Should my female get puppies?

MRYP

Zooville Settler
"I want to breed my dog"

Everyone probably thought about having a puppy off of their own dog at one point in their life. I surely did.
But breeding dogs, isn't as "easy" as it seems, because there are many questions and facts that come along with having the desire to breed ones dog:

- Is my dog completely healthy?
- Does it have any problematic genes that can cause its offspring to become sick?
- Does my dog have any structural faults like flat feet, a bend in its tail, non-symmetrical ears, floppy ears even though there should be standing ones,.........?
- Can I provide a safe space for the puppies where they are also experiencing their first socialization to their environment and other human beings?
- Am I ready to stay up or constantly wake up at night to feed the puppies, in case my female gives birth to 11 or more puppies?
- Do I have the financial recourses to properly deworm and vaccinate so many puppies?
- How am I going to be sure that I give the puppies away to a good and caring home?

See, those are just a few things someone has to think about, when considering to breed their dog. Of course, you could be one of those people, who just don't care about all of this and just get the cash for sick puppies, that come as a package of worms, diarrhea, genetic issues and structural faults and maybe not even the breed it was claimed to be.

So, let's start with the basics...


Why can't I breed my dog without it being fully health tested?

Breeding a dog without being health tested and confirmed completely healthy and without any problematic genes that could be passed on the offspring, minimizes the risk of having sick puppies.
Oftentimes you as the one who produced the puppies, will not be able to see if one of your dogs puppies has a severe hip dysplasia, turned out to be blind or deaf, has epilepsy, has one extra vertebrae, which causes lifelong back pain, and so on...
If you decided to breed your untested dog, that has no pedigree and you simply don't know anything about your dog and it's genetics (parents and grandparents also play a role!), you automatically agree with dog-misery and help produce sick dogs with maybe a shorter lifespan than they were supposed to be.
You risk having those puppies be given away to a shelter, because the owner was not able to carry those tremendous costs for providing one of your puppies a pain free life.
You risk that dog being abandoned somewhere in the wild, because of the owners inability to pay those vet bills.

And, there is a term for you.
Backyard-breeder.
In Germany, we have a pretty term for this. "Vermehrer" which basically means "multiplier". This means, you produce dogs just for profit.


"I want to breed my German Shepherd to a Husky! The puppies are going to be so pretty!"

Mutts, mixed breeds, mixes, bastards, noodles and doodles.

There is a widespread misconception of mutts being healthier dogs, since they are not "overbred". It shall unite only the good traits of each breed and create the best puppy in the world.
So, let me get that disbelief out of your head.
As far as it comes to health, everything what I already said above applies to mixes also. You're not going to breed a hip dysplasia free German Shepherd-mix by combining a Husky with a German Shepherd that already has HD (knowingly or not).
If you don't understand what I mean, please reread the passage above.

Mixes also have one major problem.
They are torn appart in the deep abyss of their inner self.
Now, what I mean by that is, creating a mixed breed with completely different breeds, causes the personalities of the puppies to become a great range from "unproblematic" to "a living hell" within just one litter.

An example:
We are going to create a silver "Lab".
Since Labrador Retrievers only come in three colors (yellow, black and chocolate. Fun fact: originally only black labs were desired in the breed) we'll need to mix a dog with the "dilute gene" into the Lab.

What is the dilute gene?
It's a gene that causes black or brown to dilute into what's called "blue", which basically is a shiny grey color that sometimes appears as silver. It even causes the eyes to be blue or grey in color.
Pretty, ain't it?
The problematic thing is, that this dilute gene also causes skin problems, proneness to allergies and some other problems (if you're interested please look this up yourself.)

So, back to our Labrador.
Now, we take a second breed, which preferably has a silver coat. The Weimaraner seems to be a good pick.
dutch_18mos.jpgblaze-stack-20-months.jpg

Now we have the Weimaraner, a strong dog with a passion for hunting. It needs to be worked in the hunting field in order to be calm and happy. It's a breed which has been bred to follow the track of the shot prey, is excellent in nose work. It also is protective and can be taught to protect the hunter from dangers like wild animals or other humans.
It's a very high maintenance dog, that needs a strong, experienced leader, since it also can be very stubborn.

And we breed this to a Labrador Retriever, a loving pet, suitable for almost every person on earth, easy to handle and eager to please it's human. The Lab was bred to retrieve the prey from water, therefore it loves swimming probably more than food. The Labrador Retriever certainly gets along with any other dog and human. It is friendly in general and easy to train.

We want a silver Labrador Retriever, remember?

Now, we have a litter of Weimaraner-Labrador puppies, some are black, some are silver. Some will later turn out to look more like a Weimaraner and some like a Labrador.
Let's take the puppy that looks like a Lab and fast forward to it being 1 year old.
Our mix now looks like a silver Labrador, it likes to swim and eats huge amounts of food, but it is starting to growl at other people and can't stand other dogs anymore.
"Protective", that's what the Weimaraner was supposed to be, right?
You wanted a friendly, easy to train silver Labrador, but now you have to deal with a potentially dangerous dog for probably about 11 years.
That isn't what you wanted right? Why didn't you just chose a purebred Labrador Retriever and accepted the three colors those dogs could provide? (Fun Fact: there are two more acceptable colors since they are only other variations of "yellow" they're called "foxred" and "white")

Mixing breeds will always create puppies that are more of a surprise package, than the things you thought they will be. You can create dogs, that are so fearful, aggressive or torn apart, that their lives and the lives of the owners become hell.


Yes, there are totally healthy dogs, whose parents didn't have a pedigree, are not purebred, aren't health tested and so on. But maybe you are just lucky for having the healthy one of the litter? Maybe 2 already died from an enlarged heart at birth? Maybe 3 are suffering so bad from epilepsy, that they have to be put down at the age of 1 year? Maybe 6 already got a new hip at the age of 2? You never know.

While real breeders cannot beat nature and the complexity of genetics, they can and do minimize the risks of producing sick dogs.
They do not profit from breeding, even when they sell a puppy for 2000€. All the money has to be spend for health testing, driving to shows, feeding the dogs, vaccines, deworming, injuries, destruction of the house and so on. They breed, because they love their breed and constantly strive for better health, better structure and better temperament. They care for their offspring, even after selling them. They want to know, that their dogs are living a good life.

If you become one of that Craigslist people, you are creating misery. You are destroying a breed.
I speak from experience.
My boy wasn't a breeders dog, he was a Craigslist Shepherd. He is purebred, but fearful, nervous, his brain is chaos and his bones are like senior dog bones.

Do not breed dogs without knowing what breeding means.
Do not buy a puppy off of Craigslist.

Thank you for reading.

Edit: You can keep any spelling or grammar errors for yourself.
 
Last edited:
T

Tailo

Guest
I agree with @MRYP that the answer to the question "should I let my bitch have puppies once?" is probably no.

The reason I want to add is numbers. The litter size of dogs varies quite a lot, but the average is around 6, and the sex ratio between male and female puppies is 1:1. This means that one female dog will bear around 3 female pups in a litter. I am not sure about the mortality rate of young dogs in human upbringing, but 1/3 should be a high enough estimate. This would mean that 2 female pups reach fertility, which in turn means that the number of reproducing females doubles in one generation. That is a recipe for a doggy explosion! If we do not want to cull dogs, half of the bitches shouldn't have pups in order to have a stable dog population. In reality the number of reproducing females probably needs to be even lower, because some females will have multiple litters.

But I'd also like to say some critical words about certified breeding:
  • It is responsible for some of the grave health problems in some breeds we see today. Some features that are defects form a health perspective are required features in breed standards.
  • There is a lot of inbreeding happening. Genetic diversity is low.
  • Planned matings and artificial insemination circumvent natural mechanisms that would lead to healthy offspring. For example, I've seen a plausible report saying that whether humans like each others' smell is related to how different their immune systems are. People prefer the smell of others whose immune system is different from their own. This was said to lead to their offspring having a good chance to be immune against more perils (or multiple offspring having a more diverse immune response so that it is less likely that all die in case of an illness).
Mutts are healthier on average.
But that does not mean crossing two ill purebred dogs would give you healthy offspring!
 

MRYP

Zooville Settler
@Tailo

I agree with what you're stating about certified breeding though.
It is true, that some breeds have been bred to be unhealthy beings.
However, this is not the breeders fault only. Especially when it comes to brachycephalic breeds. People breed, what people desire.

The only thing you, as a non breeder and/or breeder can do, is to educate the public about this.
Once companies stop making advertisement with French Bulldogs, Pugs or even Saint Bernards or Great Danes, there wont be as much "awww how cute! I want this" (not regarding the fact that most people don't even get their Frenchies from certified breeders. They just search for puppies on Ebay and get one of those 500€ romanian puppy mill puppies).

Yes, inbreeding also happens with certified breeders, but this is not allowed under VDH standards (I cannot say something about FCI or the other ones). If inbreeding happens, it is mostly like breeding two dogs together who have the same grand parents at least 4 or 5 generations in the past.
Breeding siblings or mother to son, father to daughter will not get any approval and result in consequences coming from the Verein they are breeding in.

Noncertified "breeders" have been inbreeding also, but oftentimes within one or two generations. This obviously leads to health problems.
This has been going on in the Broholmer breed, since they are pretty rare still. People who breed for profit bred closely related Broholmers together, since importing different lines from other countries is expensive (they also are oftentimes mixed with Rhodesian Ridgebacks and sold as purebred Broholmers. This is fatal for the person wanting a Broholmer and getting something completely different.)


It may be true, that mutts may be healthier statistically, but I am against willingly producing mixes because you simply cannot know what your dogs are carrying without getting them tested entirely.
I also don't really know about that study you posted.
It says nothing about how many mutts and how many purebred dogs have been tested.

Edit: Also, since a lot of mutts are ex-street dogs, there may be the factor of "the strongest survives", which can lead to healthier dogs since all the sick ones die before reaching adulthood.
Especially when we're talking about mutts, that have at least 6 different breeds in their genetics, this may indicate that there's a long history of their parents living as strays. Oftentimes they come from Romania, Russia, Spain or other places in the world, where strays have been living there forever.
 
Last edited:

love8u321

Tourist
Pure breeds are not healthier than mutts. In all honesty, I can easily debunk why people think pure breeds are healthier or better than mutts. However, I don't really want to. Because it seems to me at the end of the day people just want a doll. People don't want a pet but a toy. For instance, why when I hear excuses to spray and neuter your animal they also add better behavior to the list. Animals are living creatures but to humans they are our play things. And we just what better and better play toys.

Side note: People cut off there dogs tail and we still make excuses for it. Because we don't want to be wrong or we want to justify our actions. But it goes back to humans just wanting better looking toys and etc.
 

MRYP

Zooville Settler
I can easily debunk why people think pure breeds are healthier or better than mutts.
People who say they can "debunk" something and don't proceed to, oftentimes have no real facts that support their opinion.
It would be interesting for me to read what you have to say.

Do you know about the history of breeding? It seems to me that you are totally against breeding.
 
S

Stoli

Guest
Well, this really is informative. I'm wondering though, is there a cultural difference in German and U.S. breeders? Because I get the feeling that our official breeders really are just in it for the money, while the craigslist pups are mostly from accidental litters or people who just wanted to let their dog have a litter.

I do know from the dogs I've seen that papers do not guarantee health. One was a great dane that was 3, graying with joint problems. Another was GSD that was 5 or 6 and physically could not run. There was a really expensive bull dog of some kind that could barely eat, drink, or breath. A border collie from a show line that had hip problems by 3. The goldens that had multiple tumors at around 7... I could go on and on.

I agree that health testing is a good way to reduce problems, but there's no reason a mutt can't have her health tested before breeding. The information won't go back generations like a pedigree dog, but the result would be less apocalyptic than you're making it out to be.

Also from a zoo perspective, the breeders that I've talked to require desexing as part of the sale, to reduce competition. That's kind of a deal breaker. I really love dogs and I want sex to be a possibility for us.

I guess I should say, my girl is about as mutt as a dog can be. Everybody loves her and she wants to be everyone's friend, no health problems so far. (✊?) I know that's not scientific but I don't see why breeding clubs should have control of the dog population when some of them have been effing it up pretty bad, and there's amazing mutts like mine running around.

I hope I'm not coming off as too anti-anything, I do appreciate you making this thread.
 

MRYP

Zooville Settler
Well, this really is informative. I'm wondering though, is there a cultural difference in German and U.S. breeders? Because I get the feeling that our official breeders really are just in it for the money, while the craigslist pups are mostly from accidental litters or people who just wanted to let their dog have a litter.
Well, this is a very good question.
I've noticed some differences between german/european breeders and american, but I am not in a place to assume something. However, there is one american breeder of whom I think they are responsible and not in for the money, but that really is just that one I know of (and another small one who works together with that breeder).

I see a big problem with just wanting their dog to have a litter tho. But I already explained that in the opening post.


I do know from the dogs I've seen that papers do not guarantee health. One was a great dane that was 3, graying with joint problems. Another was GSD that was 5 or 6 and physically could not run. There was a really expensive bull dog of some kind that could barely eat, drink, or breath. A border collie from a show line that had hip problems by 3. The goldens that had multiple tumors at around 7... I could go on and on.
All those things you listed are the result of breeding to extremes, since people cannot keep dogs the way they are supposed to be.
I too think that this is a huge problem in the breeding community.
But, it is still the buyers choice whether they want to support that GSD showline with those ridiculous croups or the Great Danes that are so extremely tall, that their whole body can not keep up with everything that a body is supposed to do in order to keep a living being alive.

Honestly, from what I've experienced living as a german is, that there are more and more breeders who want to get "back to the roots" with their breeds.
There are people who already breed smaller Great Danes for example. I think one should support the breeders who are out there trying to safe the breed.

Imagine a person who "just wants their dog to have puppies" breed their 82cm Great Dane to a 75cm Cane Corso. This wouldn't turn out well, if those giant dogs put even more giant dogs in the world. The chain of health issues will never break.
Even your mutt comes from somewhere, her personality is a combination of all the different types of dogs. Without those dogs, your mutt wouldn't exist. So why not support good and mindful breeders?
Even future mutts will benefit from that, as there's not such a high risk of fucking up a puppies life.

And why not health test a mutt before breeding him/her? I'm sure it wouldn't hurt anybody and maybe it would prevent people from just making more and more dogs of which some WILL end up in a shelter, killed or abandoned (not all, but you know some folks).

Also from a zoo perspective, the breeders that I've talked to require desexing as part of the sale, to reduce competition. That's kind of a deal breaker. I really love dogs and I want sex to be a possibility for us.
That is really unfortunate and I can't really say anything against it.
We don't have these "rules" here in Germany...


Guys, you don't know how BADLY I want a puppy off of my male but I will stay responsible and not breed him to any female. Because I have experienced first hand what kinds of problems this can result in and I surely heard enough stories to know not to be this irresponsible.
It wouldn't be fair to the puppies.
 

MRYP

Zooville Settler
Meh, I am quite happy with my "mutt" great labradane thank you.
I am glad, that you are happy with your dog.

But people really need to stop making out those breed names like "Labradane", "Aussiedoodle", "Pomsky", "Goldendoodle" and so on.
 
T

Tailo

Guest
Guys, you don't know how BADLY I want a puppy off of my male but I will stay responsible and not breed him to any female. Because I have experienced first hand what kinds of problems this can result in and I surely heard enough stories to know not to be this irresponsible.
It wouldn't be fair to the puppies.
It's nice that he can experience sexuality with you despite not being suitable for fathering healthy pups. (y)
 

love8u321

Tourist
What exactly do you consider as "sad"?
Why don't you contribute to this topic instead of posting hollow phrases.
I really don't want to contribute to a topic when majority of the people here are already influenced by negative nonfactual propaganda. I already posted on BF years ago why people like you are wrong. If you want to know the truth look it up on duck duck go or etc. The information is out there you just got to find the right one that is not by companies or individuals that have something to gain or etc.
 

MRYP

Zooville Settler
I really don't want to contribute to a topic when majority of the people here are already influenced by negative nonfactual propaganda. I already posted on BF years ago why people like you are wrong. If you want to know the truth look it up on duck duck go or etc. The information is out there you just got to find the right one that is not by companies or individuals that have something to gain or etc.
Aight dude, I see where you're coming from.
 
Top