Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Advice For a First Time Breeder

Discussion in 'Dog Breeding' started by Yaazmahn, Nov 3, 2012.


  1. Yaazmahn

    Yaazmahn PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hey! we currently have a Springer Spaniel Dog, Alfie, He will be a year old on November 15th. (Pictures attached, he's a handsome boy!)

    We knew from the start that we would want to use Alfie as at least a stud dog as he has a fantastic temperament, charming good looks and incredibly intelligent!

    We decided about a week back, that sometime during June, we will be bringing home a female Springer Spaniel puppy :) with the hope to breed some litters of fluff! obviously we don't want too many litters of puppies, we were thinking maybe one every other year/year.

    When do bitches start coming into season? what age is best to start letting them mate? I'm going to assume that Alfie, will be old enough. What is the best way to stop them from mating when the bitch does come into season? so as too prevent any surprise litters! I have many questions, I'm completely clueless on the subject, as too why I'm asking for information SO early on. We will have Alfie's breeder to help us along the way also, to which we will also be getting our girl from (obviously completely unrelated)

    I look forward to hearing from anyone! :)
     

    Attached Files:

    #1 Yaazmahn, Nov 3, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  2. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    27,592
    Likes Received:
    12,718
    What health tests has he had? I believe springers have a few that need to be done
     
  3. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    27,592
    Likes Received:
    12,718
    How many litters would you consider too many?
     
  4. dexter

    dexter PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Messages:
    6,255
    Likes Received:
    108
    do you have your own bitches to put to him,? or are you assuming other owners will want to use him? health tests for the breed are a must ;)
     
  5. Yaazmahn

    Yaazmahn PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    1
    we're definitely going to be looking about getting him and the bitch health tested, Alfie's breeder never done that themselves for their dogs:)mad:) other than, I cannot fault her as a breeder, she's fantastic and really looks after the pups and makes sure they go to good homes. What tests do ESS have to have? and where do they have them done? I'm assuming it's not at their local vets as I have a ESS breeder on my facebook and she posted a while back about going quiet far away with her tri colour to get him tested.

    Three litters in one year would be far too much, two in one year would be a push.

    We haven't got any bitches to put him towards (I'll admit, I didn't even think of that!) at what age can they start be putting to bitches?
     
  6. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21,576
    Likes Received:
    663
    Hello and welcome to the forum. First of all, well done for doing your research now, I'll try and keep my answer brief but there's a lot you need to consider.

    Firstly, your boy, everyone (including me) thinks they own the best dogs in the world, but you have to be honest with yourself, is he a good enough example of the breed to definitely use at stud, several times? Not being able to stand back and honestly evaluate what you have, including the faults, is called kennel blindness. No dog is perfect (except mine of course) but if you do breed, then you need to know what good points and bad points you have with your dog to consider breeding. These include temperament, health, conformation and (where appropriate, and with gundogs it very much is for some people) ability.

    Is your boy KC registered, and if so, does he have any endorsements placed on his pedigree that would prevent you registering his progeny? And does his breeder know you intend to use him? A lot of breeders now endorse their pups to prevent progeny being registered, but will lift them providing certain criteria are met regarding the quality and health of the progeny, I placed such endorsements on my pups, and provided a contract which outlined what criteria needed to be met before I would lift endorsements free of charge.

    How well do you know the pedigree of your boy and any issues he may have behind him, within about the first five generations? And how many health tests has he and his parents, grandparents had? There are a few issues with ESS's, and there are a few recommended health tests, which I would research first and start with the cheapest, usually the BVA eye cert, I think ESS's are recommended to be tested for glaucoma from memory, if he's clear for that, then look at the next test and take it from there. Health testing isn't a clear tick list as in he must have perfect health test results, but if you test for glaucoma for example and he is 'affected' status, I would advise not to breed, this is a very painful condition which causes blindness.

    As well as health tests, I would strongly advise someone knowledgeable about the breed take a look at his conformation, or how he is built, which can also affect health and mobility. ESS's are split into show and working types, with a lot of pet bred and other litters churned out, if you want to breed you need to make sure what you produce isn't just churned out without any thought behind it, and possibly set yourself up to appeal to the better end of the pet market, with a view to working/showing *if* your dogs are of good enough quality.

    I only have bitches because I wouldn't want the responsibility of handling a dog at stud, there is an awful lot more to it than putting a dog and bitch in a comfy situation and hoping it will just happen. You'd be very lucky if it did, more often than not there are lots of difficulties with matings and whelping, but I'll get to that bit. Stud dog handlers need to know a bitches physiology, I suggest you buy the book of the bitch and read it cover to cover several times if your memory is anything like mine. I'd also suggest you find someone who will mentor you and be there to physically help you get started.

    Regarding your bitch pup, to be very honest with you, I'd be surprised at any good breeder selling you a puppy with the knowledge that you intend to breed from her. It is impossible to know if a pup will turn out to be what you want to breed from, unless that is simply a bitch and a dog that may or not be compatible. I have a bitch pup that I kept back from the litter I had this year, which is my only litter to date, and I wouldn't breed for any other reason than to keep a pup back. I have no idea whether she will be what I want to carry on with in the future, if she isn't, I will simply buy another pup when I have the time.

    I am hoping you've research your lines and will be buying a bitch pup that matches your dog at least on paper?

    Lastly, are you really sure you want to breed? It can be very costly, heart breaking and takes up a lot of time. Some people manage to enjoy the experience, I enjoyed parts of it, but didn't enjoy seeing two pups struggle and die, nor did I enjoy the effect it had on my bank balance. I've had a few bad times in my life, I can honestly say after 36 hours of sleep deprivation sat at the vets at 7am on a Sunday morning facing the decision of putting my bitch through an emergency c-section, which was dangerous for her and the pups, with tears and snot streaming down my face, that was one of the worst moments in my life. Not quite the worst, but bl**dy close.

    Lastly, what will you do about pups if you decide to breed? There is such a problem with rescue organisations being inundated with unwanted pets, over four times as many being handed in because owners can't afford them or cope with them. How will you ensure you don't contribute towards this problem? The only way is to sell under contract, and stay in touch with all the puppy owners offering a life time back up of support should anything go wrong. There are already enough breeders who breed and then don't stay in touch, and haven't a foggiest or don't even care where the pups they bred end up, do you want to be like that? That's not meant to accuse you of anything, you are just researching at the moment, but these are the sort of questions you need to ask yourselves now. I hope you don't mind the honesty :eek:

    Mine, and many others advice, would be don't breed, unless you are willing to go the full hog and health test etc, I've copied and pasted the clauses from my contract for you below, to show what I would expect from a dog/bitch owner before agreeding to lift endorsements, to give you an idea.

    For dog pups:

    Tarimoor endorses the registration papers of all puppies bred and sold:

    • ‘Not eligible for registration’ which means that no progeny produced out of your Tarimoor puppy will be eligible for registration with the Kennel Club.
    • ‘Not eligible for the issue of an export pedigree’ which prevents our puppies being taken abroad for breeding purposes. This does not prevent you taking your puppy abroad on holiday; it’s put in place solely to prevent any puppy bred by us being indiscriminately bred from for the wrong reasons.

    These endorsements are put in place to prevent Tarimoor progeny being bred from irresponsibly. There are two endorsements:

    These restrictions may be lifted free of charge at my discretion providing the following criteria have been met:


    1) He has achieved a level of success in at least one of;
    a. Show, field, agility or other specialist area.
    2) He has been hip-scored and falls around the breed average of 15 in total.
    3) He has been elbow scored with a score of 0
    4) He holds a current clear eye certificate under the KC/BVA scheme.
    5) He has reached at least 14 months of age
    6) You work with an established stud dog owner as a mentor

    For bitch pups:

    Tarimoor endorses the registration papers of all puppies bred and sold:

    • ‘Not eligible for registration’ which means that no progeny produced out of your Tarimoor puppy will be eligible for registration with the Kennel Club.
    • ‘Not eligible for the issue of an export pedigree’ which prevents puppies being taken abroad for breeding purposes. This does not prevent you taking your puppy abroad on holiday; it’s put in place solely to prevent any puppy bred by Tarimoor being indiscriminately bred from for the wrong reasons.

    These endorsements are put in place to prevent Tarimoor progeny being bred from irresponsibly. There are two endorsements:

    These restrictions may be lifted free of charge at my discretion providing the following criteria have been met:


    1) She has been hip-scored and scores 20 or below in total.
    2) She has been elbow graded with a grade of 0 or 1
    3) She holds a current clear eye certificate under the KC/BVA scheme.
    4) She has been Optigen tested (if CBP every second generation will be retested)
    5) She has been tested for CNM (unless CBP)
    6) She has reached at least 24 months of age
    7) You work with me in identifying a suitable sire for your first litter if you do not have relevant experience/knowledge
     
  7. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    15,187
    Likes Received:
    8,996
    Is the world short of ESS?

    What does YOUR dog have to offer that no other dog does?

    Why would you consider that advice from your breeder is of any worth as they could nnot be bothered to health test their breeding stock?

    I would not buy from somebody who admits they are clueless.

    Why not leave breeding to the experts?

    Have you looked at how many dogs are in rescue?
     
  8. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    27,592
    Likes Received:
    12,718
  9. Yaazmahn

    Yaazmahn PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    1
    I would certainly not let any pup end up in a rescue centre, Alfie's breeder takes back the pups straight away if the owner can't handle them, can no longer look after the dog due to age/illness etc, no matter what age the dog is. :) I'm in contact with Alfie's litter mates owners and would certainly do the same thing for any of his own puppies, to not know where they were and how they were doing would quite frankly, worry me. I'm not being bias towards my dog, because he's mine, he truly is a fantastic dog and many many people comment on it. :) He's a working type (as you can probably tell from the pictures) and the bitch will also be, Alfie as of yet hasn't done any gundog work, but we are planning to with the bitch.

    Yes, I've admitted I'm clueless and this is why I'm doing my research way over a year before anything would happen. :)

    @Sleeping_Lion you're post was very informative, thank you, Alfie's breeder knows we want to breed from him, we spoke to her about it before we even brought him home :) he is KC registered, but as far as I'm aware, there are no endorsements other than we haven't changed that we're his owners on paper as of yet.
    BOOK OF THE BITCH: A Complete Guide to Understanding and Caring for Bitches: Amazon.co.uk: J. M. & White, Kay Evans: Books is this the book you're talking of?
    Also, I admire you're honesty! it's the best thing to do! :)
     
  10. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    15,187
    Likes Received:
    8,996
    You will not be able to use your dog until and unless you have completed transfer of ownership (if the dog is KC registered).

    Home - English Springer Spaniel Welfare

    Welcome - Southern English Springer Spaniel Society
     
  11. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21,576
    Likes Received:
    663
    Yes that is the book, very useful and will go through al lot of the things you need to know about bitches.

    Endorsements are placed on the pups by the breeder, if he is endorsed it will be on his pedigree certificate, the two endorsements are in the text I copied from my contract. If he is endorsed, you can do nothing about it, it has to be the breeder who lifts the endorsement. However, if he is endorsed and it wasn't explained to you when you bought him, you could appeal to the KC.

    The KC recommends five health tests in total for ESS's:

    The Kennel Club

    I would recommend you take a look on the BVA list of eye specialists, and have your boy booked in for testing. It's something I have to do in the near future with my flatcoat girl, it's the cheapest of the tests usually, which is why anyone planning to breed does it first, if you fail that, then it's not worth spending the money on other tests generally speaking:

    http://www.bva.co.uk/public/documents/EP_list_Jan_2012.pdf

    The BVA website goes through some of the health tests available, and has good explanations about the various hereditary conditions:

    BVA - Canine Health Schemes

    One of the most important pieces of advice other than all of that for your dog, is for you to grow a thick skin. You will need one, everyone has an opinion about breeding, and you will never meet everyone's criteria for breeding, or do everything the way they would like to see it done. I've had people post to say they would spit on me if they met me for breeding the one litter I did, and I've had a puppy supermarket feature me on their blog as a hypocritical breeder of those unhealthy pedigrees (that's a whole other issue you will come up against), breeding dogs is a very emotive issue and lots of people are against breeding full stop, unless you meet what they think should be done, and that can vary depending on who you speak to.

    One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the character of your dog, that can change once they have been used at stud, some remain laid back, others don't I'm afraid. Bitches can be affected as well by having pups, the only way to tell is to actually go through with it though, and live with the consequences.
     
    #11 Sleeping_Lion, Nov 3, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  12. Yaazmahn

    Yaazmahn PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm fully aware that we will not be able to use him until we've transferred ownership :)

    We may be using Alfie as a gundog, we're undecided on this though as he is nearly a year old and hasn't had any experience in the field (quiet literally, haha :p) do you think this would affect him? Also, you don't have to come across quiet as aggressively! I'm merely asking for some advice, none of this is 100% decided.

    We certainly would not hesitate to say 'no' to a buyer if we thought that they were unsuitable for the pup.

    Despite the fact that Alfie's parents were not health tested, I still trust advice from his breeder, she's very experienced as she has been breeding ESS for at least 10 years.
     
  13. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    15,187
    Likes Received:
    8,996
    When you spend a lot of time assessing dogs which people give up and assessing potential homes for dogs your views on people who breed with no real purpose other than to make money are somewhat coloured.
     
  14. Yaazmahn

    Yaazmahn PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    1
    Again, thank you very much Sleeping_Lion! :) very useful and thank you for the links, I shall definitely be taking a look and buying the book!

    I think it's silly to be fully against breeding, we just merely want to provide other people with the joy that our dog has provided us with. Dogs are an essential part of the family in my eyes and I could never be with one :) however, what I do disagree with is obviously things such as puppy farms and over breeding the bitch, as I said, two litters in one year would be a BIG push.
     
  15. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    15,187
    Likes Received:
    8,996
    Most breed clubs require their members not to have more than one litter from a bitch every twelve months and no more than 3 in their lifetime, the KC limit is 4.

    I am not fully against breeding, I am against people who have no idea about lines, pedigrees, health testing, if their stock has a suitable temperament, meets the breed standard etc breeding from mediocre stock so that it adds NOTHING to the breed.
     
    #15 smokeybear, Nov 3, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  16. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21,576
    Likes Received:
    663
    I've owned dogs for over 7 years, and count myself as very new still, I've been planning to breed the one litter for nearly as long as I've owned dogs. I tested the first bitch I bought, and unfortunately her health test results weren't good enough, despite some questioning about whether the vet mucked up the plates, I decided not to breed from her.

    Making decisions about breeding isn't always deciding to do it, sometimes the hardest decisions can be not to. Indie is a cracking bitch, I had a waiting list for pups if I'd gone ahead, but it wasn't worth risking it so I had her spayed.

    My OH has working dogs, Labs, springers and cockers. He has a springer bitch who is top quality, has worked numerous seasons out on the grouse moors and other shoots, she picks up on average 60 days throughout the shooting season as she is one of the stalwarts of the team. He decided not to breed from her as there are simply too many springers being bred, and a lot ending up in rescue.

    He's bred just two litters of cocker pups in the last five years, and kept back four of the pups to work, one of the bitches may well trial, but in all honesty, if you haven't started any gundog training at a year old, you may well have put too many errors in there to be able to train him sufficiently for anything other than having a dabble. Spaniels are (generally speaking) used to flush game towards the guns, their job is to work through cover and push birds and ground game along in front of them, working a pattern under control of the handler. ESS's are also used a lot for rough shooting.

    I'm just starting to build on the basic training I put in with my flatcoat, who is now 16 months old, and also still working on the basics with my pup, who is six months old. The very basics are recall and steadiness ie not moving unless you give them permission, and then going where you ask them to. So for example, with the flatcoat, I use my other dogs as a distraction and ask for a recall, sit, heel, sit etc, while my other dogs are bombing around us. And that is just the basics.
     
  17. Yaazmahn

    Yaazmahn PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    1
    @smokeybear thanks for the assumption about me! rather offended. Surely if we were breeding for money..two litters a year would not be a push WHAT SO EVER.

    I think ESS are absolutely fantastic breeds, I love them and have grown up with them. I have a complete and utter passion for animals, so much so, that I'm going to be studying zoology for 4 years and then spend a FURTHER 7 years studying veterinary. So would you like to tell me again that I'm asking for information about breeding dogs, when I possibly won't be, earlier than a year before anything will even happen, that I want to breed dogs for 'money'?
     
  18. Luz

    Luz PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    2,562
    Likes Received:
    81
    You couldn't KC reg 2 litters in a year anyway under normal circumstances. Normally it is only one litter a year if that. There is also a minimum age for breeding. Why don't you have a look on Breed Club websites for guidelines. The Book of The Bitch does give lots of info about keeping the dogs apart etc. Also why not go to some dogshows?
     
  19. Nagini

    Nagini Guest

    my dog is all these things and in the great scheme of things isn't a breed as popular is the springer. quite frankly i can't wait to have his knackers lobbed off!:D;)
     
  20. Yaazmahn

    Yaazmahn PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    1
    I think that's fantastic that the KC don't allow more than one a year - thank you for sharing that. :)

    I had a feeling it would be far too late to start any gundog training with Alfie, however, he is fantastic at recall and will sit on the spot for a very long time, but as you said, that is just the very basics. It's fantastic seeing him on a walk though as he will scurry through bushes/fields etc and you see birds fly up just an inch away from where he is, it's just a shame we didn't start any earlier with him.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice