Considerations when Choosing the Brood Bitch
Your bitch is a very important part of your show career. When you mate her and the stud dog you choose, will have a bearing on your future as a breeder and exhibitor. She could be the foundation bitch of your breeding programme as such should be cared for to the best of your ability.
Health ChecksHas your bitch had all the health checks that relate to her breed? This may be eye testing that is done every year or perhaps hip scoring that is done at the age of twelve months onwards. Your breed club can advise on these procedures and will also be able to say what investigations are in progress for the betterment of the breed’s health.
Ensure also that your bitch has been wormed and any vaccinations are up to date. It is not advisable to pump drugs into her once she had conceived.
Make Sure Your Bitch Has a ScanYour bitch should be scanned on or around the 30th day of conception. Although your vet can sometimes arrange this service it will be expensive so ask around amongst local breeders for an independent person who scans animals for farmers. Sometimes this service is advertised in the canine press. This scan will give you an idea of whether you have puppies and if so how many. There’s nothing like being prepared!
Breed ResearchYou will need to read up on this subject and ask questions. Most breeds have at least one book written about them. Ensure your book relates to dogs in the UK, as rules are often different overseas even though it is the same breed. Talk to you breeder, she should be able to advise you. This way you will be aware of possible whelping and health problems and act accordingly.
Registration - Kennel ClubIs she registered with the Kennel Club? If not, why not? There may have been a reason her breeder did not supply papers. It could be that she has a health problem, does not conform to the breed standard, her parents were not registered or just that the breeder never bothered. You will need to contact the breeder and ask why and if possible register the bitch. Without registration you are not able to sell your puppies as good examples of the breed – you have no proof they are pure blood – anyone can make up names on a pedigree form!
Other OrganisationsThere are several other organisations that take dog and puppy registrations, however they are really not worth the paper they are written on. You cannot show your dog unless it is registered with the Kennel Club. In other words a dog is not officially a pedigree dog unless it is registered with the KC!
Accredited Breeder SchemeThe Kennel club has recently introduced the Accredited Breeder Scheme in order to promote good breeding practice. Information about joining this scheme can be found on the Kennel Club website.
Having a litter of puppies can be one of the most enjoyable experiences a dog owner has. If your brood bitch is in optimum health and is cared for properly, it will enhance the future of your kennel.