pups during the first couple of weeks, but if complications arise, you need to step in.
And imagine once those puppies are weaned! You would have to multiply the work you did for your dog – cleaning, grooming, feeding, training, and vet care.
That means you have to be prepared with the financial cost of breeding. It will start with genetic screening and additional health tests, then extra food, supplies, as well as medical care even after the pups are born. So it can be expensive.
What to know and what to do before the actual dog breeding
Mating your dog doesn’t mean you just look for a male version of her, leave them in an enclosed area, and let them get busy.
There is a lot of important information you need to take into consideration before going through the breeding process.
To start, know if your female dog is ready to breed.
When is the best age for dogs to mate?
Since dogs are still developing up until they’re 18 months old, it isn’t advisable to breed them before two years of age.
On average, a male or stud dog will become fertile once they reach six months of age. Then they’ll be sexually mature around 12-15 months.
By the time they’re adults, male dogs can mate any time because they’ll remain fertile and sexually active until old age!
For female dogs or bitches, their first estrus – which is also known as heat or season – happens once they’re six months old. But some can have it as late as 18 months to 2 years of age.
A dog’s breed would significantly affect the age where they reach sexual maturity.
Generally, smaller breeds tend to mature earlier than larger dogs.
The breeding would happen when your dog is in heat and is the only period she will accept a male. A female canine would get her period at intervals of about six months up until they reach old age. But keep in mind that a bitch should never be bred during her first estrus. Wait until her 2nd or 3rd heat before mating her.
Bitches have three, and occasionally four heat cycles which can be normal to most females.
This is the first stage where you would notice that your dog is in heat – like swollen vulva and bloody vaginal discharge. Proestrus usually lasts around 9 days, but can reach up to 27 days. Even if males are attracted to your dog, she won’t entertain them and won’t allow breeding.
This stage, like Proestrus, also lasts for about 9 days. Your dog is fertile, and this is where she would be more accepting of a male. Generally, the ovulation would occur in the initial 48 hours. But this can still vary.
This phase is where the bitch is no longer receptive to the stud dog. It lasts from 60 to 90 days. You would notice that any flirtation or interest your dog was displaying would stop. You should know that false pregnancy is sometimes seen during this stage.
Is a three- to a four-month period where no sexual activity takes place.
Huge dogs may only be in season or have a heat cycle once every 12 to 18 months.
Breeds like St. Bernards, Irish Wolfhounds, and Great Danes commonly have an estrus cycle every 12 months.
The age limit for breeding dogs
There’s an unwritten rule where females shouldn’t be bred when they’re about eight years old or when you notice a sharp decrease with the size of her litter. Successful breeding comes from dogs with high quality to meet the purpose of breeding – the betterment of the breed.
So dogs used in breeding should be fully developed and healthy.
Leading kennel clubs have rules when it comes to breeding females. Aside from a female dog shouldn’t be bred within her first estrus, the lower limit for bitches should be 14 months and 18 months for males.
For the AKC’s rules, they don’t allow a litter to be registered if the dam is less than eight months or 12 years and older during the time of mating. Not only that, the sire shouldn’t be less than seven months old or more than 12 years old either.
Be aware of your dog’s genes
Effective breeding is possible if the breeder has an understanding of how genetics works.
Even before puppies are formed, their ideal soundness, temperament, health, and looks can be determined by their parents’ genes. And that’s including their parents before them or their lineage.
So you should not choose a partner for your dog by basing your judgment on its looks or apparent features. Always base it on your understanding of how the mating pair’s genes contribute, passed on, and expressed.
And that includes genetic problems that may affect your dog’s breed and her possible mate.
Dogs are perfect little angels, but genetic defects exist in any breed. Some may affect most canines, while some can only be present in one or a few breeds.
Choosing a suitable partner for your dog
When selecting a sire (dog) for your dam (bitch), make sure that they’re both AKC registered if you want to register the pups as well.
Aside from that, the male and female dog should complement each other.
Pick a stud whose bloodline will highlight your dog’s good qualities and improve her weaknesses. Let’s say your bitch has a coat that is not so good, then choose a partner who comes from a line with excellent coats.
It’s best to study and practice this maxim. It can get very complex since you have to weigh in all the factors that may contribute to your dog’s conformation and traits.
This is where advice from experienced breeders comes very handy and invaluable.
But the two most essential factors you have to remember when selecting a stud is temperament and health.
Personality is a trait that’s hereditary in canines. The selection that has been made throughout generations helped produce breeds with the right temperament to hunt, to herd, or pull sleds. But this is an attribute that can be influenced by external factors.
So if you see a dog that has a questionable temperament, don’t consider him for breeding.
With health, defects can also be inherited. Be aware of this factor as some of the diseases can cause permanent damage to a dog, and others can be fatal.
For mating purposes, select a dog that isn’t predisposed to the major health problems in your dog’s breed.
Have health checks performed before breeding
The kind of care that the dam and sire had throughout their lives would reflect on their litter.
Those who had always been a dog-person would call it conditioning to produce the best offspring. It includes regular vet care, pre-breeding tests, genetic screening, good nutrition, and exercise.
Females should be in good shape and mental state before mating. They’d make a better mother than those who have an unstable personality – aggressive, insecure, snappy.
About a month before you have your dog bred, she should have gone through an in-depth pre-breeding exam by a trusted vet. Her vaccines should be up-to-date, as well as tested and treated for parasites.
You may want to have the pair get tested for brucellosis. This bacterial infection can cause sterility or even unexpected abortion.
Some bacteria can contribute to neonatal puppy death.
What you can do is to try to eliminate or keep the bacteria level low to make sure it doesn’t interfere with the conception and gestation.
Aside from that, some of the most common concerns that affect dogs are eye problems and hip & elbow dysplasia. You’d also have to worry about health conditions that your dog and her prospective partners may have survived, such as Swimmer Puppy Syndrome.
The pair should be tested once they’re a year old. To get the elbow and hip scores, the dogs would need to get x-rays and general anesthetic. But after one exam, they won’t have to undergo this check again.
Some of the breeds that are prone to dysplasia are large breeds like:
- German Shepherds
- Golden Retrievers
- Bull Mastiff
- Alaskan Malamutes
For eye illnesses, they are commonly found in dogs such as Schnauzers, Poodles, and Collies.
Heart diseases, like valvular disease, are common with a few breeds as well, like the Lhasa Apso, Cavalier King Charles, Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, and Maltese. Dobermanns and Boxers are predisposed to cardiomyopathy.
There are a lot of websites that provide a list of hereditary illnesses and other diseases that can affect different breeds. Good breeders will always offer vital information like this, including certificates of all the health exams done on their dogs.
Breeding Contract: Have everything in writing
Another key thing to remember with breeding is to have all the details in a contract.
Work it out with the owner of the sire before the dogs are bred to make sure you both agree with everything pre- and post-breeding.
Both parties should have a copy of the contract outlining all circumstances and obligations clearly and sign it.
For the stud fee, it will be set by the owner of the stud dog and how it should be paid can differ.
He or she may want it via cash, one or more puppies from the litter, “pick of the litter” etc. And it’s the stud owner’s responsibility to collect his chosen kind of payment.
You may want to include in the contract that the sire owner isn’t obligated to sign a litter registration application until the fee is paid.
If it’s through AKC, they won’t be settling disputes between individuals so have everything agreed upon between you and the owner of the male dog.
While we’re on the subject of making a contract, create one to use for selling the puppies. You can ask a fellow breeder for a copy of their contracts to help you make your own.
And don’t wait until the pups are born before you advertise them. With our modern world, you can easily get the word out once your dog is pregnant.
Mating and the type of breeding
If this is your bitch and dog’s first time breeding, they may have trouble completing the task. But what if they’re unable to mate?
Whether you’ve always gone for one way of having your dog bred or this is the very first try, it’s best to know what’s the difference between natural breeding and artificial insemination.
Aside from not having your bitch bred on her first heat to avoid the stress of becoming a mom, it’s also best to avoid breeding females consecutively during their estrus to allow recuperation.
Generally, female dogs are bred within the 10th and 14th day of their onset proestrus.
But sometimes, the signs of proestrus aren’t so obvious. Catch the peak of her fertile period by having a vet examine vaginal smears or perform hormone tests.
If everything is well and the bitch is accepting the male, a total of 2 to 3 matings done every other day is considered efficient.
Where and how does natural dog breeding happen
Females are taken to the stud for breeding since they are less reserved whenever they’re in a new environment.
If a stud is young, being paired with an experienced bitch would help the mating go smoothly. But if there’s an evident mismatch with the size or any other anatomical consideration that would affect the breeding, then guidance or assistance is necessary.
There are times when the breeders have to hold the female in place so the sire can focus on completing his task.
For size, that can easily be fixed by either raising or lowering the rear end of the dam. A platform can be useful.
During breeding, the stud mounts the bitch from the rear and ejaculation takes place. Once the male stops thrusting his pelvis, the pair would be locked together, which is also known as a tie. This would happen due to the swollen base section of the penis called bulbus glandis. They’d be positioned rear to rear and won’t separate until after 10 to 30 minutes.
It’s common for dogs not to be able to mate. There are a lot of reasons for this – the difference in size, aggression, lack of libido, or the pair may just not like each other.
And this is where artificial insemination (AI) can be considered.
AI is a simple procedure that dogs can undergo when it’s impractical to do natural breeding.
If artificial insemination is the best method for breeding your dog, you should know that there are other advantages, too!
It will lessen the stress of having to transport your girl to have her mate with the dog. And it will be cheaper to have semen delivered than the cost of getting the dam traveling back and forth.
Not only that, going for the AI method can overcome all the differences between breeding pairs, like the size. And you can have the semen tested to make sure of its viability. Artificial insemination can also overcome the reluctance of the bitch or the male, temperament issues, and you won’t be exposing her from any sexually transmitted diseases.
Artificial insemination can be done using three types of semen: fresh, chilled, and frozen.
|Semen Type||Viability Period||Description|
|Fresh||6 days||AI using fresh semen can be done before or after your dog’s ovulation.|
Its results are very close to natural breeding.
If a breeder learns how to deposit the semen into the vagina using the right equipment, they can do it on their own.
|Chilled||48 hours||Using fresh, chilled semen requires a more critical timing.|
The semen needs to be spun down to separate the sperm-rich fraction that is immersed in a special medium that contains buffers, antibiotics, and nutrients.
It is then chilled in a refrigerator and shipped for insemination within 24 to 48 hours of collection.
This is deposited into the cervix of a female dog while standing.
|Frozen||12 hours||This is the most time-sensitive type of semen to use.|
The semen can be damaged easily, which means a lower possible rate of conception.
Frozen semen is prepared the same way as Chilled, but it has a cryoprotectant added into the medium.
They store the semen in straws or pellets then placed in liquid nitrogen.
It needs to be deposited in a bitch’s uterus surgically.
The semen will indefinitely be viable, but once thawed, it should be used right away or within 12 hours.
Crossbreeds or Mixed Breeds: What you should do in case of accidental breeding
There are situations that you can’t avoid, especially when your dog has doggy play dates or is socializing.
If your female is registered to a specific kennel club, inform them right away. You can ask them for their expert opinion, and even ask permission if you can raise the puppies.
You also have an option to talk to your vet about a planned abortion.
If the best solution is to terminate the pregnancy of your dog, it’s best to let her rest and skip the upcoming heat or estrus. Give her body some time to regulate the hormonal balance and risk complications, such as pyometra.
Avoid unplanned matings by keeping female dogs who are in heat away from males.
We definitely wouldn’t want an accidental inbreeding (breeding between family members or close relatives) or mating a young and immature bitch.
Preparing for your dog’s pregnancy and whelping
If your dog is finally pregnant, you will notice an increase in her appetite, weight gain, and a noticeable change in her nipple size. But a female who’s having a false pregnancy can also show these symptoms.
You can confirm a female dog’s pregnancy using abdominal palpitation or an ultrasound. If she is carrying puppies now, she’d need special care.
The Proper Nutrition for pregnant dogs
A bitch’s feeding requirements will change during gestation, which lasts for an approximate of 63 days.
You can figure out how much to feed your dog by computing it using her body weight. Use this method to increase her food following the increase of her weight and do it gradually. By the time where she’s giving birth, the dam will be eating about 35 to 50% more than she normally does.
Start to offer small but frequent meals. Larger meals can cause discomfort, especially with toys or miniature dogs.
If you’re strict with your pet’s diet and she’s been having a well-balanced, high-quality diet since you got her, then there’s no need to add or top her food with anything. But some breeders believe in providing supplements for protein, such as meat, milk, eggs, or liver.
If you’d do what other breeders are doing, make sure the supplements aren’t more than 10% of the bitch’s daily meals.
Let your dog get used to a whelping box
It’s up to you to make a whelping box or just prepare a place where your dog and her soon-to-be-here pups would be staying. The important thing is, your pooch gets used to it. Because if not, the moment she’s about to give birth, she might do it in an inappropriate delivery room, like your garden!
The litter should be born in a dry, warm, and quiet environment. An ideal space would be away from other dogs and pets. Just make sure the area is relative to your dog’s size and breed.
It should offer a lot of room to move and has sides that are low enough for your dog to get in easily.
Try creating a space, like roll bars, that are running halfway up along the side of the box. It’s for the puppies to crawl under, which creates a perfect hiding place to avoid getting rolled or stepped on by their mom.
Don’t forget, lots of newspaper! Line the area or box with it during delivery, or even after, because it’s easier to clean up and changed after getting soiled.
You can change it after whelping to something else that offers better footing for the pups, like non-skid bath mats.
Other than that, have these necessary whelping supplies ready in your home:
- Thermometer (to keep the bitch’s temperature in check before whelping)
- Newspaper (to use as bedding – use before, during, and after your dog gives birth)
- Bath Mats (can be used as after-whelping bedding)
- Paper Towels (for cleaning up the whelping box or area)
- Clean Towels (to clean the litter during delivery)
- Heating Pad (shouldn’t be too hot; can help keep puppies warm)
- Unwaxed dental floss (can be used to tie the umbilical cords of the puppies)
- Scissors (to cut the pups’ placenta or umbilical cord)
- Iodine (use this to clean the puppies’ abdomen after the bitch or breeder cut the umbilical cord)
Some breeders also have gloves, hemostat, stethoscope, disinfectant, bulb syringe, and a scale. It’s a good thing to have a notebook where you can record all the essential details about the pups, such as their sex, weight, and color.
Be alert and watch for signs of labor
Your dog can give birth between day 61 or 65 after breeding or the insemination.
And when she feels she’s ready to deliver the puppies, your dog will lose her appetite or stop eating. She’d also start to build her “nest” where she wants to have her litter. (This is why it’s crucial she gets accustomed to a whelping box or delivery area).
Expect your dog’s body temperature to drop to 99 degrees or lower after delivery. The normal temperature is 100 to 102.5 degrees.
About 24 hours after her temperature drops, expect your dog to enter the first stage of labor. Her cervix will dilate, and the birth canal will open up for the puppies. You’ll notice her strain, pant, and restless.
Have your breeder and vet’s contact number ready, or a nearby clinic for emergencies.
Welcoming the litter
Most female dogs don’t have trouble giving birth on their own.
The puppies would come out one by one in their own placental membrane (sac). It should be removed in order for the pups to breathe. Usually, their mom takes care of this. She’d rip them off (or eats it) and cut the umbilical cord herself. Then she’d lick them to stimulate breathing.
Make sure you keep track of the number of placentas delivered and the number of puppies. If there’s a placenta retained inside your dog, it may cause complications.
If the bitch doesn’t want to remove a sac or sever the umbilical cord, be ready to take over. A pup can stay inside the placenta for a few minutes before it loses oxygen.
It should be torn somewhere near the puppy’s head, then peeled backward until you can remove the puppy gently.
Remove any fluids or mucus from the pup’s nose and mouth, then give a gentle rub using the clean towels to stimulate circulation.
For the umbilical cord, use the unwaxed dental floss to tie it, then cut two inches away from the abdomen. Then paint the part that’s been cut with iodine to avoid it from getting infected.
Once your dog is done delivering all her puppies, she’d be very busy cleaning them up, warming and feeding them.
To make sure the pups are growing and are getting the proper nourishment, weigh the puppies every day during the first two weeks.
If things don’t go as planned and something’s up, never hesitate to contact your breeder or vet for help. Watch out for potential problems such as:
- Your dog seems to be in extreme pain
- The bitch is having contractions for more than 45 minutes without delivering a puppy
- There’s more than a 2-hour interval when your dog is delivering her pups (with or without contraction)
- Your dog is shivering or trembling, or have collapsed
- If there’s a bloody or dark green discharge before the first puppy comes out (this is normal after delivering the first pup)
- There are no signs of labor on the 64th day from her last breeding or insemination
Caring for your dog and her newborn puppies
Once the pups are all out, you would need to help your dog take care of them.
It would seem easy as most of the time, you would just observe how the mother dog provides the care her puppies need.
But there are instances where the mom dog wouldn’t want to feed her litter, or if she can’t produce milk, then it will be up to you.
Keeping the puppies warm
Newborn pups can’t control their body temperature yet, so it’s your job to provide a warm place for them. If they get chilly, it can stress them and make them susceptible to infectious disease. Same thing if it’s too hot. Overheating can cause death.
You can control the environmental temperature with a heat lamp or well-insulated heating pad. Just make sure the puppies have a cooler area to crawl to if it gets too warm for them.
The temperature in their environment should be around 85 to 9 degrees for the first five days of their life. Then you can reduce it to 80 from their 7th to 10th day. It can be brought down to 75 degrees by the end of their first month.
How to feed newborn/orphaned puppies?
The initial milk that a female dog would be producing is colostrum. It contains beneficial substances, like immunoglobulins, that the pups need to ingest right away.
Maternal antibodies in the colostrum would protect them and help fight infection within their early days while their immune system is developing.
But if you notice that the nursing mother dog is hesitant or snappy when her puppies are trying to suckle, be very aware as it can be canine mastitis.
This breast infection isn’t that common, but it can occur a few weeks after delivery.
Typically, a lactating bitch would have breasts that are enlarged and warm.
But if they are dark or red, hot, and causes pain to your dog when touched, contact a vet immediately.
If it’s already advanced, it would look almost black, as well as hot and hard to the touch. This can be extremely painful for her.
Canine Mastitis can be caused by severe scratches from the claws of the puppies, weaning puppies too early, or infection.
Other than being in pain, a bitch would be running a fever and has no appetite if she has this.
So in cases where you have to feed the litter yourself, learn the proper way to have them bottle-fed. You would need to replace their mom’s milk with a commercially-made one but be sure it’s formulated specifically for puppies.
Never use other milk replacers, like cow’s milk, as it can cause diarrhea.
You would need to feed the newborn pups every few hours using a bottle or syringe for several weeks.
Aside from the proper way of feeding the pups on your own, you should know that pups grow rapidly. Be sure to weigh them daily (and record it) to know how much puppy formula to give to each of them.
Using hand feeding, slowly introduce the formula and gradually increase the amount if they respond well to the milk. Well-formed feces and a steady weight gain means progress.
If the pups are getting diarrhea from the necessary change in their diet, reduce their formula intake to half the amount you’re feeding them.
Things to keep in mind when feeding a newborn litter:
- Practice and maintain sanitary conditions
- Never prepare puppy formula a day before or more than what the pups could finish. Milk is a common medium for bacterial growth.
- Warm the formula before feeding it to the puppies. The ideal temperature would be about 100 degrees (near body temperature).
- Whether you’re using a syringe or a bottle, hold it at an angle so air bubbles wouldn’t form. And puppies should suck vigorously but not too rapidly.
If the litter has trouble nursing, you can consult a vet or resort to tube feeding.
Once feeding time is over, the puppies should be stimulated to urinate and defecate. Usually, the mother dog would lick them for stimulation. But since human intervention is needed, you have to gently massage the anal region of the puppy using a cotton ball dipped in warm water.
Speaking of massage, it’s also beneficial for hand-reared puppies.
A gentle body massage can stimulate their circulation to awaken a puppy in a good mood. You can use a soft cloth to stroke the sides and back of the puppies. It’s best to give them a massage when they’re waking up or while waiting for their milk to get warm.
Post-delivery care for your bitch
Some females would have little to no appetite during their first or second day after they give birth. Then eventually they’d feel hungry and their appetite would sharply rise and would peak in by the 3rd week.
Provide meals where she’d get the adequate amount of phosphorous, Vitamin D, and calcium to prevent the onset of eclampsia. If you notice that your dog is whimpering, has an unsteady gait, is often nervous and is getting spasms, get her to the vet as soon as you can.
For owners or breeders who have been feeding their dog a high-quality diet, then she already has optimal amounts of the nutrients mentioned. So there’s no need to add more supplements.
After delivering her puppies, the mother dog should have the approximate weight as when she was bred. But it shouldn’t be more than 5-10% heavier. Even if she needs 2-3 more times of food in her after whelping, you should still divide her meals.
The only thing that should be changed is the amount of food per day that she’s getting. She should still be fed the same composition of food she had during the last third of her pregnancy.
Weaning the puppies from the mother dog
When it’s time to wean the little furballs from their mom, there are many rules of thought. Experienced breeders would tend to go for methods that work best for their particular breed and themselves.
Most pups start weaning about 2 to 4 weeks of age.
You can offer the puppies a pan of formula, while some breeders would combine the milk with ground dry or pre-soaked puppy food, or even baby rice cereal.
As they get older, add more food and reduce the amount of milk replacer or puppy formula. And remember, as with all diet change, do it gradually and stay on a routine or schedule.
Registering the litter after they’re delivered
One of the most important tasks of a breeder is having their dogs and litter registered. It creates a record of their place in the development of the breed, as well as the history of your breeding program.
Not only that, but it also gives prospective buyers, or owners access to the vast array of information, events, and services provided by the kennel club you’re going to register or the AKC.
So be prepared with a registration application when selling a puppy. You would need to provide them to the new owners once you sold them your top-notch pups. If you’re going to have them registered with the AKC, you can go online, or you can download a form to fill out.
Besides, registering your puppies would confirm that you’re a responsible and dedicated breeder.
Finding new homes for the litter
Any responsible breeder would make sure that their dog’s puppies go to a good family.
This means anyone interested in those puppies should be screened and evaluated. Most of the time, breeders ask those who are interested in their dogs to fill-out a Puppy Buyer Questionnaire.
To give you an idea of what important questions to ask, these would help get you started:
- Why do they want a dog and why this particular breed?
- Who’s going to be mainly responsible for taking care of the dog?
- What’s the usual schedule of the potential buyer? Would they have time to meet the needs of the puppy?
- Do they have children? How old are they? Are they aware of how to properly handle a puppy or a dog? How will they be instructed to care for the canine?
- Is there anyone in the family who have allergies? Would they be dedicated to maintaining the health of the dog and provide the required grooming?
- What’s the background or attitude of the interested buyer when it comes to training and obedience?
- Is anyone going to be left at home with the dog? Will they be able to spend time playing with him or her?
- Will they be able to register the new puppy with kennel clubs or the AKC?
Usually, the breeders are the ones who register the puppies, but they can also just provide the registration papers to the new owners. If they filled out the form on their own, they also have to send the application to the kennel club with the proper fee.
Explain the benefits of having the pup registered and even offer help if needed. Showing an example of a certificate of registration can be helpful.
You should also be prepared to hand over or provide copies of the puppy’s health or vaccination records, genetic tests done, feeding instructions, return policy, and the sales contract.
Be a committed breeder to the puppies
Just because the puppies left with their new families doesn’t mean you have no more responsibilities. Let the new owners know that if in case they have questions or problems arise, they can turn to you any time.
Prepare yourself for emails, text messages, letters, or phone calls of any update about the pups. It can be good like their first dog show or a picture with the whole family. But it can also be bad such as the dog bit a child or has gotten sick.
Always be there to provide support and give advice for all kinds of situations that would involve the pups.
If it comes to the point that the new owners won’t be able to continue taking care of the dog, a responsible breeder would take in the puppies again or help in rehoming them.
Should you breed your dog?
It will all depend on your lifestyle, as well as the time and money you’re willing to spend on breeding. It would also require your dedication since it takes hard work to raise high-quality litter.
Although it’s not always profitable, it’s satisfying to see your female dog being happy as a mother while nursing, caring, and playing with its happy puppies.
But if you decide not to breed your dog, there are benefits, too.
Sterilizing a bitch before she gets her first estrus may reduce some health issues such as mammary cancer.
So if you’re leaning towards the decision of breeding your dog, think of the amount of effort and time that you have to give in order to raise puppies. Do what you can to avoid contributing to the countless number of orphaned dogs that get euthanized annually due to irresponsible breeding.
Are you going to breed your dog or not?