If you are a dog lover who has a special place in your heart for one particular dog breed, you may decide to devote yourself to bettering that breed. Many times, this involves working with dogs from a particular bloodline to try to create specific traits that will be passed down through future generations. However, many people are uncertain about how to go about breeding dogs.
To be a dog breeder, all you need to do is own an un-neutered female dog or two. In most states, you do not need to even register your kennel if you only have two or three adult dogs. However, being a good dog breeder is more complicated.
First, a good dog breeder will not want to use dogs with major flaws. The breeder may show the dogs to try to obtain a championship before breeding them. This raises the value of the dog’s future puppies, but it also enables the breeder to network with the people who know the most about the breed. Even if your dog does not get a championship, a few wins will make dog exhibitors take you more seriously. This is important because if one of these exhibitors has a dog that has traits that would balance out any of your dogs flaws, you have a good chance of breeding the two dogs to make show quality puppies.
If you are going to breed dogs for many years to come, you may want to choose a kennel name. You should register your kennel name with the American Kennel Club. Most breeders with a kennel name require any of the puppies they produce to carry this kennel name, since this is an excellent form of promotion and advertising for that kennel.
Even if your state does not require it for one or two dogs, you may also want to get a kennel permit. After all, you will want to keep a few puppies to continue your bloodline and will eventually need a permit. It is better to get the permit before you become attached to your puppies than to try to get one after you have more dogs, since neighbor’s objections can cause the state to refuse to give you the permit.
When you breed your dog for the first time, you should look for a male dog that belongs to an experienced dog breeder. Not all dogs fall in love at first sight, and you only have a few days to successfully breed a dog before it goes out of heat. An experienced breeder knows how to introduce the dogs to each other and how to help them breed successfully.
Once your dog has been bred, you will need to take her to the veterinarian for at least one pre-natal visit. Your vet will let you know if you need to come more often. If you want to know how many puppies to expect, the vet can make a guess by feeling your dog’s belly or you can find out exactly how many puppies there are with an x-ray. Be sure to ask your vet ahead of time about the birthing process and how you should prepare. Some dog breeds must deliver by C-section, while others rarely have problems. Don’t forget to ask for pre-natal vitamins to keep your dog healthy.
As the delivery day grows near, prepare a quiet spot for your dog to deliver. You will want to have a whelping box, clean rags, a heating pad and the vet’s emergency number on hand. You can buy a whelping box, but it is easy to make one of your own. The important thing is to be sure you put a small ledge in the box a few inches from the bottom to avoid having your dog accidentally crushing the babies between her body and the box sides.
Once you see those adorable puppies crawling around, you will realize that the hard part is still to come. After all, soon you are going to have to send some of those little fuzz balls off to new homes.