I just need to get this down in writing, play with the idea and ask for advice.
I've decided that I want to breed Blue. She's 8 months old now so I have a long time to figure out the details. I've checked her pedigree and it's very good. Her father and both his parents were champions. The mother comes from a great blood line too and, while she was never entered into shows, her siblings were and two are national champions. Other than that, Blue has a lovely temperment and seems to qualify for all the breed standards.
All in all, I think she would produce a lovely litter. I've even gotten a call from the owner of Blue's father who is the top breeder over here. She got my number from my breeder and called me to see how I was getting on. She asked a lot about Blue's temperment etc and said that, if I ever wanted to breed her, to get in touch and she's offer advice and even let me use one of her dogs as the sire.
Even before she called, I had been thinking about the possibility of breeding. However, I have a few issues. Firstly, I'm 21, living at home and any pups that Blue did have would be at home with my Mom during the day and eating my Dad's coats at night (Blue's favourite snack). We live on a really big farm and, while we do have room, having a litter of OES pups around for an extended period would cause chaos. Plus, I think our JR Terrier would have a nervous breakdown as she finds Blue hard enough to handle!
I know that the above paragraph sounds a bit heartless but, my problem is this. Over here, OES are not common. I literally spent months trying to find one. I saw a total of three litters in the whole country and, quite frankly, of the two I saw before picking Blue, the standard was quite low. The other pups were in no way mistreated but the breeders didn't seem too pushed about whether they were going to a suitable home or not. One wasn't evn able to tell me if the sire was IKC (Irish Kennel Club) registered or not.
The breeder I bought Blue from already had two adult OES (Blue's mother and another female). The litter had 7 puppies, one of which this family was going to keep. Once I got Blue, they had five left to re-home. I kept an eye on their advertising and, by the time Blue was 4 months old, they still had four out of the five. Turns out they had to give the others away as there were no buyers.
I don't think price was an issue as, due to the lack of demand, they're not an expensive dog to buy (Blue cost me the equivilant of $500- I could've gotten a pup for as low as $250). I think the main problem is that, as a nation, we're city dwellers. Most couples over here live in rented accomodation and usually both work so such a big demanding dog is an issue. I know for a fact that if I wasn't lucky enough to have such cool parents, I wouldn't have gotten Blue in the first place.
Like I said, I have ages to decide (wouldn't even consider it until she's two and a half) but I think some planning now would be beneficial.
I'm in a bit of a dilemma. I do want to breed her and, ideally, keep a puppy myself. However, let's say she has a litter of four and I have problems getting homes for the other three? Then what? I'm not in this for the money but I do think that willingness to pay for a particular standard of breed shows a potential owner's level of dedication. If I do end up having to give the puppies away, I wouldn't be bothered about losing money- I'd just be concerned that someone would want one just because they're free and not just because they're an OES. I guess that's where vetting potential candidates comes in. Or maybe family- I have a dog-crazy brother so maybe he'd be interested?
Now, on the total flip side, I recently got talking to a guy who lives near me and used to breed OES. He said that his dog had two litters totalling 8 puppies and he had no problem finding good homes for them.
My problem boils down to this; If I do breed Blue, it's for the love of the breed and will be thanks to my parent's good nature (they're animal lovers but I think having, say, 6 full grown sheepies is pushing it a bit!). If I go ahead with it, I'll want to ensure that they're all going to good homes. I'll breed ethically and for the betterment of the breed. However, at the end of the day I really don't want to breed dogs who are going to end up being "gotten rid of" as in given away to a non-OES person just because I want to play breeder.
Can anyone offer some advice?
Does anyone think it would be unethical to maybe put an ad advertising a litter in a breeding magazine before I put her into stud- just to gauge reaction?
|The first thought that pops into my head is .... "ASK YOUR PARENTS"!!! lol
Since it's their house..... and go from there!
I'm not a breeder, so any other advice that I could come up with would all be guesswork.
|Sorry- should've mentioned that my parents are fine with it but the general consensus is that they're not willing to have the puppies still at our house past a reasonable age- say 4 months.|
I also am considering breeding, although where I am from it seems no one knows very much about them and everyone wants one......but to me that is good and bad, because there are a bunch of people who would rush into a puppy and I would get it back at a later date, because someone didn't realize that they needed to actually be brushed. I do plan on educating everyone who gets one, as well as screening everyone. With all that off topic being said, I still don't know how Jack and Annabelle will turn out at 2. I could just be biased about their beauty and temperament.
The main thing I want to say ( your saying finally aren't you ) Annabelle's breeder is working with me, and Annabelle's mom's first litter was 12 puppies and she never had a litter under 10.....so I think the idea of her only having 4 puppies is not a reality.
I really like your idea of putting a pretend litter in the paper, but the downside is you get impulsive people wanting to rush to get an adorable OES from you.
Another thing you could do is the leftover puppies could go to pet therapy homes and you would be helping people. They do that here, I don't know about there.
Do like me and just keep researching the breed and talking to your breeder, and see how you feel and how Blue does when she does get age 2. I think she sounds wonderful and I hope you understand is just my sincere opinion, nothing more.
Give Blue a hug, Stormi and co.
I admire you for doing your research and really thinking this through - in advance. And your so young - at your age I was just trying to decide what bar I could now get into legally!
First thing I would do is have someone (your breeder or the woman who contacted you) check over your dog to see if she meets the breed standard and is a good candidate for breeding. It sounds like she's from good breeding stock - but you may want an expert opinion (there's so many things to consider - that most of us aren't good judges of breed standards). She obviously doesn't have to be perfect in order to be bred -there aren't many perfect dogs that meet the exact breed standard!
I agree with Stormi on this one - 4 in a litter is a very small litter - you should expect at least 8 and plan for more. It is rare (well, from what I know) to have such a small litter - unless the dog being bred is much younger than the suggested age of breeding.
Other things you want to consider - EXPENSE - you will need to be able to provide these puppies with all of the medical care required until they are placed in appropriate homes. That can get pretty pricey - especially if you are unsure as to how quickly you could place them. You should also have the recommended testing done on your dog before breeding - which can also be expensive.
I would have to think long and hard about this too - remember - a pregnancy can be very trying on your dog - and - can put them at some health risk too.
It's a big decision! You could also talk to other breeders, maybe in other locations, to find out what they say about finding homes. Finding an appropriate home in the States isn't always easy either - unfortunately - we don't have too many breeders that care about that! They care more about whether or not you are using Mastercard of Visa!
Best of Luck!
|It really is great to see that you are being so responsible about it, thinking it through and wanting what is best for this wonderful breed. Please let us know what you deicde to do and how it goes when the time comes!|
|I think I read somewhere that some breeders even make sure to have homes in advance for a certain number of pups before they breed.
just a thought
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