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Old 01-02-2007, 05:33 PM   #1
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Default Is "puppies" the right place for a breeding question? (or two)

This will be my first post. I thought I would join a site that would help me through breeding my dog. When we got our now four year old golden retriever, we did not spay her because we are going to breed her. I am allowed to take it into my own hands. I know it should not be undertaken lightly and I am doing all the research I can. I also have enough money (I think). Dakota is expected to come into heat in about a month. Is that enough time to get ready? She is in good condition, healthy, loves people, good temperament, and I see no reason not to breed her unless some health screening comes back with bad results. Step by step- I think we would start with the thorough vet check one month prior to breeding, and at that time do a hip dysplasia x-ray. Are there other test that should really be done for the bitch? I don’t know if the eye, elbow and heart tests are as important. I contacted the AKC a couple weeks ago to see if they had any breeding booklet, and I haven’t gotten a reply. I checked out lot of books at the library, and they just had information on what breeding was and why an inexperienced person shouldn’t do it. You have to start somewhere. Dakota is a registered bitch (with the AKC) Is 4 too old for a first litter? Now would be a great time, because by the time the pups are born I will be almost out of school for the summer, and by the time I go back, most of them will be sold. If we wait ‘til her next heat, (in about 8 months) the puppies will be born at a very inconvenient time and I think 5 might be too old for a first litter. I heard the stud should be tested like the dam, and also have a brucellosis test. I just can’t find a lot of information online. So I would really appreciate if you would answer some of my questions. So if anyone has breeding experience I would love some advice. Thanks in advance!

Last edited by destrier; 01-03-2007 at 05:21 PM..

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Old 01-02-2007, 05:45 PM   #2
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While I admire the amount of research and consideration you've already put into this, I still advise against breeding your dog. Why do you want to breed her? It will cost *literally* thousands of dollars by the time all the genetic testing is done, vet bills (what if she has 10 or more puppies), etc. There's so much more to consider than what you've mentioned already.

Golden retrievers have a long list of genetic vulnerabilities, and due to a lot of poor breeding, they have become prone to shorter lifespans (10 years in some cases). I'm sorry, but I just don't agree with breeding unless it is to better the breed, and this is usually only done by very experienced breeders whose dogs meet conformation show standards. If you remain interested in breeding, you might look into junior showmanship (showing dogs) to get started with learning about the specific breed, and later on acquire a very good breeding specimen after you've found a mentor.

If you are uncomfortable just talking to the vet, you are not ready to take on a breeding. There is no benefit for your dog in breeding her, but there are risks.
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Old 01-02-2007, 06:19 PM   #3
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I do not have breeding experience but I do have a Golden Retriever who was used for breeding in a puppymill. She had a cancer tumor which we had removed so I have some interest in the subject.

Here is a pretty good list of which dieases which breeds are prone to:
http://www.petdoc.ws/BreedPre.htm#G
A must is a CERF examination
http://www.vmdb.org/cerf.html
Hip dysplasia should be registered with OFA
http://www.offa.org/
But there is more to it than that. Unless you know the whereabouts of all your dogs' sisters, brothers, cousins, etc. you can't be sure that her genetic lines aren't carrying other diseases that are not commonly tested (liver, pancreatitis etc.). People who breed dogs regularly and responsbily not only have this information, if one of the litters produces puppies that end up being unhealthy as adults, they take those dogs out of the breeding chain.
So, yes, your dog may be really nice, but are you sure that she is not going to get some terrible disease next year? Did you get her from a good breeder who can tell you everything about her family tree? If not, a better way to go might be to assist someone near you who is breeding to learn the ropes. You do not want to be the one holding the bag if something goes wrong.
This link
http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/breeding/breeder2.html
http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/breeding/breeder3.html#1
is pretty scary because it tells you all the things that can go wrong from getting the stud to finding homes for the pups. It is not for Golden Retrievers, it is for Labs, but it was written by people who have a lot of experience.
Anyway, good luck!
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Old 01-02-2007, 08:24 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. We don't know if we will go through with it, but if we do, we are planning on having the hips checked and registered. I do have thousands of dollars if that is what it costs. I dogsit, and I almost never buy anything, so I have most of the money I have every been given or earned in my life. I guess I will talk to the people who I have worked with. I worked helping someone show their bichons, but couldn't handle the intense grooming they needed, and I didn't want to get a dog I knew I couldn't take the best cae of, even if the puppies were so cute! I don't think I like the conformation shows as much as agility and obedience, and didn't like it very much when I helped show, so I wouldn't be doing a conformation litter. My dog does not compete, although for exercise I trained her most agility, but we don't have professional equiptment. I checked out those sites, and some of the things that can happen are very scary and I would not want to kill my dog. Thanks again for the replies, I am glad for any advice because I would not want to make a mistake by breeding her.

Last edited by destrier; 01-03-2007 at 05:24 PM.. Reason: spelling corrections

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Old 01-02-2007, 08:46 PM   #5
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Thanks for those links skunkstripe, they were really interesting to read. I agree with a lot that has already been said but would just like to add that from what I have learn't through a breeder friend 4 is not the best age for a first litter, ideally you don't want to be mating a bitch first the first time after the age of 3.

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Old 01-02-2007, 08:48 PM   #6
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Also just to add on the health test front, for a true reading your dogs hips are best being done at around 18 months to 2 years of age.

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Old 01-03-2007, 01:38 AM   #7
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This is a estimate one how much it can cost. I got it off of a breeding forum I am on.

Pre-Breeding Cheakup: $95
Vaginal smear to determine optimal breeding time: $75
Stud Fees: $2500
Artificial Insemination Fees: $200
Ultra Sound # 1 $250
Ultra Sound # 2 $250
Whelping Box/Birthing Supplies $75
Xray looking for additional pups after birth: $125
Pitruitin Shots: $25
Bloodwork/vet visit after she continued vaginal bleeding a week later $200
Emergency Spay/Csection after she began hemmoraging: $4600

Puppy cost:
Vet visit $120
declaws $90
food: $450
Vet Visit/shots: $150
Misc (AKC reg, puppy care packge, ect.) about $300

Total expenses:9400


ow offcourse it could be a tad bit less, or it could be 1000's more. Why do you want to breed any way? There is literally thousands of goldens in sheletrs at this moment across the world. Why breed more?

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Old 01-03-2007, 08:17 AM   #8
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Tankstar that was a good post, thanks for the detailed info on cost.

As to why someone would want to breed, maybe there are thousands of Goldens in shelters, but none where I am. When we wanted a Golden I had my reasons for not wanting to buy from a breeder but instead wanting to "rescue" a Golden that needed a home. It turned out to be a six month quest and finally we got one transported up from about 600 miles away. There are none to be had in the region where I live. After so much frustration I can say that I understand why people go to pet stores. No, I would not buy a dog from a pet store, but I was tempted and other people might not have the hatred of the puppymill/pet store system that I have; they would lose patience and just go in and do it. OP is in Minnesota, maybe the situation is similar there.
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:08 PM   #9
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Thanks for the cost guess, as I said I don't want to make a mistake by breeding her. What breeding forum did you get the costs on? I don't think I would do AI because there are some good studs right here in MN. Thanks for the concern, and I know what you mean skunkstripe, about hating the puppymills and pet stores!

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Old 01-03-2007, 03:01 PM   #10
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I get the feeling that regardless of all the good advice you've received *against* breeding, that you are going to rush into it anyway. You have less than a month to get it all together, health checks done, etc. You are taking a huge risk with the life of your dog, she's a bit old for her first litter, and you maybe are feeling that nothing bad will happen. You have yet to explain why you want to do this so desperately. What you are proposing is no different than becoming a backyard breeder.

You say you have the thousands necessary to pay for this venture (and that's counting on nothing going wrong btw, it'll still cost thousands with no problems). Why not take some of that money and buy a very high quality breeding puppy from a pedigreed dog with health checks done on all ancestors? That would give you a couple of years to get ready, learn a whole lot more, find someone to help you with the entire process, and build a relationship with a vet.

There is *no* good reason to breed your pet dog at this time.
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