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Whether to Breed

By: Elaine Everest - Updated: 5 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
Bitch Dog Breeder Puppy Farmer Brood

Ask yourself why do you want to breed from your bitch? If it’s because you see pound signs flashing in front of your eyes, forget it! Any honest dog breeder will tell you that this is not a business where you will become rich!

Granted if you shove umpteen brood bitches in a shed or barn and mate them every six months you will be a rich man – but this is called puppy farming and is wrong, ethically and legally!

Grey Economy

If you thought that breeding from your bitch would result in a little money ‘on the side’ so to speak you’re in for a shock. The taxman is beginning to realise that dog breeding is generating an untaxed income for many people. If you are having the one litter every five years or more you have no need to worry.

However, if you enjoy your hobby, and own two or three bitches, the likelihood is that you will be having a litter at least every year. It doesn’t need a mathematician to see that you have a regular income and are not declaring it! You would have to keep a record of income and expenditure, possibly employ an accountant – in other words be registered as the owner of a small business – one that, once expenses have been deducted, is not at all lucrative but probably just covers the cost of your dog showing hobby.

I Want a Puppy Just Like my Bitch!

This is often heard from owners of pet dogs. To be honest all dogs of the same breed carry similar traits. Tricks and manners can be taught to any dog. Why not buy another puppy and let it learn from the older dog? Be warned though – puppies seem to pick up bad habits quicker than the good ones!

Betterment of the Breed

Anyone who has the good of their breed in mind will never mate a bitch unless they can see that the mating will not compromise the breed. The question should always be asked; will this mating produce puppies that are a good example of my breed? If it isn’t DON’T BREED!

Can You Afford it?

You will need to spend money long before a puppy owner hands over his cash. Stud fees, veterinary costs, scans and Kennel club registration fees. Do not forget also that your bitch’s food intake will increase and she will need the best of everything.


Just as a baby needs nursery equipment so does a dog breeder. A whelping box, bedding, heat lamps, feeding equipment (in case of emergency) puppy milk, food and an immense amount of cleaning equipment are but a few of the essentials.You may need the services of your vet - caesareans are not cheap. Veterinary assistance related to breeding bitches is not covered by pet insurance.


Not necessarily the brood bitch and stud dog’s – hopefully you would have checked this out before proceeding with the planned mating – but yours! It takes a strong and dedicated person to undertake the months of puppy rearing.

Hand Rearing

Not all bitches take to rearing puppies. Sometimes the bitch will die during the birth. Will you be able to cope with round the clock feeding and the other jobs associated with encouraging body functions?

Mucky and Yucky!

Are you squeamish? Delivering puppies can be messy, so can the routine of cleaning them every few hours and encouraging their bodily functions as they grow older.

Do You Have the Space?

Your bitch will need her own space away from the family and other pets. A spare bedroom is ideal while the puppies are young. They can be introduced to the household and kennelled outside once they are older.

Why Not Buy a Puppy?

If you’ve considered the above points and decided that having a litter is not for you, why no buy another puppy instead? You can dedicate your time to rearing another beautiful example of your breed and starting all over again in the show ring.

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Where are you going to buy a puppy from if all the ethical breeders (including first timers) no longer breed? If that happened puppy farmers would have a field day (because, lets face it, people will always want puppies rather than older rescue dogs that can be even more hard work than a pup) causing even more suffering and problems for the rescues.
unicorndeva - 12-Feb-12 @ 10:46 PM
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