Posts Tagged ‘Breeding’

Predicting Temperament – Part 2

Kate | September 17th, 2008
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A good rule of thumb for predicting temperament is to take a look at the mother, and if possible, the father of a litter.

Having ruled out that factor, you can draw on the research which has been done by the experts.

Just recently there was an article which described methods of selecting puppies for guide dogs for the blind.

The tests used proved to be almost 95% accurate! And you don’t have to be one of the experts to try the simple tests.

How You Can Easily Select A Puppy With The Best Temperament Of The Litter

When observing a puppy away from its mother and littermates, testers look for the following:

1. The puppy should move at ease in its pen.
2. He should move freely and look calmly from its pen at the tester, and any other situations.
3. It should be friendly and respond to the tester’s encouragement.
4. It should not be upset by strange people, places, or things.
5. The pup should persevere in any project it undertakes.
6. It should also be willing to do what the tester wants, and show pleasure while doing it.

Bad qualities are revealed in the opposites of the above list: the puppy is nervous in new situations, refuses to move from where it is placed. It is indifferent to new situations and people and unfriendly with the tester. Its responses are not dependable; it acts one way one time and another way another time, in the same situation. It quits trying after one or two attempts at something. And if it is upset by strangers, the puppy is obstinate or refuses to do with the tester wants.

Maintaining A Good Temperament Throughout Your Dog’s Life

Research is placing more and more emphasis on the early weeks and months of a dog’s life. Trainers are beginning to work with dogs at earlier ages than they did formally. Research also indicates that a dog’s temperament is not just a matter of good or bad, it probably varies along a continuum, as does humans, and as a result of many variables. A dog with one or two neurotic traits may be unsatisfactory.

Once you have chosen a dog with a good temperament, make sure you don’t ruin him by poor handling. It helps if you can give him some obedience training. There are books to help you with this job, online dog training DVDs you can order, as well as local obedience classes that offer one-on-one instruction. Even if your dog never achieves any degree as a companion dog, the experience will help you in your handling of him and particularly in disciplining him.

Final Tip: Unless you happen to be an expert on training, don’t try to make your family pet into an attack dog. You don’t need an aggressive dog to scare off burglars. They tend to pass up houses with any sort of dog on the premises. Most dogs, even the gentlest, are protective when the need arises. And do not let your children encourage aggressiveness with too much rough play. Sometimes it gets out of hand and a dog will bite out of innocent excitement.

Read Part 1 | Read Part 2

Predicting Temperament – Part 1

Kate | September 15th, 2008
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Nobody wants a dog with a bad disposition. It’s not much fun to own a dog which is not people-oriented either. Out of sentiment, people will keep unsatisfactory dogs because they cannot bring themselves to part with them. Others pass such dogs around, and as they go from home to home, dispositions get worse, and loyalties further confused.

The best hope for any prospective dog owner is the prevention of trouble by choosing the right dog. We assume that this prospective owner has already realized that he is taking on a living creature for what may be a decade or more of his life, and he will spend thousands of dollars on food and care, and that he will be liable under the law for any damage this animal does to humans or to property.

People often ask if it is not unfair to a dog to keep him in the city, in small quarters, confined to a leash outside, or left in the house while the owner goes to work. But in reality, the most unfair thing that you can do to a dog is to take him on when you’re not prepared to keep him for a lifetime, and to face up to all of the inconveniences that will go along with owning a dog.

Where Does A Bad Temperament Come From?

We know that dogs tend to inherit the temperament of their parents. We also know that there are certain inbred characteristics affecting temperament which are the result of the selective breeding that has produced a group of purebred dogs.

The early environment of the newborn puppy, particularly in the critical weeks when he’s looking away from his mother and his siblings to the humans around him, can provide a healthy period of socialization. On the other hand, this critical period can also be the spark which starts illness, an accident, or psychic trauma that can affect the puppy’s temperament in a very negative way. In addition, you, his new owner, can be a bad influence on what might have started out as a pleasant dog.

Most Dog Buyers Are Not Educated Enough To Properly Choose A Dog

The average dog buyer is looking for a companion for the family, particularly for the children. Unfortunately, most people do not know what to look for when it comes to temperament. And the temperament of a dog is the number one overriding vital consideration in choosing one. A nervous dog makes an unsatisfactory companion for children under almost any circumstances, and one that is moody is potentially dangerous.

Some people prefer dogs of mixed breeding and assume that they will always have more stable temperaments. This is not true. There was a tragic attack a few years back where a mixed Chow-Spitz killed a young child. The dog had been passed on to the family after having a history of killing small animals and giving other indications of poor temperament. This alone should make you think twice about taking on a dog which has not worked out in someone else’s family.

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Mating: A Crash Course In The Reproductive Cycle – Part 5

Peter | September 13th, 2008
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During the first 24 to 48 hours after delivery, take the mother and all puppies to see your vet. The purpose of the examination is to insure healthy puppies with no obvious defects or illnesses, to be sure no puppies are retained in the uterus, to correct vaccination deficiencies, and to give the mother a hormone injection which will aid in contraction of the uterus and removal of the debris from stage 3.

The nursing period begins with the secretion of a complex milk-like substance called colostrum. Puppies nursing during the first 24 hours of life get antibodies from colostrum, giving them protection against diseases for the first few weeks of life. Puppies failing to nurse during the first few hours face a stormy start in life and may fail to survive.

Sick puppies, or those unable to survive the competitiveness of a large litter, soon become too weak to nurse. The result is a vicious cycle: the less they eat the weaker they become, and the weaker they become, the less they eat. Weak puppies require extra help; use an orphan formula to feed them. Several products are available over-the-counter for this purpose. For feeding instructions follow the label recommendations of the manufacturer.

Too weak to respond, many puppies fail to cry out in response to pain. Weak puppies are in danger of death and should be treated by your vet.

The nursing period places a heavy nutritional burden on the mother. The nutritional demands of nursing are greater than those of pregnancy, and close attention should be paid to proper feeding during this time. Dog foods of high quality and vitamin and mineral supplements are necessary.

Milk Fever

Eclampsia (known as milk fever) is a severe complication which can develop during the nursing period. The cause is a deficiency of calcium in the blood, resulting from rapid calcium loss into the milk during periods of high milk production. It is identified by severe convulsions and a rapid rise in body temperature. When it occurs, it is usually seen in the second week of nursing. Eclampsia is an emergency requiring immediate medical attention to prevent death.

Final Word

When the basic principles of reproduction are fully understood, the chances for successful mating will be greatly enhanced. However, the problem of how to deal with the excess puppies which result from over-breeding still remains. A number of methods are currently used to control vet over-population; none of them have been particularly successful, however, simply because of the enormous number of animals involved.

Again, attacking the problem at the source by halting unnecessary mating is a more sensible, and humane approach, than allowing dogs to mate indiscriminately and then seeking methods of disposing of the unwanted puppies.

Mating: A Crash Course In The Reproductive Cycle – Part 4

Peter | September 11th, 2008
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When it is time for the female to give birth to her puppies, the 3 stages of birth allow the breeder to accurately assess the condition of both the health of the mother and the puppies. Once the allantoic membrane (or simply called the water-bag) has broken then you know labor is close.

True Labor

Stage 2 is the time of true labor. Hard and forceful abdominal contractions occur which results in the delivery of puppies. The first puppy should be born within two to three hours from the time these contractions start, and the interval between puppies should not exceed this length of time. If no puppy is born then contact your veterinarian immediately.

Upon seeing the head or feet presented, assist delivery (only if necessary) by applying gentle traction in synchrony with the abdominal contractions of the dam. Forcefully tugging and pulling to deliver a difficult puppy may inflict unnecessary injury.

Once the puppy is born, the mother will instinctively lick the placental membranes from it and severs the navel cord with her teeth. If she fails to remove the placental membranes enveloping the puppy, you must do it yourself or the puppy will suffocate. Tear them away gently and quickly. Free the head first, allowing the puppy to breathe, then swab out its mouth with gauze pads.

The placental membranes are slippery, so use gauze pads to aid in removing them. After the puppy is free, cut the navel cord two inches away from its body, using scissors boiled in water. To control excess bleeding, pinch the navel cord with your clean fingers until it stops. Tying the navel cord with thread or string, or a similar foreign substance, will invite infection, demands cautiousness, and is generally ill-advised.

After the bleeding has stopped, swab the navel cord with iodine, dry the puppy vigorously in a towel, and place it with the dam. If she is nervous about her new puppies then separate them from her and place them together in a box until delivery is complete.

Cesarean sections are needed when a dog, failing to deliver within a reasonable period of time, also fails to respond to medical methods if inducing labor. The majority of cesarean sections are done on the smaller breeds, which lack the powerful muscular contractions needed to deliver puppies naturally. This is a successful technique which, in most cases, results in live puppies.

The Final Stage Of Birth

Stage 3 is the final stage of labor. It occurs when the uterus contracts and begins to return to its normal size. As it contracts, fluids and placental membranes remaining from stage 2 are forced out.

Dog Breeding Is Not For Amateurs – Part 1

Gemma | August 25th, 2008
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Are you tempted to start breeding your dogs in the hopes of adding a couple of new puppies to the family and/or making a few extra dollars by selling the other pups? I think everyone who owns a dog has thought about it at some time or another. Unfortunately, there are some downsides to breeding your dogs that you may not feel comfortable with.

Dog breeding is considered to be a way of life for those professionals that are passionate about their animals. These people live, eat, and breathe dog breeding. However, the same is not true for 99% of the other people out there that just decided to have puppies for the fun of it or for the possibility of smalltime profits.

Here are a few reasons why you might want to reconsider dog breeding unless you are 100% committed to the process and to the health of the new puppies:

1. Breeding can be a bit expensive. For starters, the costs that you will have to absorb can get a little pricey with veterinarian checkups and care for all of the puppies, which include prevention of heartworms, fleas, and regular worms. In addition, you need to budget enough money to advertise the new puppies once they are born. For most people that are not professional breeders, you may barely make enough money back to cover your investment.

2. Breeding puppies yourself can also be emotionally heartbreaking. This is one downside of breeding that most people do not expect. For example, it is not unusual for the mother to die due to whelping complications. What is even more depressing is that many times one or more puppies from the litter will pass away as well. These kind of circumstances are not something that every family can handle so please keep these possibilities in mind should you begin to breed your dogs.

3. A third downside to breeding your dogs is that the entire process is a huge responsibility. This should be quite obvious with even just the above two examples given in terms of your investment and emotional participation. Once you decide to breed your dogs and bring new life into this world, you are now entirely responsible to ensure that those puppies are given the utmost in high quality attention and health care. Breeding new puppies is not a hobby and therefore you must understand that your time and energy must be devoted to the process 100%.