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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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Noob questions

So i have just about the most absolutely amazing GSD in the entire world. Or so says just about every one of my friends and rather large extended family. In fact, they're so impressed with her stature, discipline, intelligence, training, loyalty, etc, etc, that many of them have offered to buy her from me, with offers exceeding $4k. That's kind of a good deal considering I picked her up for about $250. But the plain fact is that Sadie is MY dog and i wouldn't sell her for $200k.

However, i would seriously think about breeding her. The problem is that i've never thought about breeding her before. When i bought her, i was just looking for a house hold pet. Let's face it, though i was looking for a dog for all the right reasons, i chose the german shepherd breed because i saw "i am legend" one too many times. And i've had dogs my whole life, but i've never had a dog that got as close to me as Sadie has. So if i'm going to breed her, i want to make sure to do it right.

So i know that it's generally polite to research a topic for your self before you try to post on forums, but i also know that there can be some really bad information out there, so i wanted to get started with info from a source i trust. and there's no one better to trust than fellow GSD entusiests, in my opinion.

So does anybody have any resources than can take a total noob through the process of breeding from the ground up? i certianly don't expect you guys to write me a disertation, but if anyone knows a good website or a trustworthy orginization i can contact for information? I would very much appreciate being pointed in the right directions.

Let me put out some specifics, so you guys kind of know where i'm trying go with this and what Sadie's situation is. She is about a year and a half, short haired with traditional colors (like the gsd in i am legend,) she comes from AKC liniage, but i lost her papers before i got around to registering her and lost contact with her breeder. (i know, i know, i'm kicking myself now, but like i said, i never expected to try to breed her.) She doesn't have any kind of official or professional certifications or training, as i've don't all her training myself.

I know there are a lot of factors against her in terms of her attractiveness to a studder, but i'm not in this to make some serious money. Mainly, i'd just like sadie to have the mothering experience, and also let my friends and family who are interested to have some of sadie's pups. while i wouldn't mind making a small profit off of the pups not adopted by my friends an family, that's not even close to my first goal.

so if there's anything you guys can do to help, i would very much appreciate it.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
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two things i forgot to mention

1) i'm not actually thinking about becomming a breeder. this will be a one time thing. like i said in the orriginal post, i mainly just want sadie to experience mothering a litter.

2) i have read several of the posts in this forum on littering and the do's and don'ts and the good stories and the nightmare stories. the deal is that they mostly partain to specific questions, whereas i'm looking for a comprehensive guide for beginners. i know as a beginner, i should have a lot of questions. the problem i'm having is that i don't know which questions i should be asking. i know there's probably no such all-inclusive how-to guide out there, but i need a place to start before i decide this is both the right thing to do and worth doing.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 05:52 AM
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Hello. I can't give you a great guide on how to breed, or where to look (but there are Sticky's, I think, in the breeding section that will probably help you).

Some things I will say though, since you're considering breeding your girl, is this:

She's young yet at a year and a half, so please wait at least another 6 months and get her hips and elbows X-rayed and OFA certified, before looking for a stud, because Hip Dysplasia is SUCH a huge problem in this breed. It doesn't cost much to send your Xrays in to OFA to get them certified, and if she's OFA good or excellent, despite a lack of titles, at least you can feel confident that you're not contributing to the large number of GSDs that are genetically predisposed to this health problem. Also, in a stud, look for one who has *certified* (OFA or other) good hip scores taken at no earlier than 24 mos old (OFA will not give certification on a dog younger than 24 months). Considering you have friends and family who really love Sadie and how she is, you don't want to risk producing a litter that may have great temperaments but whose joints could start breaking down as early as three or four years of age. Also have your female and whatever stud tested for essentially "doggy STDs", because these can cause your female to 1) become infertile 2) lose the entire litter and you could lose her because of that.

Also, if you remember even vaguely her parent's registered names, or can give an idea of where you got her from, it might be possible for someone on the forum to track down her parentage and maybe even the breeder as a help, so she can be registered.

You sound like you've pretty much decided to breed Sadie, and I won't try to change your mind, but also please consider not breeding and instead helping your friends and family find a GSD pup maybe from a rescue or from a good breeder. GSDs are wonderful dogs and much of their temperament and behaviour comes from a good owner, as well (and it sounds like you are a good owner). A female dog doesn't *need* the experience of birthing a litter to be complete, and it can also put more stress on your female than might be worth it if the litter re-absorbs, or you have a litter with fading puppy syndrom (like SIDS in human babies), or if there are other complications like retaining the afterbirth or an infection or mastititis. Also, GSD litters can be large, anywhere from 6 to 12 pups on average I believe, so that's a LOT of mouths to feed once they stop nursing around 4-5 weeks until they are 8 to 10 weeks old and ready for new homes, plus shots and vetting before they go to their new homes, and vet care before and after for the mom.

Good luck to you in whatever you choose, and hopefully someone else can reply with better guidance on breeding! I will do some link hunting in the mean time.

~Krystal and Ruger
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 05:57 AM
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Some links:

Dog Owner's Guide: Should you breed your dog?

Breeding Your Dog

Both of these are very informative and thorough, and I hope they help you chose what is right for you and for Sadie.

~Krystal and Ruger
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 11:26 AM
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If I had a dollar from everybody who's offered to buy one of my dogs I wouldn't have to work. That kind of goes with the territory of having a well-behaved, attractive, purebred dog. People are used to seeing dogs that aren't well-trained, aren't well-taken care of, and (let's face it) aren't very attractive. Just because your dog is all of those things does NOT mean she needs to be bred.


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Mainly, i'd just like sadie to have the mothering experience
Have to be honest with you here. She doesn't need the mothering experience, and she won't be missing anything if she doesn't have a litter.

Breeding takes a lot of time and effort (and MONEY!!!!!) to do things right. If you don't have your dog's papers and pedigree IMO that is a HUGE strike against breeding the dog. The fact that you are no longer in contact with the breeder also does not help your case. Why?

The pedigree doesn't just list the dogs behind your dog. The pedigree holds vital information such as health and temperament. And since you are highly unlikely to know any of the dogs beyond your dog's parents, and you definitely don't KNOW the parents like a breeder should know the parents, such a breeding should not take place.

A breeder should be able to tell you who produced what, both good things and bad things. Who produced weak toplines? Who produced strong, correct temperament? Who produced dogs with hip dysplasia or EPI? All very important things you need to know.

Also, if you cannot correctly state your dog's color (Your dog is black and tan), that's something else you really need to learn about before you breed.

You need to be studying the genetics of this breed. The health issues, the coat colors, the coat lengths. You need to study the AKC and SV standards. You need to understand what you're looking at both anatomically and genotypically (that goes back to pedigrees).

Breeding is SO much more than having a "nice family dog" and finding an intact male that is also "a nice family dog".

I've got a wonderful titled intact boy here that is also an active service dog. He's 6 years old. I've had many offers not only to buy him, but to breed him as well.

I always say no.

Just because he is intact (and even titled) doesn't mean he is of the quality necessary to reproduce.

Jackie and the
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 11:46 AM
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Four years ago my in-laws were in your same position. They had people coming out of the woodwork offering to buy their dog Shadow and begging for a pup from him. So a suitable female was acquired and Shadow and Gretchen were bred. Gretchen gave birth to 14 (yes fourteen) healthy German Shepherd puppies. Unfortunately she ate one of them before anybody realized what was going on. The friends and family members who had promised to purchase a pup made apologies and excuses. Only 2 pups went to friends or family members, the rest ended up being listed for sale in the newspaper. Of those, 8 were sold. Where are they now? Who knows, but statistically speaking at least 3 of them have probably been taken to the shelter by now. My in-laws still have the other 3. Four years later they're still raising 3 of Shadow and Gretchen's puppies as well as the parents.

If you decide to breed your dog, the best advice I can give you is to call all the friends and family who have been clamoring for a pup and tell them you need a cash deposit to cover expenses. My guess is that you'll get a lot of excuses and apologies but very few (or no) real buyers. Line up at least 8 or 10 committed buyers before you breed her or you'll very likely end up in the same boat as my in-laws.


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Last edited by Emoore; 06-20-2010 at 11:48 AM.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 04:29 PM
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If your family loves your dog, refer them to your breeder, or copy the pedigree so they can purchase from similar lines. Like others have said, most of us have had the same experience, people wanting to buy our dogs or breed to our dogs. There's probably several hundred people on this board that have a dog who looks and acts like Sam in "I Am Legend".

My family likes my dogs too but to breed and breed right is not something you can become an overnight expert on by researching on the Internet.

If you want to learn more about the breed and becoming a breeder, find a good mentor, join a good club. Really the only way is to get hands on experience, which will not come from any amount of research or from living with one dog. The more time I spend training dogs and the more time I spend with a breeder friend seeing puppies and new mothers, the more I realize that I love to train dogs and have less interest in breeding dogs, not to mention the lack of experience and instinct that good breeders have.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 05:07 PM
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I agree that it's great news that YOU found a great breeder and hence got your wonderful dog.

I also agree that sending people to that breeder is the way to go. The vast amount of knowledge and experience I'd need to ever breed my bitch is WAY TOO MUCH! Let alone being responsible for all puppies forever no matter what. The genetics and backgrounds of my dogs. Learning the genetics and backgrounds of potential males... Forget it!!!




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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 05:43 PM
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I agree with the previous postings. Having a litter of puppies for friends because they think Sadie is so great, may not be a reason to do this. I have had three beautiful females that many commented about -- coloring, disposition, etc. -- but chose not to do this. I think to be a responsible breeder, more time needs to be invested than I felt I could give to this task. (checking backgrounds, medical test to assure puppies will be healthy, finding a good "mate," finding responsible people to take the pups, etc.) And, as far as experiencing motherhood... well - that is a non-issue as far as I am concerned. Enjoy your wonderful girl, make an educated decision as far as to breed or not to breed -- but don't do it because your friends want puppies. (As stated in a previous post..... we all have beautiful shepherds that look like Sam, Rin-Tin-Tin,.doesn't mean we should all be breeders.)

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My angels, always in my heart....
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