Monday, July 29, 2013
"I'm thinking About Breeding My 2 Cattledogs...."
Think again, please.
Unless both dogs are registered with either the AKC and or the UKC (preferably both) and have had all their health tests (BAER, CERF, PRA, etc. etc = around $800-1000 per dog) and you have 3 times as many people (with deposits) as you might have puppies (8 puppies = 24 owners with deposits) and are willing to take back any puppy you produce throughout its entire lifetime (and that can be 15+ years) and will guarantee the health of all your puppies and microchip them etc etc. Can you provide and have the money for pre-natal care, vet visits for mommy dog, ultrasounds, a possible Cesarean delivery etc. etc.....If you can't or even balk at doing this because well, you might think it's unnecessary.....I would strongly advise you not to breed.
A good breeder, a responsible one spends hundreds if not thousands of dollars on both the stud and bitch. It wouldn't be fair to the puppies if mom and dad weren't in the peak of health and had all their eye, ear, hip, elbow, heart tested. If you can't or won't do the health testing or you think it's unnecessary, I would strongly advise you not to breed.
Are you willing to find the perfect home for your deaf puppy (and that happens more than you'd think)? Are willing to do home checks or have a trusted dog friend do them for you? If you don't think you need to check references or are unwilling to do so, I would strongly advise you not to breed.
Are you financially prepared for seeing the puppies get all their puppy health exams and shots? Will you have a mandatory spay-neuter contract with a held deposit until they new owners have proof of it? Will you get all the puppies microchipped so if (god forbid) at some point in its life that puppy ends up dumped at a shelter, you can go and get it, anywhere? If not, or you think that's a waste of time or money, I would strongly advise you not to breed.
Are you going to be there for the new puppy owners 24/7 for the rest of that puppy's life? Or yours? Phone calls in the middle of the night? Helping them find a good, kind trainer, urging them to take their puppy to class? Are you willing to keep track of all your puppies for the rest of their lives? Are you willing to track down them down? Are you willing to deal with the owner who is embarrassed, ashamed, avoids you? If you're not willing to be your new puppy owner's mentor I would strongly advise you not to breed.
If you are unwilling or unable to do all of the above: Please Don't Breed Your Two Dogs. Please.
Folks with intact dogs have to be extra vigilant. You can't depend on your dogs to "be good" when Nature comes calling her siren song.
You have to look at the big picture here.
You breed a litter and you haven't done all your homework. Your puppies make puppies. Your puppies end up in shelters.
Too many cattledogs end up in shelters and are tragically euthanized every WEEK. Rescues are overloaded and many good cattledogs die. I volunteer at a very low kill shelter, visit a high kill one. Everyone who is thinking of breeding should visit a "regular" shelter at least once in their life. If it doesn't affect you at your very core, and make you swear you'll do damn near ANYTHING to avoid having any of your babies end up there, Please Don't Breed Your Two Dogs. Please.
We need to be the guardians of our dogs and this breed in particular. A lot of people might want a cattledog for a wide variety of reasons but most people don't "get" cattledogs. The see a smart one, a loving one, a well-trained one, a good worker with a cool "look" to them and they think, "Cool dog! I want one!" The don't see endless hours of devotion, work, frustration, worry on that dog's owner's part.
A Good Cattledog takes some doing. Nature and Nurture.
There are tons of cool, fun things to do with your dogs that don't involve breeding! The options for fun with your dog are endless. Puppies are undeniably cute but the breeder MUST be responsible about bringing these new lives into an often cruel world. They are noisy, messy, need to be raised with love, kindness, socialized properly. Etc. etc.
This isn't being mean; it's being real, fair and honest. You are your dogs' guardian, now and for always, until the day, old and gray, their bodies leave this world for the Rainbow Bridge. That goes for any offspring you produce.
Of any breed or type.
Please Don't Breed Your Two Dogs. Please.