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Old 03-14-2011, 12:26 AM
Michiyo-Fir Michiyo-Fir is offline
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Default Acceptable Breeding Practice

For you, what is considered acceptable breeding practice and good breeding practice?

I've recently noticed some breeders or what a lot of people consider to be good to great dogs do several things.

1. Breed a bitch up to 5 times
2. Breed 5-6 litters in some years
3. Breed back to back heats (not all time time, usually just 2 litters on back to back heats, I've never seen 3)
4. Breed 7-8 yr old bitches

Are these practices considered to be acceptable by your standards on breeders that you think are reputable/good?

If not, what are your accepted limits for the 4 items points shown above?
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Michiyo-Fir View Post
3. Breed back to back heats (not all time time, usually just 2 litters on back to back heats, I've never seen 3)
If I remember correctly I think there was some evidence that this may be easier on a bitch then having litters separated by more heats. I am no breeder though so don't quote me on that. Maybe someone with more knowledge can jump in and shed some light on it.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:52 AM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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1. Breed a bitch up to 5 times
Personally not a huge fan of this. But it also kind of depends. I don't think there's any set number of litters a bitch should have, but I don't want to see one that's pregnant all her life, either. However, better 5 than 9 or 10 (which I HAVE seen).


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2. Breed 5-6 litters in some years
It depends. If I were a breeder, there's NO WAY I could handle that many pups. I probably wouldn't get a puppy from a breeder that breeds that much if for no other reason that I know that puppy was probably not well-socialized. Socialization doesn't make or break a breeder, but it's certainly nice. Logan's breeder socialized the CRAP out of him, granted he was a year old before I got him, but still. If those 5-6 litters are coming from 5-6 bitches, that is also a little different than coming from just 3 bitches. I would prefer no more than 1 or 2 litters a year. There is one bulldog breeder (miller) that has 5 or 6 litters on the ground AT ONE TIME. And this happens 3 or 4 times a year. He's by no means a good breeder, though.

On this note, my coworker got her dog from a BYB and said she liked it because they just have two dogs and bred them once to get a litter () and not a big breeder. When I told her Logan's dam was expecting another litter, her response was "ALREADY?!" and this was when Logan was maybe 18 months old. Um, what? Yeah, one litter every 18 months is NOT a lot. To top it off she then went and got another puppy from a breeder that is borderline mill, and when the pup didn't work out the breeder said she couldn't take it back because she just had a new litter on the ground and didn't want it contaminated (and the puppy was 7 weeks old). So, having litter like that is okay, but a second litter after a year and a half is crazy? Oooookayyyyyyy


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3. Breed back to back heats (not all time time, usually just 2 litters on back to back heats, I've never seen 3)
I have heard that this may be better for the bitch, too. After we medically treat a pyometria, the vet I work for recommends the bitch is bred on the next heat cycle and then back to back and spay when they're done to prevent more pyo problems. Now, breeding a bitch back to back and getting 5 or 6 litters that way, uh, no. That seems a like a bit too much.


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4. Breed 7-8 yr old bitches
Depends on the breed. A great dane? I think not. A small breed? Maybe, since some of them easily live into their late teens and 7 really isn't old at all for them.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:56 AM
Michiyo-Fir Michiyo-Fir is offline
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Originally Posted by Saeleofu View Post
]I have heard that this may be better for the bitch, too. After we medically treat a pyometria, the vet I work for recommends the bitch is bred on the next heat cycle and then back to back and spay when they're done to prevent more pyo problems. Now, breeding a bitch back to back and getting 5 or 6 litters that way, uh, no. That seems a like a bit too much.


Depends on the breed. A great dane? I think not. A small breed? Maybe, since some of them easily live into their late teens and 7 really isn't old at all for them.
Not more than 2 back to back breedings. I've never seen a breeder that is known as reputable do that but I'm sure they exist somewhere.

What if I tell you the breed is a medium one? Definitely not bigger than 55-60 lbs.
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michiyo-Fir View Post
1. Breed a bitch up to 5 times
2. Breed 5-6 litters in some years
3. Breed back to back heats (not all time time, usually just 2 litters on back to back heats, I've never seen 3)
4. Breed 7-8 yr old bitches
All of these are management decisions which I accept if A) the bitch is in good condition B) the bitch is of quality to warrant this kind of breeding C) the intent is to produce dogs for the breeder to keep rather than sell D) the stud being used was selected rather than whoever was lying around the house and E) the offspring being produced are quality. Also the breeder should have an appropriate goal that their breeding program is focusing on.

Breeding back to back heats isn't something I prefer but I do know some who do this with no problem. The theory is that it's easier on the bitch, but the study I read on it is pretty narrow in scope and addresses the bitch more like a cattle production chart than the modern family dog.

Breeding older bitches as long as it's not their first litter isn't something I have an issue with so long as the bitch is healthy. Often times it's a great way to evaluate if the bitch had her first litter at 2 and produced quality offspring which were allowed to grow up and be evaluated before breeding her again.

Breeding 5-6 or more litters a year really for me is a flag unless that person has a program they're breeding to. (No the show ring doesn't count) 5-6 litters a year to produce dogs for a working dog program is reasonable. Breeding 5-6 litters a year and not having a program/goal or using those puppies as swapping material with other breeders I take issue with.
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:06 AM
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1.) 5 litters out of the same bitch would be excessive, imo.
2.) 5-6 litters a year, spaced out, would pretty much ensure that the breeder always had puppies around. I couldn't personally do it, but if a breeder can handle it and each litter is well thought-out, I don't see a problem with this.
3.) What Sael said about back-to-back heats. I, too, see this done frequently, with a spay following the second litter.
4.) In long-lived breeds, 7-8 year old bitches are (or IMO should be) still in their prime. An 8 year old Dane is a senior dog, but an 8 year old border collie is likely to be every bit as active and healthy as a 4 year old border collie. In my breed of choice, I wouldn't WANT to buy a dog out of a line with old, frail dogs under the age of 10.
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:07 AM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michiyo-Fir View Post
Not more than 2 back to back breedings. I've never seen a breeder that is known as reputable do that but I'm sure they exist somewhere.

What if I tell you the breed is a medium one? Definitely not bigger than 55-60 lbs.
Back to back breedings - the bulldog breeder I mentioned before does that with his bitches, and will breed them back to back. They don't always take, but often they do. But like I said, he's not a good breeder.


Medium breed at 7-8 years: still depends a bit. But I would rather see them bred earlier rather than later (but not TOO early of course...I don't want to see an 8 month old bitch having puppies...that's worse than an 8 year old by a long shot IMO).
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:13 AM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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B) the bitch is of quality to warrant this kind of breeding
D) the stud being used was selected rather than whoever was lying around the house and E) the offspring being produced are quality.
This is above all the most important to me.


Quote:
5-6 litters a year to produce dogs for a working dog program is reasonable. Breeding 5-6 litters a year and not having a program/goal or using those puppies as swapping material with other breeders I take issue with.
That is a great point. A lot of the larger SD programs have litters more often - technically it's the same breeder, but they're usually either at a facility that is staffed to handle it, or each bitch is in a different home. I'm not nearly as familiar with other working dog programs. Regardless they're working towards a specific goal, and often have a need for that many dogs.
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:33 AM
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These are my opinions and what I will be doing.

Riley will have 2 maximum 3 litters depending on what she puts on the ground with her first and if I have enough of a waiting list.

I will breed her back to back on 2 litters if she copes well enough with her first and has picked up enough condition. Only if I feel she is able to do so will I allow it.

She will not have a litter over the age of 5 and she will be spayed after her last litter.

I don't really count Travis as any old stud lying around. His breeder and Riley's breeder very carefully thought about it before offering me Riley and they feel their lines are perfect for each other and will offer the outcross they desire. I am going with their advice as my mentors.

Riley will have her first litter with Travis and a second with another stud I have selected. If her first litter with Travis is great she will have her last litter with Travis too.

I will never have more then one litter on the ground at a time. I am not insane enough for that!
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:15 AM
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Instead of looking for fault with the breeder, what are their good points? Why are you considering them? Do they produce quality dogs that are suited for your purposes? Do they raise their puppies in way you feel is appropriate? Do they seem knowledgeable and reasonable about their dogs? Is there a demand within their chosen venue for their dogs? Those are much more important questions. In my breed, none of that is real uncommon except maybe number of litters a year and even that could depend on other factors from year to year (litter size, co-ownerships, etc.). If all breeders only bred rarely, bred no more than a couple litters out of one or maybe two bitches and never bred a dog over 4, it would have devastating effects on the gene pools of most breeds. Not surprisingly given years of AR propaganda, it seems that most people are educated that such traits are a sign of a "good" breeder. I encourage everyone to read this article, which explains how modern ideals can hurt purebred dogs: Breeding Better Dogs
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