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I would very much like to take this opportunity to suggest a few things....  to provide a little food for thought...

by Glenda Szkrybalo




The dog pictured on this background is "Obie", a 2 year old Bouvier des Flandres, that was rescued in November of 1997 and is now living with me. 

[Editor's Note: Since the publication of this article, Obie has died.  You can read Glenda's tribute to her by clicking on Obie's photo.]


1) National statistics show that only 1/3 of all dogs live out their lives in their original home. 

As a breeder, (which is what you will be even if you just breed your mix breed to your neighbor's dog ) are you prepared to take back one of your bitch's puppies at any time down the road for whatever reason? You are responsible for these puppies being here; you are the one that chose not to spay your bitch nor plan the breeding.  If you don't plan on having a contract that says you will take back a puppy no matter when, for what ever reason,  then where do you think that puppy will go?

I know where it goes ... to the pound , all the rescue dogs on my page were at one time someone's beloved puppy, and then they grew up.  
I'll bet Obie was a doll when she was a baby.  Would you want one of your puppies ending up in a rescue looking like this ??...THOUSANDS of dogs are put to DEATH every day because of over population . Do you want one of YOUR puppies to end up like that ? Well, these puppies came from somewhere.

2) Why do you want to breed your dog?

There are LOTS of wonderful dogs in the world.  Just because your dog is the cutest, sweetest dog in the whole wide world, doesn't mean it should be bred.  Breeding should be done only for betterment of your dog's breed. Health checks need to be done on both dogs.  Some common tests are: hips, elbows [OFA], hearts [SAS], eyes [CERF] thyroid, bleeding disease [VWD].

Lots of things need to be considered: both parent dogs' strong points, weak points, temperaments, pedigrees. Some genetic problems only show up when two dogs both carry the same gene breed; do you know if there are genetic defects in your bitch's or in the stud's line?  Or if breeding these two dogs together will produce the defect? Also take a look into both perspective parents' litter mates.   Did every puppy in that litter conform to the standards of the breed??  Please look at the American Kennel Club standard for your breed, and the pictures there...the parents should look like that.  Do they? You wouldn't want the terrible guilt of bringing sick puppies into the world, would you?  By the way did you know dogs can have sexually transmitted diseases????

3) The cost !!

Oh my !! The average cost of whelping and raising a HEALTHY Bouvier litter to 9 weeks of age is about $750.00 per puppy for a litter of 8 healthy puppies (this cost can go up quickly if you have any problems). This works out to $6,000.00 and includes the basics: genetic testing, stud fee, first shots, worming, ear cropping, tails docking, dew claws done. And then there are the  supplies: whelping heat pads, a whelping box, milk replacement, nipples, food for the puppies, vitamins for the bitch ,veterinarian prenatal care for the bitch. And of course the additional veterinarian expenses if your if your bitch needs a c-section, or veterinarian care if something is wrong with a puppy. Or heaven forbid, you lose your bitch in whelp!  And the time it takes to take care of a litter & the brood bitch. You can't leave them alone after whelp with mom for, at the very least, the first week for fear she might kill them, eat them, or lay on them.

4) The dangers.

Have you thought about the fact you could lose your beloved family pet ? ...complications while whelping puppies can & does cause death in far too many bitches, mostly due to inexperienced breeders not recognizing signs that their girl is in trouble. Or how about dead puppies? retained pups? infections?  All things to consider.

5) I've heard it said many times "Oh, having puppies will be GREAT for the kids!! "

I'm here to tell you no it won't . Birth is messy, gross, and painful, not to mention the horror they'd see if Fluffy died, or if she had a grossly deformed puppy. You want your kids to see a birth? YOU have the baby & let the kids watch that! or better yet, go rent the video "The Miracle of Life"

6) You think you might make some extra money?

Not hardly, selling puppies is not a good way to make money. Most breeders lose money on their litters.  Buyers back out and you get stuck with the unwanted puppies.  Pups get sick.  Entire litters get sick.  The bitch ends up needing a c-section.  Sometimes mom won't nurse them or doesn't have enough milk.   So you get to spend lots of time feeding puppies every two hours.  Breeding should ONLY be done for betterment of the breed, not to make money.

7) Think about spaying or neutering your pet, it really does make a happier, healthier pet.

No chance of uterine , ovarian, testicular, or prostrate cancer.  No poor unloved, doomed-to-die puppies. Neutering makes male dogs less likely to roam & get hurt. Spaying means no messy heat cycles with whining, crying, unneutered males ruining your shrubs, lawns, and possibly attempting to break into your house..

I hope this gives you something to think about.

Thank you for taking the time to read this...

Please think of Obie if you think you want to breed your bitch.....

Look at her picture again....

Obie died15 months after being rescued
Click to read Glenda's tribute to Obie


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