To breed or not to breed; that is the question for many canine guardians. Over the years I have pulled out my soapbox more than a dozen times; climbed upon it, gave my schpeel and put it away for the next. "We think it would be great to have a puppy from her," "we'd like the kids to see puppies being born," "my neighbor wants a puppy." These are some of what I've heard over the years which then causes me to pull out the box. Breeding is serious business; or at least it should be. With so many unwanted dogs in this world we surely don't need anymore.
I understand that you love your dog; what I wouldn't give to have a couple of Luke's running around. BUT; and this is a big BUT,there is alot to consider before you take the plunge. Alot more than those cute little puppies to think about. The list of considerations should at least encompass these:
1. Is your dog structurally sound? By this I mean is everything where it should be? Or is their structure compromised in some way? I've met many dogs who should not be bred simply by structure alone. And this has nothing to do with a beauty pageant; structure is about correct physical elements in place creating ease of movement.
2. Is there temperament stellar? Would anyone want to live with your dog? Is she friendly and steady in temperament? Or would you be passing on traits that are not so desirable. You need to look deeper and past a pretty face. Temperament is far too often skipped over in lieu of a great body.
3. Are you willing to pay the hundreds into the thousand dollars to have health testing done? Afterall you owe it to the perspective puppy owners to give them the healthiest puppy you can.
4. There is always the risk of complications; c-section, eclampsia (or milk fever), compromised puppies or even death. And there is always the risk of more serious complications; even death for the dam. Are you willing to lose your dog just to have puppies?
5. Do you have the time, money and patience to raise a litter of puppies until they are at least 8 weeks old?
6. Do you have a list of people who will take these puppies? Often breeders are left with one or more puppies; especially in this economy. Can you keep them until you find a home down the road?
7. Are you willing to take a puppy back into your home for any reason? Things happen in life; often things that were unforseen. Many puppies need to come back; and if you are not willing to take them back they may end up in a shelter.
8. Are you willing to take the time and energy to learn about proper nutrition and health in puppies, pregnant dogs and nursing dogs?
9. Vet bills can easily reach into the thousands; you got that covered?
I could go on for a longtime but you get the drift. Someday I would like to have a litter of puppies; this will only happen if I have an amazing specimen with an wonderful temperament. And even then; I don't know if I could ever hand them over to people, I may just end up with a poodle emporium of my very own.
So if you are dying for a new puppy; skip the breeding idea and find a good ethical breeder. Or visit the local shelter or rescue group. Your dog will definitely thank you for this one.