Beginners Guide to Breeding Labs
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Please NOTE: I am not a VET and if you make the decision to breed your dog, please follow the steps your professional vet tells you. This is just a loose guide on breeding. This guide will provide: if breeding is right for you, what to feed the puppies and tips/recommendations for your pups.
Hello there! Before I begin, if you are interested in breeding pure bred labs, please make sure this is the decision for you. Breeding is a major undertaking and with the serious issue of overcrowding in shelters, please ensure you are going to provide a safe and thriving environment for your dog. Make sure the dog line your breeding is free of cancer and common issues such as hip dysplasia. This is a major animal issue in our country, and we want to breed labs to promote a genetically healthy dog breed and to provide a healthy lovable animal for people and their family.
For me, my biggest goal in breeding is to promote a healthy lab breed and healthy long living dogs. I have talked to wayyyy to many people who have dealt with dogs at age 2 getting cancer and that is due to the breeder not caring about their genetic dog line. Some examples of world-wide breeding genetic issues are: bulldogs not being able to breathe due to compact nose/mouth and Dalmatians having a common issue of deafness.
To start a dog business, I recommend looking at your local ordinances because one county might not track sale of dogs while another will track sale of dogs. To begin, the dogs you choose to breed, make sure the line is free of cancer and health issues. These dogs do not have to be AKC, so I always recommend to know the breeder where you purchase the dog or the line for both mother and stud.
To begin your journey, once your dog is pregnant, I recommend purchasing: a rectal thermometer, rags, pee towels or washable clothes, disposable gloves, paper towels, a Nasal Aspirator, supplement puppy milk powder, weight machine and puppy collars. While your dog is pregnant, I would call your vet right away and book an appointment for an X-ray. The X-ray will determine how many puppies will be born and if there are any issues with the puppies.
For your dog, a dog is only pregnant for three months. During this period, there pregnancy goes by very quickly, so please ensure you gather all your supplies once your dog is pregnant. For the first month, you do not have to up take any food, since the puppies are just embryos. When your dog is pregnant on day 30 (when a vet usually tells you to come in), they can detect your puppies heartbeat. You can start uping their food then. For the next month, you can then go into the vet and get an ultrasound or X-ray and they will show you the amount of puppies your dog will have. This is when the dog will start gaining the majority of their pregnancy weight. By the third month, your dog can be ready to give birth by day 58 to day 62. That is why you need a rectal thermometer, because you will start checking the dog's temperature starting on Day 55 twice a day. Once the temperature drops below 100F, that lets you know your dog is going to be into labor for the next 24 hours. You should also watch for these pregnancy signs as well: Nesting their whelping box, no interest in their food and panting.
When the dog gives birth, please be ready to assist with the birth. Puppies come in sacs and sometimes the mother needs assistance with opening the puppy's sacs. The mother usually eats the sac, but sometimes with the shock of the birth, the mother does nothing. Therefore, for the first birth, we just assisted with the mom to ensure the sac came out of her and we opened the sac so the puppy could breathe. That is why we recommend using rubber gloves and big trash bags to throw everything away. After the sac is off, we recommend cutting off the umbilical cord from the sac with dental floss. We want to make sure the mother does not do it because the mother can bite close to the skin and cause an infection. In addition, make sure the placentas come out from each of the sacs. We recommend counting the amount of placentas because if all the placentas are not out, the mother can experience placenta retainment.
Once the placenta is gone, the cord is cut and the puppy is dried with a towel, you can place the puppy near the Mom. This is when the puppies will start feeding. For my husband and I, once we started noticing the contractions hitting again, we grab the puppies, put them in a box and put them back on once another puppy was born. That is why its essential to know how many puppies there are.
Once they are born, please give each puppy a collar and then weigh the dogs accordingly. This will allow you to track their weight and make sure they are gaining enough weight each day. For the first day, the dog usually loses weight, but then the next day the puppy should be gaining close to 10% weight every day. If this does not happen, no worries! If they are losing weight, that is when you analyze which puppy is losing weight and make sure they get time with mom and if they need more assistance, you can provide them the powder milk.
At the time they are born, this is the time you want to start marketing your puppies. You can either create your own breeding company (please note, this alll depends on county and state laws) and post on the specific breeding Facebook group or, if you do not have a business, you can use another Facebook group, Craigslist, your local newspaper or local puppy websites. For our puppies, we usually sell them by word of mouth or exclusively on Craigslist. I actually like Craigslist because you can kind of get where the people are coming from and why they want a puppy specifically. Many folks always wanted a yellow lab, but many times they are selling for thousands of dollars (which if they aren't AKC, is nuts. That is wayy too much), so they went with us and got a beautiful yellow lab!
For the puppies, many breeders will sell there puppies at 8 weeks or they might wait until they are 12 weeks. This all depends on your preference, but many professionals will agree that you should wait until they are at least 9 weeks old and can be away from their mom. Some professionals will even argue that puppies are not ready until 12 weeks old. It all depends on what you prefer and how much you are willing to spend on puppy food.
I hope you enjoy your puppies because they will grow super-fast. Please enjoy the time you have with them and thank you very much for reading. Any specific questions about feed or anything else, please contact me at: email@example.com or comment below!
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