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You want to raise a litter?

If you think it can't happen, it will. If you KNOW it can't happen, it will. If it is absolutely impossible for it to happen, it will most DEFINATELY HAPPEN!!"

Mother nature works to ensure that the minute a dog breeder assumes that all is going well, something will go wrong. If you are prepared to make the choice to be a dog breeder, you need to be aware of the risks associated with, and the incredibly hard work and agonizing situations which it entails.

Dead bitches, dead puppies, dead litters, sleepless nights, devastating vet bills, and round the clock work are all the prices we must be prepared to pay for the rewards of snuggling those cute little faces.

Until you have held in your hands a cold, dead puppy -- one you've watched since birth, one you've waited for so eagerly -- you cannot know what loss is. Until your bitch has died from complications of a breeding that you decided upon and planned for, you cannot know what regret is. Serious breeders are aware of all of this, and reluctantly accepting of the possible outcomes which can happen.

What you need to ask yourself is are you prepared and willing to risk all of this?

See  "So you think you want to raise a litter of pups" below, all these things are possible, and I have dealt with most of them!

If your dog is a treasured family pet HAVE HER SPAYED!!


Your dog is beautiful, she has a wonderful temprament and you know she will make gorgeous puppies! You know what to expect if everything goes right. Your little girl will present you with tiny bundles of joy. She will lovingly nurse them and care for them until they are old enough to be weaned. You and your family will find great joy in watching and playing with these little dolls, and then when the time is right they will all (or maybe you keep just one) go off to special homes to live out their lives as cherished companions, and you will have some extra money in your pocket. But have you given consideration as to what can  go wrong? Try to imagine some of these things, all are possible!!

What if during the breeding...........

1) You paid the $350-$1,000 stud fee up front, figuring you will make that and more back when the puppies are sold. The breeder guarantees the stud service to work or you can come back again. After 2 months you discover it didn't work and now must wait another 4 months to try again. Of course it doesn't work again, so in another 4 months you take your dog to another male and risk losing another stud fee.

2) You get her bred, bring her home, and she bothers you, so you let her out. (she is still in heat and still receptive to males). You hear a commotion outside and there is your girl mating with the neighborhood mutt. When she whelps there will need to be DNA tests done on the pups if you want to register them, as the puppies can each have a differnt father!.

3) Knowing she tied/mated with the neighborhood mutt, you decide to terminate the pregnancy and try again being more careful next time. But a few weeks later your female is very sick, because you had  given a miss-mate shot and now she has Pyometra (untirine infection) and needs a complete hysterectomy. All plans of getting a litter are gone and your female's life is now in danger, if she does not have the operation.

What if during the birth..............

1) The puppies are too large for the females hips! (how will you know?) or she never even goes into labor, then the puppies will die, and she will become infected by the decaying bodies, causing her blood to become infected and resluting in her death.

2) The puppies are coming breach and they drown in their own sacks before they can be born. (Will you know if they are breach?)

3) The first puppy is large and breach. When it starts coming your female starts screaming, and before you can stop her she reaches around, grabs the puppy in her teeth and yanks it out killing it instantly, or worse yet just seriously injuring it, requiring vet care.

4) A puppy gets stuck. Neither your female nor you can get it out. You have to race her to the vet. The vet can't get it out either. She has to have an emergency caesarian section. Of course, this never happens at a convenient time! It is usually 3:00 am Christmas day or the day of your nieces wedding, ect...  .

5) A puppy gets stuck in the birth canal, but your female is well into hard labor. She contracts so hard trying to give birth that her uterus prolapses, or even  ruptures and she bleeds to death on the way to the vet.

What if directly after birth..........

1) The mother has no idea what to do with a puppy and she drops them out and walks away, leaving them in the sack to drown.

2) The mother takes one look at the puppies, decides they are disgusting droppings and tries to smother them in anything she can find to bury them in.

3) The mother gets too enthusiastic in her removal of the placenta and umbilical cord, and rips the cord out leaving a gushing hole pulsing blood all over you as you try in vain to stop the bleeding.

4) What if because of some hormone deficiency, she turns vicious allowing no one near her or the babies, who she refuses to nurse, and won't let you step in to help. Or she goes into shock and dies!

What if when you think you are in the clear..................

1) One or more of the puppies inhaled fluid during birth, pneumonia develops and death occurs within 36 hours. (will you know if they inhaled birthing fluid??) 

2) What if the mothers milk goes bad. You lose three of your four puppies before you discover what is wrong. You end up bottle-feeding the remaining pup every two hours, day and night. After three days the puppy fades from infection and dies.

3) The puppies develop fading puppy syndrome and you lose two. You are bottle-feeding or tube feeding the last remaining baby. It begins to choke and despite your efforts to clear the airway, the pup stiffens and dies in your hands.

4) Your female develops a uterine infection from a retained placenta. Her temperature soars to 105. You race her to the vet, he determines she must be spayed. He does the spay in an attempt to save her life, you pay the hundreds of dollars bill. The infection has gone into her blood stream. The infected milk kills all the puppies and the bitch dies a day later.

Are you prepared to deal with these things?? All are possible!

The Sale:...................

1) You had the puppies vet checked and got thier first vaccinations (shots) into them, now you put an ad in the local paper for your pups at the usual going price of your breed, you get only 2 responses and no sales... you run the ad another week with only one person who said they will come out to see the pups..they never even showed up! Now you cut the puppies price in half and broaden your advertising to include 3 other newspapers in which the advertising totals $120.00 a week. Again you get a few calls but no one comes to see the puppies! The puppies are now 9 weeks old and need another puppy shot in thier vaccination series, more vet bills!

2) You get a few more puppy inquiries from people who ask all kinds of questions about the parents, and pedigrees and if the pups are registered, and if there was health screening done on them and your experience with raising dogs. You tell them your dogs are not related, they are healthy, that you could get the registration  papers if you wanted to, and this is your first time raising puppies. The callers politely thank you and hang up. The puppies are now ready for thier third puppy booster...more vet bills! 

3) The pups are now 4 1/2 months old and getting bigger , eating a lot and causing a lot of hassles in your daily life, PLUS their barking is really beginning to annoy the neighbors, so they call the police, who inform you of the $150.00 noise by-law, and remind you that 4 month old puppies need a rabies shot and by 5 months of age need a dog license!! MORE BILLS!

4) Your neighbors also called the humane society, who comes out to inspect the care of your dogs. You pass inspection, but again, you are reminded that they need to be licensed or you will be fined per dog! Now you end up feeling truely stressed and harassed.

5) You finally decide to give the rest of the litter away, but you still had to pay the $280 or more in advertising bills and the $800 vet bills. 

What if the new homes are not so happy?.......................

1) You give a puppy to a friend. Their fence blows down so they tie the puppy outside while they go to work. A roving dog comes along and kills the puppy. Your friend calls you up to tell you about the poor little puppy and asks when you are having more puppies.

2) You sell a puppy to an acquaintance. The next time you see them you ask how the puppy is doing. They tell you that it soiled their new carpet so they took it to the pound.

3) You sell a puppy to a friend (you give them a good price and payments). They make a couple of tiny payments. Six months later they move to an apartment. They ask you to take it back. You take it back and of course the payments stop. The dog they returned is so shy and ill mannered from lack of socialization and training it takes you a year of work providing socializing and training to be able to give it away.

4) You sell a puppy to a wonderful home. They love her like one of the family. At a vet check done by their vet it is determined that the puppy has a heart murmur. (Your vet found nothing when he checked the puppy before it was sold.) They love their puppy and want the best for her. They have an expensive surgery done. The puppy is fine. they sue you for the medical costs. They win, because you did not have a contract stipulating conditions of guarantee and so as breeder you are responsible for the puppies genetic health.

5) One loving home decides your puppy is un-trainable, destructive and wants to return the pup and get a full refund.

6) One loving couple calls you and is very upset because their pup now a year old has luxating patellas and want to know what you are going to do about it. Never mind how you cautioned them about letting little Fifi jump off of high places while her bones were still growing or the fact that she jumped out of her owner's arms injuring her knees, now they want you to pay for getting them fixed!

So you got to ask yourself
Was it worth it?


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Kim Gostomski
Loyal, Wi. 54446
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