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 quality.

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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