So you really want to breed?

Discussion in 'Dog Breeding' started by Sleeping_Lion, Oct 26, 2011.


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  1. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    Prompted by a comment on another thread, I thought I'd post and share about what I've done, and how I've gone about thinking about breeding from both Indie and Tau.

    Indie is a fabulous bitch, she is a lovely character, and I've enjoyed every minute of owning her. When I first got her, and started training for working trials, I had no idea that chocolate Labs had such a stigma attached to them, and that made me even more determined to promote them and possibly even breed my very own proven dog(s) for the future. Indie was my starting point, and she was showing a lot of promise, unlike her handler. I had her hip scored and elbow graded, and had her BVA current clear eye cert done. Unfortunately, the vet mucked up her plates and they were rejected by the BVA, and so they had to be done again, although as she'd reacted badly to the GA I asked for her to be sedated only. She didn't react much better to that tbh, and I am loathe to ever put her through operations or procedures because of this. So, Indie's hips came back 3:3, and I was devasted with her elbow grade, which was 2:1. Following lots of dodgy advice, I very nearly went ahead with her in any case, particularly with the quesitonable quality of the plates from my vets. Her eyes were clear, and I even went as far as PRA testing her, hoping that if she came back a carrier, that would make the decision easier not to breed, of course she was clear/normal. She had also, by this time, injured her cruciate in what seems to have been an awkward twist, thankfully it hasn't turned out to be a bilateral condition with her, touch wood. I had a good sized waiting list of people wanting pups, but it still didn't sit right with me, and so I took the heart breaking decision, for me, of having her spayed, and I've not regretted it since, I know it wouldn't have been right to put her through it, leaving aside all the doubts about the elbow grade results.

    Move on to Tau, who is a lovely, if very soft girl. I've looked through dogs for as long as I've had her, to try and find something that I like, that has the looks, ability and the rest of it. Frustrated with the lack of available dogs that fit the bill (yes, those Labradors really are scarce when you want to find one that fits all your requirements) I have swung round from wanting to use various different types, and thinking about how that fits in with what I want for the future.

    I want a dog that for me, fits the BS conformation wise, isn't too substantial, and has ability to put into the equation. I also want good temperament, and good health test results. You wouldn't think that's much to ask for, but some may be surprised.

    In the meantime, because of life stuff getting in the way, this really is the last window of opportunity for me, or should I say Tau, to have a litter. And (fingers crossed) we will be in a position to do so when she's next in season, early in 2012.

    Tau's had her hips scored, and her elbows graded, and she's also been tested for CNM. Her results are hips 0:0, elbows 0, and she's clear/normal for CNM. She is clear by parentage for PRA, but I'm testing her as her sire's results aren't on the KC database, so it wouldn't show on the paperwork for any resultant pups, she's booked in to have blood drawn tomorrow and submitted via Idexx to Optigen. She's also booked in to have her BVA current clear eye cert renewed, which will hopefully take place on Monday next week. If she fails either of those, although it's highly unlikely she will, then the theoretical litter is out of the window, and I'll have to think again.

    So, we may well be having a litter on the ground, in the Spring of 2012 here, although I've spent a fortune, both in time and money researching and health testing, if it still turns out that the best thing for me would be to buy in a pup, then I may well just knock the whole idea on the head. Having said that, the dog I'm looking at, compliments Tau very nicely, and I'm quietly excited about the whole thing, she's fast asleep and couldn't care less.

    Anyway, I thought I'd post this just to show for a new starter, some of the processes and things to bear in mind. I haven't used the full array of health tests available, I've used the ones I believe need to be done, and that view may change in the future. I haven't asked how much the stud fees are, or even where they are in the country, that's immaterial, if it's the right dog, it's the right dog, and I'll just have a long journey to contemplate.

    Fingers crossed for Tau's last couple of tests, and for the future, whatever decision(s) it may hold :)
     
  2. Blondie

    Blondie PetForums VIP

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    Nice post SL! :)

    I hope it goes well for you, whichever way you go.

    Breeding is never easy, we have had to alter our breeding program a few times and its always hard to decide what to do next. We are having a dilemma now as to how to proceed with our breeding program :rolleyes:
     
  3. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    Thanks, I just wanted to put something down to give an idea for anyone new to breeding, or contemplating it. I have been lucky in that I've found so many people with great knowledge about Labradors, and have been able to pick their brains. Swarthy's just emailed me the theoretical pedigree, which I like, it's the best so far that fits in with all my *wants* if I'm to go ahead.

    I actually feel like I've let me and Tau down in not doing as much with her as I'd have liked to, gundog wise, and I have seriously, seriously thought about buying in rather than breeding. I do, however, like a lot about her, which is why I've decided to look at this possible litter, although as I said, I may yet change my mind again.

    I feel like sometimes, when I'm reading posts about upcoming litters or breeding, it's a bit like de-ja-vu, watching myself before I knew enough, and taking that step just a bit too soon for actually having a litter. I've been at various stages where I've thought I knew enough, and have had advice I thought at the time was good. And my reason for posting isn't to try and blow my own trumpet, as anyone can see from my post, it's easy to make decisions you feel are right, particularly when you've got advice from people you count as more knowledgeable than you when it comes to breeding; I wanted to post something that would hopefully make anyone thinking about it, realise there may be an awful lot more to think about than just what's under your nose, it's taken me five years to make this decision, well, nearly make this decision :lol:

    One thing I will say is it does weigh very heavily on my mind that I am breeding (possibly) at a time when it's not all rosy for dogs, with the economic climate the way it is, and people dumping animals in rescue all the time, and if I do feel that it's really not a good idea, then I really won't go ahead, but we'll see, I'll only know how I really feel about *that* when it's nearer the time for mating.
     
  4. sezra

    sezra PetForums Senior

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    Great, informative post. It just goes to show the amount of thought and effort that should go into breeding. I think it is really exciting and I hope the breeding goes ahead. :)
     
  5. Quinzell

    Quinzell PetForums VIP

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    Wow, what an interesting read! I'm not thinking about breeding at all, but from a pet dog owners pov, this really does open my eyes to what a good breeder is and how much effort/money they put in.
     
  6. agnes2003

    agnes2003 PetForums Junior

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    Now that's what I'm talking about ;-) Thank you!:cool::
     
  7. terencesmum

    terencesmum PetForums VIP

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    Now THIS is an interesting thread and hopefully will make some of the morons, oops, I mean "breeders" that post on here take note, who don't have a clue and then get all offended when people point out that they aren't really doing anyone a favour by mating their dog to God knows what.

    I keep everything crossed for Tau and you. If everything goes to plan, there will be some gorgeous pupsters coming along for some very lucky people. *scuttles off to buy a car big enough to steal ALL Tarimoor dogs* ;)
     
  8. Devil-Dogz

    Devil-Dogz PetForums VIP

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    Good luck with what ever you decide, I know just how much effort and time you have been putting in. - and no choice has come without much thought. Good luck with the rest of the results.
    - I have been apart of mums breeding for a good few years now, and loved it. I know whats expected of someone when a litter is being planned, raised and sold. But the choice to allow my own girl to have a litter hasnt and still isnt coming easily. I need to make up my mind due to her age (being 4 next year!). I think I have made my mind up, depending on the rest of her tests - so next year could be a year for new experiences for us both.

    Its nice to see new folk taking on a task with so much though, I have total respect. Some 'long term' breeders shall we call them, still cant be so thoughtful with such breedings.
     
  9. swarthy

    swarthy PetForums VIP

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    It's funny really how close our experiences mirror each others in some ways - through my own knock backs with health results :( although in our case, the plates were impeccable - and the hips sh*gged :(

    I like your potential choice of hubbie, I love the pedigree (my own boy's dad is full brother to his dad) and think he would be a good match all round.

    He was one of the dogs on my shortlist for a second litter from Hope, but we decided not to put her through it again (she really doesn't like boys anymore :( having 7 x 21oz pups might have something to do with that !!!!) - although the way she is with my youngest boy, I think she could eat him for breakfast - but he is a bit of a shmoozer :D

    I wish you the best of luck and hope your girls health test results come back fine - your PRA is pretty much guaranteed (make sure you get the CBP rate off Optigen - it's a significant saving) and fingers crossed for the eye test :D

    I promised I would have a look at the 10 generation ancestry for you - any excuse to add a few more dogs to my database (assuming they are missing)
     
  10. Tanya1989

    Tanya1989 PetForums VIP

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    For a new starter too:

    Its just not for me anymore :crying: far too much heartache.
    Every disappointment takes away of a piece of your heart and despite the size of your heart, eventually the pieces left will only be enough to keep you alive...
     
  11. Tollisty

    Tollisty PetForums VIP

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    Most people don't realise the amount of time that goes into planning a litter properly. And all the stress! Especially waiting for test results.
     
  12. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    Not long back from the vets, so now just the wait for confirmation of her PRA status as clear, which I know it is in any case, but this will ensure that the status will be on any paperwork for pups.

    The owner of the stud dog has been in touch, and is more than happy if I decide to go ahead, for me to use him with Tau. I still have no idea where they are in the country, nor how much they charge for a stud fee, might get round to asking that a little nearer the time.

    Completely forgot to ask the vet about pre-mate tests, so will have to ring them up and have that conversation; the vet was more than pleased with Tau's overall condition, and seems quite experienced with this breeding thing, although I won't be relying on their advice it's nice to know they're not completely uninformed as some vets are about canine reproduction.

    So now we've got her BVA eye test which is booked for Monday, and then we'll just be waiting around until she's in season, by which time I should have decided whether I'm definitely going ahead. The dog I've come across, and who compliments her pedigree nicely, is Oakglen Over The Border At Poniel, who happens to be chocolate, wouldn't have bothered me at all if he wasn't, which means all the pups will be chocolate. He worked 50 days out on various shoots including a grouse moor last year, and is successfully shown :)
     
  13. Blondie

    Blondie PetForums VIP

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    Well I hope it all goes to plan for you, and you do go ahead and have little puppups running about next year, lol!

    Am quite jealous actually, as we arent breeding for a while now :(
     
  14. gorgeous

    gorgeous PetForums VIP

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    ooooh little chocolate lab pups for us to admire - can't wait!!! hope it all goes well!!!
     
  15. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    I'm not really worried about the PRA test as I know her status is clear, so that shouldn't be anything other than clear/normal, so it's just the BVA eye test that she's not had done for a few years, as plans kept getting knocked back, but thankfully that's an instant result so it's not like we have to wait around for results to come back.
     
  16. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    Just thought it might be interesting for those who know nowt about what the BVA eye test is all about. We have to arrive half an hour before the appointment, so that drops can be put in Tau's eyes, which dilate the pupils making it easier for the eye specialist to examine her eyes. The BVA have a list of the eye specialists on their website, they're not usually your normal vet, we have to travel a little further but not too far thankfully, up to Mirfield. The vet then checks in a darkened room with one of those eye examining thingamybobs with a bright light, for several conditions to see if there is any evidence that they're developing/developed.

    The certificate below is from Tau's first BVA eye test, some years ago now, where everything was completely clear and as it should be, fingers crossed she's still the same, dogs can and do fail their eye tests in later years, this is not the same as a genetic test where the dog is guaranteed to not ever develop a condition.

    [​IMG]

    And just for interest, these are her hip and elbow results, which Tau slightly nibbled ;)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    :)
     
  17. swarthy

    swarthy PetForums VIP

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    Think about his kennel name, that might give you a clue as to location ;)
     
  18. BlueBeagle

    BlueBeagle PetForums VIP

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    I hope all goes well for you, whatever you decide. I have been lurking for a while and have discovered how much work good breeders put in before, during and after birth. I have never really thought about breeding personally but I am sure I couldn't stand the stress.

    Strange tho, as before we moved abroad I bred my cat (with the help of a mentor). I guess being with supportive people really helps and I just don't have that here. Anyway, I look forward to reading all about it if the mating goes ahead :)
     
  19. moonviolet

    moonviolet PetForums VIP

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    I'm finding this thread completely fascinating. Breeding isn't something i would personally consider, but it's so nice to see the thought processes, tests and consideration you are giving to this possible mating. If only every one took such care.

    I shall be watching closely for each and every update. A huge thanks for sharing :)
     
  20. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    The vets use Idexx, so it's pretty cheap anyway, even though they submit the bloods to optigen as I understand it. They must have some sort of agreement with Optigen in place, works for me :D

    Aha, that and the grouse moors is pointing me significantly northwards, I'm guessing haggis land ;)
     
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