Advice for breeders

Introduction to Breeding

Please consult a vet before you consider breeding a bitch, the information provided is no way a substitute for veterinary care and advice. Breeding is not something to be taking lightly, it is a big responsibility and something that should be taken very seriously, if you would like to become a breeder it is strongly advised that you seek advise from you bitches breeder. There is not much money to be made in breeding so never breed to try and make money – breeding should only be to improve the breed.

Why do you want to breed?

If you want to breed because you want to make money, then please reconsider breeding. Breeding is expensive and you are no likely to make any money from it. You must consider vet bills, food, equipment and advertising.

Do you have the room?

Puppies may be cute but they take up a lot of space and can be very messy! You will need a large run and whelping box and large run large enough for up to 12 puppies. Bedding will need to be washed once or twice a day and a secure outside area is important so puppies can run around and play.

Do you have the time?

Your bitch will need you there in the days leading up to her labour and you will need to be present and on hand for the whelping which can take 24 hours!

It must also be considered that your bitch needs a special diet and frequent walks, later on when the puppies are older you will also need to feed, walk and take care of them all. Taking care of up to 12 puppies for 7 weeks requires a lot of time and dedication.

Do you have the knowledge?

Do you know what to do should anything go wrong? If the answer is no then you need to research and educate yourself before breeding. Breeding is a serious responsibility and not something to be taken lightly – the more knowledge you have the better change you bitch and puppies have of remaining fit and healthy. The puppies potential new owners will also look to you as a source of information and its your responsibility to be at hand to answer any questions they may have.

Are you aware of your legal responsibilities?

The Breeding and Sale of Dogs Act 1999 states that if you are going to embark on a career breeding dogs you must obtain a license is the bitch gives birth of 5 or more liters in any 12 month period.

During an inspection you must adhere to the following areas:

Record keeping including

  1. identifying marks (tattoo/microchip, kennel club registration)
  2. disease and infection control
  3. matings
  4. whelpings
  5. oestrus
  6. numbers of puppies
  7. sales records

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Housekeeping including:

  1. accommodation
  2. construction
  3. cleanliness and disinfection
  4. bedding
  5. exercise areas
  6. kitchen facilities
  7. first aid provision – human and animal
  8. food and water – storage and provision
  9. isolation facilities
  10. emergency procedures and fire prevention

Preparing the Bitch

No bitch should ever be breed before the 2, they are not physically mature yet. In the first 2 years of the dogs life they will be preparing for breeding so ensure you provide good quality nutrition, health care and training to ensure they are a good mother and produce a healthy litter. Another reason you must ensure your dog is over 2 years of old before breeding is health checks, you will need to ensure various health checks are carried out my a veterinary professional before you determine whether your dog is suitable for breeding. Please consult your vet for more information on the specific tests required.

Choosing a Stud Dog

Choosing the right sire for your litter is very important, and expert advice should be sought. The breeder of your bitch would be ideal for explaining what type of dog would be ideal and explaining this process to you.

Paperwork Required

Ensure you record the following information on file for each bitch and litter you produced:

Heat Record

  1. Name of bitch
  2. Litter Number (way to differentiate between litters at your kennel)
  3. Date of onset
  4. Interval
  5. Smear date and results
  6. Progesterone Test date and results
  7. Breeding dates and comments on breeding
  8. Palpitation dates and results
  9. Ultrasound date and results
  10. X-ray date and results
  11. Notes on pregnancy
  12. Track weight gain weekly
  13. Track temperature from day 58-65, 3 times daily
  14. Date and time whelping began
  15. Date and time whelping ended
  16. Notes on whelping

Litter Record

  1. Breed
  2. Registered name and KC number of dam
  3. Registered name and KC number of sire
  4. Sire’s owner’s name
  5. Date mated
  6. Date litter whelped
  7. Number of male puppies born
  8. Number of female puppies born
  9. KC Litter Number
  10. Sex, Colour/Markings, Puppy ID number, Date Sold, Date Died, Name and address of person to whom sold, Dates when following paperwork was supplied: registration application or certificate and bill of sale; name and KC number of puppy.

Additional Litter Information

  1. Time each puppy was born
  2. Ribbon colour or other identifying mark
  3. Colour of puppy
  4. Sex
  5. Weight at birth
  6. Length at birth
  7. A description of any problems
  8. Whelping date
  9. Sire and Dam
  10. Time whelping started and ended
  11. Notes on whelping

labrador-advicePuppy Record

  1. Ribbon colour
  2. Call Name
  3. Registered Name
  4. Sex
  5. Colour
  6. KC Litter No.
  7. KC Registration No.
  8. Date of Birth
  9. Sire and Dam
  10. Weight at Birth and when sold
  11. Vaccinations Given (Date and Type)
  12. Owner (include address and telephone numbers)
  13. Date sold
  14. Conditions of sale
  15. Price
  16. Notes on Development and Temperament
  17. On the back of this form, track the weight of the puppies daily until they are three weeks old and then weekly thereafter.

Litter Registration Application

Its very important to register you new litter with KC (The Kennel Club), this application should be completed as soon as the puppies are whelped so you can deliver the correct paperwork to the puppy buyers.

Puppy Registration Forms

Once your litter has been registered you will receive a registration form so the puppy buyers can register their puppies with the KC.

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