PDF Print

Should I breed my dog?

I am thinking about breeding my dog. Is this a good idea?

Breeding can be costly and risky. Unfortunately, most people don't realize how much work, time and expense is involved in the process of breeding.

The first thing that you must consider is whether your pet should be bred. Most pets, although lovable, are not of breeding quality. Genetic defects and other problems should not be perpetuated, because they can cause serious medical problems for future generations. People who breed dogs for a living are very careful about choosing which dogs they will breed based on physical characteristics and behavior.

Some people decide that it would be fun to breed and just start looking for a dog that has the proper equipment and is willing. This can be a huge mistake. Breeding your pet is a serious endeavor and should not be taken lightly. There are far too many pets that end up in shelters without good homes. If your breed of dog has large litters, what will you do if you are unable to sell the puppies? Do you want to contribute to the pet overpopulation problem?

In addition, there are many good reasons not to breed your dog. First, for the dog's own health. Male dogs that are neutered are less likely to be hit by cars. This is primarily due to the fact that male dogs have a very strong urge to roam and find a fertile female. Male dogs will go over or under fences, through doors and windows, and will pull leashes out of unsuspecting hands. Additionally, neutering greatly reduces the incidence of prostatic disease and testicular cancer.

Similar health benefits are found by spaying your female dog. If you have your female spayed before a year of age you greatly decrease her chances of developing breast cancer. Additionally, you eliminate the possibility of uterine infections and cancer. Another benefit is that you will not have to clean up after a messy heat cycle, or chase persistent male dogs out of your yard.

If you still feel that you want to breed your pet, note that dogs should be tested for a contagious disease called brucellosis prior to breeding. Not only does this disease cause spontaneous abortion in dogs, but humans can contract it as well. There is a blood test to screen for this disease that can be done by your veterinarian. Because dogs can carry this disease without showing any outward signs, screening for brucellosis is important.