Dog Pregnancy-What is a Breeder?
True Breeders and Exhibitors are devoted to producing, through dog pregnancy, the healthiest puppies mentally and physically given current technology and ability. Advances in technology specifically genetic testing for inherited defects is a valuable tool used by breeders.
Who is not a true Breeder?
There are people who produce puppies who’s primary concern is not to produce the healthiest puppies, in mind and body. These are the puppy mill operators who sell to pet stores and careless back yard breeders with a different motivation…breeding to the “market” not the ideal. This means breeding a dog at a specific time of year for better puppy sales.
How can you tell if your Puppy is from a true Breeder?
Breeders perform a specific breeding of the best male dog to a specific female dog to produce an ideal pup. The outcome of a dog pregnancy should not harm the health of the mother and result in healthy robust puppies.
A breeder will “pick” a family to receive a pup whether they sell it as a show dog or as a family pet. The breeder will choose which dog goes to which type of home and they will likely interview you, as the prospective caregiver of a pup, to determine if you should get the pup. They will deliver a healthy, well adjusted, worm free and vaccinated puppy to his or her new home.
A friend of mine has raised Springer Spaniels as family pets for years. Following an unexpected loss of their dog Bear (to a rare blood disorder) they searched for a new English Springer. They knew they had a real breeder when the breeder not only interviewed them extensively, but a number of references as well. The breeder was in Florida and they lived in Las Vegas. The breeder would not allow the pup to fly alone…so their daughter flew to Florida to escort the pup to their new home.
The breeder has continued to follow up with this family on how the dog is doing in his new home. The breeder has even helped them find a groomer that she approves of to give the dog a proper Springer cut. Now this is a true breeder. Any dog pregnancy in this breeders home is followed up with professional care.
Dog Pregnancy Prevention
If you are not a professional breeder or your dog does not meet the ideal of a breed or is a mixed breed it is best to prevent a dog pregnancy by neutering the dog. There are many dogs in shelters and rescue organizations that need homes, it is more responsible for each family to do their part by neutering their own pets. And there are a number of health benefits associated with neutering for both sexes. Not to mention, not all pregnancies live up to the expectation of a healthy litter and healthy mother in the end. There is the possibility of a difficult labor, death of puppies at birth or stillborn, and uterine and mammary gland infections in the mother.
Neutering your Dog
Commonly, bitches are spayed, the uterus and ovaries are removed, and male dogs are castrated, the testicles are removed. Neutering is a solution for preventing dog pregnancy and sexual organ related diseases, but not a solution for behavioral problems, training is the only solution. Although, neutering can be helpful in training to eliminate some unwanted behaviors.
Female dogs are spayed and this operation is more invasive than castration of a male dog, thus spaying is more costly. The female must be put under general anesthesia so that the veterinarian can perform surgery on her lower abdomen. The surgical site will be shaved and an incision will be cut through the abdominal wall to extract the ovaries and uterus. Not only does this procedure prevent heat cycles and pregnancy, but dogs that are spayed before one year of age have a significantly reduced chance of developing mammary, ovarian, or uterine cancer. The cost of spaying is about $100 to $200 and well worth the savings in money that would be spent on treating complications some females experience with reproductive organs.
Male dogs are castrated. The dog will receive a general anesthetic and a small incision in the sac is performed to remove the testicles. The scrotum will shrink and soon disappear. In addition to preventing unwanted pregnancies, there are a couple of behavioral reasons to neuter a male dog. One of the most important advantages is that as adult dogs they will be less aggressive. Without the testosterone (produced in the testicles) the dog is less likely to develop aggressive behaviors. The degree of which aggression is suppressed varies, but is most noticeably reduced in dogs castrated before one year of age. The second reason is that dogs are less likely to roam in response to a female in heat. If dogs are castrated at an early age, they will not sense or respond to the stimuli naturally produced in a female in heat.
Health advantages are numerous in castration. The chance of testicular tumors is eliminated and there is a decreased risk of hernias, perianal tumors, and prostate problems.
What age should a dog be Neutered?
In general, most dogs are spayed or castrated between 5 and 8 months of age. Many humane shelters and veterinarians are starting to spay female and castrate males at a younger age, even 6-14 weeks old. This early neutering does not affect the growth rate, and there are not any notable differences in skeletal, physical, or behavioral development between animals neutered early or between 5 and 8 months.
Benefits of Neutering
There are social, medical and behavioral benefits to neutering your dog. Unless you are a professional breeder you may not be prepared to handle a dog pregnancy and helping to control the population of dogs is a responsible act. Medically, dogs that are spayed (removing ovaries and uterus) and castrated have fewer medical problems associated with reproductive organs such as cancer. Behaviorally, neutered dogs have a more comfortable and less stressful life sexually speaking.