Anyone can breed dogs, but not everyone has what it takes to be a responsible breeder.
To see if you might have the qualifications, take this quiz.
1. Responsible breeding starts with the selection of quality breeding prospects. Which of the following is true?
a. I have selected dogs having AKC registration.
b. I have selected dogs that are not only registered with the AKC, but are outstanding specimens of the breed,
who conform to the breed standard and have worked toward or completed their AKC championship title.
c. I have selected dogs having sound health and temperaments, and whose traits are complimentary to each
d. My goals in breeding include the long term betterment of the breed, and the results of my endeavors will show that.
2. Responsible breeding is a time-consuming and expensive undertaking. Which of the following concerns are valid?
a. Pre whelping care and expenses could be considerable, and I have set aside enough money and enough
time to adequately care for the dam.
b. Whether or not a c-section is required, it should always be planned for. I have discussed the possibility with
my regular vet, am aware of the cost, but have also I have set aside money to cover the
costs of an emergency c-section, in the event that my regular vet cannot be reached at the time of labor.
c. I am willing to provide around the clock care for my dam and puppies, at least for the first few weeks.
d. I have a warm, quiet and safe environment set aside in my home for the whelping pen. I have all the required
supplies on hand: heating elements, scales, a complete whelping kit for dogs, supplementary feeding supplies.
3. Responsible breeding means that the prospective parents have been screened for inherited birth defects,
which might include the following tests:
a. CERF, to screen for cataracts or other inheritable eye diseases.
b. BAER, to determine that the dog can hear in both ears.
c. OFA of hips and patellas, to screen against hip dysphasia and luxating patellas.
4. A responsible breeder provides the following care for puppies before they are placed in a home:
a. Has provided at least two series of initial immunizations, and dew claw removal.
b. Proper socialization: the puppies should have ample interaction with the mother, siblings, and other
members of the household, and should meet as many different people as possible (when it is safe to do so).
c. Thoroughly screens each potential new owner, making sure that they are a good a match for the puppy's personality,
and can provide adequate care and nurturing.
5. A responsible breeder provides the following services after the puppy leaves for a new home:
a. Follows up to make sure the pup is adjusting well.
b. Answers any questions the new owners might have, and continually offer support.
c. Agrees to take that puppy back, willingly, and for the life of that dog, should any problem arise where it is necessary for the puppy to leave the new home.
Of course all the answers are correct!! But there is much more involved than was even touched on in this quiz.
If you have agreed with all the responses here and still feel that breeding is for you, then you have years of study,
work, joy, loss, heartache, smiles, tears, friends, foes, and fears ahead of you. Good luck! (oh yes, you need that too).