Should I breed my dog?

Should I breed my dog?


If you’ve been searching for the answer to that question — it’s NO!

I cannot come up with a single good reason that a responsible dog owner should ever want to breed their dog, or allow their unneutered male to be used for stud (this, by the way, would be a rare occurrence.  The prime breeding dog is the female (bitch) and any responsible breeder will be very careful and very selective about any male used for breeding with their female.)

The world kills millions of dogs every year and unnecessary breeding (intentional or unintentional) by novice dog breeder, or backyard breeder only adds to that disastrous total.  Professional breeders and Puppy Mill dogs also contribute to this excess inventory of condemned dogs, but that’s for a later discussion.  Right now let’s just look at the normal, everyday dog owner.

Responsible dog owners are those people who love and care enough for their dog and companion to make sure it always receives the best possible care and lives in an atmosphere of love and concern.  This article is aimed at the responsible dog owner — an irresponsible owner would never read or understand it anyway.

You believe Cuddles is one of the most precious and lovable dogs you have ever seen and you want to get another just like her.  Friends have said the same thing (“If Cuddles has a litter I want a puppy!”).  Well neither event will likely happen.   To get an exact likeliness of Cuddles you would need to re-breed the original two parents.  The genetics of your dog matched with some another dog will result in a brand new dog with its own characteristics and personality — not a duplicate of Cuddles.

And, unfortunately, most of your friends will most likely have change their minds once confronted with the reality.  You will probably be disappointed when your friend fails to return for a puppy once the litter is whelped – “It’s not the right time.”  “I can’t afford a dog now.”  “My circumstances have changed.”  If they do take a puppy can you be sure that when the cute puppy starts chewing, becomes a terror on wheels, or grows beyond a “small bundle of fur” that the friend will not be returning it to you, give it up to a shelter, or worse, turn it loose.

Do you think your children need to witness the “miracle of birth”?  Well be careful – this miracle may provide a lot more than you bargained for and actually provide them with the “horrors” of birth.

Cuddles will not be in a state of euphoria and the pains of a normal, uncomplicated birth can terrify even the most aloof adult, let alone a young child.  The “miracle” will usually occur at O’dark thirty in the morning when no immediate vet help is available, and there are countless things that can go wrong and often do go wrong.  It could be a gruesome experience for the kids and the pocketbook.  (See”> and =”

Having a litter is labor intensive before, during and after whelping even when the birth went smoothly.  The mother and the litter must be constantly watched during whelping and for several days thereafter.  The puppies will need care and attention to socially mature into healthy dogs and, if Cuddles decides not to attend to them, guess who gets the job.

You will need to find a qualified breeding partner for Cuddles.  Easier said than done.  First you have to make sure that Cuddles is capable of breeding and does not have any genetic flaws that could show up in the puppies (and in any puppies that the puppies may later produce).  Professional breeders breed for the betterment of the breed and know how to determine if a “matching” is correct.  Cuddles will need a mate who is genetically okay and compatible and few professional breeders will be willing to provide one of their dogs to a novice breeder.

You paid a lot of money for Cuddles and you’d like to get some of it back.  Or, you really need some extra cash.  Well, breeding will not bring the windfall of cash to get you back to solvency.    There are a zillion things that a responsible owner needs to take care of before breeding and the cost can quickly escalate out of reasonableness  (For example visit for estimated costs in breeding a Malamute with NO litter complications).

Before breeding you need a plan for what to do with Cuddle’s puppies.  You’ll probably keep one and your friend may actual take and keep one.  What do you do with the rest?  A litter can be one puppy, or ten, or more.  If you believe you can sell them in competition with the professional breeders think again.  People who pay the fees for a “purebred” from a reputable breeder want to make sure they are getting the real thing, and they take a hard look at the breeder, their experience, and the performance of their dogs.  The buyer will usually demand a guarantee concerning the puppy’s health.  As a first time, novice or backyard breeder, you will probably not pass those kinds of examinations.  The selling price goes down and the birthing costs stay the same.  And, it can take several months to sell the entire litter, if at all.

The bottom line is not to add to the growing yearly inventory of dogs marching toward euthanasia.  An unneutered dog (male or female) is a time bomb ready to unload potentially unadoptable small living creatures into the world.  An intact male can smell a female in heat miles away and, if unrestrained, will get to her.  And, the female in heat will be wagging her tail in anticipation.  Unless she’s in a steel-mesh cage mating may only be a jump away.  Planned or not you will have puppies.  SPAY and/or NEUTER your pets!!

Written by Ron Lueth, Pet Guardian Angels of America  This work may be shared through the Creative Common License only if attributed to Pet Guardian Angels of America at

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.