Labradoodle-Dogs - Gabby Jack Ranch
Doodle Breeding Basics
© Jacque Reynolds, 2009
Made available for free download by
Doodle Breeding Basics is designed to provide information about the subject matter
covered. It is distributed with the understanding that the author and the publisher are
not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. If legal
advice or other professional assistance is required, the services of a competent
professional person should be sought.
Every effort has been made to make Doodle Breeding Basics as complete and accurate
as possible. However, there may be mistakes both typographical and in content.
Therefore, the text should be used only as general guides and not as the ultimate
sources of the subject matters covered.
The author and the publisher shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any
person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused
directly or indirectly by the information covered in Doodle Breeding Basics .
Many of the breeders on the Labradoodle-Dogs.Net forum (and other forums) started
breeding dogs as a hobby. The desire to breed dogs came before the knowledge and
understanding necessary to become a responsible breeder. But most of us will honestly tell
you that we wish we would have known more before we began.
So, where do you get the knowledge if
you have the dream of becoming a dog
breeder? We hope that this article will
help you get started or, in the
alternative, help you decide that dog
breeding is not for you. At the very
least, it is my desire to open your eyes
to the realities of breeding dogs.
This article is not intended as a training
module. You will need to research
(through libraries, web searches, forum
chats, and hard work) to find the
information you need and the answers
to your questions. This article serves as
a reality check for you. It is my goal to
point out that dog breeding is not as easy as “putting two dogs together and letting nature
take its course.”
Why Do You Want To Be A Breeder?
The first and most important step is a clear understanding of why you want to breed Doodles.
Many people think that breeding their dog is a good way to help pay for the expenses of
getting/keeping their expensive pet. Think again! Dog breeding is a financially taxing
venture and many breeders have never recouped their costs. Some breeders want to
produce wonderful little pups that are exactly like their sweet girl or boy. This is probably one
of the most common reasons people want to get into breeding. This is perfectly reasonable
and easy to understand, but there is so much more to consider.
Some families want to teach their children about the miracle of life by having them experience
pregnancy and birth. Please, just get them videos!
Breeding your dog goes far beyond creating darling puppies. Consider what you will do with
those puppies. It doesn’t matter how many of your friends and relatives tell you that they
would love a dog just like yours. When the time comes, most of these people will have a
variety of reasons why they can’t take one of your puppies right now. And, most of them
certainly don’t expect to pay you for one!
Do Your Research!
Allow yourself at least two years to study dog breeding. Read everything about breeding you
can get your hands on. Find mentors and take classes to learn about the health risks you will
be imposing on your beloved pet.
Find out about your local and state laws. Some counties, cities, and states have strict laws
prohibiting dog breeding. Find out how your local laws impact your dream to be a dog
Volunteer to work at animal shelters or rescues so that you get a real and honest idea about
what it means to bring puppies into a world already far too callous about life. Too many dogs
are killed, abandoned, and abused. See their faces, get to know their fate. You must do this if
you are to understand your heavy responsibility.
Maybe you could volunteer to help
at a vet clinic or hospital. You will
see, first hand, how much it costs
for a simple puppy check-up.
Multiply that times 12 (because it is
not uncommon to have litters of 12)
and you will begin to see the
expense of your dream.
Once you get past these hurdles,
and others, you may still wish to
move forward and become a dog
breeder. Many of us have made a
similar choice. My advice to you is
to find out what you need to know
about running a business: about
contracts, sales, warranties, and the
potential losses you could face.
Investigate the business of web
marketing (the most common way to sell puppies) and organizational memberships (because
they can help boost your knowledge and expand your clientele.)
Find out as much as you can about pricing, sales taxes, marketing, and promotional methods.
And have a plan for lost income when pups don’t sell and you need to find them a good
home. Factor in transportation costs, pedigrees, registrations, microchipping or tattooing, and
Testing and Industry Standards
Now, you can plan to move forward. If you want to be accepted as a reputable breeder and
not a backyard breeder or puppy mill, there are certain “industry standards” to comply with.
Test your intended breeding stock for potential genetic problems that are common for
the breed. You can find this information by reviewing sites that promote that particular
breed. But testing is not all you need to do. You must analyze the results and weigh
them in an effort to determine if your breeding dog will likely produce the best of the
best in regard to good health. Remember that some tests must be run annually, while
others are one-time tests. Are you able to suffer the disappointment and financial loss if
your dog does not pass testing? Can you spay/neuter that dog and forget your dream?
Select a mate for your dog that has also been tested and has very good results.
Look at the temperament, intelligence, and personality of your dog and of the mate you
have selected. Are there any traits that you feel are undesirable? Remember that those
traits WILL be passed along to offspring.
Research whelping and time frames. You need to know how many days there are
between mating and birth. You must make the most of that time and prepare for the
date of whelp. You also have to understand the schedule for breeding and how to
determine if the female is fertile and ready.
If you own the male you will want to have his sperm tested for motility and quality.
Prepare the nursery. Plan on potential hazards. Get fully stocked and keep in mind that
your power may go out and your “electronic” assist devices will fail. Be prepared for
Try to get experience in delivering puppies. Volunteer to help breeders in your area.
Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. What would you want your breeder to do
for you? What do you believe is honorable when it comes to providing a puppy to
expectant families? What is important to you, morally?
Do you understand that you have a duty to each and every puppy that you create? Are
you willing and able to be there for every family…for life? Will you stay in touch with
them? Will you offer support and love when times get rough? If you are only intending
to get the money and be done with it, you should reconsider.
How will you select a suitable family for your puppy? You owe it to your puppies, every
one of them, to carefully screen families and ensure that they will be as committed to
the good health, training, and nurturing of your puppy as you would be. Be prepared to
turn away potential customers, even when they are waving money in front of your face,
if they are not suitable for your puppy.
Are you prepared to take that puppy back and find it a good home in the event that the
selected family should no longer be able to keep him/her?
Making a decision to breed your dog is a deeply personal one and it requires you to do some
pretty serious soul searching. Your moral fiber is going to be challenged. Your finances will be
stretched. But, if you are able to look at these things realistically, then you are ready to
become one of the best breeders; you have passed the test! Now that you have weighed the
pros and cons, I want you to know that if you decide not to become a breeder, many will
respect your courage and your honor. If you believe that you are capable of becoming a
breeder who will put the health, welfare, and best interests of puppies, families, and breeding
dogs before any other consideration, then I promise you that your reward is not in dollars…
but in the absolute joy of holding life in your hands.
You will know the purest sense of happiness when you watch these tiny beings pushing
toward their mother for a first meal. You will have the deepest pleasure when you walk into
the puppy room and every one of these tiny faces turn toward you and their little, chubby
bodies scramble to meet you at the gate!
Then, when the day comes to say farewell to your baby, you place him or her in the arms of
the new family members and softly cry as you watch them go; yet your heart soars once more
when you receive the first word that your baby is “perfect”! It is then that you realize the gift
you have given; that the time you have invested and the love you have shown is the best
thing you could have been doing with your life.
Breeding dogs is not about money. It is about joy. It is life! It is love, in the purest sense of the
word. May you enter this profession with a sense of awe that will color your life, forever.
About the Author - Jacque Reynolds has been breeding Labradoodles and Goldendoodles
since 2004. Jacque's non-profit organization, Gabby Jack Ranch Service Companions , pairs
children and adults in need of physical, social or emotional assistance and encouragement
with a Labradoodle or Goldendoodle service companion. You can learn more at:
http://www.gabbyjackranch.org/ You can email Jacque at [email protected]
Last updated: May 05, 2009