Breeding from my GSD? Help and advice.
Been a while since i have been on this site!.
I have been busy at work with my girl teaching and training and now she is pretty much fully grown!
I know the cliche is that my dog would never hurt a fly etc etc but i really believe that the temperament of my girl really is what the breed needs from GSD (Except for certain services they may be used for like police etc!) She is super friendly, doesnt bark at other dogs what so ever. She is cautious, says hello and leaves, or plays depending if im not running with her. She is loving toward the whole family and although she does see me as her Alpha she isnt obsessed with me in the negative way. She is very well trained and to my command is attentive and listens and enjoys doing so.
She will just be starting her second season soon and i aim to plan for her third season to go ahead with the process. Now she doesnt have any titles to her name but my thoughts on the matter are not for the reason to accolades but purely temperament and health. Her father was the stud dog Jarno Von Santamar and mother was my girls breeders younger GSD. (she also had my my girls grandma with her!). Jarno has a good blood line and i know her mother has a good one too.
I have spoken to my breeder and she has agreed to help me and allow me to breed her with her help. But getting information from all is better.
I aim to get all the necessary health checks, equipment, insurance etc all required to do everything right. Most worrying to any first time breeder is obviously the whole birthing process. I have been reading up on it and there is a list as long as your arms with worst case scenarios and do's and donts. This is understandable. Could advice or anyone point me to a course, or book or video to direct me too, can never learn too much!
I would be aiming also to get her a healthy, temperament positive male GSD to breed her with. Again, concentrating on temperament over accolades. You can teach any dog to listen to you. You cant train it not to be vicious naturally if its in its nature! Just from having my girl for the 16 months the amount of people that are scared of her is outstanding! Really shocking and eye opening, this is something i want to try and change.
I would have all the time off to be with my girl 24/7 as i will be in France with my girlfriend as she is a professional dancer and me and Harley are just the tag alongs :P. So that is not an issue. I will also be getting some kind of whelping insurance and a vet on call for when she is close and in general.
There is lots ive not mentioned etc which i more than welcome experienced breeders to inform me and bring up and advise. Ideally today i need help and guidance with tips from you guys which can help save a life and prevent the worst.
I realize this is not for positive finance gain, i am doing it for the love of my girl and her amazing temperament and character which, i personally feel should be shared with the community. I do not plan to make any profit and actually more than likely will keep my fav pup :P. I understand many people will have the view on just leave it to the professional breeder but we all have to start somewhere and this is something i want to do with my spare time!.
Like i said, help, hints, advice and tips are welcome.
Thank you, Sam.
You said it...everyone has to start somewhere, and right now your "starting point" is a backyard breeder. I would never consider a puppy from you based on everything you've listed...so far, GSD's like yours, are a dime a dozen. You need to have hips and elbows done, dm tested, pedigree match ups, etc...you seen very very concerned with the dangers of actual whelping (which is good, it can go terribly wrong in seconds), but not as concerned as proving your dog is healthy (not just observed as healthy, but a full make up...hips/elbows/cardiac/dm etc).
Also you are subjectively describing her temperament. You need an objective opinion on her temperament...not just "she's so sweet, great family dog, doesn't bark...etc" These are all great, but most well trained, stable dogs, fit the bill. Her breeder isn't an objective opinion...considering she's willing to just agree to help you breed a dog that is only 16 months old and hasn't had any temperament or health checks.
I see you are in the UK. Don't know what the rules are where you are as far as breeding and titles/health checks, but right now (I'm sorry for the bluntness)...you are coming off as every other back yard breeder, breeding their beloved family dog. Yes...reputable breeders all need to start somewhere. Almost none of them breed their first dog, and they start with testing, and gaining experience training/working their dog with other's with a LOT more experience than them. Sorry for the blunt harshness....I just firmly believe this type of mindset behind breeding is a huge contribution to the issues within the breed.
ETA: I just don't think you should be thinking about whelping until all the other things pan out...your biggest emphasis right now should be temperament evaluations and health checks. Then go from there.
We are in big trouble if being non-aggressive towards other dogs and loving towards family members is "really what the breed needs." That is like the bare minimum requirement for a dog being a nice pet.
I have already enquired into the hip/elbow score with the vet, its £350ish for that. She is also KC registered and so would the puppies. A dime a dozen, yes... But i've been around many breeders around the UK and been vigorously checking adverts and unfortunately there is either £300 pound puppies from travelers or "back yard breeders" or perfect pedigree puppies which break the bank (for many people) at £800+. Now i paid alot for my puppy because i cared about her health and what the breeder i bought her from offered me and the puppies health and life. So dime a dozen is really subjective. Metaphorically I could go out and buy a BMW, yes dime a dozen but unless you know what you're doing and want, your always taking a risk of failure. Same with puppies in my opinion.
My breeder can inform me of who a suitable match, not only that i can personally search through close relatives to her family tree and pick a sire that is suitable. I understand this.
This is your opinion with what i want from a German Shepherd, i dont feel that my personal opinion and ideology is an issues with what i want the end result to be. I actually said in my post that it would not be considered until her third season. She hasn't even started her second. So she would not be 16 months when she would be pregnant.
Yes i completly agree with you about people ruining the breed through similar circumstance. But atleast i've come here with some knowledge and the confidence to ask for help. Surely this is what people like you would want. This happens all over the world regardless of your bluntness, would you rather it happen with your advice or without?.. No disrespect intended toward yourself. As for training, i work full time. Where do you think i am able to gain experience in whelping or dog breeding? Vet courses/uni in the uk take 6 plus years and wont hardly ever cover dog breeding! I dont have time to take work experience from a vet either... and like i stated in my original post if there's a course or valuable information i could benefit from please point it out. Yes it sound narrow minded but its the truth.
I did not make it clear but i would never breed from her if i did a hip score and it came out that she had biscuits for hips and would suffer HD sooner in life. Im a realist, i honestly want what i think is best, my personal opinion. Who is to tell me what i feel is wrong? There is no set agenda for the breed. If i want to concentrate on the temperament of the breed then i dont see a problem. Im not a stupid person, i dont need money, i love my dog, i love all animals. This is what i would call a passion, there are no laws preventing me from doing so and untill there is with the right guidance, training and circumstances i will attempt to breed from my dog which is safe for her.
I appreciate your honest reply and would like more advice from you regarding my reply to you!
I want her to experience what would only happy naturally in the animal kingdom and also like i said in other posts pass on her valuable traits and qualities. I feel you didnt read all of my original post...
If your focus is on temperament and a well-behaved dog, at least pass the temperament test and get some obedience titles (and of course all of the health tests).
My strong suggestion would be to back up a few steps and work on training/trialing your dog in some sport or working venue before thinking about breeding her.
If you bred that dog today, then like Dani said, that would be the essence of BYB: breeding a friendly family pet out of good intentions because "she's a nice dog and I love her."
Based on your post, I don't have any idea whether your dog is legitimately breedworthy. Maybe she is, maybe she isn't. I can't tell. But let's assume, for the sake of argument, that she is. Let's assume that she has strong genes, is a truly exceptional example of the breed, and should not be lost to the breed pool.
Okay. So the first concern is finding a good stud dog who complements your dog's genetic package. Most responsible owners of proven, tested, high-quality stud dogs will not breed their dog to somebody's untitled, untested family pet. That knocks out a huge percentage of your best matches. Your choices will be narrowed down to commercially motivated owners (who just want the stud fee and don't care if it's a good match or not) and clueless owners who either don't know or don't care enough to restrict their dog's breeding activities.
In either case, your chances of finding the right stud for your dog are decreased -- clueless owners generally aren't going to have access to good bloodlines, and commercial ones don't care whether their particular dog is a good match to yours, so even if they do have good bloodlines (and many don't), they may not match up well to your dog's side of the pedigree. So even if your dog is AWESOME, the odds that her awesomeness will go down to the puppies is substantially reduced, because you will probably be breeding her to a dog with inferior or incompatible genetics.
But let's say you get lucky and manage to score a great stud dog anyway. And you produce a litter of great puppies.
Where do those puppies go? Most owners who are serious about doing something with their dogs -- showing, competing, or working -- won't take puppies out of untitled and unproven parents, because they are typically looking for particular traits in their dogs. Most owners who are educated and concerned about responsible breeding practices won't take them for ethical reasons. So that leaves you with a significantly narrower range of homes that are less likely to be knowledgeable about or involved with the breed.
Let's assume, though, that you are able to successfully place all of your puppies in loving, caring homes where they are cherished as family pets. None of them has to go to a shelter and none of them winds up in a less-than-stellar living situation. They all get good homes.
How many of those good homes are going to breed them? Probably few to none, because most responsible owners have internalized that you do not breed your untitled, untested family pet. And if they did breed those puppies, then you would have to go all the way back up to the beginning of this post and consider the odds that they'd find decent, compatible studs, suitable homes for their own puppies, etc.
In all likelihood, within one or two generations, you would lose whatever traits made your original dog so special. And that's assuming the line didn't just end with the first generation because all of the puppy owners -- being responsible pet homes -- prevented their dogs from breeding.
IF your dog is truly something special, and IF she is a worthy addition to the breed, then the best way to ensure those genes stay in circulation is to elevate her to the upper echelon of breeding dogs and get her considered by other serious breeders. That means titling and health testing your dog, making connections in the breed world, and expanding your own base of knowledge so that you really can tell whether your dog is that unique after all.
I have to agree with a few posts here, it's not just for you that titles and health tests are done but for the stud owner as well as potential puppy owners. Those that would willing buy from a first time breeder without any titles and minimum health tests (hips are great but that's just a start) are rarely the type of people you want to give the puppies to. Educated and committed owners know what they're looking for and aren't willing to settle.
You want the best of the best, that takes effort on your part to attract them.
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