The Talk with an Actual Breeder

Hey dog lovers, today I have the privilege to write about my stepdad who in his younger days breed dogs and did it the right way. Enjoy!

Golden-Retriever-1It was the start of a new chapter in Kevin McClure’s life, he recently bought a home in West Valley New York in 1987. A 125 acre piece of land with a swamp. This was the perfect place to begin his breeding career. Long hair golden labs is what he trained as water dogs (retrieve ducks and geese) and would profit between $5-6,000 a dog. The profit was a nice bonus but not the reason he did what he did, he wanted to perfect the breed by training it as young as 6 months old to walk off leash and retrieve a feather covered ball (duck) and how to swim.

To begin he obtained his purebreds from a guy in Bradford Pennsylvania. In order to get a good quality puppy one needs to get a male from one litter and a female from a totally separate one. This way their genetics will be healthier and stronger. The total cost of his start up was between $20 – 50,000. This is including the cost of Duchess (18,000) and Duke (3500).

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McClure enjoyed the whole process of breeding dogs but as most people do dreaded giving them up as he bonded with each and every one of them since they were born. In order to receive a puppy from him you needed to spend 3 days I a hotel nearby and learn what he taught them. The quality of care and compassion is what sets him apart from the other breeders. He wasn’t about the quick buck, he was about bettering long hair golden labs.

As we enter into the colder season make sure you check out Scarves for Paws and keep your neck warm and buy a scarf!

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Preparing for Event #2

Hey dog lovers, Today’s post is going to be quick as I get ready for my next event this Saturday in Attleboro, where I will be selling my scarves and supporting FAAS, friends of the Attleboro Animal Shelter as they open a new shelter. With this said I need to get a few more scarves done and get the set up ready.

PLEASE CONSIDER COMING TO SUPPORT NOT ONLY ME BUT THIS AMAZING PLACE AS WELL!!!

Until next week! Don’t forget to check out my website and buy a scarf!

Responsible Breeding Part Two

Hey dog lovers, today I will be continuing the breeding series as it is an upcoming thing to do and I want all dogs used to be treated fairly.

FINALIZE STUD CONTRACT

After all necessary health checks, genetic screenings, and selected the perfect mate for your female. 

It is an excellent idea to work out a contract with the owner of the stud dog before breeding takes place. The agreement concerning stud fees should be in writing and clearly state all obligations and circumstances. The contract should be signed by all parties to the transaction, and each signer should receive a copy.

The stud fee is set by the stud dog’s owner. The mode of payment may differ. The stud owner may request a cash fee, “pick of the litter,” one or more puppies from the resulting litter, etc. The collection of the stud fee is the stud owner’s responsibility. The contract may state that the owner of the sire is not obligated to sign an AKC litter registration application until the stud fee has been paid. Keep in mind that the AKC cannot settle disputes between individuals in regards to contracts and breeding arrangements.

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PERFORM PRE-BREEDING HEALTH CHECKS

Both parents need long-term care; regular veterinary care, screening for genetic problems, pre-breeding tests, and regular exercise and good nutrition..

The age at which dogs reach sexual maturity depends to a large extent on their breed. Small breeds tend to mature faster than large breeds. On average, however, males become fertile after six months of age and reach full sexual maturity by 12 to 15 months. Healthy stud dogs may remain sexually active and fertile to old age. Adult males are able to mate at any time. 

The females cycle is divided into four periods.

  • Proestrus: The female attracts males, has a bloody vaginal discharge, and her vulva is swollen. Proestrus lasts approximately nine days; the female, however, will not allow breeding at this time.
  • Estrus: This period lasts approximately nine days, the female will accept the male and is fertile. Ovulation usually occurs in the first 48 hours; however, this can vary greatly.
  • Diestrus: Lasting 60 to 90 days, diestrus is the period when the reproductive tract is under the control of the hormone progesterone. 
  • Anestrus: No sexual activity takes place. Anestrus lasts between three and four months.

NATURAL BREEDING

Responsible breeders generally do not breed a female at the first heat to avoid imposing the stress of pregnancy and lactation on a young, growing animal.

During breeding, the male mounts the female from the rear and clasps her midsection with his front legs. Rapid pelvic thrusts follow until penetration and ejaculation take place. 

ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION

Artificial insemination is a relatively simple procedure that can be used when natural breeding is impractical. The AKC accepts registration of a litter mated by artificial insemination using fresh semen, fresh extended semen, and frozen semen, provided the proper procedures are followed. Registration of these litters requires DNA certification

WATCH FOR SIGNS OF PREGNANCY

Canine gestation lasts approximately 63 days. Signs of pregnancy include an increase in appetite, weight, and nipple size. However, a bitch with false pregnancy may also show these signs. A veterinarian can usually confirm a pregnancy through abdominal palpitation at 28 days or by using ultrasound or X-rays.

PROVIDE PROPER NUTRITION FOR YOUR PREGNANT BITCH

A female in good condition should continue into pregnancy with the same caloric intake that she had during adult maintenance. Her food intake should be increased only as her body weight increases, beginning about the last five weeks before whelping. Daily food intake should be increased gradually, so that at the time of whelping she may be eating 35 to 50 percent more than usual. 

ACCUSTOM YOUR FEMALE TO THE WHELPING BOX

An ideal whelping environment is warm, dry, quiet, draft-free, and away from all other dogs when possible. Confinement and whelping location of your bitch is relative to her breed and size. A good whelping box is roomy and has low sides so you can easily reach in. Flooring should have grip for puppies.

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Suggested Whelping Supplies:

  • Item
  • Usage
  • Newspaper
  • Bedding for female and puppies; line whelping box before, during, and after whelping
  • Bath Mats
  • Bedding for bitch and puppies after whelping
  • Clean Towels
  • Clean puppies during whelping
  • Paper Towels
  • Clean up the whelping area
  • Thermostat
  • Check bitch’s temperature prior to whelping
  • Un-waxed dental floss
  • Tying puppies’ umbilical cords
  • Heating Pad
  • Keep puppies warm. 
  • Scissors
  • Cut puppies’ umbilical cords or the placenta
  • Iodine
  • After umbilical cord is cut 

BE ALERT FOR SIGNS OF LABOR

A few days before the female is ready to give birth, she may stop eating and start building a “nest” where she plans to have her puppies — if introduced properly, this should be in the whelping box you have prepared for her.

Approximately 24 hours after her temperature drops, she can be expected to enter the first stage of labor when the cervix dilates and opens the birth canal for the passage of puppies. At this time, she will pant, strain, and appear restless. This stage of labor is followed by actual abdominal straining and production of the puppies and placentas.

“Hounds follow those who feed them.”
Otto von Bismarck

Check out next weeks post on Part three of breeding.

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As we approach the fall season remember to check out Scarves for Paws to get your scarf to help sheltered dogs.

Responsible Breeding Part One

Hey dog lovers, breeding is topic of discussion for the next few weeks so stay tuned for facts and information coming at you.

Preparation for breeding a litter: 

  • Breeding purebred dogs is a FULL TIME JOB, expensive and heartbreaking. If you plan on going forward it should be to improve the breed not to just increase its numbers.
  • Study your breed, know what their temperament, training and energy levels will be BEFORE you begin breeding. AKC Rules are a great place to learn as much as you can about your breed. Knowing your breeds’ standard according to AKC using their national parent club and pedigree information.

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Breed to ImproveEvery dog is the best dog in the world to their owners. Owners need to look at all sides of their breed, the good and bad before beginning the breeding process. The goal is to make it the breed better.

Understand the Commitment: It’s the breeders’ responsibility to provide a safe, warm, dry place for the puppies and proper food and water for the mom.

  • Puppies are even more work and need extra feeding when weaned off their moms.
  • They need training, vet care, cleanup and grooming which adds up fast.
  • This can also get costly make sure you can afford the cost of breeding.
  • Research and feel out each and every person who wants to adopt your puppies, make sure they go to loving families.

Choosing a Suitable Mate: 

  • Ensure both sire (male) and dam (female) are AKC registered. The litter can be registered if they both are with AKC.
  • Mate animals that complement one another- bloodlines will strengthen your female’s weaknesses and emphasize her good qualities.
  • Two vital factors to keep in mind when making your choice are temperament and health.

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Know your Genetics: The prospective puppies’ health, soundness, looks and temperament will be determined by the genes passed on by their parents. It is essential to study the pedigrees of your mating pair. The more you know the better quality litter you can produce. Look out for genetic defects and be prepare to handle them.

Look out for Responsible Breeding part Two next week with more information.

As always have a great week and check out Scarves for Paws to purchase a scarf today!

“No matter how little money and few possessions, you own, having a dog makes you rich” – Louis Sabin

What in the World is a Shrink-a-bull?

s3Hello dog lovers, today’s topic is one of my favorites to share. Thee breed taking the world by storm, Shrink-a-bulls

s1 What are Shrink-a-bulls you ask? Shrink-a-bulls are a combination of English and French Bulldogs. They are a popular breed that is at such a high demand they update their Facebook and Website with new puppies as soon as they are born. These people are on top of the breeding world like no other. Shrink-a-bulls are cute, lovable and honestly a breed that I want to own in the future. 

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Shrink-a-bulls are expensive as you have to call to inquire but still remain a popular demand to own. 

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Stay tuned until next week where I share the ins and outs of Breeding dogs. Don’t forget to check out Scarves for Paws to support sheltered dogs. 

“Once you have a had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished” Dean Koontz