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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 profession vet tells you. This is just a loose guide on: if breeding is right for you, what to buy for the birth and tips on how to sell.
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 dyslpcia. This is a major animal issue in todays world 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 while making sure the dog line is free of cancer, and problematic issues such joint and hip issues. I 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 the genetic line. Some examples of world-wide breeding genetic issues are: bulldogs not able to breathe due to compact nose/mouth and Dalamations having a common issue of deafness.
OnTo 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 use for the stud.
To begin your journey, once your dog is pregnant, I recommend purchasing: a rectal thermometer, many 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 sooooo quickly, so please ensure you are ready once you find out your dog is pregnant. For the first month, you do not have to up a dog's food intake because this period is the period of the embroyo implanting in the uterine horn. The puppies are then gestating and by day 30 (when a vet usually tells you to come in), they can detect your puppies heartbeat. 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 they will start gaining the majority of weight. For the third month, your dog can be ready to give birth by day 58, but it is more common by day 62. That is why you need a rectal thermometer, because you will check the dog's temperature twice a day by day 55, and once the temperature drops below 100F, that lets you know your dog is going into labor for the next 24 hours. Other signs are as followed: Nesting their whelping box, no interest in their food and panting.
When they give birth, please be ready to assist with the childbirth. Puppies come in sacs and the mother usually eats the sack so the puppy can start breathing. For our first birth, we just assisted with the mom to ensure the sac came off right away and the puppies can breathe. The mom can be a bit shocked as well, so don't be too surprised for the first birth she is not helping the puppies as much. That is why we recommend the gloves and many trash bags. Once the sac is off, the mother usually eats the sac and then the placenta. Please watch out for the mom eating the placenta, because sometimes they bite to close to the skin when they are eating the cord and can cause infection. Therefore, my vet recommended to cut the amniotic cord with floss string and then tie the string, to ensure there is no infection. 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 they 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 add each 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 why that specific puppy is losing weight and either make sure they have one on one time with Mom or you can start providing them puppy supplement 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 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 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: firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below!