Thinking of breeding? Read this first

This is where to talk about Pit Bulls!

Postby Wyldmoonwoman » August 17th, 2007, 7:20 am

These articles were posted on, I am crossposting them here to help educate anyone that might be thinking about breeding their pit bull ... vs.11.6.06

C-Section Disasters…Another Good Reason Why [Most] Pets Don’t Need to Breed :: Vet Stress 11/06/06

A few days ago I wandered into the hospital on my day off (I just can’t stay away) and walked into one of those disaster scenarios worthy of Animal Planet’s Emergency Vets TV show.

The scene: Two techs vigorously trying to stimulate respiration in two recently extricated newborn pups. A German Shepherd bitch anesthetized on the surgical table, all four legs akimbo. One tech busily manning the anesthesia and instruments. The vet, my colleague, fully gowned and sweating over an open abdomen. And finally, the stunned owner standing nearby, hands over her mouth, looking for all the world like someone who’d like nothing better than to be anywhere else.

Great. Another one. Here’s where backyard breeders and I usually intersect—always under unpleasant circumstances, usually over a disaster C-section.

My colleague is like me. He likes to make them watch the fruits of their irresponsibility. While that might sound cruel—it usually works.

Faced with the impending death of two innocent babies I rolled up my sleeves like everyone else (save the ineffectual owner) and got down to the business of getting puppies to breathe.

The pups were huge and their lungs fluid-filled. They’d been overcooked. This bitch was probably due three full days ago (a very long time when gestation is only 63 days). This owner had completely missed the due date, signs of distress, etc.

By far the biggest mistake inexperienced breeders make is to assume nature will provide. This bountiful life force, she’s always in control and knows just when the little darlings will come into the world, right? Think again. After you breed a seventy-pound bitch to a hundred and ten pound male you’ve just offended Mother Earth. And she’s not so forgiving as the vets you desperately need when it all goes to hell.

When backyard breeders (ubiquitous offenders in Miami) get to teaching "the miracle of life" to their children, they can be truly stupid. Here are the mistakes they usually make that lead to that last-second, emergency C-section:

1-They don’t know the date the dogs got it together. (But they live in the back yard and they’re always together.)

2-They have sought no pre-pregnancy or pre-natal healthcare for their dogs. (When I was little we never needed to do that and my dog had ten puppies six times.)

3-They were not prepared for the birthing process. (No whelping box, no towels or newspapers, just a big backyard with a "comfy" patio.)

4-They have no idea what to look for when the bitch is ready to whelp. (What’s whelping? You mean I should hit her while she’s giving birth?)

5-They ignore signs of distress. (But she always paces around all night in a circle and that stuff coming out of her is normal, right?)

About half the time backyard breeders get lucky and they bring their dogs in before all is lost. The other half are not so lucky. While we can usually save the mother the pups are often dead or simply not sustainably revivable.

My own dog was one of these irresponsibly bred dogs. Although her owner considered herself a dog breeder, those pesky methamphetamines had been getting in the way of her breeding business. Sophie Sue was one of her casualties: her uterus had ruptured when the pups couldn’t make their way out. Who knows how long she had been trying to deliver them? I managed to negotiate her freedom for the price of the C-section and spay. (Crassly explaining that she didn’t need another non-productive mouth to feed, she enthusiastically made the deal.)

This week’s case was similarly disastrous. The bitch`s uterus was fluid-filled and unresponsive to oxytocin—it had clearly been over-used and less than cared for. In its current state it was a perfect candidate for pyometra (an overwhelming infection of the uterus). The owner did not, however, grant permission for the recommended spay.

After an hour of working on the pups it became clear we couldn’t maintain their hearts or respiration in the presence of all that fluid. Suction, oxygen, drugs….and then nothing. Yet this owner was undeterred. (Next time I’ll have to keep her inside when she starts to look big.) Great. You do that. We’ll look forward to your next visit.

You’re thinking: There should be a law against that! Nope. That’s not negligence in the eyes of the law. Nor is it considered animal cruelty. If you overstuff your fridge and it breaks that’s your dumb luck. While in Miami-Dade County (where I live) breeders have to obtain a license and fulfill some basic puppy care requirements, no pre-birth regulations are included in the legislation. Dogs are your property. You can f--- them up any way you like as long as you don’t actively do them violence.

Make no mistake, breeding is not for the meek…or the ignorant…or the irresponsible. It takes years to learn how to do it right. In lieu of that, it takes a whole lot more research and veterinary care than most people realize. I make that point with the owner of every single unspayed female that walks through my door. Are you willing to risk her life for some potential puppies?

Until backyard breeders stop doing their thing and until laws can be installed and enforced to make them stop, I’ll have to keep doing these disaster C-sections. There’s no point in denying any animal a life-saving surgery. But I will continue to make those responsible observe the outcome of their ignorance and arrogance. I want the "miracle of life" to be at least a fraction as painful and uncomfortable for them as it was for their pet.
Last edited by Wyldmoonwoman on August 17th, 2007, 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Wyldmoonwoman » August 17th, 2007, 7:28 am

And another...

Are you a Backyard Breeder?
Originally written by Sunny Arruda (South Bay Purebred Rescue)
Personalized by C. Guss (Bastian's Place - Feline & Canine Rescue)

Over 10 million homeless animals are euthanised every year in the United States. The death could easily be stopped by spaying and neutering your pets.

Euthanasia is the single largest cause of death for dogs in the Untied States. Each year 27 million dogs are born. Five to ten million are classified as 'Surplus' and destroyed (killed). That's about one million a month. These animals are those who 'must' be killed simply because they are unwanted. These numbers do not include the millions of dead dogs scraped off the streets, or the hundreds of thousands of abandoned, severely neglected or abused dogs who never make it to a shelter to be counted and killed.

Most of these animals are young and healthy; in fact, it is estimated that around 80% are less than one year of age. The problem is simple: we have too many dogs with too few homes available. The solution we have opted for is to kill the 'extras'. This solution has been considered acceptable by default, as though there were no other way to control the crisis and we spend over $1 billion every year destroying 'Man's Best Friend'.

Why is this happening in the United States today? The largest contributors to this problem are Backyard Breeders and Puppy Mills.

The name 'Backyard Breeder' has become very unpopular. Nobody wants to admit they are a backyard breeder. Many people don't even know they are part of the problem. The only way to stop the needless killing of dogs is to stop the needless breeding of them.

Every breed of dog recognized by the AKC, UKC or CKC has a written standard, a blueprint of what the dog should look and act like. These standards were written so that all would know what a quality example of the breed is and strive to produce dogs that meet or exceed the standard in health, temperament and appearance. To be sure that you are breeding dogs that meet these standards, your dogs must be judged by people who have a lifetime of experience among the breed. Do you know the standard of your purebred dog? Does your dog meet this standard according to an AKC judge? If not, your dog is pet quality. Your dog is to be loved, cherished, trained, cared for, spoiled and bragged about but it is NEVER to be bred. No matter how cute or sweet the dog may be, if it is not up to the standard, you have no business breeding it.

If you have a purebred dog, this does not give you the right to breed it. Most purebred dogs are not breeding quality. If you breed your pet quality dog, you are a backyard breeder. Whether you breed the dog in your backyard, garage, living room or an expensive hotel room, the term is still backyard breeder. If your pet quality dog has papers (AKC, UKC, CKC), that's nice but it doesn't change anything. You still don't have the right to breed it.

If your pet quality dog cost you $500 be glad you had the money to afford it. You still don't have the right to breed it.

Do you think that you can make your $500 back if you breed your pet quality dog or if your pet is a color or a size that isn't the breed standard but you just know everyone will want to buy a pup if you breed her? Shame on you! Now you are a backyard breeder with the purpose of peddling pups for bucks.

If the price for a tail dock or an ear crop may seem high to you, what are you going to do when your beloved pet needs an emergency C section? Will you even be there to know if she is in trouble? Would you even be able to recognize the signs before it was too late?

And if you still want to breed your pet quality dog but need to ask who is supposed to cut off the tails and ears, ask yourself "What in the hell am I thinking?"

Do you think genetic testing is something they used in the OJ trial but has nothing to do with your breeding career? You are a backyard breeder.

Backyard breeders sell pup's that aren't up to the standard of the breed. They do this for many reasons. None are good enough reasons to contribute to the killing of the dogs. Period.

Backyard breeders will swear all of their pups went to good homes. They believe this but it's not true. Some may have been luck enough to go to a good home but more than half will end up dead, in a shelter, alone on a cold table with a needle sticking out of their leg. Some of those good homes will get tired of the dog and will just give it away to the first person willing to take it. Some of your beloved dog's children will end up living alone in a backyard, barking all night, cold and neglected until the owner gets complaints and then the pup will be dead. Some will be starved and beaten. Some will be bred until they die from it. Some will end up in a rescue and I will have to find space for them. I will have to teach them that not all humans are bad. I will remove their fleas and get rid of their worms. I will have them vaccinated for the first time in their lives because the previous owners neglected to remember. I will spay or neuter the animal to ensure it is not snatched up by someone looking to make a quick buck. I will do all of these things that the previous owner should have done because they didn't want to.

Backyard breeders are not responsible pet owners. They think they love the dogs but that isn't really true because they don't want to bother with all that it takes to breed ethically. They love feeling important when they say "I breed purebred dogs." but breeding pet quality dogs is not something to be proud of. It is a shame on our society. It is the reason for the death that occurs in shelters. Why do you want to be part of that?

Do you want to be respected? Spay or neuter your pet dog. There is really no other way. The kinds of homes that you want for your pets puppies do not want to purchase a pup from you. They are looking for responsible, respected breeders who are doing something for the breed as a whole. Most of those who will come running to buy one of your pups are the kind of people I wouldn't give a nasty, aggressive dog to. They are people who will turn your sweet little puppy into a shelter once the novelty wears off. That is a fact.

Spay or neuter your pets now and tell everyone you know to do the same. Leave breeding to people who are doing something to better the breed. These people breed for quality, not quantity.

Want to be a respected breeder? Do your research and find an individual who is an educated and respected member of the dog breeding world. Ask this person to be your mentor. You need to know what you are doing before you are even ready to begin. Have a savings account ready for any and all problems that you will encounter. Purchase only top quality bred dogs and plan on showing them. Do everything that your mentor tells you, he/she has the experience and is not just trying to push you around. Be sure that everything you do as a breeder meets the standards which have been set for responsible breeders. Or, Don't Breed!
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Postby Wyldmoonwoman » August 17th, 2007, 7:30 am

Code of Ethics For Breeders of American Pit Bull Terriers/American Staffordshire Terriers

Section I: Introduction & Mission Statement

Introduction: This Code of Ethics is being presented by the Pit Bull Owners Alliance (PBOA). The material presented herein is to serve as a guide for breeders and reference tool for potential buyers seeking out breeders. The goal in presenting this Code of Ethics is not to promote Pit Bull breeding, but rather to discourage indiscriminate breeding, poor breeding practices, and support of unethical breeders. PBOA supports and encourages rescue above and beyond breeding or purchasing Pit Bulls.

Mission Statement: The ethical breeder of American Pit Bull Terriers and/or American Staffordshire Terriers ("Pit Bulls") shall always hold paramount the future of the breed. A desire for betterment and preservation of the Pit Bull breed should be the sole driving force behind a breeder's choice to produce puppies.

1) The breed's future: because of a) anti-Pit Bull legislation, b) irresponsible ownership, c) criminal animal abuse, and d) a surplus of dogs, the future of the Pit Bull is in jeopardy. Prior to planning a litter, a breeder should ask himself/herself if the litter will jeopardize the future of the breed by contributing in any way to a, b, c, and/or d above.

2) Betterment of the breed: the goal of the ethical Pit Bull breeder should always be, first and foremost, to better the breed through the production of puppies that are as good as or superior to the previous generation. Production of Pit Bulls that ideally represent the United Kennel Club (UKC), American Dog Breeders Association (ADBA), and/or American Kennel Club (AKC) Standard(s) should be considered the pinnacle of a Pit Bull breeding program.

3) Preservation of the breed: ethical breeders should work to preserve, through legal and humane means, the Pit Bull breed as it was, is and should be. Means to achieve this goal include: protecting the integrity of the breed through adherence to the Standards; careful culling (via sterilization, and/or humane euthanasia when necessary) of sub-standard stock; meticulous record-keeping, DNA profiling, microchipping, and pedigree research; studying to achieve a scholarly knowledge of breed history, temperament, health, structure, and genetics.

Section II: Actions of the Ethical Pit Bull Breeder

Note 1: For simplicity’s sake, "dog" will apply to both sexes. “Breeding stockâ€
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Postby katiek0417 » August 17th, 2007, 8:16 am

ALL breeders should follow codes like that.

If you have done everything correctly (health testing, etc) are trying to be responsible, and are breeding for the right reasons (improve the workability of dogs, cross lines that will complement drives, improve temperament), then you should also be prepared.

What I mean by that is you should be prepared to spend money. Everyone thinks: the b*tch does it all...Well...what do you do if she goes into distress? Can't get a puppy out? How do you help her if she is stressed after the puppies are born? What do you do if she starts to reject the puppies?

All these cost money, but the long-term ramifications of the last one are even more dire: puppies that are hand-raised have a much higher chance of being dog aggressive, people aggressive, food aggressive, and crate aggressive. That makes placing one of these puppies very dangerous.

As a breeder, you should also ask if you are prepared to replace a puppy due to genetic health reasons, offer a health guarantee, work guarantee (if you are breeding a working dog)...are you prepared to offer to take the puppy back AT ANY TIME in the dog's life if the new owner can't take care of it?

These are very important questions. Personally, Greg and I do breed our dogs. But we've been faced with these issues, and have handled them in the way I think they should be handled, and we breed responsibly.
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Postby 5dognight » August 17th, 2007, 10:34 am

I send this website to all of the "accidental" breeders on CL. I'm hoping they also read the Additional Info links at the end of the page. There's a good comparison list between responsible breeders and BYBs.
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Postby cheekymunkee » August 17th, 2007, 10:46 am

Thanks Lisa! I think I will sticky this. And I am going to move it to the general section. :wink:
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Postby Wyldmoonwoman » August 17th, 2007, 11:31 am

"If I were not a man, I would like to be a bird. As I am a man, I do the next best thing, and ride a bicycle." -- Rev. Maltie, a cyclist in the late 1800s
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Postby RachelRTR » February 23rd, 2010, 6:25 pm

I have a friend who wants to breed his German Shepard. I asked why and he said" Because he has papers". Good Lord!! I'm gonna show him this thread and some links on the consequences of not spaying/nuetering.
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