Health Articles

The BIG Question:  Should I Breed My Dog?

Anne Jones RN, BSNE

Yes, if:

Your dog is healthy and certified (OFA, CERF) to be free of genetic disease and came from parents and grandparents who were certified.
Your dog fits the standard (a word picture describing the perfect Bichon) well enough to be awarded points at a dog show under respected judges
Your dog has a stable temperament, meaning not shy as well as not aggressive
Your dog has at least four titled dogs (conformation. obedience, tracking, agility, etc.) in the last three generations
You have a minimum of a five-generation pedigree on your dog and are aware of any health problems in those five generations
You are prepared to meet the costs of veterinary care for the mother prior to and after birth and to care for the puppies, including veterinary care, for at least 10 weeks (or longer if you cannot find suitable homes for them). This includes preliminary house training and the first two sets of shots, early grooming and coat care and early teething

No, if:

You do not have room for pups and mother to be in a quiet indoor place during and after birth
You do not have finances to prepare for emergency care that may arise prior to or during birth or with the puppies in the critical weeks after they are born
You have no information on the health of previous generations. This applies to the father of the puppies as well as the mother
Especially not if you are doing this to teach children about birth. Birth is bloody, messy and may include dead or dying puppies if you do not know how to assist the mother in whelping her puppies and you must be present during whelping!
You should be aware that most breeders who provide the proper care find they often lose money instead of making money. If they are lucky, they may break even. If they are unlucky, they may not only lose money but may also lose a beloved pet when they find too late that she was not a good breeding prospect
Breeding should be done to improve the breed and this can only be done by being completely knowledgeable about the breed and about your particular pet. Be sure that your motives are the right ones. We encourage neutering and spaying for the health of your pet and for the breed. Did you know that neutered animals live longer and are more likely to be free of cancer and other life-threatening diseases?