|The Whelping Box Here is where we talk about responsible breeding practices. Birth announcements and upcoming litters can be posted here, but please, no selling!|
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What is it like to be a breeder?
READ THIS INFO FIRST
I have created this page to tell people what it is like to be a breeder.
I get asked these questions all the time…..
1. What does it take to become a breeder?
2. How much time do you need to raise a litter of puppies?
3. Why does a puppy cost so much?
4. If I buy a dog/bitch for a pet from you why do I get limited registration?
First off, it takes a special person to be a responsible breeder.
You must have a passion for dogs and a drive to improve the breed.
It isn't just about producing puppies to sell or show. It's a lifetime commitment.
One that takes patience, love and a level mind.
You don't always get what you want out of a litter
and a good breeder knows this and is willing to accept this fact,
and let the entire litter go to pet homes. A good breeder recognizes
there is no perfect dog and all dogs have faults.
They recognize these faults and work to improve them.
A good breeder also respects other breeders, even if we don't agree,
we are all after the same thing. An Ideal specimen of our breed.
Now with that said, question number two is a good one.
It takes a LOT of time to raise a litter. You must be prepared for that.
You never know when there will be problems that you must attend to.
Your bitch may need a c-section.
God forbid, your bitch could die and you would have to raise the entire litter by
That means feeding those puppies every two hours around the clock for the first
3 weeks, and yes even at night. Keeping them warm as they have no mother to
do that for them.
Puppies cannot regulate their body temperatures on their own until they are
about 3 weeks old. Puppies can get sick and require more extra attention.
When I have a litter, I don't plan on being gone from my home for more then
3-4 hours maximum until they leave at 8-10 weeks of age.
If I am gone for more then that amount of time I have someone watching
them for me, that knows about raising puppies.
Why does a puppy cost so much?
That is a very good question as well. One that I too asked when I got started
into purebred dogs.
First off, the cost of a show quality breeding bitch or dog is anywhere from
$1100 to $1850 if you are lucky enough to get one as a puppy.
All responsible breeders evaluate there breeding stock for genetic health
problems before they breed.
This can run you up around $1000 for Hips/Eyes/Thyroid/Heart.
The cost to feed a bitch or dog good quality premium food for the first two
years of it's life runs about $1500.
Most dogs/bitches have earned their AKC Championship as well before they
are bred, the cost of that runs about $2000-$3000 if you do the work
Some people hire professional handlers that cost on average
$200 per weekend of just handling fees, not board.
Now that you have a CH. bitch and she is 2 years old it's time to pick a stud
Stud fees usually run you the cost of a puppy ($800-$1500).
If you are using frozen semen on a deceased dog you can be looking upwards
of $2500 for the straw as well.
But lets assume you have chosen a live dog and you are ready to ship your
bitch, that will run you $500 each way via air. Most stud dog owners do
progesterone testing to find out when your bitch has ovulated, and on average
around 3-4 draws at $100 each.
Now that your bitch is bred, she's ready to be ultrasounded at 28 days at around
$100 to confirm pregnancy.
Then at 55-60 days an x-ray to get a count of how many we should expect at
Now you set up your whelping box $250 (for a decent, but cost effective one).
You buy towels and heating pads, Ribbon to identify each puppy, a scale,
hemostats running you approximately another $150.
You are ready to whelp the litter when you notice your bitch has been in labor a
long time and no puppy yet.
You rush off to the vet and one is stuck and you must have a c-section,
costing around $500 minimum, Post whelping, you have dewclaws removed at
$20 per puppy.
Worming every 2 weeks at $10 per round.
First and second set of shots approximately $50-$100 depending on if you give
them yourself and then at 6-8 weeks.
People will want registration papers at $25 plus $2 per puppy
and then the cost for health certificates for the ones leaving via airplane at $50
each, and we haven't even counted the food we've weaned our little darlings
onto +/- $300.
So we have spent a total of about $9500-$16,000 on a litter of puppies.
If we only have 5 we would have to charge $1900 per puppy to make back
what we've put in.
And that is why a puppy, even if it's "just a pet", costs what it costs.
Each puppy leaving our kennel that is not going to be shown in conformation
leaves with limited registration. The reason is if you are not going to show
your dog to it's Championship, then the dog should not be bred.
As AKC shows are designed to evaluate “BREEDING STOCK”.
This does not mean your dog is not registered.
Limited registration only means the animal is not eligible to be shown in
Conformation only or to be bred.
The limited registration can be lifted at anytime by the breeder of the animal.
So anyone choosing to pursue showing in Conformation and granted the
dog/bitch is a good specimen of the breed,
I am more then happy to lift that restriction.
I think one more point should be made about pet quality vs.
The more proper term should be “Show-Potential” really.
To me a pet is a dog/bitch that I would not use in my breeding program.
This does not mean that if you are buying a "pet" from me that you are getting
a substandard animal.
I do not breed to get substandard animals.
I breed to get the best that I can in a Newfoundland, St. Bernard or Scottie.
A show-potential puppy is one that has no major structural faults.
A major structural fault to me is a structural fault that would prevent the puppy
from functioning comfortably for the purpose this breed was designed to do.
I evaluate all of my puppies at 6-8 weeks and those that I feel are not
exceptional specimens are considered pets.
This averages about 75% of the litter being pets and 25% being show potential.
Written By: Shelia Rush
Last edited by Amaziah; 12th April 2012 at 12:22 AM.