A Guide to Breeding Your Dog

AKC Breeder Resources

A Guide to Breeding Your Dog
Step Three - Understand the Commitment
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Raising puppies is a full-time job. During the first couple of weeks the dam normally takes care of the puppies' needs, but complications, such as a dam with no milk or an orphaned litter, may arise. It is the breeder's responsibility to provide a safe, warm, dry place for the puppies and proper food and water for the bitch.

Puppies are even more work (and more fun!) when they are weaned. The extra feeding, cleanup, grooming, training, and veterinary care adds up to a lot of hours - and not much free time for you.

Another factor that you must consider is the financial cost of having a litter of puppies. From the genetic screening and health tests before breeding to the extra food, supplies, and medical care required after the puppies are born, the cost of whelping and raising puppies can be very high, especially if complications arise.

Responsible breeders make sure that their puppy goes to an owner who will provide it with the same love and devotion for life that the breeder has provided. This means careful screening and evaluation of each person or family interested in getting a puppy.

Responsible breeders learn everything they can about their breed and know all the pros and cons of ownership. It is important to share this information - including the negative aspects - with prospective puppy owners. You should be ready to explain why a dog requiring a lot of coat care or training may not be the best match for a workaholic or why a tiny dog may not be appropriate for a family with small, active children. You should be committed to placing puppies with owners who will provide excellent care.