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Title is fairly self-explainatory. I got a quality german imported dog from a local breeder, who is about 6 months old atm. Ultimately, I want to get a female dog as well to keep him company, but probably not for another year at least.

Additionally, my parents and brothers are likely to be at a point in the next 2-3 years where they would probably like a german shepherd puppy of their own, so it occurs to me that breeding mine might be nice for my family.

So, what are the basics of breeding? How old do they have to be? I imagine they'd both have to be 2 years old in order to make sure their hips check out. How can I tell if they are match, genetically? Is this sort of thing generally considered to be a "good idea"?

When the puppies are born, how much human attention do they need, or how much time would one have to take off work? How much does it cost to get a puppy through the whelping stage to the point when they can be gifted / sold? (Things like shots, vet bills, etc).

It's more of a fun idea than anything at this point, but one that isn't totally out of the question. If someone has tried this before, and found it to be a really bad experience, I'd like to know.

Thanks.
 

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The image is in the very first post on the thread. :) Here it is again:



There are also lots of other threads in this sub-forum by people in your situation, have you scanned through any of those? Most of the advice would be the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Still cannot see it. Maybe it's the computer. Is it actually helpful, or is it a fancy way of saying "No"? Some responses from that thread were a bit critical of it.

I don't have long term plans to become a professional breeder. It's a cute idea, but I know a pipe dream when I see one. I'm just looking to perhaps breed some pups once for my extended family. If it goes well, then it goes well, but that's all I'm considering at the moment.
 

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Is it actually helpful, or is it a fancy way of saying "No"?
I think it's pretty helpful. :)

There are certainly things you can nitpick about it, but IMO the guidelines are very good and useful as a general checklist of things to consider. While individual dogs and breeders might choose to make exceptions on specific points, it's well worth thinking about why those exceptions are being made and whether they are truly warranted.

And for the most part, the flowchart's requirements are not unreasonable. The standards are high but not impossibly so; they're the same things that I'd use as a basic filter when looking to buy a puppy. They certainly do not operate as a functional equivalent to "No."
 

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Its not a fancy way of saying no and people who get snarky about it do so because there are something like 10 million dogs killed every year because of back yard breeders (byb) and/or improper care. There are tons of non profits around who save these breeds every day and many of us volunteer with them.

If you dont know for sure all of the answers ie, your dog is only 6 months and you are still working on things then maybe you just dont get her fixed yet and are VERY CAREFUL during her heat. That is what I am doing until I know if my Lulu will qualify as a breeding bitch.


Now what it says is,

Is your dog registered with a reputable club ie AKC, UKC, CanKC, FCI? If yes move on to next question if not DO NOT BREED..

Where did you get your dog? A) From a reputable breeder (one who follows the guidlines of this chart or B)Petstore, newspaper, internet, rescue or shelter?
If A move on to next question
If B DO NOT BREED YOUR DOG.

Does your dogs purchase contract allow for breeding. If yes move on to next question. If no DO NOT BREED YOUR DOG.

Do you have 3-5 generation pedigree on your dog? If yes move on to next question. If no DO NOT BREED YOUR DOG.

Does your dogs pedigree contain at least 4 dogs with working, conformation, agility, or obedience titles in the last two generations? If yes move on to next question. If no DO NOT BREED YOUR DOG.

Does your dog have a stable temperament, one appropriate to the breed? If yes move on to next question. If no DO NOT BREED YOUR DOG.

Has your dog been judged by outside impartial observers as physically conforming to the breed standard? If yes move on to next question. If no DO NOT BREED YOUR DOG.

Has your dog been certified as physically sound by OFA PennHIP, CERF and free of genetic problems common to the breed? If yes move on to next question. If no DO NOT BREED YOUR DOG.

Are you emotionally and financially prepared for all of the things that can and DO go wrong before during and after whelping? If yes move on to next question. If no DO NOT BREED YOUR DOG.

Will you sell your dogs on contract and be able to take back any dog for any reason at any time through its entire life? If yes move on to next question. If no DO NOT BREED YOUR DOG.

If you are here your dog MAY BE breeding quality. If you are not showing or working your dog, please consider why you are breeding your dog. Breeding carries huge responsibilities. You should only breed if you intend to improve the breed. Do not breed if you just want a puppy or think you will make money. If done correctly you will not make any money on raising puppies.
 

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people who get snarky about it do so because there are something like 10 million dogs killed every year because of back yard breeders (byb) and/or improper care. There are tons of non profits around who save these breeds every day and many of us volunteer with them.
I read to fast of the previous comment and posted this based on what I THOUGHT it said.

Sorry.
 

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You'll find that not too many people will approve of this kind of breeding plan on this forum. Mostly because you don't really have any idea what you're doing, and getting two puppies and expecting to breed them is probably the biggest mistake many people make. You then get emotionally connected to those dogs, don't look at them objectively, and if there are issues...you'll probably look past them because you have invested so much time and money into the dogs that you'll want to breed them anyways.

The other problem is that you'll be surprised how quickly your family backs out of a puppy when they realize what comes along with it. Everyone loves your dog now, they love to play with it when they're around, but they really don't want the responsibility of raising one for the next decade. Then there's the fact that you might end up with 10 puppies and 3 family members wanting pups. What do you do with the other 7? Sell them to people just like you who have dreams of breeding a dog just once? See how quickly this spirals out of control?

The truly responsible/serious GSD owners, won't even consider buying your pups. So they'll more than likely end up in questionable homes with owners who have questionable levels of commitment to those dogs. Do you really want that?

It will also probably take you way more than $1000 to raise a litter of puppies. Which is what your family could reasonably expect to spend on a well-bred dog. I'd just suggest that they go to the breeder you went through if they really love the way your dog is. The likelihood that the breeder is breeding similar or related dogs is very high.

Just thought of another thing...what if you breed the dogs, give them to family members, and those pups end up having issues (physical or temperamental). I just wouldn't really want to deal with family that keeps looking at me as its my fault they just spent $5000 on a hip replacement, or ended up with an aggressive dog that they can't let out of the kennel when people come over, or a fearful dog that snaps at anything that moves.
 

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Just thought of another thing...what if you breed the dogs, give them to family members, and those pups end up having issues (physical or temperamental). I just wouldn't really want to deal with family that keeps looking at me as its my fault they just spent $5000 on a hip replacement, or ended up with an aggressive dog that they can't let out of the kennel when people come over, or a fearful dog that snaps at anything that moves.
Yeah, this is a really good point.

Even if the puppies don't have extreme behavioral issues (and there are plenty of threads on this very forum from people whose dogs, some of whom came from well-known lines and "reputable" breeders, do have serious problems with fear, aggression, OCD, health, etc. -- read those if you want cautionary tales of the worst that can happen from mixing and matching pedigrees!), a working dog in a casual pet home can develop into a real wild child just from sheer lack of appropriate exercise, structure, and stimulation. If one or two or seven of those puppies get bounced back to you as unruly adolescents, can you handle it?

If you do want to breed your dog, and you're not already doing so, I would seriously recommend getting involved in a training or breed club. This will not only give you a good idea of whether your dog is truly exceptional enough to warrant breeding (and help you earn the titles to prove it), but it will help you develop the connections you'll need to find excellent homes for any puppies you might have.
 

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Most people entertain the idea of breeding their dog at one point or another. It's only natural. There is nothing wrong with thinking about it and learning about it. Study the breed for a few years so if you ever do decide to become a breeder (yes even just one litter will make you a breeder) you will be able to make well informed decisions. Your decisions not only affect the lives of the dogs you will help create but the lives of the people who will eventually own your dogs. You want to create healthy and stable representatives of the breed who will provide years of enjoyment to their future owners. You do not want to create heart ace and financial stress on people who unwittingly buy your dogs not knowing some of the underlying problems that await them. Also as previously mentioned, you want to be VERY informed about the breed and be able to articulate your breeding rationale to prospective buyers. If you cannot do this, serious buyers will steer clear and your dogs will end up going to less than desirable homes. (If you can place them at all). It is a huge responsibility and your decisions will have lasting repercussions. Please strive to use wisdom.
 

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You have received some very helpful and diplomatic responses. I'm going to go out on a limb and be the nasty bad guy here :(

How many parents and brothers do you have? Enough to raise a full litter of pups to adulthood, and through their senior years? Yikes!

"Likely," "probably," and "might be nice" just wouldn't be enough for me to consider what you are considering. I would need to be *absolutely* positive that I had enough homes who were lined up and anxiously awaiting the lives I've been responsible for creating. I mean, literally Begging for my pups, or at the very least on a waiting list for my next breeding.

The only way to tell whether they will a match genetically is to study, study, and study some more. That's a huge time commitment, becoming versed in generations of dogs, their health, their temperament. If it were me, I wouldn't feel comfortable until I could identify every sire and dam's health and temperament by name for at least five generations back. Not look it up. Know it by heart.

You're asking how much human attention the pups need when they are born. That's a good start. And self centered, sorry to say. A better question would be how much human attention will these dogs I am breeding require for the *duration* of their lives, and can I ensure they will receive that? Ten years, fourteen years, more... That's what you will be creating. Dogs who live full lives...Not puppies. A responsible breeder doesn't create pups. She creates dogs. And makes sure that whoever owns them is committed to them long after they are cute and handsome and healthy... When they are old and frail and their health care becomes expensive. If I were going to give or sell someone a dog, I would picture it in its final stages... Crippled, incontinent, blind or deaf. I would need to feel confident that it will be well cared for through every stage of its life.

And my final meanie statement: a "fun idea" is just not enough :(

Not nearly enough.

Enjoy your handsome boy, and his pedigree, and please don't be discouraged by my straightforward post, but take it as an inspiration to have fun learning all you can about the breed before you take that huge step. You might just turn out to be the best hobby breeder ever!

. . .

Additionally, my parents and brothers are likely to be at a point in the next 2-3 years where they would probably like a german shepherd puppy of their own, so it occurs to me that breeding mine might be nice for my family.

. . . How can I tell if they are match, genetically? Is this sort of thing generally considered to be a "good idea"?

When the puppies are born, how much human attention do they need, or how much time would one have to take off work?

. . .

It's more of a fun idea than anything at this point, but one that isn't totally out of the question. If someone has tried this before, and found it to be a really bad experience, I'd like to know.

Thanks.



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If you want to breed, then go out and get involved in the breed in training, studying, attending events, and find a mentor. The more you learn, the more you will understand the breed. Putting two dogs together that complement each other and bring forth fruit takes knowledge and experience. Find a mentor, make sure they have breeding experience and are not some Internet expert. Good Luck!
 

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So, what are the basics of breeding? How old do they have to be? I imagine they'd both have to be 2 years old in order to make sure their hips check out. How can I tell if they are match, genetically? Is this sort of thing generally considered to be a "good idea"?
The best age to start breeding males is 3, and females 2 and half years old, because many of them still continue to develop mentally and physically before that age. Sex stops that development and redirects the energy into sperm/eggs production. If you have a male, it is always better to decide whether to keep him as a "permanent baby son", or to breed him. I would stand for the first, because it provides you with a quieter life. Firstly, because I wouldn't take on things I know little about, let's the baker to bake, the brick worker to lay bricks and the breeders to breed. You would have to give up with your present jobs if you started breeding dogs. It is very difficult, raising puppies, all your ideas would sink under pressure of responsibilities. Once you brought your male to female - you should start looking for brides every 6 months. And between that sessions you would be dealing with dog fights, because males become more agressive towards other males than those who never had sex and economise on sperm production.
But, if you are determined to save his noble blood, you would have to invest in your dog by taking him to medical tests and upgrading his pedigree in shows and gaining SchutzH certificates. The most expensive and valued GSDs are the Champions in both, in Schutzhund and in show. Both, and intellectual competitions, and physical beaty competitions have levels, national and international. If your dog was titled in many places - it rates him higher and provides with the brides.
It is not recommended to breed females more often than once a year, later once in two years, then your vets may say in unison that it is better to keep her empty for couple of years ... What would you do with a breeding male and female on heat in one house?
 

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There are no "basics" to breeding. I would refer your friends and family to your breeder, if they like your dog, since you say you don't want to be a breeder.
 

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First of all, what is this dog's pedigree? That right there can start your "yes" or "no" on thoughts of breeding. You say he is a "quality German imported dog", who told you that he was "quality"? The breeder? Of course if someone wants to sell you something, they're going to tell you it's the best. I'm sure he's a great dog, and you love him, but owning a dog and breeding a dog are two very different things. Even if he's the best companion in the world, when we talk about "breeding quality", we need to talk in realistic and unromantic (and sometimes harsh) terms. The dog needs to be critiqued by experienced judges of the breed, in terms of conformation, temperament, and working ability. If your dog was imported from Germany, all his parents and ancestors had to pass a battery of health, temperament, and working tests before they were bred. If your dog is truly great, you can see how these tests help to produce great dogs, and you would want to do the same, right? If something is worth doing, it's worth doing right. Since GSDs are not an endangered species (there are too many homeless already), there's really no reason to make more of them unless they are outstanding representatives of the breed. We already have a ton of poorly-bred, untested, unproven GSDs running around; health and temperament problems plague this breed. Ask any veterinarian.

If you're thinking about breeding him, you need unbiased, educated opinions as to his quality. The best way you can do this is by showing and trialing your dog and attaining titles. It's a lot of work. It's time consuming and expensive. If you are new to dog training and trialing, you will experience frustration at times. To me, it's totally worth it if you want to breed (and even if you don't want to breed). See if there are any IPO clubs in your area. Call them and ask if you can come to watch them train, and if you can bring your dog. Ask for an unbiased, truthful critique of your dog. Don't even mention wanting to breed him at this point--you need to take one step at a time and not put the cart before the horse.

If you are thinking about getting a female as a "mate" for your dog, that is a whole 'nuther ball of wax... you have to prove she is breeding quality, the same way you'd prove your boy is breeding quality. Then you must consider whether her bloodlines are compatible with his. Some bloodlines do not mix well, and planning a breeding requires thought and study. You want to find mates that balance each other, that improve each other. Again, this is something that you will need expert help and advice with.
 
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