Discussion in 'The Breeding Ground' started by HayleyMarie, Aug 20, 2013.
Breeders how did you get into breeding, why did you want to breed? Was it worth it?
I haven't bred a litter yet but I want to get into breeding after owning the breed for 18 years.
I want to try and produce dogs that embody my ideal of the breed, I want the responsibility behind choosing the best puppy to keep to carry on with and to place great puppies in equally great homes (performance homes and pet homes). I want to help preserve the working ability and moderate structure and encourage those types of dogs to be well known in both the show ring and performance arenas. And above all else I want to produce dogs that will go on to make people happy for many healthy years.
We've considered breeding, mostly for ourselves and to assist in reproducing a particular type for which there is a call.
Thus far we have not bred and it is not assured that we will but its on the table.
LOL! I only laugh because those are some tough questions...well, some of them are, anyway.
I love dogs. Pretty much all dogs. But, most dogs I personally would not be interested in owning though I often admire them from afar.
I got into breeding because as my mentor says, I was never a "pet" person. For better or worse, I'm hard on dogs in regards to temperament and structure and I know exactly what I like and exactly what I don't.
So, while I have fostered a few dogs and some I have gotten attached to, none really took my eye or my heart.
I researched dogs for a really long time; breeds, temperaments, health issues and I felt like I had painted myself into a corner. What would be the right dog for me? What if I made a mistake? I knew that if I got a breeder dog, it woudl have to be perfect for me or else I would feel guilty when I could have just adopted from a shelter.
When I saw my first cardigan, I was immediately smitten. Fearing I wouldn't like their temperaments, I decided to go meet them and their owner. I was hooked from then on.
Recognizing structure came somewhat easy for me. I am kind of artistic and have a thing for lines and angles. Movement was much much harder. Type, harder still.
When I got my first Cardigan, I knew she had been chosen to be a part of my mentor's breeding program. Lucky for me, my mentor is one of those who LOVES IT when new people get excited about our breed and was enthusiastic about my thousands of questions and my input.
So, that's how my obsession with cardigans and desire to breed happened. I really *really* love my breed and want nothing more then to see Cardigans to be around for years and years for people to enjoy. Honestly, I feel like I have alot to contribute as a breeder. Maybe one day, I'll be a mentor myself!
Right now, I'm still in the learning process though!
So, after a few years and lots of health testing, we decided to breed Miz Naughty. US judges didn't like her much and despite showing her, we never really got anything.
Some would probably question me about WHY she was bred but I really felt that she had alot to contribute! She came from generations of healthy dogs who lived well up in their teens, has a great family temperament, has a good amount of herding instinct though we just did that for fun, and has a great drive to work. Plus, she had enough good about her to where I didn't feel like she could be improved with the right dog.
Then came the breeding and the litter. Really, so much goes into that it's a whole different thread. It's incredibly intense. All of it.
I will say that if you have ANY doubts AT ALL regarding whether you WANT TO BREED, do not do it. You have to be sure in your heart of hearts that this is what you want, because having puppies is an incredible committment.
After spending over 2,500.00, we only got two puppies in the litter. Good thing we got two really good ones. I was so afraid I'd have to pet the whole litter out and start over. Ewww. That happens sometimes, though, and I was mentally prepared for it as much as I could be.
My puppies are almost six months old. Both are shaping up very well. Lil' Sis will debut in the show ring once we've worked on training some more and once she physically m atures a bit.
I'll post pictures of her so that you can see what I got. She's nothing to sneeze at, that's for sure!
So, I'd say for me personally, it was worth it. Would it have been if I lost the whole litter and my bitch? If that's what had happened, I probably would not be obsessing over future stud dogs for Lil' Sis right now, I'll put it that way.
In my case, I didn't actually become a breeder on purpose. It wasn't something I'd ever aspired to, in fact, I had a bit of a dread of it. But I had this nice bitch:
When her breeder gave her to me, she said I could try showing if I wanted, and I thought it might be fun, so I didn't spay my Tully. Tully never did crap in the AKC ring, didn't like showing, and eventually I gave up (this photo was taken at a UKC event, she did finish her UKC CH title... at this event, actually) She was a little challenging for me to work with in obedience and agility at first. But around 3 years old, she suddenly grew up, and became a really impressive partner. People at obedience trials were telling me they wanted one like her.
I also had been looking around while I was trying to show her, and reading what people said on breed lists, and what I was seeing was that while the cosmetic defects that my bitch had were precluding her from winning in the AKC breed ring, her really good, sound structure was something that wasn't that common. Especially her solid, well angulated front. I had figured there'd be no point to breeding her, since she wasn't anything that special, but the more I looked around, the more I thought she was more special than I'd originally thought.
So, I mentioned to her breeder that I might like to breed her, and that people had been asking. We'd never talked about it, and I kind of assumed she wouldn't want me to, but she said she had no problem with it, and suggested a stud. Which was the one problem I'd had... thinking of the perfect stud. Since I wasn't really sure my bitch was breed-worthy, I decided I would only breed her if I could find a health-tested stud, also with good structure, performance titled, and with cosmetic virtue to remedy her faults. Also, an outcross (my bitch was more tightly bred than I was comfortable with), but with good reason to think it would work with her lines.
I had kind of figured that setting up that criteria meant that I would never have to actually follow through on the plan, but the breeder immediately suggested an Australian GR CH with a CDX, who had produced a really nice litter when bred to my bitch's dam. Basically, the exact dog I had figured I wouldn't find. She later came up with another dog possibility, so I could have a choice, but that first suggestion was too perfect.
So, I left it to fate. Did a surgical AI, and figured whatever happened, was what was meant to be. What did happen was a really terrible whelping experience leaving me with one pup, my Tess, who I of course kept. Then I had to disappoint the people I had waiting.
Was it worth it? I don't know. I got an amazing dog. I also spent a whole lot of money, I could have bought a dog for less. I did produce what I wanted to produce: a beautiful, breed standard Stafford who is also an exceptional performance dog, and has sound enough structure to work without hurting herself. I'd meant to produce more of them. My decision to breed Tess was easier, and was never really in question. She was always exceptional, and I always knew she should reproduce. I do regret spaying her after her one very small litter, but the bright side is, I have Pirate, who again, is what I aim to produce, and can hopefully pass on those strengths more easily.
I sure could have saved myself a lot of money by just buying my dogs, though.