Questions For The Potential Breeder...

By

Jane Johnson

Many people think that breeding dogs is easy. However, the reality is quite different.
I often have people email me who want to breed, and invariably their bitch has just come into season, and they want to breed without having the skills or the knowledge. At best, this is careless. If your bitch is in season, and you are asking questions now, then do NOT breed her. Wait until you are properly trained and mentored.
If you do not have the competencies required to facilitate the breeding of your bitch, the raising of puppies, and the placement of puppies, it is irresponsible and unethical to breed until you have.
As a starting point, if you can answer the following questions, then you'll be well on the track to being ready to breed. If you can't answer 90% of these, don't even bother attempting to breed until you can:


Setting yourself up right
What does dog conformation refer to?
How can you test if my dog has the correct conformation?
What important points should be considered on a dog's pedigree?
How many championships should be listed in a pedigree prior to breeding?


The beginning of the season
When will a bitch first come into season?
Should a bitch be bred on her first season?
How old should a bitch be before breeding commences?
On what grounds should a bitch not be bred from?
On what days is a bitch fertile?
How long is a bitch's season?


Breeding the dogs
On what day's should a bitch be bred?
What is a studmaster and when should they be used?
On what attributes is a stud dog selected?
What health testing should both the dam and dog have prior to breeding?
How old should a dog be before he is used at stud?
What are the responsibilities of a stud dog owner?
What are the important contract items to have in a breeding contract?
On what grounds should a dog be neutered?
What diseases can a dog get while being bred?
When should a dog be allowed near an in season bitch?
How does the breeding actually take place?
Does there need to be a tie for a breeding to have taken place?
What is AI and when should it be conducted?
Who should conduct the AI and what specific precautions should be taken?
Why is the stud dog turned during a breeding?
How many times should a bitch be bred?
Can a litter have more than one father?
Where must a bitch be kept while she is in season?


Gestation
How long is a bitch's gestation?
What special diet should the bitch be fed while in season, and while pregnant?
Under what special circumstances should additional calcium be fed to a pregnant bitch?


Whelping
What are the signs that a bitch is going into labour?
What is the best type of whelping box arrangements?
Where should the bitch be when she whelps?
What are the signs that the whelping is going well?
What are the signs that there are problems developing?
When should a c-section be performed?
What is primary inertia and the implications?
What is secondary inertia and the implications?
What is oxytocin?
When should the vet be called for help?
Should calcium be administered during whelping?
What does green fluid indicate?
How long should it take for a bitch to whelp?
What is the incidence of puppy deaths in each litter?
What is a breach birth, how often does it happen, and what are the problems that can result?
What are the implications for a pup born out of the sac?
How do you ensure that each placenta is accounted for, and what do you do if they are not?
What should be done with the placenta?
How do you resuscitate a dead puppy?
How do you clear fluid from a puppy's lungs?
How many extra set of hands should you have at a c-section?
When should oxygen be administered to puppies?
When should puppies first fed from the dam?
How do you check for cleft palate?
How are puppies who are deformed managed?


Caring for the mother
What should the dam be fed while she is looking after puppies?
What are the signs of infection in the bitch?


Caring for puppies
What are the signs that the puppies are progressing well?
What are the signs that the puppies are in trouble?
What is mastisis and how is it treated?
What do you do if the dam's milk does not come in?
How do you bottle feed a puppy, and what do you use?
How do you tube feed a puppy?
How can you tell if a puppy is feeding well?
How can you tell if a pup has received enough milk?
How can you check to see if a pup is dehydrated?
What is fading puppy syndrome and how do you rescue a puppy from it?
What are the common problems to be aware of when raising the puppies?
When do you introduce "real food" to puppies?
Why should puppies never be given "baby food"?
Why should puppies not be given grains to eat?
Should puppies be vaccinated?
Should puppies be wormed?
Under what conditions should a puppy be culled and how?
Under what conditions should a puppy be wormed and/or vaccinated?


Placing puppies
How do you choose puppy buyers?
What responsibilities do you have as a breeder for those pups?
What sort of guarantees are you going to offer the buyers?
How do you ensure your puppy buyers are going to look after the puppies?
When and how do you temperament test puppies?
How do you match the right puppy with the right person?
When do you remove the dam from the puppies?
When should the puppies be totally weaned?
How are puppies house trained?
When are puppies first socialised and how?
What sort of puppy pack information are you going to provide to the buyers?
When do you start training the puppies?
What breeder support are you offering once the puppies have gone?