To breed or not to breed your dog? Many owners perceive the companionship of their pet canine as rewarding and they might feel like breeding their dog to continue the bloodline or take care of a puppy, explained Ernest Ward, DVM, or VCA Hospitals, an outlet of over 1,000 animal hospitals in US and Canada.
Other owners, notably first time dog owners, will keep a female dog to breed her once she is old enough. But there are important considerations you have to take note of fist before breeding your dog.
Dog Breeds Acquisition and Owner Awareness of Surgical-Associated Conditions (2018)
Oghenemega David Eyarefe and Aderonke Gloria Adetunji of journal portal Research Gate evaluated the awareness of dog owners with regard to breed-associate surgical conditions in Nigeria as indices for breed choice. Of over 1,062 dogs record, the Alsatian breed was mostly kept by pet owners (36.7%), followed by Rottweiler (13%), Boerboel (7.3%), Mongrel (5.2%), and Lhasa Apso (5.2%). Other breeds kept by owners were Samoyed (51.5.0%), Bull Dog (41.3.7%),
Caucasian (33.3.1%), Doberman (1.1%), Chowchow (0.7%), and Pitt Bull (0.7%). Beagle, Neopolitan Mastiff, and Bull Mastiff were at 0.5% while the Retriever breed was at 0.4%. Unlisted exotic breeds amounted 16.2%. With regard to the purpose of dog ownership, 96.4% kept dogs for security purposes and 94.8% kept them for companionship and security. 34% owned pet dogs for commercial breeding purposes and 20.3% owned one because they just love seeing a dog around.
As for the factors that influenced dog owners’ choice of breed, 96.4% mentioned the breed’s natural intelligence, 78.6% cited coat color, and 66.6% noted the size of the breed. Other factors were information on the internet about the breed (54.6%), having a close relative keep the same breed (53.4%), information from their vet (39.2%), and recommendation by friends (42.6%). Dog owners visited a vet clinic because of the following: general check-up and disease prevention (79.6%), vaccination and routine deworming (79.2%), and treatment of diseases (79.8%).
Owners were also aware of the most common surgical diseases such as cataract (57.1%), arteritis (53.7%), glaucoma (40.8%), cherry eye (32.0%), traumatic proptosis (22.4%), and hip dysplasia (22.4%). When the researchers assessed the respondents’ knowledge about their pet’s health status, 10.9% said they were aware of persistent/recurrent health complications in their dogs. 13.6% were informed of the predisposition of their dog’s breed to certain health complications. Sadly, 84.4% were uninformed.
In fact, only 34.7% were aware of diseases that can make their dog undergo surgery. Among those, only 19% knew that such diseases could be associated with their dog’s breed while 82.3% were incognizant of their pet canine having any of such disease. The authors advised dog owners and prospective dog owners to seek advice, particularly from certified veterinarians, about the breed of the dog they get.
They should also seek advice to prevent or reduce the occurrence of breed-associated surgical conditions. The said conditions will affect owners both psychologically and financially should their dog be afflicted with diseases or die.
What Are The Things I Need to Consider Before Breeding My Dog?
Dogs are individuals and the age-old maxim “like father, like son” is not necessarily applicable to canines. If you have a mixed breed dog and have plans to mate it, note that female dogs bear more than one puppy at a time.
You can find a female dog to make with your male dog. The owner of the female dog will be in charge of finding homes for the puppies you do not want to keep. However, this is not easy to do since there are a number of unwanted dogs in shelters. Meanwhile, owners of male mixed breed dogs often search for suitable mates among their neighbors or other members of local dog clubs.
Let’s say you acquired your pet canine from a shelter, a neighbor’s litter, or a pet shop. What will happen to the puppies your dog will bear? Will it be okay if some (or all) of the puppies are placed in an animal shelter? Weigh your options carefully.
On the other hand, it is unlikely that the puppies your dog will produce will have the same desirable traits as their parents. Like humans, training and environment help mold puppies. However, it is rare that the offspring— especially mixed breed ones— are identical to their parents in terms of personality and behavior.
If you want to reduce your male dog’s sexual activities, breeding it will not address that problem, In fact, mating may further exacerbate your dog’s sexual behavior. Neutering will reduce unwanted behaviors such as roaming to find a mate or eliminate your pet’s risk of developing testicular cancer and prostate disease. Frankly, neutering will make your pet healthier and may even be lifesaver.
Is Dog Breeding Permissible By Law?
It depends on your country’s laws, noted Purina, a pet food company. In the UK, for instance, you will need to obtain a license if you are establishing a business that breeds and sells dogs or have plans on breeding more than five litters in a year and selling those puppies (even if you do not want a business).
How Can I Breed My Dog Responsibly?
Screen your dog before breeding it, as this helps curb the spread of some disease and common health complications among dogs. Animals should be housed in a clean and comfortable environment and should be fed adequately and given an adequate supply of water. You will also need to consider insurance for your puppies.
Breeding costs money so be sure to have the capital to purchase insurance for the number of litters you plan to breed. You will also need to invest in whelping equipment and vaccinations. Most importantly, you should approach dog breeding with a conscience and with the clear intention of producing healthy and happy puppies.
If you want to be a full-time breeder, take note that breeding can be costly and time-consuming. Hence, it is recommended to get expert advice to help you get a better idea of the breeding process. Speak and interact with dog breeders to find out about their experience in breeding dogs. That way, you will know what you are signing up for.
Ask yourself why you want to breed dogs: Is it because you want to produce healthy puppies or start a business? Whatever the reason, you should be prepared to handle the financial and emotional stress of breeding dogs.