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First Time Dog Breeder Checklist

First Time Dog Breeder Checklist

So you may be at the point in your life where you have decided that you would like to become a dog breeder. This period of time is such an exciting one as you’re so eager to start your breeder career and see just how rewarding it is to care for dogs and re-home puppies to families that will love them for a lifetime. However, before you can get started there are certain things you need to ask yourself before you get going:

  • Can I actually afford to pay the costs for the recommended health tests for the bitch prior to mating?
  • Do I realistically have the time to look after a litter until the puppies are old enough to be re-homed? (Typically 8 weeks)
  • Do I know enough to advise new owners about how to look after their new puppies – from rearing and dieting to training and health issues?
  • Am I knowledgeable on the whelping period so I can help the bitch when needed?
  • An important one – do you feel like you’d be able to find suitable homes for the dogs?
  • Can I take back or re-home any puppies if things don’t work out in the first instance?
  • Am I able to cover caesarean costs should the dam have difficulty whelping the litter?
  • Could I actually handle a larger litter, which can be up to 12 puppies?
  • Do I know enough in order to expertly rear the litter, including on worming, vaccinations, and socialisation?

With a lot to consider you may not have realized all of the factors that go into becoming a breeder, so if you don’t feel like you could conduct all of that, then dog breeding may not be for you. If you’re unsure it is always a good idea to get in touch with ourselves or a breeder club in order to gain an in-depth insight into what is required of you.

However, if that all seems like something you could manage that is great but just make sure you remember that when breeding it is always a demanding role so it’s useful to take on board advice from the established professionals:

  • A quality dog breeder will always give careful consideration to health issues, temperament, and soundness of its litter.
  • As a general rule, accountable dog breeders should see each litter that they breed as an improvement on its parents.
  • Responsible dog breeders plan ahead of each mating to ensure that each puppy produced will be bred in the best environment possible.
  • Arguably the most important rules of ethics in dog breeding is that they accept responsibility for a puppy which they have bred, and make themselves available to give advice, help, and information to any new owners.

What You Need to Know Before You Breed

  • Make sure you transfer the dog into your registered ownership.
  • Always make sure you microchip your dog. (See why here)
  • Get all of the relevant health checks done e.g. elbow grading, hip scoring, eye testing & DNA testing.
  • Get a DNA profile for your dog.
  • Ensure no breeding endorsement has been placed on your dog's records.
  • Thoroughly check that your dog is healthy and suitable to whelp a litter.
  • Get in touch with breed specific society to learn more about your dog.
  • Ensure that the health status of the proposed stud dog is satisfactory.

What You Need to Know Before the Whelping

  • Guarantee that you have all of the equipment needed to cope with the whelping period.
  • Sort out definitively what whelping facilities, including bedding, will be best suited for the job.
  • Inform your vet when your bitch is due to whelp and keep their phone number to hand.

What You Need to Know After Breeding

  • You can register your litter on certain sites, clubs and society in order to advertise the puppies and to give the registration certificate to the new owners when they collect.
  • Always provide a puppy contract with all puppies sold for it changes hands.
  • You should also look to leave your puppies with some insurance for the new owners.
  • And Finally, guarantee that you microchip your puppies before they go to their new home with a SmartChip microchip.
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