Acceptable Breeding Practice

Discussion in 'The Breeding Ground' started by Michiyo-Fir, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Michiyo-Fir

    Michiyo-Fir New Member

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    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?
     
  2. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

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    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.
     
  3. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    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).


    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 :)rolleyes:) 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 :rolleyes:


    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.
     
  4. Michiyo-Fir

    Michiyo-Fir New Member

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    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.
     
  5. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    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.
     
  6. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

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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.
     
  7. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    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).
     
  8. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    This is above all the most important to me.


    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.
     
  9. puppydog

    puppydog Tru evil has no pantyline

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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!
     
  10. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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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
     
  11. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    It all depends on the health of the dogs involved and what they're producing. How someone can say i'm going to breed this bitch 2-3 times and then she'll be done? What if your first litter sucks? going to breed her again? what if it was the male? what if it was her?

    what if she has a tough delievery? what if she has a lot of trouble raising the pups? Still going to breed?

    what if the puppies are phenomenal? what if the traits are so perfect and so consistent are you going to stop at one or two breedings?What if she's 8 and acts 2, can run circles around most dogs half her age and has never had issue being pregnant or giving birth? Not going to breed because you have some number in your head?
     
  12. Spiritwind

    Spiritwind New Member

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    I think all this just depends on the condition of the dog and the purpose of the breeder. I have never bred a bitch more than 3 times, but I know people who have bred their dogs 4-5 times.

    I could never personally handle 5-6 litters a year. 1.. or 2 very well spaced out is about all I can do lol but again, I know people (with a much smaller breed than I have) who have had 7-8 litters a year. Then some years they only have 1 litter. It just depends. Many of the litters are co-bred and so while most are whelped at their house, other breeders co-bred the litter with them, so they took half the litter.

    I don't have a huge issue with back to back breedings, as long as the bitch is in good condition. Again, just depends on the dog. I have done back to back breedings before, however my dogs don't come in season every 6 months. Most of mine are only in season every 10-11 months. I have one bitch that goes a full year between seasons, almost exactly like clock work.

    Again, I think the age of the bitch being bred, also depends on the condition of the bitch. If she is healthy, active and still looks physically capable of having a litter, I have no problems with a 7 yr old having a litter. Thats about as old as I would personally breed one... but I'm sure people breed older than that.
     
  13. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I think we try to make it too black and white. It all really just depends on the dog in question and the breeder's goals. The only way I'll find someone I 100% agree with is likely if I do the breeding myself. I agree a lot with what other people have said. It all just depends.

    I think breed also plays a part in things too. 5-6 litters a year in papillons is not that many individual pups. It would likely only be the same amount of pups as 2 or so large breed litters. If the breeder can handle it though and breed quality dogs and place them well then it is a non-issue to me. Now, if they're breeding crappy dogs and the dogs are not finding good homes that's a problem.

    I see age a similar way. I know many breeders who have used older bitches. Beau's mom was 8 when he was born and I think Summer's was 7. 7 or 8 isn't very old in a papillon. Both of them are still around now at 14 and doing pretty well. At 8 they were spry and in great shape. Their previous litters had grown up and were old enough to really be evaluated.
     
  14. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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  15. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    My opinions are a bit more stringent than some. Sure, there is an exception to every rule but most people who are breeding shouldn't be breeding and usually when you get a feeling they're bending their ethics for the all mighty dollar or pride, truth is, they are.

    Breeding a bitch 5 times is far more than needed. A very famous winning show GSD was bred a couple hundred times, was it needed? Nope, they wanted the stud fees and he produced epileptic, dysplastic, and PRA ridden puppies. The dog himself was none of those things but over breeding without proven litters in the field allows for such mistakes to be amplified.

    Rarely, if ever, should a dog or a bitch be over bred. Few breeds "need" that many puppies in any given year.

    I think when you're breeding 5 litters a year you're by passing a hobby/passion breeding status. Where do you have the time to work and title your stock when you breed 6 times a year? I've worked for a gal who did this and yes, her stock was titled but they also lived in kennel runs only to be show and bred. Gee, what a glorious life that must be.

    A very well known GSD kennel boasts about their 350+ some litters in their 25-35 years of business (i forget the exact numbers). Sure, they've produced some fine stock but everyone will if they play the game of numbers. No one ever talks about all the wash outs and where those end up. I could go on and on with people like the sport mix breeders in BS and now BW.


    Breeding back to back is healthier with a break after.


    I'm not against people breeding past 7 or 8 in some breeds but it has to be case by case really for me.
     
  16. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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    1. Breed a bitch up to 5 times
    Can't say I have much of an opinion. I'd hope one would get what they wanted from a bitch before 5 litters, but if well taken care of it could be fine.

    2. Breed 5-6 litters in some years

    Depends upon how many pups you produced. Smudge came from a litter of 9, but there are more than enough cockers popping out 3 pups regularly. 3 doesn't give you that much to work with if you are looking for something specific.

    3. Breed back to back heats (not all time time, usually just 2 litters on back to back heats, I've never seen 3)

    There was a huge thread with some scientific backing that back to back might be healthier.

    4. Breed 7-8 yr old bitches
    Some breeders don't start breeding till their dogs are older. Better chance at health and longevity starting with a still healthy 4 year old, than starting breeding at 2 and something could crop up in a year. Still unknowns, but waiting and then breeding later is common enough.

    Smudge's sire was 12 when he was conceived. His dam may have been 7. Both were healthy. Better chance for hopefully Smudge to stay that way.
     
  17. JennSLK

    JennSLK F150 and a .30-06

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    1. Breed a bitch up to 5 times - Personaly I would have a hard time with this one. However I could take it on a case by case basis.

    2. Breed 5-6 litters in some years - That is alot. But some people can handle it. Also, I never judge from what I have seen in magazines, webs, ect... I know of a few ethical breeders, who technicly have 10+ litters in a year. However once you look closer, you will see that they co own the bitch or own the sire, or are just co breeding the litter, or are just on the litter because of a contract obligation with the dam/stud. It gets complicated.

    3. Breed back to back heats (not all time time, usually just 2 litters on back to back heats, I've never seen 3) Not a problem if it's only 2 litters back to back.

    4. Breed 7-8 yr old bitches Depands on the breed and the dog.
     
  18. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    That's the way I see it too. Beau's breeder I believe had 3 litters one year. The three litters gave her a grand total of 5 pups. She's even had 2 litters at once (Summer's litter and Beau's litter were on the ground at the same time). Again having 2 litters on the ground was only 5 pups at once, which is smaller than many large breed litters.
     
  19. Michiyo-Fir

    Michiyo-Fir New Member

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    I just wanted to add that Nia's breeder usually breeds whichever bitches she wants bred around the same time if that's when they go into heat. She usually raises all the pups at the same time. With Nia, at the time she had 3 litters born within 2 weeks of each other and raised a total of 7 pups.

    I feel a little bit iffy about the number of pups being produced in the situation I was describing. The parents are all well tested and in good health and puppies are always in extremely high demand. In fact even with numbers like these it's extremely difficult to get a pup.

    The breed produces 6-8 pups per litter though. That makes 30+ pups a year, a part of me wonders if there isn't some motive of money involved.

    They do have an extensive socialization program for the pups though...


    Edit: They do apparently have lots of help..
     
  20. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    Personally I like to see an older bitch being bred vs. one just barely old enough to health test, but that is in borzois. A lot of the breeder's I respect and whose lines I admire for their working ability and health/longevity wait until all their dogs are over 5 until making the decision to breed them. Part of that is weeding out individuals who are prone to osteosarcoma and bloat. It's generally accepted among borzoi breeders that dogs who are genetically predisposed to it are more likely to get it before they turn 5. By waiting you avoid breeding a dog who is going to develop that problem later in life.

    Kaia's granddam was bred for her first and only litter at 9 years old. She was very healthy and lived a loooong time. Her puppies are now 7-8 years old and show no sign of slowing down or old age. They compete in the specials class at dog shows with young dogs, unlike a lot of the veteran dogs who are the same age as them but are starting to look and act old.

    Back to back litters used to bug me, but now I'm of the opinion that if a bitch is only going to be bred twice ever and is in good condition after the first, it's probably easier on her to do them back to back and then spay. Personally I probably wouldn't do it, because I'd probably be wanting a puppy from each and it'd be more convenient to space them a year or two apart.

    ETA: Litter size makes a big difference. It's very common for borzois to have 12-ish puppies in a litter. If I bred a dog and she only had a singleton, or three, and was still in good condition I might consider doing a back to back repeat breeding or something.
     

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