Dog breeding- What is it?
Dog breeding is the name of the practice of mating two selected dogs with the intent to maintain their specific qualities and characteristics that are present in the parents. Usually, when dogs reproduce without any kind of human intervention, the characteristics of their offspring are determined through natural selection. That is not true for dog breeding. Dog breeding refers specifically to the artificial selection of dogs which are intentionally bred by their owners.
The definition makes dog breeding seem like an easy task but it is not. If you are not an experienced person and want to breed your dogs, the lack of experience can kill dogs in dog breeding practices. It is always important to do your research on dog breeding, know the different problems that may arise during the dog breeding period and to always know what your reaction will be when these things arise. It is just as important to understand that dog breeding can be extremely expensive, time consuming and even sometimes heartbreaking.
Dog Breeding- The reasons
As you think of dog breeding, be mindful of why you want to do it. Is it because you love dogs and want to improve the breeds themselves? That’s a great reason and you should do your research and look further into doing it. Your dog breeding intentions should never be just to increase the number of dogs in your household. Not to assume that this is your reasoning for breeding, but just to throw it out there—dog breeding is not the road to riches.
Dog Breeding- How to research
Dog breeding is not a casual undertaking. The American Kennel Association says that before you start off dog breeding, look into breed specific standards. The American Kennel Club has the definition for every single breed and talks about ways in which people should deal with specific canine health and training. They also state all AKC rules to abide by. They offer the most up-to-date information on canine health and also breed-specific videos with real-life examples. They are many other parent clubs that offer even more detailed information on each breed with illustrated standards for more in-depth research.
Another great way to learn more about dog breeding is by going to as many dog events as possible and watching dog events. It is helpful to see dogs in action and learn more about the dog breeds that you want to work with. Also, if you’re interested in dog breeding, it is helpful to attend meetings that are held by other dog owners and breeders so that you can learn as much as possible from them.
An awesome way to learn more about dog breeding is really by going to your nearest library and digging through the books that have information on canine health and breeding.
Dog Breeding- Knowing the Genetics of the stud and the dam
As you choose the stud (the male dog) and the dam (the female dog) for dog breeding, thoroughly investigate if they possess the qualities that you want the offsprings to have. There are a couple of different things then that you would want to check to make sure that they’re acceptable before you look into breeding.
Firstly, look into the genetic background of the two dogs that you want to use in dog breeding. Look at their bloodlines and make sure that they are of ‘good quality’. If they happen to be pure breed dogs, you can easily get this information regarding their bloodline from the AKC or any other authority that registers dogs. For mixed breeds, this is a little more difficult but hopefully you can still find the information about their father or mother. You are trying to determine that these dogs are not closely related so that there are no genetic defects and also that the genetic history of the two dogs shows that the puppies to be born will have the specific qualities that you are looking for.
Secondly, you need to look closely at the dog breeding pair to make sure that they not only have all the physical traits that you want them to have but also to ensure that they do not have any deformities or qualities that you don’t want them to have. You should be well-versed in the typical health problems of your breed(s). For example, if you are breeding a Newfoundland, you’d want to make sure he or she did not have hip dysplasia. If your dog breeding pair consists of a pug, make sure that one of the breeding mates does not have pug dog epilepsy. These traits, when transferred to the offspring, can cause severe pain and even death at a young age for many dogs. Thus, as you’re looking into dog breeding, don’t just go by the LOOKS of the two parents but also their qualities and health conditions.
Thirdly, and extremely importantly, when you’re looking into dog breeding make sure to carefully check the temperament of both the dogs. You would want to make sure that they do not have any aggressive tendencies.
Dog Breeding- Proper Age
Once you have done ample research on dog breeding in general and breeding the specific stud and dam of your choice, the next step will be to make sure that the dogs you want to mate are of dog breeding age. For the ladies, the season of “coming into heat” starts between six to nine months and every six months thereafter. For the most part, you would not want to breed a dam until they are about 1.5 to 2 years old (which means that they have gone through at least 3 to 4 cycles) before they are bred. This is a sure way to make sure that the dog has reached full maturity and that that are able to physically and mentally put up with the stress of bearing little puppies and developing them into adults. The best age to breed your female dog, the dam, is between the ages of two and six. After the age of six, complications arise when dams are bred. Each litter that she produces after this will be worse than the one before. Your dam will be able to tell you that her body has had enough by producing smaller, more deformed puppies or even having miscarriages or just not getting pregnant at all.