PLEASE READ THIS ITEM BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY DECISION
As an owner of a pedigree Border Terrier, the thought may already, or at some time in the future, cross your mind to breed from your much loved pet. Breeding Border's is not a hobby it can be demanding, complicated and is not something the average pet owner should dabble with. Many people have thought of breeding their Border's as a means of making money. One school of thought many pet owners have is to buy a dog and a bitch and then let them get on with it. Please believe us - it is not as simple as that.
The beloved family pet is perhaps not the best candidate to continue the purebred strain of Border's. Just for a moment consider the time and money involved just to get your Border bitch into breeding condition; finding a suitable Stud Dog and the costs associated with that i.e. Stud Fees; Travelling; Fuel etc; to look after her throughout her pregnancy and the possible Vets Fees associated with that, both during and after whelping; the huge demand placed on you personally in terms of time and finance, involved in looking after both her and her puppies This includes such things as feeding, grooming, worming, vaccination, registration fees, vets fees etc. etc. until they are old enough to go to their new homes.
What a heart breaking and tragic experience to loose an entire litter because the owner did not recognize a breach birth or could not identify the signals of a struggling bitch. Even worse, what if you were to lose your bitch whelping have you considered the risks and how will you cope with the heartache associated with your loss?
If you are going to breed your Border you need to think things through carefully and way up all the pros and cons. These pages have been produced purely to give you an insight. You will need to learn a whole lot more and be aware of the risks associated with breeding!
Many a reason is given for breeding a litter, a number of scenarios are printed below put yourself in the situation and consider the reasons more importantly answer them honestly.
"I could make a lot of money." - Do you realise the expense involved in such items as advertising, vet bills, stud fee, registration fees, food, etc., to name a few?
"Because it would be good for the children to witness the birth and play with the puppies as they grow up." - Actually, the "gory" parts of the whelping is repulsive to most children, who are all too anxious to just skip the viewing of the miracle of birth you have planned for them to see. A litter growing up is too rowdy for most kids who are usually totally disinterested or absolutely terrified of the leaping creatures with their sharp nails and teeth. If you want the children to see a puppy grow up, it's usually better to buy one in from someone reputable.
"Because we love our Meg, she is adorable and we want one just like her." - The chances of you getting another one who is "just like her" are slim indeed.
"Because everyone who comes to the house and sees our Meg wants a puppy from her when she has a litter." - Just wait until your litter of 8 is ready to go to their homes and watch all those people back out with excuses like...."The kids aren't old enough."...."The kids are too old now to be bothered with caring for a dog."......"We are going to have a baby."...."The rug is too new."...."The house is too small."...."We'll be moving in 3 months."....."Grandma doesn't like dogs."...."Our old dog hasn't died yet."....."It might not get along with the cat.".....and the list just goes on and on believe us we have heard it all!
"Because we really love little puppies." - You'd better be sure you love them. You can't fully imagine how much is involved, such as the mess a litter makes. Can you put up with the cleaning that is constantly needed in caring for the litter? There is no way to explain how tired you get of scrubbing up after the puppies, their whelping box, the yard, kennel, or wherever they are kept. They dump their food and water the minute you put it down, step in it, and drag it through whatever else may be in the puppy box, and with 6 or 8 or more puppies, there's always something else to be cleaned up too!
Do you understand the RESPONSIBILITY you will have with a litter?
It's not just Meg having the litter and caring for it until they are ready to go. Most of it is up to you and you're tied to the litter like any new mother, only you can't take the litter with you to your in-laws for the weekend, or any place else for that matter, so you'd better be content and get used to spending the next eight weeks on your own, because you have to be there to feed the puppies four times a day.
Now that you have some idea of what is involved other than playing with those cute, cuddly puppies and are still determined to breed, then here are some more questions to be considered again I urge you to answer them honestly .
Is your bitch of QUALITY to breed?
Do you know her faults as well as her virtues? Does she meet with the standard of the breed? Is she in good health? Has she been tested free of any genetic defects associated with the breed? Do you have suitable homes for the puppies because if not what are you going to do with them? They are your responsibility.
If you can answer "yes" to the above and haven't lost the determination to try your hand at raising a litter, and understand all the risks associated, then read on...
It is always wise to get an opinion of your bitch from a few reputable breeders ones who will advise you as to what they think are her faults and her virtues.
Learn about any problems that exist in the breed such as possibly hip dysplasia, eye disorders, etc. Study the breed standard yourself so that you are familiar with it when looking at and evaluating possible stud dogs. Get several reputable breeders opinions of a stud dog who they think will enhance your bitch. Make contact with the Stud Dog Owner, and look at some of the offspring possibly.
After you have decided on a stud dog, and the Stud Dog Owner is happy to let you use the dog, take your bitch to the vet and have all necessary health clearances done . She should have a general health check-up and the vet will advise on fitness, worming, any vitamin supplements (if needed) etc.
Don't forget, all this is going to cost money.
Now while you wait for her to come into season, read all you can on your particular breed, breeding, whelping, and rearing puppies.
Start saving all your newspapers and have your friends do the same (remember what we told you about clean-up?) You'll need all the newspaper you can get.
Have a whelping box built or, if you are handy, build one yourself. More.
When the bitch comes in season, contact the stud dog owner with whom you have previously made arrangements regarding the mating. You will be advised on when to bring your bitch. Plan to pay the stud fee at the time of mating . There may also be a boarding charge if your bitch has to stay with the stud dog's owner . Be sure you understand in advance what the payment of the stud fee is guaranteeing. The suitable stud for your bitch may be some distance away involving additional travelling expense . Getting your bitch bred isn't always as easy as you might imagine and may require repeated trips to the stud dog.
After your bitch is bred you have about 63 more days to do more reading and thinking, and laced with the good thoughts about the precious darlings will be some horrible thoughts about what can go wrong and if it does then how much it will cost you, both in financial and emotional terms. It will be a nail biting time for you!
We hate to keep dwelling on this but things DO GO WRONG occasionally and it is better to be prepared should this happen to you.
(1) What if your bitch has problems and requires a Caesarean section or other extensive vet services?
(2) What if the puppies die?
(3) What if she is not in whelp or has a miscarriage?
(4) What are you going to do with 6 six month old puppies that you can't sell, give away, or have the heart to put to sleep? Do you have adequate facilities and what about the extra costs involved with feeding six extra mouths?
(5) What if your bitch can't or won't nurse the puppies? Are you prepared to feed them every two hours for the next three weeks?
(6) And worst of all, what if Meg dies while whelping or afterwards? Will it have been worth it?
Your animals welfare, should at all times be of prime concern. We have all heard horror stories of people visiting breeders to purchase a pup, only to find the animals kept in appalling conditions remember people talk don't breed unless you have the time and the right facilities.
The days pass, and Meg whelps her puppies without any problems, but you still have to take her to the vet to be checked over within 24 hours of delivery. She will probably get injections to prevent infections . Lucky for you, Meg whelped 6 healthy puppies.
They are almost 6 weeks old now and in two weeks it will be time to sell them. First they will all have to make a trip to the vet. Their check-up will include vaccinations; a worm check and maybe flea treatment. (6 x).
You will need to register them with the Kennel Club before they leave home (6x£12 = £72) also you need to write out a Pedigree for each puppy or alternatively purchase them from the KC (6x £6 = £36).
Now that you know they are healthy and ready to go, you'll want a breeder to see just how gorgeous they are and how great you did on your first try. Of course, you think they are all show quality and worth show prices. But again be prepared because you might be told the following:
(1) The best male only appears to have one testicle.
(2) The next best male toes out badly (but has both testicles.)
(3) The really pretty bitch is oh so cute, but unfortunately has a bad bite.
(4) The smaller bitch has a proper bite but her topline is not very good.
(5) The bitch with the prettiest head is lovely until you look at her rear and see she is cowhocked.
There are 1/3 who are average, nothing really wrong but nothing outstanding either.
There is one who is show quality. The "show quality" one is the one you were going to keep just as a pet because the kids liked it best (another mouth to feed £) and you're feeling down at the breeder's opinion of your litter. But you're told to cheer up, one outstanding puppy is better than a lot of people get out of a litter and you should consider this a successful breeding - little consolation when you were going to sell them all as show puppies!
Now you have your litter graded and priced accordingly and you are ready to sell them. By this time, are you knowledgeable enough about your breed to be the expert every buyer assumes you are? Are you prepared to answer questions on training, housebreaking, feeding, grooming, etc.? Are you prepared to answer these questions not only at the time of purchase, but months later or when someone calls at midnight because the dog isn't eating right? Can you direct buyers to obedience classes, breed handling classes, agility classes help them get into showing, recommend a vet, etc.? Remember, you are now the breeder and the responsibility doesn't end when a puppy is carried out the door. Do you have a pedigree ready to go with each puppy, as well as the registration forms? Are you prepared to advertise extensively if needed?
If you have a good bitch and have bred to a stud dog owned by an interested breeder, they may send referrals to you, but don't depend on others such as the Breed Clubs to sell your puppies, Advertising expenses can be quite costly and can really add up. Don't expect the buyers to flock to your door the day the puppies are ready to go. It may take weeks, or even months, before they are all sold. This results in lots of food costs and more trips to the vet .
We hope that, having considered all the above, that if you do decide to breed your bitch then do it the right way and only for the right reasons putting in lots of time, thought, and love into your decision.
Remember puppies do not ask to be born and as a Breeder it is both your duty and responsibility to ensure that your puppies go to the right homes and for the right reasons and financial gain is not one of these.
Presented as a public service by Warrenton Kennel Club.
Very slightly adjusted to fit our breed..