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Purposeful and Responsible Breeding

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278 – February, 2018

By William Given

The words “responsible” and “breeding” should be an inseparable combination in the purebred dog breeding community. I am going to suggest that we also add the word, “purposeful.”

The successful future of every puppy in a litter depends heavily on the breeder’s investment. To that end, a successful breeder will project their financial obligations from conception to the sale and transfer of the puppies, and for the lifespan of those puppies kept by the breeder.

A successful breeder will have planned ahead and developed a breeding management program. They will have gained a theoretical knowledge of principals of heredity, as well as studied the practical application of canine genetics. They will have learned about the health care needs of the brood bitch and the special nutrition requirements of puppies.

A successful breeder will have done all of their homework. And, the research can be extensive when searching for the right stud dog possessing both great conformation and a wonderful temperament. Other research includes finding out as much as you can find out about the potential sire’s genetic health screenings, fertility rates, quality of his off- spring, and more.

Balancing the Budget

From stud fees to pre-breeding reproductive exams, as well as specialized nutritional needs for the brood bitch and the puppies, there is much to include when calculating the bottom line. Stud fees may range from $500 to $5,000, depending on a multitude of factors.

A successful breeder does not under-value the importance of a pre-breeding health exam, especially if the breeder has reason to believe that the bitch could have problems conceiving or if she has previously failed to deliver living puppies. According to Dr. Milan Hess, DVM, a Board Certified Reproductive Specialist and Diplomate to the American College of Theriogenologists, “A pre-breeding health check will confirm that the brood bitch is in good overall condition and healthy enough to conceive and deliver a litter, but it also
includes an examination of the reproductive tract,” and “The money spent (somewhere between $100 and $750) on a reproductive health exam prior to breeding can save you much more than money should the litter be lost while the bitch is in whelp”. Here are just a few of the associated costs that should be planned for vaginal cytology, $25 to $50; luteinizing hormone testing, $50 to $100; progesterone (quantitative) testing, between $65 and $150. “An ultrasound pregnancy diagnosis will cost the breeder between $100 and $200”, said Dr. Hess, “and if necessary, a caesarean section will add $500 to $3,000 (depending on the time of day and whether the surgery is performed by a general vet or at a specialty hospital) to the cost of producing the litter”.

These costs do not even include eye and heart checks or an OFA hip evaluation. “Hopefully, health testing is done. We have so many tests now that hips, hearts and eyes are just a drop in the bucket,” added Dr. Hess, and “Eye evaluations can typically be performed at health clinics for $40 to $50. Heart evaluations may run $50-$400 depending on the need for an echocardiogram, and hip radiographs cost $200 to $500 depending on the size of the dog and the need for sedation.”

Click here to read the complete article
278 – February, 2018

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Posted by on Mar 7 2018. Filed under Current Articles, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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