Vizsladogs, Ltd.

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.

If someone 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!

Vizsladogs, Ltd.
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