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Discussion Starter #1
At the risk of sounding like some idiot that has a dog that she thinks is wonderful............
I think I might.
What I know about her is she comes from good lines, has a fabulous temperment from everything I see at this point. I'm told her conformation is very nice, and her Schutzhund trainer tells me she has serious potential, and told me not to spay her. Her vet says she's healthy and her joints seem good so far.....But I will move ahead with prelims in a few months.
I have no desire to become a "breeder" in the business sense of the word. I have a career that I hope pays enough to let me undertake this whole thing if my puppy turns out as well as I think she might. I understand there is no potential to make money breeding puppies. I understand the time involved, the knowledge required (of which I presently have a very limited amount of but I am learning every day and since I would not be able to breed for at least two years I can learn more. Heck, I went to school for one year and became a radiation therapist...who knows what I can learn in two?) and the responsibilities involved. Disclaimer- I was already an x-ray tech, but you all get the point, I think.
I guess what is motivating this is that I really did not know the importance of good genetics in how a puppy will likely turn out. But this dog so far surpasses anything I could ever have hoped for, and maybe if she proves herself on the field, gets a good rating, and passes health checks with flying colors.....well then maybe I can find the right male to produce the kind of pups that will represent the working line GSD with pride.
Am I totally out in left field here?
 

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Let's say everything turns out fantastic, she's earned a SchH II at a strange field with a strange and strong helper, the people are impressed and during training and titling you saw nothing that would be questionable nor discouraging. Also, she's healthy and doesn't have digestive issues, cleared hips and elbows, koreklassed and rated, the whole nine yards. The only issue I think may be a problem is that both her parents were not titled so I wonder if the owner of a good stud dog might have a problem with that and deny the breeding thus leaving you with difficult choices (and remember, don't choose mediocre). In the case of your bitch out of untitled parents, you may have to go the extra mile to convince the world that your bitch is a force to be reckoned with, if she indeed is.

I think this is a fair question and you know that your dog must be proven in order to be bred. Do realize that even if she does get titled, she may not be breedworthy (focused on the sleeve and not caring about the man at all, nerve issues that come out during protection phase, etc). I'm sure the experts and pros will flock in at any second as these threads attract members like a bottle of honey placed next to an ant nest attracts ants, so read, listen, observe, ask questions, listen some more, be a sponge, and learn.

Also, find a breeder who's very experienced with breeding to have as a mentor! The breed doesn't matter but it helps if it's remotely close to a GSD (mentoring with a lab breeder will translate better than mentoring with a yorkie breeder). Moderator Wisc Tiger has been a "whelp helper" with a weim breeder and, following her threads on the subject, it's clear that it is *very* enlightening.
 

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Everybody has to start at some points. Its true that breeding should be left for experts, but even those experts were novices at their beginnings. I see you are not considering to breed because of the cute factor of your beloved pet, but because you think, with the opinion of more experienced and knowledgeable people, that your pup can make an improvement on the breed as it is supposed to be, a working one. I've seen worst reasons.

There will be still a couple of years before you actually breed your female, if you ever do. In the meantime you are training and learning and I see nothing bad with consider the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What I'm looking at in this moment is that she has shown up to this point (which is, admittedly very early in the whole process) the kind of potential that might lead to a very nice genetic makeup that might be worth passing on.
Should the next pieces not fit she will be spayed without a second thought nor a moment of regret.
Heck, I tried to get her spayed when she ate that sock, and left her at the vets thinking it would be done. But the vet was thinking she was too young to be that cut open since he had to get to her stomach so he didn't do it. Maybe it will turn out to be a blessing in disguise, maybe a moot point. It's WAY too early to tell.
I'm looking at this in the following terms-
My bitch must not be good, but exceptional, and that means proven both with screenings and on the field.
I must have the resources to tend to the needs of a pregnancy, whelping, and puppies.
I must be willing and able to keep any puppies I cannot find good homes for.
I must be able to commit to the time necessary to properly socialize puppies (which I understand to be a huge job in itself)
And I must understand that my pride in my bitch will be reflected in any pups she produces, so I will do everything in my power to only breed to a stellar male that will further the working dog lines from which she comes.
 

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You are starting on the right path. You have a good feel for the responsibilities involved in breeding. Work your bitch, be honest with yourself about her faults and her virtues. If anything breeding bitches should be exceptional animals, far above average and have something to offer the breed beyond being an oven.
 

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You are travelling down the right road if this is your desire.Do your homework. Don't worry about the parents being untitled, concentrate on making sure your female is breedworthy. Your female won't pass the parents lack of titles to the puppies(I'm sure about that). And there are just as many knowledgable people who will evaluate the parents of the puppies and the pedigree and hip history of the parents, as the elitest who would eliminate a puppy because the granparents werent titled. Good breeders breed dogs and not titles trust me....Good Luck ,,if all things work out!
 

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Everybody has to start somewhere
I think that you have a very realistic opinion of breeding-keep training, learning, and see how she develops-sounds like you are on the right track
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have been continuing to work with Lucy and have seen only wonderful things from her. Our trainer, who has titled many dogs and knows her stuff continues to be impressed.
BUT- I have this incredible feeling that this is way above my knowledge and ability level, and that without that basic foundation I really should not breed, no matter how wonderful she turns out to be. The time commitment looms large and I feel like to do it half heartedly (because of my knowledge level and NOT my commitment) is to do a HUGE disservice to the breed and I'm not willing to do that.
So although I will not spay her anytime soon I think the chances I'll decide to breed her are slim. I know I can be sure there is not an unwanted pregnancy, so that is not a factor but my question is this-
Is it OK if you have a really top notch quality breed worthy dog and decide you as a breeder do not have what it takes and decide not to breed- is that a bad thing or a good thing?
 

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It's good that you are giving it some thought but why worry about breeding. Get the titles first and then think about it.

BTW- Who is your trainer?
 

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Originally Posted By: Lucina
Is it OK if you have a really top notch quality breed worthy dog and decide you as a breeder do not have what it takes and decide not to breed- is that a bad thing or a good thing?

For the breed to continue, and improve, it is just as important for good dogs to be bred as it is for bad dogs not to be bred. But, at the same time, if one dog doesn't breed, even if it's the best GSD ever to grace the planet, isn't going to make or break the breed.

So how's that for a non answer.


It is a huge responsibility, and I think you're well on the right track to becoming a good breeder should you choose to be. You are taking this very seriously and making sure those proverbial ducks are all in their rows, both from the standpoint of proving your bitch as breedworthy and in terms of making sure you are knowledgeable and prepared to become a breeder.

But in the end, it does come down to personal choice. Some people like to breed and want to become breeders. Others do not, and you shouldn't feel forced into doing it because you have a good dog. So do what you feel is best for yourself and Lucy. You've already shown that should you choose to become a breeder, you'll definitely be doing it the right way.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Where we train
That's the conclusion I came to today. Not to focus on breeding but on training.
 

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"Is it OK if you have a really top notch quality breed worthy dog and decide you as a breeder do not have what it takes and decide not to breed- is that a bad thing or a good thing?"

If you are not 100% desiring to do this, don't. You will do the breed no favors regardless to how good your dog is. My reasons are:

1. If you do not spend the time and the money for the best stud, and proper vet care, and proper whelping care, and time and positive energy raising the puppies, the puppies will not reach their potential.

2. If you are not into it 100%, that will shine through when it comes to the best puppy buyers. And your puppies will land in homes where they may not do nearly as well.

3. It is a lot of work and a lot of heartache. Some people lose their bitch, but I would not worry so much about that. Many people lose a puppy or puppies in the whelping process. A disease like canine herpes can literally dessimate an entire litter, making you lose them all. Breeders have to sometimes manage losing puppies, and some times breeders have to make tough decisions about their breeding stock.

This is truly not a job for those who are luke warm. Letting six week old puppies climb on you is great fun. But there is a whole lot more to it than that.

Never allow anyone to impact your decision to breed or not to breed. It is a personal decision.
 

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Originally Posted By: LucinaSo although I will not spay her anytime soon I think the chances I'll decide to breed her are slim. I know I can be sure there is not an unwanted pregnancy, so that is not a factor but my question is this-
Is it OK if you have a really top notch quality breed worthy dog and decide you as a breeder do not have what it takes and decide not to breed- is that a bad thing or a good thing?
I had to grin at this because it sounds like much of what I've gone through the last few years. I have a chow bitch who has an incredible background - father was the first chow <u>ever</u> to pass OFA's on hips (excellent), elbows, patellas, thryoid, cardiac and eyes. His brother also passed all of those, and my girl was the sixth chow ever to pass all the tests. Since then one of her half-siblings has also passed all the tests (only about a dozen chows have to date). The rest of Khana's pedigree is full of OFA ratings and championships, AND several obedience titles (which is rare in the breed). And then Khana herself passed therapy dog testing at a year old (her temperament is incredible), and before she was three she had all of her rally obedience titles and her CD. She's retrieving, jumping, and on her way to her CDX.

So here I have a bitch from a fantastic pedigree, fantastic health background, who is temperamentally wonderful, as well as intelligent and athletic - and I'm probably not going to breed her. I considered it but the reality is that I'm not set up for it at this point and I am so close to this girl that I don't want to take any chances of losing her during whelping. She's now in training as my service dog and is doing beautifully. In all honesty she matters too much to me to be a breeding dog (which is something the other chow people here in the state told me over a year ago, that I'm too close to her emotionally to ever breed her).

I've been told I should breed her because of her background, but the way I figure it is that the breeders who produced this girl are active as breeders and I did my part by having the OFA tests done to help show what is in the line. And I'll continue with her training so that it helps promote this particular bloodline - and that's every bit as important as actually breeding. Showing that your dog's bloodlines are healthy and capable can be your contribution to the breed.

Good luck with whatever decision you make!

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sue- it is exactly those factors you mention that give me pause.
I know I would not do it unless I really COULD do it- half a$$ed is NOT an option- and all those factors are a part of that equation. No matter what contribution my bitch could make to the overall picture that depends on me to actually realize the potential.
For me it isn't about being into it 100%, but I do understand the point you were making. The problem is that if it's just the desire to breed at work IMHO you can be SO into it that you make bad breeding decisions just to be able to. I would never attempt anything of this magnitude with a luke warm attitude. Leave that for the puppy mills and BYB's of which unfortunately there is no shortage of..
For me the issue is whether or not I would be able to do the breed justice- do I have the time necessary to properly care for and socialize the pups? Do I have the knowledge to know which is the best stud, even though I would pay whatever was necessary for that best stud? Would I be able to find good homes for the pups, including caring for any left behind? This stuff is huge, because I've seen the urgent pages and met a rescue who changed my whole way of thinking. I would not want to produce a life that would exist in misery. Again, the puppy mills have that covered- they don't need me.
The vet care thing is a no brainer- I would not have any animal if there was even a chance I could not afford vet care. This decision would incorporate that philosophy.
Melanie- You really do have a breed worthy bitch, but I totally understand your point. I know you're proud of her. That was great that you shared all that. It added some nice perspective. You don't have to express your pride in her by breeding her. That's important, and is a part of what is going through my head. It doesn't take a thing away from her because you decide not to breed her, and it wouldn't take a thing away from Lucy either.
Thanks for that.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I love her to death, I'm told she is a stellar example of the breed, she has a lot of heart, fantastic temperment (bold and confident but friendly and never aggressive) and a great build.
I'm spaying her as soon as this heat is over. God bless the breeders that produce dogs like her. I will not be joining you. I don't have what it takes, even if she may. I have a new appreciation for what you all do, the work you put in, the commitment you have. My hat's off to ya. You all keep up the good work.
 

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My hats off to YOU, Lisa, for being aware of the responsibility breeding carries with it, and listening to your heart and gut, not what everyone else is saying.

How refreshing to read your posts about the thought process you put into trying to decide if you will breed your Lucina, as opposed to all the posts of newbies wanting to breed their dogs, just becaus they can.
 

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Lisa, I don't know how old you are, but perhaps it will be right for you sometime in the future. The humans in outstanding breeding programs are as essential as the canines. Great genetics will come to naught without the vision, wisdom & dedication of great breeders. You seem to be exactly the kind of person that benefits a breed.

Blessedly this board seems to be rife with the experienced, knowledgeable, caring & generous mentors so much needed by new breeders. Additionally, decent breeders who placed pups to be bred s/b willing, even eager, sources of advice & guidance. (There s/b no better source for detailed, in depth info on a dog's/bitch's lines than its breeder).
 

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Quote: For the breed to continue, and improve, it is just as important for good dogs to be bred as it is for bad dogs not to be bred.
This is true. If your female turns out as well as you think she will----it would be interesting to see what happens. If she does turn out as well as you think she should, it would probably not be hard for you to find a reputable breeder who might be willing to do the breeding and puppies on a sharing arrangement.

Just keep in mind that whatever it is that you don't have, knowledge, time, facilities etc.----someone else does. This is what can make a partnership work.

Just be very careful to fully research and get personal references on anyone you think you might partner with. You won't regret doing a good research before jumping into anything.
 

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Wow, the thought of anyone else keeping my girl and raising a litter of pups with her never entered my head. I could not do that. I am not saying it is right or wrong, other people leave their dogs at kennels and for training and with a handler for showing and such. I just couldn't.
 
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