The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about dogs is that they are a man’s best friend. Even though they undoubtedly are, they sometimes require more attention and maintenance than humans themselves. Every year, millions of dogs are sold in the world and dog breeding in itself has become a billion-dollar business. Even though it has a bright future but dog breeding is a very challenging process. There is proper science behind preparing the bitch and finding the perfect male to breed.
Prepare Yourself for Breeding
Humans have owned dogs for years. It is a passion that has continued for centuries. When it comes to dog breeding, the human and animal bond is the most important. You just cannot expect to pick a bitch and a mate and start breeding them. Breeding purebred dogs is expensive, time-consuming, and occasionally heartbreaking.
Therefore, you are up for some very big things. The first thing you need to have and look for as much as you can is knowledge. Responsible breeders spend quite a bit of time and effort studying their dogs as well as the ones that will be used to mate with their bitch. Therefore, it is important that you study the standard of your breed. Attend dog events and get in touch with professional breeders. They can share a lot of information that you otherwise will not find over the internet. If possible, join a local club or attend events as well to know what will you be dealing with and how to kickstart your business.
Breed to Improve
Responsible breeders always work by the motto “Breed to improve”. Although breeding is an expensive act but there are a lot of risks involved as well. Therefore, responsible breeders make sure that they study the dogs involved in detail and if satisfied, only proceed then. This evaluation even if you are a professional is necessary each time. Pointing out good and bad points helps both parties understand the risks and step back before causing incurring damage.
Furthermore, the goal of breeding is to produce a better dog. Observe the good and bad points of your dog closely. If you decide to proceed with the process, look for a mate that will eliminate those flaws. The best way to check your dog and its response by putting it up against others. Observe the response of your dog. This will help you significantly in deciding the best specimens of its breed.
Understand the Commitment
The next thing you need to understand is the commitment. During the first few days, the puppies will be taken care of by the dam. However, with time complications such as a dam with no milk or an orphaned litter may arise. These things happen and are normal but as a responsible breeder, you should be careful about it. You should always provide a warm, safe, and dry place for the puppies to survive and the bitch to thrive. They will require regular visits to the veterinary, grooming sessions, extra feeding, and cleanup, not leaving enough time for you.
In addition to that, another factor you need to consider is the financial cost of having puppy litters. The genetic screening and health tests before breeding to the extra supplies, food, and medical care required, things can become quite expensive especially if complications were to arise.
Choose A Suitable Mate
Choosing a suitable mate is another important step in the science of breeding. You should ensure that both the dog and bitch are registered at AKC. If both the bitch and dog tend to be registered at AKC, then the litter can also be registered with the AKC. When it finally comes to the point where you want to breed your bitch with a dog, there is a general rule of thumb you should follow. The mate animals should go along and complement each other.
For instance, choose a dog and bloodline that will eliminate your bitch’s weaknesses and promote good qualities. In addition to that, there are two things that should be kept in mind, temperament, and health. You should always avoid a mate that features a questionable temperament. On the other hand, you should only breed with dogs that are healthy and fit. Then again, the goal is to produce dogs that are not defective.
Know the Genetics
You should know that new dog breeds solely rely on the genes passed onto them by their parents and the parents before them. Most people tend to select a mating pair just by considering the looks and features, which should not be the case. You should try to understand and learn how the genes in your bitch or dog contribute to the features and how will they be passed and expressed. Possessing as much knowledge as you can will help you find the best possible mater and ultimately produce a litter with the qualities you have always required.
Finalize Stud Contract
By now, you are done with the genetic screening, health checks, and selecting the perfect mate for your bitch. Now it is time to work out the mating details. When breeding your bitch with a dog, it is better to write everything down on a piece of paper. This contract should be signed by all parties. The mating fee will be decided by the owner of the stud dog. Furthermore, collecting the stud fee is also the responsibility of the stud dog owner. Plus, you should keep in mind that the AKC cannot resolve disputes taking place between breeders and contracts.
Perform Pre-Breeding Health Checks
Pre-breeding health checks require that you should always take care of your bitch and make sure that it is in good health. Regular health checks by the veterinary will prevent any serious diseases and make sure that your dog is always top-notch. Bitches need to have the right muscle tone without being overweight and should not be insecure, or snappy. Such females will be a danger to the puppies and the people around them. One month before breeding, you should get your bitch inspected by a veterinarian for parasites and other health concerns.
Most responsible breeders do not breed their bitch at the first heat to avoid imposing pregnancy stress on an animal that is just growing. Furthermore, it is also suggested to give rest between breeding so that the bitch is allowed time to recover between pregnancies.
Pregnancy and Whelping Preparation
Now that the mating is done, you should prepare for pregnancy and whelping. Typically, canine gestation lasts nearly 63 days. Therefore, you should watch out for early signs of pregnancy such as enlargement of nipples, increase in weight and appetite. Visit the veterinarian to confirm and once the pregnancy has been confirmed, talk to your vet about special feeding requirements. Furthermore, you should also be aware of how to recognize and respond to emergencies.
Be Alert for Signs of Labor and Puppies are born
Typically, a few days before your bitch is about to give birth, she will start building a nest probably in your whelping box where she plans to have puppies. Moreover, the temperature of your bitch will drop to 99 degrees or lower, just before whelping. After around 24 hours of whelping, your bitch can be expected to enter the first stage of labor. She will also appear restless. You should have your veterinarian’s phone number on speed dial if in case anything goes wrong.
Once the puppies are born, the bitch will usually sever the umbilical cord and lick the puppies to allow them to breathe. In addition to that, count the number of placentas as well so that you are aware of any placenta left behind, which can cause problems. Consult your veterinarian about the proper feed and care as well so that you do not run into complications as soon as they are born.
Even though it is a time-consuming process and quite complicated for beginners, it can be made easy if you were to consider the tips mentioned above. The key is to produce the best quality dogs and for that, you will need to practice patience and absorb as much knowledge as possible.