So You Want To Raise A Litter?
To Breed or Not To Breed?
So you want to breed your female? You know what to expect if everything goes right. Your little girl will present you with tiny bundles of joy. She will lovingly nurse them and care for them until they are old enough to be weaned. You and your family will find great joy in watching and playing with these little dolls, and then when the time is right they will all (or maybe you keep just one) go off to special homes to live out their lives as cherished companions. But have you given consideration as to what can go wrong? I have listed here some of the problems that can occur.
What if during the breeding?
1) You pay the $500 - $3500 (usually whatever you would pay for pick of the litter) stud fee, up front (instead of pick of the litter) figuring that you will make that money and more back when all of the puppies sell. The breeder guarantees the stud service to work or you can come back again. After 2 months you discover she didn’t take and now must wait another 4 months to try again.
2) You get her bred, bring her home, and she bothers you to go out, so you let her out (she is still in heat and still receptive to males). You hear a commotion outside and there is your innocent little girl tied with the wandering neighborhood mutt. When she whelps you will need to do expensive DNA tests done on the pups to determine who the father of every baby is.
3) Or, knowing she tied with the neighborhood mutt you decide to terminate the pregnancy and try again being more careful next time. But a few weeks later your female is very sick because you had given a miss-mate shot and now she has Pyometra and needs a complete hysterectomy. All plans of getting a litter are gone and your female's life is now in danger if she does not have the operation.
What if during the birth...
1) The puppies are way too large for your females hips. She never goes into labor, the puppies die and now she has become infected by the decaying bodies.
2) The puppies are coming breach and they drown in their own sacks before they can be born.
3) The first puppy is large and breach. When it starts coming your female starts screaming, and before you can stop her she reaches around, grabs the puppy in her teeth and yanks it out killing it instantly. Not a pretty sight.
4) A puppy gets stuck. Neither your female nor you can get it out. You have to race her to the vet. The vet can't get it out either. She has to have an emergency cesarean section.
5) A dead puppy gets stuck in the birth canal, but your female is well into hard labor. She contracts so hard trying to give birth that her uterus ruptures and she bleeds to death on the way to the vet.
What if directly after birth...
1) The mother has no idea what to do with a puppy and she drops them out and walks away, leaving them in the sack to drown. This happens too late at night and you don’t know it even occurred, till you find all of them the next morning still in the sacks, dead.
2) The mother takes one look at the puppies, decides they are disgusting droppings and tries to smother them in anything she can find to bury them in. Another ugly picture Dead smothered babies.
3) The mother gets too enthusiastic in her removal of the placenta and umbilical cord, and rips the cord out leaving a gushing hole pulsing blood all over you as you try in vain to stop the bleeding, or just pulls out the intestines and the baby suffers for several hours before it dies.
4) What if because of some hormone deficiency she turns vicious allowing no one near her or the babies, who she refuses to nurse, and won't let you step in to help.
What if when you think you are in the clear...
1) One or more of the puppies inhaled fluid during birth, pneumonia develops and death occurs within 36 hours.
2) What if the mothers milk goes bad. You lose three of your four puppies before you discover what is wrong. You end up bottle-feeding the remaining pup every two hours, day and night. After three days the puppy fades from infection and dies.
3) The puppies develop fading puppy syndrome and you lose two. You are bottle-feeding or tube feeding the last remaining baby. It begins to choke and despite your efforts to clear the airway, the pup stiffens and dies in your hands.
4) Your female develops a uterine infection from a retained placenta. Her temperature soars to 105. You race her to the vet, he determines she must be spayed. He does the spay in an attempt to save her life, you pay the hundreds of dollars bill. The infection has gone into her blood stream. The infected milk kills all the puppies and your female succumbs a day later.
5) All the puppies are fine but following the birth the female develops a hormone imbalance. She becomes a fear biter and anytime anyone tries to touch her she viciously attacks him or her.
1) You put your ad in the local paper for your pups at the usual price and get only 2 responses and no sales, or you answer hundreds of calls, people wanting to tell you their life stories, about the dog they had as a child. You cut the pups price in half and broaden your advertising to 3 other newspapers so the advertising now totals $150.00 a week.
2) You get a few more puppy inquiries from people who ask all about the health testing you did before breeding and if the pups are registered. You tell them your dogs are all healthy and at the price you are selling them for, they should be glad they are getting the papers.
3) The pups are now 4 months old and getting bigger, are eating a lot and their barking is really beginning to annoy the neighbors who call the police who inform you of the $150.00 noise by-law. What’s $150.00 when you are looking at puppies who are past their shelf life, are now going through the Puppy uglies stage and poop everywhere.
4) You finally decide to give the rest of the litter away but still have to pay all the advertising bills and any vet bills.
What if the new homes are not so great or happy?
1) You sell a puppy to a friend. Their fence blows down so they tie the puppy outside while they go to work. A roving dog comes along and kills the puppy. Your friend calls you up to tell you about the poor little puppy and asks when you are having more puppies. Now you are asked for a discount because after all the fence blowing down wasn’t their fault. How about a free one this time?
2) You sell a puppy to an acquaintance. The next time you see them you ask how the puppy is doing. They tell you that it soiled their new carpet so they took it to the pound.
3) You sell a puppy to a friend (you give them a good price and payments). They make a couple of tiny payments. Six months later they move to an apartment. They ask you to take it back. You take it back and of course the payments stop. The dog they returned is so shy and ill mannered from lack of socialization and training it takes you a year of work providing socializing and training to be able to give it away
4) You sell a puppy to a wonderful home. They love her like one of the family. At a vet check done by their vet it is determined that the puppy has a heart murmur. (Your vet found nothing when he checked the puppy before it was sold.) They love their puppy and want the best for her. They have an expensive surgery done. The puppy is fine. They sue you for the medical costs. They win, because you did not have a contract stipulating conditions of guarantee and so as breeder you are responsible for the puppies genetic health.
5) One loving home decides your puppy is un-trainable, destructive and wants to return the pup and get a full refund.
6) One loving couple calls you and is very upset because their pup now a year old has luxating patellas and want to know what you are going to do about it. Never mind how you cautioned them about letting the puppy jump off of high places while her bones were still growing or the fact that she jumped out of her owner's arms injuring her knees.
Spaying or Neutering:
If you're not planning on breeding, you should make plans for neutering or spaying.as soon as your puppy is age appropriate. There are advantages to having your puppy spayed or neutered. For females, there is no mess to deal with during their 21-day heat cycles, which occur every six months—the heat cycle begins in females sometime between six and twelve months of age. Spaying a female before her first heat cycle will reduce the chance of mammary tumors or uterine diseases. Neutered males are less aggressive than un-neutered males. With a neutered male, the urge to mark territory will lessen. A neutered male is less likely to roam in search of potential mates. Dogs should be spayed or neutered by the time they are between ten & twelve months old. Both operations are performed under anesthesia and may require an overnight stay at the veterinarian's office. Recovery time is quick, with most dogs resuming normal activity in a few days. There are many excellent reasons for pets to be altered, and not one good one I can think of, for not having it done. Speak with your Vet about the benefits of alterations; you may have your pet for additional years because you did.