Dog's Breeding Considerations
The first thing to consider is that you
cannot expect a crossbred dog or bitch to produce puppies in his or her
own image. If you own a crossbred, and your reason for breeding is that
friends have said that they want one "just like her", remember that the
chances of a litter producing even one puppy that is just like its mother
are small to very small.
Crossbred dogs, by reason of their own breeding, have a wider genetic pool
than purebred animals. Any selection of the characteristics of either
parent is a matter of chance, and the greater the variety of
characteristics for nature to select from, the greater will be the
differences between puppies in the litter, and the greater the difference
between the puppies and their parents.
If you breed from parents of mixed ancestry, you will produce puppies that
may not even remotely resemble the dog or bitch that your friends were
looking for. Potential buyers may well fade away.
But it is not only with crossbred dogs that
the phenomenon of the fading buyer exists. Many litters of purebred dogs
are bred on the apparent promise that several friends are anxious to have
a puppy of that breed, just like yours. From the time of your bitch coming
into season there will be about two weeks before she is mated, nine weeks
before the litter arrives, and another eight weeks before the puppies are
ready to go to their new homes. That's nineteen weeks since the friends
made their remarks — over four months for the enthusiasm to wane, for
their circumstances to change, or for them to become really keen and buy a
puppy from elsewhere. If you think this is a cynical attitude, try asking
for a small deposit.
There are, however, good and sensible reasons for breeding.
The dog or bitch should be purebred. One or other should either be of a
good working strain - and have shown itself to be a good working dog in
the field - or be a sufficiently good show dog for the breeder or an
expert to recommend that you should breed from it. The most
straightforward way to determine the animal's show quality is to exhibit
at shows with success.
The reason for restricting breeding to these two groups of animals is that
there is much less likelihood of your being left with puppies on your
hands, or worse, running the risk of sending them to unsuitable homes. No
reputable breeder would ever do this. Remember that buyers of purebred
puppies want the best, which means that both parents have shown their
A litter of puppies is great fun. But after seven or eight weeks the fun
may become an expensive and exhausting chore. Being left with six or more
fourteen-week old crossbred puppies that are starting to show that they
had Great Dane somewhere in their ancestry is not as amusing as it sounds.
The same applies whether you own the dog or bitch. There may not be the
same imperatives if you own the dog and the bitch belongs to the lady down
the road, but you both have the same responsibility for the outcome.
There is no truth in the commonly held belief that siring a litter will in
any way settle a dog down. Neither is there any truth in the belief that a
bitch needs to have a litter. There is no medical reason for either
belief. The reverse may very well be true as far as the male is concerned.
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