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Breeding from my Lab for the first time

Discussion in 'Dog Breeding' started by Diane, Nov 28, 2007.


  1. Diane

    Diane PetForums Newbie

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    My lab will be 2 years old in February 2008 and I am thinking about breeding from her for the first time shortly after this. I don't want to enter this lightly - she is a very special pet to me and I want to make sure that I do everything safely for her.

    Can anyone from the forum community give me advice regarding this "venture" as this is all new to me - I am quite experienced at hatching chicks and rearing lambs but not sure how much use those skills will be!

    I need advice really from scratch - care of my dog, preconception, choosing a stud dog, care during and after pregnancy.....any good books or websites that you would recommend.Thanks everyone:)
    Diane
    AnimalLoversWeb.com
     
  2. carol

    carol PetForums VIP

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    and also as well as what jilly said dont forget take her to the vets first to have her checked to see if she's in tip top condition
     
  3. Debbie

    Debbie PetForums VIP

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    Very well written Jilly - I have to agree with everything you have said. There are way too many people breeding litters without any prior knowledge of their own breed etc......My harsh view is that unless breeding to carry on your own lines for the show ring etc then dont breed at all - there are many dogs sat in rescue kennels right now who would love a warm fireside to lay beside - I feel there is no need to breed just for the hell of it or b'cos "shes such a sweet dog I want to let her have a go at beeing a mum" etc etc...
     
  4. Diane

    Diane PetForums Newbie

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    I fully agree with all your comments and would not enter into breeding from my dog lightly. She is from a very good line of Field Trial champions and my reason for breeding from her is not a sentimental desire for her to have puppies but would be in the interests of the breed.

    Additionally, I would not expect this to be a venture for financial gain, from most of the information that I have read, the opposite is probably true. I just wanted some guidance from any of the experts that contribute to this forum that may be valuable in my decision making.

    I intend to contact the breeder of my dog as a first step but if any one out there has any more advice, I'd be glad to hear it. Thanks:)

    Diane
    www.AnimalLoversWeb.com
     
  5. Debbie

    Debbie PetForums VIP

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    Diane - I am so pleased that your reason for breeding her is to improve the breed. Read - read - read....phone the breeder of your girl, contact other Lab breeders. You are correct in thinking that its more like a financial loss too.....it usually is - the money - time - love - effort etc put into those babies will far more out weigh what you will gain once you sell them. Good luck with whatever you decide. As for the stud dogs - look into her lines - look for a dog that will compliment her - look for what you would like to improve upon etc etc....I am sure the Lab breeders will help you far more than anyone on this forum as only you and the lab breeders can answer questions about the lines and stud dogs....:)
     
  6. Diane

    Diane PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the advice - I know dog breeding is a real concern for genuine dog lovers who really want what is best for the breed and for dogs generally. I live close to a Dogs Trust centre and sadly know only too well the problems of reckless and irresponsible breeding. I'll be keeping my sensible head on regarding this issue but am grateful for your comments and understand where you are coming from in your concerns:)

    Diane

    www.AnimalLoversWeb.com
     
  7. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    Hi Diane, I think you said in one of your posts on another thread she is quite a nervous dog, I would think carefully about breeding from her.
     
  8. Diane

    Diane PetForums Newbie

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    Yes, your right and this is one of the issues that I am concerned about and will need to speak with her breeder, who I know has many years of experience. Molly (my dog) is a very loved family pet and obviously I wouldn't want to make her more anxious or stressed. I take your point and will need to make sure that I've done all my homework regarding this issue - it may be that in the end I'll leave dog breeding to the experts and stick to hatching chicks!

    Diane
    AnimalLoversWeb.com
     
  9. BredaKim

    BredaKim PetForums Member

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    Hi Diane,
    I bred my lab (Megan) for the first time this year...she has given me 5 lovely pups.


    I started off by speaking to my vet to get their advice and to have Meg checked to make sure she was fit enough for the task in-hand.

    I next spoke to the breeder we got her from for more advice and to see if she would recommend a good place for a stud (which she did).

    I then read everything I could get hold of on the internet, from friends who had bred their dogs etc...you need all the inormation you can get.

    THEN...we sat and thought about it for another 6 months before we did anything to make sure this was what we really wanted to do and to make sure we were prepared to put the work in.

    I then contacted the lady who would supply the stud, she had several (breeds labs) and we wanted to make sure we got the right one for Meg.

    Had Meg hip scored at the vets...general anesthetic and £275 later she was home with a good hip score (we had to wait about 3 weeks for the actual score to come back).

    Then we had her eyes tested...If I remember right this cost about £45

    Had Meg wormed atthe vets £15


    Changed Megs food to Beta puppy food, higher in protien.

    Booked three weeks holiday off work for when I though she would have the pups.

    All ready to go and off to the stud for 5 days £400...My first time..I miss calculated and we missed...she didn't catch.

    Took the three weeks holiday anyway!

    Waited till her next season...worming done again £15

    Health check again to make sure she was still ok...she had been a little poorly in-between and I wanted to double check £45

    Back to the stud...we got second go free. 5 days boarding £30

    Sit back and wait...

    6 weeks later...back to the vet for a check and scan £50 PREGNANT!

    Sit back and wait...

    Got my partner to build a whelping box, big enough for Meg and pups and ME...cos I was gonna be with her when she gave birth.

    Removed all furniture from conservatory and installed whelping box...along with comfy chair for me.

    Got all the stuff ready for the birth -
    Antiseptic wipes
    rubber gloves
    several dry flannels
    two hot water bottles
    sissors (just incase I needed to cut the cord...which I didn't)
    Scales to weight pups
    Paper and pen to write details down
    Blankets
    Towels
    Large laundry Basket to keep pups in while she gave birth to rest.
    Washing bowl with warm boiled water to clean Meg up in between pups

    Sat back and waited...feeling all prepared LOL

    Meg went into labour about 7pm on the wednesday evening...I went into shock...I was a nervous wreck...all that preparation and I was terrified something would go wrong and I would loose her (well I had read up on it and heard some horror stories!):eek:

    Meg started getting 'worried' and pacing...heavy breathing....I started heavy breathing too!!

    Meg gave birth to the first pup at 2.30 a.m... (little black boy) I had sweated along with her the whole way!! BELIEVE ME!

    I was shaking with fear...Meg on the other hand took to it like a bird to water and didn't seem at all fazed!

    Around an hour later she gave birth again (little black boy)...

    We were told that as Meg was a 'small' lab, she would likely only have three pups.

    Around two hours later another pup...little brown girl...

    1/2 hour later another pup...another little brown girl...

    I AM REALLY SWEATING BY NOW!!

    2 hours later another pup...little brown boy...

    Meg is tired by this point...I'm concerned about the pups in the basket..they hav been away from her for several hours by this time...

    I wait another hour as Meg still seems to be panting...:confused:

    Nothing happens and I panic...:eek:

    I decide to put the pups with Meg...I don't want to leave it any longer...

    Meg growls and I panic...pup the pups back in the basket...think shes gonna kill one or all of them...think shes not finished and is gonna have another pup...think OMG I'm gonna have to hand rear 5 pups!! think maybe one is trapped or she's having problems!!...:eek:

    ON THE PHONE TO THE VET...who very kindly spent well over 20 mins talking to me and making sure all was ok.Told me I WOULD HAVE to take the chance of putting the pups back with Meg and let nature take its course...or be prepared to hand rear...:eek:

    I took the chance...

    Meg was lay outside the whelping box by now on the tiled floor...think she wanted to cool down!

    I pup the pups in the whelping box...left the conservatory and closed the patio doors...then sat shaking on the settee watching through the window to see what would happen...

    Meg after 5 mins slowly got up and had a sniff...then went and sat back on the floor...

    Up again and another sniff...then back...

    I AM LIKE...O M G!! and willing her to go to them...

    Up again and in she goes...sniffing and licking like a dog possessed!! LOL lays down and all is well...pups shuffle over and grab hold of a teat! NATURE WINS!!

    Buy more blankets £10

    Collars and leads £25

    Puppy packs for new owners with food, toy, bowl, and information £25

    KC registration £60

    Advertising in papers £121

    Advertising on kennel club £15

    First 1/2 injection for pups £120

    One pup becomes lame...off to vet...x-ray...anestetic...consultation (NOTHING WRONG)£153

    Same pup develops pnuemonia.:(..back to vet...hospitalisation...oxygen...antibiotics etc £265
    (BETTER NOW).


    9 WEEKS OLD AND THREE PUPS SOLD...GOING THIS WEEK. 2 TOMORROW.:(

    Keeping poorly boy...cos I love him...got one left to sell...very tempted to keep him too!!

    It's very expensive...very tiring...you HAVE to be committed and prepared to keep them if they don't sell...but so enjoyable!!

    Would definately do it again, so long as Meg is OK...

    Hope this helps and gives you a good idea from a novice.

    Good luck

    Breda xx
     
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  10. jan-c

    jan-c Guest

    I had to smile when reading Breda's first time experience of breeding:)
    It put me in mind of my own first experience many years ago 1976 in fact with a GSD bitch. I had done all the ground work, health tests etc had the whelping box built, all the gear in place, the book in front of me and the phone ready in case I needed the vet and told myself over and over again "you can do this" The book had said 63 days but sadly my bitch could'nt read! Day 56 she started to pant, then stopped, then started again!
    So there we were her and me together in the whelping box exhausted after being up all night. We both fell asleep. I woke up........she was not there......panic...........there she was on my bed with 8 beautiful pups all feeding from her. I couldn't believe I had slept through it!!!!! A mistake I never made again! She and the pups were non the worse for their experience but I can't say the same for my bed:eek:
    Some of my old friends still rib me about this.
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. BredaKim

    BredaKim PetForums Member

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    :D Jan that is so funny...glad all turned out ok for you all LOL!!:D
     
  12. Brainless

    Brainless Guest

    With 46000 Labrador pups registered with the KC and probably as many bred without papers what you need to ask yourself do you need to breed from your bitch.

    What would she contribute to the breed?

    As you say you are a complete Novice, and to breed responsibly you need a huge amount of in depth knowledge about the breed your bitches pedigree (the ancestors knowing their characters, temperaments, good points working qualities etc).

    Obviously most people aren't born with this knowledge so a good novice starts researching their breed and works with mentors in the breed who do have this knowledge to guide them in the early years and beyond.

    Do you show or work your bitch. These would in my view be pre requisites along with the health tests for the breed, Hip scoring, elbow scoring, eye testing and DNA testing for PRA.

    At show or working circle you will meet knowledgeable and not so knowledgeable people and it may take a while to sort these out.

    With a breed of such wide and varied gen pools your research may take you several years, and possibly be too late for your current bitch. You may also find that unless she came from top class bloodlines that she really is not breeding quality, but that is no reason to not have fun showing or working her to gain experience and get your eye in and gain knowledge in order to maybe one day breed if your are suited to this and can commit to lifelong responsibility for the pups you breed. this includes taking them back for re homing at any point in their lives and this is likely to be at inconvenient times. You are also likely to have to rehabilitate and retrain unruly youngsters or adults with bad habits etc.

    Good luck with your research.

    I advise your first step would be joining the national and regional breed clubs and attending events.

    After this I would purchase back issues of club publications. These will have photos and adverts of the successful kennels, but looking back over decades you can see how the lines have developed.
     
  13. Brainless

    Brainless Guest


    Not only that but this negative trait could be passed on to the puppies, as a genetic issue or learnt.
     
  14. Diane

    Diane PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for all the advice - certainly has givem me food for thought, I really appreciate it!
    Diane

    AnimalLoversWeb.com
     
  15. carol

    carol PetForums VIP

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    i read this and thought wow i remember being like that
    a big well done on you and meg's litter
     
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