In my opinion ~

Puppies need more than five minutes of your undivided attention.

Puppies need to be stimulated, held, loved, spoken to & played with several times throughout the day.

What we do as breeders is crucial to the temperament & trainability of the puppy for it's entire lifetime.

Puppies raised in garages, basements and barns as an "After Thought" for a little extra income can suffer lifelong problems as a result.

When someone sees a hyper or ill tempered purebred, it is the REAL breeder who spends hours defending the breed we love.

We also spend hours educating and consoling the buyer who had to relinquish their uncontrollable pet.

In many cases, we are fostering & rehoming that pet.  To be honest, I am tired of cleaning up a few other "breeder's" messes.

The "breeder" who sold the puppy through the classifieds has changed their phone number or can't help the buyer now because "They Are Not Really Breeders" and "This Was Just A One Time Thing".... It's not that I don't want to help anyone ~ but there are only so many hours in the day.

I don't want one of my buyers to be the next irresponsible breeder selling puppies through the classifieds and more importantly, I don't want one of my puppies to be the mother of the litter advertised in that ad.

Unless you are prepared to take back any puppy you produce for any reason, at any time....You should not breed even one litter.

Do you have the room, the time, the patience, the finances?

It is not easy and it is not always profitable.

It can be very costly.

While you may want to produce "just one litter" because all your friends & relatives LOVE your dog.... and want a puppy "just like her", One emergency vet visit can leave you in the red.

Those same friends & relatives usually find an excuse for not wanting the puppy once it becomes available. 

When you have puppies to place at the age of 7 weeks ~ believe me, you will be in a panic & feel desperate. Ten 7 week old puppies can be difficult to deal with if you aren't prepared. 

If you are having your first litter ~ Trust me...You won't be prepared.

I really hate to be this graphic, but there is no other way to get my point across. I recently received a call from a person wanting to know if their dog could be in labor.

I ask if the female's temperature had dropped. The response was "I don't know." I ask her to take her dog's temperature - and after telling her "how" to take it... the voice on the other end of the phone said "EEEEWWWWWW" Believe me, you will be doing much worse things than inserting a thermometer in the dog's rectum. If it makes you squeemish....you should not become a breeder. If you call me on the phone to ask if your female could be ready to breed and I ask you if her vulva is swollen... it would be in your best interest not to ask...."HER WHAT"??? If you do, you will probably hear a loud "Click". I am not interested in providing stud service for people who stammer & stutter when they hear the word "vulva". If you gasp & feel faint at the thought of wiping her with a tissue to let me know what color the discharge is..... Please spay your dog.

Please, please, please THINK before you breed.... Heartbreaking things can happen during whelping. They still happen to me and they can also happen to you. Whelping females can get eclampsia during & after whelping and die. Do you know how to prevent it? Are you familiar with the symptoms? 

Puppies get stuck in the birth canal and die.

It is often on a Sunday or in the middle of the night. Emergency C-sections are not cheap.

What do you tell your children when you arrive home with no puppies?

Even worse, what if their beloved Molly comes home as ashes in a cremation box?

Whelping mothers can chew the cord too short on a puppy and the puppy can bleed to death right before your eyes.

Puppies are sometimes born with their insides on the outside.

Whelping mothers have been known to accidently bite off a paw while chewing the cord or stimulating the puppy.

Puppies can be born DEAD.

Puppies can be born perfectly healthy and fade from "Fading Puppy Syndrome" for no apparent reason. 

What do you tell your children then?

Puppies can die from cleft palettes, toxic milk, round worms, coccidia, giardia, parvo, distemper, upper respitory infections...and the list goes on....Some mothers have no milk. Some mothers have bad milk.

Are you prepared to bottle feed 10 puppies round the clock every few hours until they can drink formula from a dish? Do you know how to tube feed the small ones who are too weak to suck? 

Some puppies get colic....and you warm and rub their tummy's and walk the floor day & night praying for some sleep and listening to them cry in pain.

What do you do with the puppies that don't survive in the middle of winter in a cold climate? Are you willing to work on a puppy that appears to be dead for twenty minutes to see if you can revive it? Are you able to emotionally handle it if you can't save it?

Are you willing to suction mucus from a newborn puppy's nostrils using your own mouth if an emergency requires it?

Do you know what after birth smells like? What about the mothers who retain puppies or placentas?

They can get a severe infection and die on the operating table because you didn't know what signs to look for or how to give a shot of oxytocin.

What will you do when a puppy is being born feet first already out of the sack, stuck in the birth canal, and the only way to get him out is to break his bones?

Warm & Fuzzy??????

You and your children have plenty of life's experiences to enjoy.

Whelping is not one of them.

It is not always the warm & fuzzy experience you are expecting.

The things I've mentioned are some of the less graphic. 

What about studding out my male? Do your dog a huge favor and research brucellosis. If you think you can just put two dogs together and let nature take over ~ you need to think again.

It's a bit more complicated than that.

Have you ever seen a male that had a huge portion of his face destroyed by a female who was not ready to be bred?

I have & it's not a pretty sight.

Is it worth it for that one time stud fee?

Do you REALLY want to breed your dog? Good luck.

~~author unknown~~

written in 1989 or 1990 by Pat Schaap, Shenanigan Shetlands, USA
submitted by Marj Brooks, Manorie Dobermans, USA

By the time a puppy is seven weeks old, he/she should have:

*Been on 7 different types of surfaces:  carpet, concrete, wood, vinyl, grass, dirt, gravel, wood chips, etc....

*Played with 7 different types of objects:  big balls, small balls, soft fabric toys, fuzzy toys, squeaky toys, paper or cardboard items, metal items, sticks, hose pieces, etc....

*Been in 7 different locations:  front yard, back yard, basement, kitchen, car, garage, laundry room, bathroom, crate, etc.....

*Met and played with 7 new people:  include children and older adults...

*Been exposed to 7 challenges:  climb on a box, go through a tunnel, climb steps, go down steps, climb over obstacles, play hide and seek, go in and out of a doorway with a step up or down, run around a fence, etc....

*Eaten from 7 different containers:  metal, plastic, cardboard, paper, china, pie plate, frying pan, etc....

*Eaten in 7 different locations:  crate, yard, basement, laundry room, living room, bathroom, etc.....




Updated 9/02/08

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