Dark Brown and Irish Setter Red Standard Poodles

So you want to be a breeder Do you ?



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By Laura Turner and Friends

SO YOU WANT TO BE A BREEDER? - Breeding the female

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 to what if something goes wrong?
I have listed here a few of the problems that I myself have personal knowledge of.
Everything listed has happened either to me or someone I know.
These are not isolated incidents. I'm sure other breeders could add miles to my list.
Learn by others mistakes or leave the breeding up to those who know what they are doing,
have the experience and who know what to expect and how to handle the unexpected.


    The stud dog you have chosen is carrying a venereal disease and gives it to your female. She not only doesn't conceive but you have to pay the vet bills to get her infection cleared up and she is now sterile.

    The stud dog you decided to breed your darling to is not experienced.
    Once the two dogs are joined tightly in a tie, he decides to chase the neighbors cat out of his yard. He bolts for the cat ripping his penis loose and causing your bitch to hemorrhage from within.

    Your modest girl decides she doesn't want the attentions of this gigolo mutt chosen for her without her consent. She snaps at him catching her tooth on his loose cheek and rips it open sending blood flying everywhere. He retaliates by sinking his teeth into her left eye.

    You leave your dog with the stud owner because the breeding is not going very swiftly. In fact , it's been three hours and nothing is happening. The stud owners leave the two dogs alone in the back yard. The dogs get out through a tiny hole in the fence and a truck hits your female.

    You pay the $250-$1000 stud fee up front figuring you will make that and more back when the pups sell. The breeder guarantees the stud service to work or you can come back again. After 2 months you discover it didn't work and now must wait another 4 months to try again. Of course it doesn't work again, so in another 4 months you take your dog to another male and risk loosing another stud fee.

    You have tried 2 heats with the same male and still no litter.
    You feel you must have a female that is a poor breeder and spay her.
    Later you find out that this male's owner was not really doing any breedings
    they were just taking everyone's money.

    You get her bred. Bring her home. She bothers you so you let her out she is still in heat and still receptive to males. You hear a commotion outside there is your girl tied up with the neighborhood mutt.

    You get her bred. Bring her home and let her out. (She is still in heat and receptive to other males) but you do not see the neighborhood mutt breed her. The pups are born but some look odd. You call the stud owner he suggests DNA testing (At your expense). Your DNA comes back and you find out you have a litter of mutts!
    What do you do about the ones you have already sold?

    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 her given a miss-mate shot creating a hormonal imbalance causing a uterine infection and now she has Pyometra and needs a complete hysterectomy. All plans of getting a litter is gone and your female's life is now in danger if she does not have the operation.

    You show your girl and get your championship.
    You also decide to do obedience to prove that your girl is physically and mentally
    worthy of being bred. You complete every health test you can.
    You search for the best possible stud.
    Finally the day has come and you take your girl to the studs home.
    She refuses to be bred. The stud owner says to try again in 6 months time.
    Again she is not receptive. You never do get your girl bred.
    You spay your female thinking there is something wrong with her
    and sell her as a pet. Years later you find out about a phenomenon called split heats


    The puppies are too large for the female. She never goes into labor, the puppies die and she becomes infected by the decaying bodies.

    You find a vet to give you 5cc of oxytocin to have on hand.
    Your female has gone 3 hours between pups and you panic thinking this is too long
    You don't know how much to give but you decide that half of the amount would be good.
    Your female is soon in agony with straining and never delivers a puppy.
    You end up at the emergency clinic to find out that you had interrupted normal delivery
    all placentas had seperated and now the pups were drowning in their sacks.
    Vet is also suggesting a C-section now.

    The puppies are coming breech and they drown in their own sacks before they can be born.

    The first puppy is large and breech. 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.

    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 caesarian section of course it is 3:00 am Christmas day.

    A puppy is coming out breech and dry (the water sack that protects them has burst). It gets stuck. Mom tries to help it out by clamping her teeth over one of the back legs. The head and shoulders are firmly caught. Mom pulls on the leg, hard, peeling the flesh from the leg and leaving a wiggling stump of bone.

    You let your mother outside to pee as she is in a hurry to get out.
    You grab your coat to join her but she is already at the door to come back inside.
    she repeats this every 2 hours...
    After 6 hours you wonder why there are no pups and this time take a flash light outside
    to find 3 pups bodies dead on the ground from exposure.

    You let your mom outside to toilet, and grab a jacket to join her
    however she has disappeared under the deck and refuses to come out.
    She resurfaces a few hours later all happy to come back inside.
    You notice she is not full of pups any longer, however she does deliver
    2 pups... few days later you notice a horrible smell ... and realise she had some pups outside.

    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.


    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.

    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.

    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, she pulls on the cords so hard she disembowels the puppies as they are born and you have a box full of tiny, kicking babies with a tangle of guts the size of a walnut hanging from their stomachs. Of course all the babies must be put to sleep.

    What if because of some Hormone deficiency she turns vicious allowing no one near her or the babies, who she refuses to nurse, or you have to interfere with.

    You notice something protruding from her vagina when you let her out to pee. You take her to the vet to discover a prolapsed uterus, which needs to be removed.


      One or more of the puppies inhaled fluid during birth, pneumonia develops and death occurs within 36 hours.

      One by one your pups seem to be fading and eventually die. You are puzzled because
      you can squeeze a nipple and get milk, so it appears she has plenty.
      What you don't realise is that the milk is there but not "letting down" and your pups
      nurse initially vigorously, but soon get tired from suckling and getting no milk, weaken
      fall off the nipples and are slowly starving to death.

      What if the mother's 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.

      The puppies develop fading puppy syndrome you lose two. You 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.

      Your female develops mastitis and her breast ruptures.

      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 the bitch succumbs a day later.

      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 them.

      Mom and pups seem fine, the puppies are four weeks old and are at their cutest. However, one day one of the puppies disappears. You search everywhere but you can't find it. A few days later another puppy is gone. And another. You can't figure how on earth the puppies are getting out of their safe 4' x 4' puppy pen. Finally there is only one puppy left. The next morning you find the mother chomping contentedly on what is left of the last murdered puppy.

      All your pups are sold and everyone has been happily receiving photos of their puppy.
      You happen to leave the litter's door open and go about your tasks...
      You suddenly hear pups screaming and then mom shows up to get you
      Puzzled you follow her to the room to find all but one puppy dead and gutted
      by the newest edition to your breeding program, a sweet 8 month old female.

      You take your pups to the Vet for a Health Certificate.
      The Vet discovers heart murmers on some of the pups that of course, have been sold.

      You take your pups to the Vet and have him look at their eyes which seem "funny"
      he informs you that your pups have what is known as Entropia and will eventually
      need surgery to repair. What are you going to do ?

      You notice a lump on your pups where the belly button should be.
      Your Vet informs you that this is an Umbilical hernia, What are you going to do.

      You notice one of the pups in the litter that is all sold is not gaining much weight and is
      half the size of its litter mates. You opt to do bloodwork which comes back fine.

      You decide it is nice enough that you can put them outside.
      You go out hours later to find a critter has gotten them.

      You decide it is nice enough that you can put them outside.
      You go out hours later to find they have been stolen.


      You put your ad in the local paper for your pups at the usual price and get only 2 responses and no sales. You cut the pup's price in half and broaden your advertising to 3 other newspapers in which the advertising totals $120.00 a week.

      You get a few more puppy inquiries from people who ask all about health testing you did before breeding and if the pups are registered. You tell them your dogs are healthy and it was enough and that you could get the papers. The callers politely thank you and hang up.

      The pups are now 4 months old and getting bigger , eating alot and their barking is really beginning to annoy the neighbors who call the police who inform you of the $150.00 noise by-law.

      Your spouse is getting very annoyed with all the late night barking waking them up
      and all of the phone calls at all hours of the day. Your spouse is also upset that you have
      been obsessed with "dogs" for the last 8 weeks and is feeling left out and put out.
      They tell you "no more dog breeding" or else they will be leaving.

      Your neighbors also call the humane society who comes out to inspect the care of your dogs. You pass inspection but end up feeling stressed and harassed.

      You finally decide to give the rest of the litter away but still have to pay the $600.00 advertising bill and the $1200.00 vet bill.


      Few days after the pups go home, you start to receive phone calls that the
      pups are all having diarrhea and are lethargic.

      You give 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.

      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

      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.

      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 puppy's genetic health.

      You give a puppy to your mother. She is thrilled. Two years later the puppy starts developing problems. It begins to develop odd symptoms and is suffering. Hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of tests later it is finally discovered that the dog is suffering from a terminal condition that was inherited. possibly from your female since you know nothing about her family lines.

      One loving home decides your puppy is untrainable, destructive and wants to return the pup and get a full refund, which you have spent on your vet bills.

      One loving couple calls you and is very upset because their pup has crippling hip dysplasia and want to know what you are going to do about it. You have spayed your female so a replacement is out of the question, looks like another refund.

      One couple email you to inform you that they supsect their puppy had a seizure
      and as a result died. They can't give you a Vet report because they buried it in their back yard.
      They want to know if they can get a replacement or a discount.

      Family calls you all upset saying that their dog they bought from you died.
      Wiser, you ask for the Vet report before doing anything.
      You receive the Vet report for a totally different breed

      Family send you a legal letter saying they want full reimbursement
      for their purchase of a puppy who died and that they claim to have purchased from you.
      You have no record of ever selling to these people.

      Family contact you to let you know that they put down their puppy because of
      health issues. You offer a replacement if they can send you Vet reports.
      Before anything further can be done they have enlisted the "assistance" of a
      breeder (your competition and well known BYB) to bad mouth you on every forum and messege board.

      3 years later you are contacted by someone that bought from you to inform you that their
      puppy is having seizures.

      You place your pups as "pets". You find out that people who have bought from you
      are now breeding their pet puppy against your wishes and are also selling the pups for
      less than you are but using your lines in all of their advertising.

      You are stuck with one last puppy and a friend or co-worker says they would love to have
      that puppy at half price. You agree just happy to finally place this puppy. One year later you
      see that they are breeding your pet puppy as "purebred no papers".

      One year later one of your puppy people contact you as they are worried about their
      puppy as it is having reverse sneezing.

      Six months after purchase, your puppy people contact you as they are concerned
      because their puppy is vomitting.

      One month later your puppy people want to return the puppy as they say it is just too much
      for them to handle. You take the puppy back and give them their cash back. Shortly into the evening
      you notice the quiet puppy doesn't really have great balance and take it to the Vet the following day
      to find out the puppy has had head trauma from a blow to the head.

      Few days after purchase your puppy people return their puppy for a full refund.
      You notice as they are driving away that the puppy is limping. You take it to the vet and find
      out that the puppy has a broken leg !

      At 4 months of age you get a phone call from very upset puppy people who say that
      their Vet wants to remove teeth or put braces on your puppy because the canine tooth
      is cutting into the lower jaw of the puppy.

      So you gotta ask yourself: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, "breeder?"

      Laura Turner - AUTHOR