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Old 03-08-2007, 03:53 AM
IliamnasQuest IliamnasQuest is offline
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Default Thoughts on a Brood Bitch

I was off at obedience trials this weekend and I called up a fellow dog friend and we had a long discussion about breeds and breeders and showing and all that. She and her husband show in conformation and put two (AKC and CKC) championships on their male last summer. She's helped mentor me in the conformation ring but has also been very supportive of my other endeavors (and is amazed to see what my chows do .. *L*). She's also been a breeder although she hasn't bred any litters in the past four or five years.

We've discussed Khana's merits (Khana is my two year old chow bitch) and whether or not I should consider breeding her. Khana has a lot of excellent physical qualities, comes from exquisite bloodlines, has a perfectly wonderful temperament, has earned two performance titles and will earn more, is pointed in AKC and CKC conformation. I have no immediate plans to breed her and she would of course have to have her health tests completed first. Her sire is the first chow in the history of the breed to pass all the recommended health tests for chows.

My friend knows how deep the bond is between Khana and myself. I became very ill when she was just ten weeks old and I spent the first three months of our life together mostly bedridden. I depended on Khana to entertain me, snuggle with me, and basically give me a reason to live. She slept with me and I did most of her early training while laying on the bed or in a recliner. We were together 24/7 (still pretty much are).

So my friend says to me "you won't ever breed Khana .. you're too close to her". She went on to say that she was once told by someone who mentored her way back that a breeder should never get too close (emotionally) to their brood bitches. You have to be able to deal with the situations without being over-run with emotion. You can love them and consider them to be important to you, but you can't have that really deep bond because it becomes too difficult. And she went on to say that people who are really really close to their dogs tend NOT to breed.

I understand what she's saying. It takes a certain amount of objectivity over emotionalism to go through breeding, I think. You're putting your bitch at certain risks that they wouldn't have otherwise. Those risks have to be more important to you than the bond you have in some ways - otherwise you wouldn't breed.

I kept Dora (my now nine year old bitch) intact for years because I considered breeding her. She's a nicely cobby chow, good temperament, and I left her intact while I worked on titles with her to see if I might want to breed her (her previous owner - a show person - wanted a pup from her). I love Dora. But when I thought of breeding her, I didn't have a huge fear of what might happen to her. I realized the risks but felt that if she ended up being what I thought she should be I would breed her without too much hesitation. It ended up that she didn't have some of the qualities I wanted to see so she was never bred. But breeding her wouldn't have been tremendously difficult emotionally for me.

The thought of breeding Khana scares me at times. She is what I want to see in a chow. I think breeding a chow like her would be a good step in the breed. I just don't think I can do it, however. Even if she came back with ALL the health tests passed and EXCELLENT hips, and earned advanced obedience titles and all that - I just don't know that I could do it.

So (typical long post, I know .. I always try to explain things fully .. *L*) - what are your thoughts on attachment to a brood bitch? I'm sure everyone wants to feel they're very close to their breeding bitches, but does it make sense that there has to be a tad bit of emotional removal in order to handle breeding without completely falling apart from anxiety?

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
... I think working at a vet's for so many years and seeing what CAN and DOES go wrong has created a lot of fears for me .. at least that's my excuse .. *L*
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:58 AM
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I've never bred a dog, so I can't offer an answer, I just wanted to say WOW. Anyone ever considering breeding should read this to know how it should not be taken lightly. If only all breeders cared so much and put this much thought into the process. My hat goes off to you, and I'm sure you'll make the right choice for you and your precious girl.
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:13 PM
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I guess for me it would depend on the breed of dog and what kind of whelpers they are. I think it would be a different decision for me wether I had a breed with easily delivered bullet shaped heads like collies and belgians vs a breed that tends to have difficult dilevries ir may require a c-section.
For me the $$$ and the huge amount of work required in being a good breeder would probably be bigger considerations.
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:35 PM
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Maybe I'm not the best suited to answer this, because I have a tremendous attachment to my dog. But honestly, if I'd wanted to breed her, I wouldn't have worried much about the possible hang-ups, just tried to be prepared for them.

I know that bitches can die in labor and things of that nature, but a dog can die from many things. Its all relative. Loki could have swallowed and choked on the pinecone she was playing with at the park today. She could have fallen off the slide she slid down and broken her leg, then died in surgery to fix it. We both could have been mowed down by a car on the way home. But the fear of those things happening wouldn't keep me from pursuing my desire, which (in this case) was to go to the park and have fun with my dog.

I think the potential benefits of breeding an outstanding litter justify the potential risks. Unless, for example, we were talking about a bitch with health problems or a whole mess of problem whelpers in her pedigree, in which case I think the owner should evaluate whether its really worth breeding such a dog in the first place. But for a healthy bitch who really has something to contribute, a bond should be no bar to the breeding. I would think that an attachment would actually help. There is an established trust, which would be beneficial when it comes to helping her whelp the litter, handling puppies, etc.

That's JMO.
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:14 PM
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Feeling the way you do , I would leave the breeding up to those who want to continue for a GOOD reason . It's a lot of work and not easy !
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Old 03-10-2007, 01:21 AM
IliamnasQuest IliamnasQuest is offline
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Thanks for the comments.

Bahamutt, I understand what you're saying but I guess I see it a bit differently. Allowing your dog to play with a pinecone and choosing to have your dog bred are so vastly different that I can't even compare them. Yes, our dogs could die doing everyday things. But to make the choice to have your bitch whelp pups adds a higher risk of injury/death than they would have in day-to-day activities. And choosing to put your dog at a higher risk, to me, means you have to be willing to accept that risk. The less emotional involvement you have with an animal, the easier it is to put it at that additional risk.

I'm not suggesting that those who breed don't care for their bitches! I just think that the comment by my friend was interesting and it got me to thinking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbatd View Post
Feeling the way you do , I would leave the breeding up to those who want to continue for a GOOD reason . It's a lot of work and not easy !
You know, I read this several times and then walked away and came back to it much later, and I keep getting the same feeling from it. It sounds like you're suggesting that my reasons for breeding aren't GOOD. By saying to leave it "up to those who want to do it for a GOOD reason" it really seems that you're insinuating I wouldn't be. Why would you say that? Or am I misinterpreting entirely what you were trying to say?

I'm well aware that it's a lot of work. I was a vet tech for years, helped hand-raise orphaned puppies as well as dealing with a lot of health issues in animals that most people don't get to have experience with. I'm dedicated to my dogs and not afraid of work (or I wouldn't be putting performance titles on chows .. *L*). IF I choose to breed, I'll be going in with my eyes open.

I'm setting up the OFA hip and elbow x-rays on Khana now and will go from there. We'll see what happens.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
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Old 03-10-2007, 02:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IliamnasQuest View Post
Thanks for the comments.

Yes, our dogs could die doing everyday things. But to make the choice to have your bitch whelp pups adds a higher risk of injury/death than they would have in day-to-day activities.
I'm almost positive that bubbatd didn't mean anything negative by her post. But back to what I quoted, I'm not entirely positive but I thought that you had said before that you had competed in agility, I know your in favor of working titles on dogs.

Agility is outside the realm of everyday activities and dogs that compete just like human athletes who push themselves run a higher risk of being injured. GSD's that compete in Schutzund can break bones, pull muscles, and lose teeth. And owners who train their dogs that are in SAR definetely increase the potential for injury and death to their animals.

This isn't a critique of these activities at all. But I wanted to use them to point out that I'm sure that many of the people who take part in these things love their animals dearly. From everything you've said it seems like Khana's puppies would be a help to the Chow breed in general, plus they'd be adorable . But of course it's a difficult decision and theres no wrong answer.
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Old 03-10-2007, 10:34 AM
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It seemed to me that you were on the fence about breeding . I'm sure if you did decide to breed it would have a lot of thought and testing behind your decision . I meant no harm .
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Old 03-10-2007, 10:48 AM
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i had never really thought about breeding a bitch- i've no intention to ever get into that kind of thing- but your initial post really struck me, because i think i'd fall very much into that category. i think about my relationship with luce, and intentionally entering into something that could have major complications in which i could lose her would scare the pee out of me.

i think i would also have an excruciatingly hard time placing her pups as well, because of my relationship with her.

i'm so glad i don't have to worry about this kind of thing. i find plenty else to worry about!
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Old 03-10-2007, 10:58 AM
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oooh placing the pups uuugh I'd have a terrible time with that. I don't think there are 8 homes that would live up to my expectations for my dogs. That would be TOUGH.
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