Interested in breeding dogs?

Many people think they want to breed dogs, but breeding dogs is not the same as owning dogs. 

First, one should not breed dogs without a purpose. Without a purpose, one would simply adding more dogs to an already overpopulated situation.  What is your purpose? 

Next, one needs to have mentors and education, so that one selects healthy, well-built dogs, with good temperaments, and is able to train them to perform their function. Who are your mentors? What is your background in conformation, health, and training of dogs?

Importantly, a willingness to make difficult decisions and the fortitude to stick to one's principles is required. One must refuse to breed one's own dogs if they are not up to one's standard. One must refuse to breed to others' dogs if they are similarly not up to one's standard. One must refuse to sell dogs into a situation where they may be bred by those who do not have a purpose for the betterment of the breed. One must be willing, at times, to reclaim or rehome dogs, to euthanize dogs which cannot survive, and, critically, to be transparent about problems in one's bloodlines so that owners of related dogs, or people considering breeding to one's dogs, are fully informed.  Are you prepared to do these things?

Persistence and patience are required. Top quality breeders will not sell their finest breeding stock to just anyone. One must display their character and values over time, demonstrated with their initial dogs in this or another breed, to develop the relationships and reputation for quality and principles which will enable one to acquire the best dogs.  Even for the best owners, this takes years. Are you willing to wait, and cultivate relationships, in order to get the best dogs?

Breeding dogs is an investment. It takes time, effort, care, and, of course, money. One must make the dogs a priority, and make the decisions that are best for the dogs, putting one's ego aside. Breeding is not for everyone. If you cannot choose dogs selectively, not impulsively; if you cannot handle the heartache of stillborn and neonatal puppy death; if you cannot handle the financial burden of health testing and be ready for the occasional large veterinary expense; if you cannot screen homes and say no to those who are unqualified; if you cannot welcome back any dog you produce at any time; if you cannot raise a dog, train and show it for years, and then get a negative health result and immediately remove it from your breeding program, then you need to know your limits and recognize that this is not the right fit for you. 

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