To Breed Or Not To Breed
by Barb Ehlers
(Reworded from a post to the Vizsla mailing list)
Why would anyone want to complicate their life with a male pup when they have an
unspayed female?? Why not consider another female puppy to keep her company? Do you show
in conformation, do field work or obedience or is your female a pet & companion?
Members of this list know that we've discussed often enough the reasons for breeding and
it's NOT just to let the dog have "just one litter"!! So, WHY would someone want
to breed her??
Sorry, I don't want to sound like I'm coming down hard on anyone but maybe
in some ways I am, only because I'm very concerned to hear the words "like to breed
her at least once" IF she's not proven, from conformation shows, to be a lovely
example of the breed from the standard's perspective. Also, what health checks have been
done (or are planned) on her....hip X-ray when she's over 2 y/o, thyroid check, eye check
for PRA?? Has she been tried for any natural field ability? If you are a novice dog owner,
you are asking for problems in getting a male puppy unless your girl is spayed. The
chances of keeping them apart when she's in heat are slim unless you are experienced
and even then, it's not any easy task as the males & females, at that time, follow
instinct and can be VERY difficult to live with because hormones are running high. The two
dogs (male & female that you may own) may not even be compatible mates (health wise,
temperaments etc.) IF they did accidentally get together. Having a litter is not any easy
undertaking but requires much time, knowledge & money on your part. There are always
the considerations of complications at the time of delivery and possibly a C-section and
sometimes the life of the 'mom' is on the line. After the puppies are born, IF all went
well, it is a 24hr. job on your part to make sure each puppy is getting enough to eat,
keeping the whelping quarters immaculate to avoid illness, teaching the pups to eat on
their own starting at about 3-4 weeks of age and then MAJOR cleanup of LOTS of puppy poops
since 'mom' doesn't do the job when they are eating solid foods and trips to the
veterinarian for vaccines and health exams. There is time needed for socialization for the
puppies, conscientious screening of potential new homes, the responsibility of keeping
older puppies if you have not found the right homes by the time they are 8 weeks old or a
new home placement failed because of hardship in the new family and the responsibility of
taking a puppy back if a tragedy befalls one of the new homes, even if that puppy is now a
full grown dog. I am really only scratching the surface here ... there's not enough room
to write about everything involved with breeding.
There are too many vizslas who end up in
rescue because someone just wanted to breed their female for the wrong reasons or they are
the result of puppy mills. Many dog are available to "everyday families" through
rescue. There are many who need good homes and have a lot of love to give to their new
families. The ages of rescue dogs are varied from very young to senior citizens and with
these dogs desperately craving a loving home of their own, why breed "just any dog
for just one litter" when that dog may not be up to standard?? That's a poor reason
to consider breeding! Local vizsla clubs and the Vizsla Club of America have set down a
list of codes of ethics that conscientious breeders must sign before producing a litter.
As Jenny Peacocke pointed out, many folks admire the breed and think they'd love to own
one but do not know what the breed is all about. The puppies end up in the wrong home and
when they are grown and the cute phase has passed, they are in rescue and become someone
else's problem because of damage caused by an owner who unknowingly has given them baggage
to be dealt with by the great people who give their time to help rescue dogs.
truly loves this breed and wants to preserve it as we know it, please consider having your
female spayed and then look for another puppy from a responsible breeder who has done all
the work for you in raising the puppies to the age when they leave for their new homes.
Speaking for myself, I would not consider someone for a male puppy when that person has an unspayed female. It is asking for trouble!! To anyone thinking of breeding "just
because", PLEASE reconsider and also avoid health problems down the road for your
female by getting her SPAYED. She will still be your loving pet and companion and if you
want a second dog, a male, you can then enjoy that male puppy without the worries &
stress you will have otherwise. If you love all the qualities of your female that much,
why not consider another puppy from the same lines as she is so that instead of breeding
her to maybe keep a puppy, you could have a close relative which is the next best thing.
Hopefully, you got your female from a good breeder who you could again contact and find
out when he/she may be breeding again. To anyone reading this, please understand why I've
written it ....NOT to "beat anyone up" but to help you to understand the
responsibilities involved in breeding. Breeding is definitely NOT for just anyone!!!
Protectiveness of the vizsla breed is why most of our dogs are healthy, have great
temperaments and are wonderful companions in show competition, in the field or at home!