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Selzer's thread about her problems with Odessa's litter got me thinking. Seems like you good, responsible breeders have a heck of a time getting these little puppers on the ground.

Gerdeshaus GSD is right down the road from me, I stopped by the other day to chat and she told me that her bitch Cena spontaneously aborted the litter she was due to have in December. The poor thing went through the whole nesting behavior, had false contractions, and even produced milk!

My whole issue with Meerhout started when no less than 3 litters either didn't take or aborted.

And most of the litters I read about include at least one pup that didn't make it.

Is my perception accurate? Does tragedy strike breeders as often as it seems like it does to my limited experience? And why is it that you can "accidentally" have your untitled female breed to the "AKC certified" male down the road and end up with 14 perfectly healthy little $300 dogs, while people trying to import pregnant bitches from Germany or breeding top quality dogs are plagued with problems?
 

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...because of Murphy's Law...(I really can't answer, I've asked myself the same questions).
It can just be stomach turning & heart wrenching...but because of "passion" and dedication....one continues.
 

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I feel the same way. If the scruffy border collie mix hopped two fences and squeezed into my kennel, my bitch would have 14 healthy mixed puppies. While breeding to a top dog, and going through major calisthetics, I have a miss.

Are we trying too hard? Have we done too many tests/ x-rays. This bitch had her rabies vaccine in November, so she could be shipped, could that have been an issue.

Yuppies, who have their education, and their dream job, and their home, and their marriage, often have trouble having that first kid. While high school children often get knocked up with no problems whatsoever. It is almost like the more uncertain you are about your future, the easier it is for your body to conceive. How does that make any sense?
 

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.....I have no idea.....I wonder the same thing about tragedies happening, and the statistics and such. Jackson was a survivor! 4 of his littermates didn't make it, and mom had to have a c-section. He wasn't the greatest breeder, no titles on the dogs, but I know he really cared.

I wonder if dogs can possibly sense the pure anticipation and relay it as stress which causes problems? I just wonder....because you are right, I don't, or actually have never heard of a litter, bred in the garage when nobody was watching, that had a tragic ending.
 

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I know the litter Killian came from, they lost a boy and a girl, they would have had eight pups, but ended up with six instead... :-( Very Sad Indeed.
 

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I want to say I think it has something to do with hybrid vigor.

And to the OP, just because a dog is untitled or lacks papers, it doesn't necessarily follow that it's inferior.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
And to the OP, just because a dog is untitled or lacks papers, it doesn't necessarily follow that it's inferior.
Nope, just that it shouldn't be bred. My dogs are/were untitled and lacking papers. Of course they're not inferior. But they shouldn't go around reproducing.
 

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Nope, just that it shouldn't be bred.
I wasn't trying to argue that it should be, just that lack of titles or papers shouldn't lead one to assume that complications would be more likely due to some sort of problems with the dogs in question.
 

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It is sad, and unfair, but that's life, after all. My miniature horse breeder was the most careful, knowledgeable, responsible breeder - she did everything right and then some, and I'll never forget that heartbreaking night when her most beloved mare AND it's foal died during birth. And yet there's been so many times out here where it's rural when mares get mixed up with stallions by accident, like a nag and a TB, and have perfectly fine foals. And yet that champion mare and her impeccably bred foal were gone. Sometimes it's hard to wrap your head around it all.
 

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I wasn't trying to argue that it should be, just that lack of titles or papers shouldn't lead one to assume that complications would be more likely due to some sort of problems with the dogs in question.
Oh no, I'm not trying to argue a causal relationship; I'm just asking a question. It just seems like the more you hope and pray and sweat and bleed and SPEND to make a litter come about, the more chance you have of something going wrong. Just like if you have 6 deposits for females, it guarantees you're going to have only males.
 

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It could be as simple as you aren't as likely to hear about problems that happen with opps litters, litters from unregisterd dogs, mixed dogs etc.
Maybe there's a forum called BYB Annonymous but I doubt it. ;)
 

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This was my thoughts yesterday and thinking about it now made me laugh.
My aussie bitch was to be bred to a really well bred AKC Champion male, we were all excited. He came and lived at my house and the breedings were done formally. We had seen this breeding done before but with my bitches’ brother and the male’s sister, the pups were phenomenal and we were expecting a great litter. NO PUPPIES.....
When she came in season again we just decided to breed to the male’s son he had better conformation and a better pedigree due to his mom's side and he also was mine. We had no anticipation for the litter as we thought she would not conceive again but wouldn't you know we got 7 puppies! (The ultra sound and the xray said five)
 

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Having been on the recieving end of these situations a few times, I always wonder too. Seems Murphy likes to inflict his law more on the good breeders than bad at times. Though realistically, I do think WS has a good point that it's probably perception more than reality and we just don't hear about problems with oops litters and BYBs as much.

I know in our case, puppy mortality hasn't been much of an issue. In 10 litters, for a total of over 60 pups we have had 2 stillborns, 2 that had to be euthanized at birth for defects, and 1 that was very small and underdeveloped and faded and passed within a couple days after birth. So a pretty good record as far as that goes. We've also not encountered too much in the way of whelping problems. Only one c-section and that was Raven's recent I litter where there were only 2 pups, so just not enough in there to stimulate active labor. All others have been pretty easy natural whelpings, though a couple times pups got stuck and needed some help to get turned in the right direction to come out properly, but nothing we couldn't handle ourselves.

What we've encountered though is a horrible luck with AIs, and what seems to be a situation where the more money we pump into the breeding the less likely we are to have a good outcome. 4 times we've spent gobs of money on fresh chilled or frozen AIs, to get no puppies. The one AI breeding we did that did produce puppies was that recent 2 puppy I litter. And the weirdest thing was that there had been 6-7 pups originally, but sometime after the 3rd week she reabsorbed most of them, leaving only 2 viable pups which then had to be delivered via c-section.

All in all, no major horror stories. Though our bank account might disagree and would probabaly consider AI breeding attempts to fit into the horror story category. Honestly, I think we've been quite lucky thus far and hope that luck holds!
 

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I wonder what sort of experience breeders have had when doing carefully considered breedings between two dogs who are not closely related or who are complementary but from diffeent lines. Have you noticed a similar number of tragic outcomes? Admittedly, this would only be anecdotal evidence, but it might indicate an interesting line of inquiry if there seem to be less in the way of unsuccessful outcomes.

My guess would be that all of the factors suggested by the previous posters could have an influence on whether or not litters are conceived and born and raised successfully. I am not suggesting that close breeding is responsible, just that it might be productive to consider whether or not it could be a factor. What do you all think?
 

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I have a friend that breeds GSD's and she has had a bad run too latley. Lost a female to bloat, then one did not take with AI. She did a live breeding on her third female and no pregnancy either. She won;t have any pups - maybe, til next spring.

The last litter she had was only 3 pups too.

But as she said, sometimes it happens that way. Mother nature really cannot be predicted.
 

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I only have one experience whelping a litter. Years ago (and posted on this forum) I rescued a dog who also happened to be pregnant. One pup was stillborn and one had to be euthanized at 2-3 days old due to a severe cleft palate. The mom was a friendly dog but dad was unknown of course. I did the early neurological stimulation on all the puppies and took them out everywhere. From age 4 weeks I could tell they just did not have good temperaments. Later 1 had to be euthanized for fear aggression and the remaining 3 are still in their original adoptive homes, but all have aggression of some kind. That was a horrible experience to lose 2 quickly and then have to euth another. All of it made me wish I had just aborted her. The mom is doing fabulous in her adoptive home. I still get updates on her and the 3 puppies. And I'm always prepared to take back any of those 3 pups.
 

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Humans are not closely related, since inbreeding is not allowed in most countries, yet miscarriages, birth defects, deaths and c-sections still occur. We are working with nature and trying to create life. At times things just go wrong.
 

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I want to say I think it has something to do with hybrid vigor.
If anything I think it would have more to do with human intervention like AI, humans deciding which heat cycles to breed/not breed, what days of the cycle to breed on, etc.
 

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Humans are not closely related, since inbreeding is not allowed in most countries, yet miscarriages, birth defects, deaths and c-sections still occur. We are working with nature and trying to create life. At times things just go wrong.

Really good point! Wasn't considering humans as an example, but should have as that is so true. Glad you brought it up.

Another good bit of evidence from Spiritsmom (to my way of thinking). Fits in nicely with what Whiteshepherds was saying.
 
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