At some point, every dog owner is faced with the question: To breed or not to breed? If you are considering becoming a breeder, please keep the following in mind.
- Responsible breeders embrace the belief that each new litter should represent an improvement over the last.
- Responsible breeders are aware that each breed has an official standard or written desrcription of how the ideal dog looks, moves and behaves. They are careful to only breed dogs that meet this standard.
- Responsible breeders give careful consideration to health issues, genetic concerns, temperament, soundness and appearance.
- Responsible breeders know that every dog - however wonderful as a companion - has certain flaws or weaknesses and that it is important to find a mate that can complement strengths and help eliminate the weaknesses.
- Responsible breeders plan ahead to be sure that each puppy they produce will be placed in a safe, loving home suited to its needs.
- Responsible breeders accept responsibility for the puppies they produce throughout each puppy's lifetime and are always available to answer questions and provide information to the puppy's new owners.
What exactly is spaying and neutering?
Spaying is the surgical removal of a female dog's uterus and ovaries. Neutering refers to the surgical removal of the male's testicles and spermatic cords.
Many breeders offer puppies for sale with the stipulation that the dogs be neutered or spayed when they reach the appropriate age. This is one way for breers to ensure breed improvement by only allowing dogs they determine to be of breeding quality to reproduce.
If you decide that breeding is not for you or your dog, please consider having your dog spayed or neutered to prevent accidental breedings that result in unwanted litters. Here are some other considerations:
- Spaying a female or neutering a male is not dangerous and does not change a dog's temperament or cause weight gain.
- Spayed females are often healthier and live longer than unspayed females.
- Neutered males cannot develop testicular cancer and have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
- The AKC welcomes spayed and neutered dogs to participate in all phases of obedience, tracking, herding, lure coursing, earthdog, agility, Canine Good Citizen testing and junior showmanship, as well as most field work.