we have 2 female english cocker spaniels and would like to get a stud sog and start breading. Does the male have to be kept in a kennle outside ? and will he require many bitches a year to keep him happy? and in good temprenmmnt. I work from home so Im here most fo the day. any advice greatfull received many thanks Rhianna 1322.
Rhianna if you are interested in breeding your dogs, I suggest you do get an outside kennel, even a small one (6ft by 4ft) just in case. However, your male dog can live happily right along with your females inside. As Icyhound said you will have to pay close attention to your female dogs to watch for the onset of their heat cycles and prevent an accidental breeding, especially one that occurs when you are not home. Male dogs only really react to female dogs differently when the female goes into heat (which typically happens 2x a year). The rest of the time, they usually have a normal dog to dog relationship.
If you are sincere about breeding adn wish to do it responsibly, I encourage to have your dogs health tested beyond a 'vet check'. While they aren't as plagued by health issues as cocker spaniels are, they do have some health problems that should be tested for prior to breeding. I strongly encourage you to have both your females BAER tested for hearing, and have an eye exam done by a board certified canine opthamologist (AVCO) member so taht their eyes can be CERFed as clear and normal. In addition, if either of your dogs are overly shy, this has been shown to be genetic in nature and that dog can pass it to the offspring. Also, many ECS do have bite problems as well, make sure your dogs have a 'scissor bite' and are not 'undershot', with the lower teeth protruding in front of the upper teeth. If your dog have allergies, or gastrointestinal problems, they also shouldn't be bred. Luckily, hip dysplasia and luxating patellas and elbow dysplasia aren't common in ECS so testing for those isnt' critical as it is in other breeds.
I had a cocker with luxating patella. At least have the vet confirm that your females don't have it. I would probably pay to stud my females, rather than buy the male. You have to wait two years to test the male, and then if something is wrong and you cant breed him, what are you going to do? Rehome him or have him fixed and keep as a pet. It seems that could get rather expensive. To me, it makes more sense to find a tried and true stud and pay the fee, and in the long run, less expensive.
Layala was your dog an english cocker spaniel or an american cocker spaniel? Its the ECS that doesn't typically have bone and join problems, the american cocker spaniel is prone to pretty much any and every health defect that's ever existed in dogs ;)
She was an American cocker. I got her from a byb before I knew any better and she did have every problem known to dogdom, unfortunately. Bad skin, bad ears, bad teeth, digestion problems, liver failure, and luxating patellas. She lived to be ll, bless her heart, but cost me an arm and a leg in the process.
***Edited By: lalayla on 4/26/2005 12:08:33 PM*** Reason: add
Thanks ~ you all for your replies , they are all very helpfull we want to do thsi properley and first and foremost we want pets not a brood mare. Sadley we ;ive ona n island and there are no english cocker bredare over her so takein a bitch to a stud is not an option. Many thanks Rhianna 1322.
Please don't only take into consideration the health of YOUR dogs but also their ancestors. If you are looking for a good stud dog and you got your girls from a reputable breeder ask them for references on another breeder. Research their backgrounds concerning both health and temperament (temperament is genetic in dogs!).
MORE IMPORTANTLY - before decide to breed consider everything else that is involved! Most people don't thoroughly understand the work, time and money that actually goes into properly breeding a litter. I probably put close to 400 hours into each of my litters between planning, breeding, caring for the expectant mother, finding homes, whelping the litter (you should always be present during the delivery in case the mom gets into trouble), caring for newborn puppies, and socializing each puppy. We ask $450 for each of our puppies (Shelties - our prices are low because we don't want to get out of the price range of nice, middle class families) and we are lucky to break even on each litter and really thrilled when we can pay for some of the parents expenses for the year. I can go 3 days without sleep on occasion when I am waiting for a Mom to deliver, whelping a litter, and then watching newborns. If you get a weak puppy you have to be prepared to bottle feed every two hours around the clock. It takes time to screen a home, answer their questions, get paperwork ready to go. You deal with more stupid people that want something for nothing than you do intelligent ones (although the good homes do make up for the stupid people in spades :). You have to have a firm understanding of the breed and the standard before you can responsibly breed - even just pets - or you are doing an injustice to the breed. Are you prepared to take puppies back when they are 1 year, 2 years, 10 years old because their families can no longer care for them. If you get a puppy born with a health problem how will you deal with it? What if you lose one of your females due to delivery or post whelping complications? Do you know what things like pyometra are and how to recognize them?
Breeding should never be a decision made lightly. There is a truck load of joy that comes with the experience BUT there is an equal amount of tears and heartache. Every breeder who has more than one litter can tell you that problems arise that will break your heart. You have to be prepared for them because in many situations your knowledge can save one of more lives. It isn't something to do because you want to make money. It isn't something to do "for fun". Good breeders breed because they love the breed, raising puppies, and being able to bring the joy of a well bred puppy into someone else's lives. But it is not an easy thing to do and there are as many downfalls as perks to taking it on.
With that said, most males do well indoors unless you have a female in heat. Then you need to seperate them. BUT I don't know an extensive amount about ECS', but I imagine since they are a smaller breed, unless you live in a very warm climite you may not want an outdoor kennel. It may be wiser to set up a room in your house where you can isolate your female in a nice large wire crate, or give her the run of a small room. Males can actually freeze their sperm in cold conditions and very easily can decrease sperm motility in cooler climates. You need to keep your guy warm when he is considering breeding - and never "just put two dogs together". Breeding should be supervised to verify a tie and prevent injury. Male dogs have a bone in their genitals that if broken is VERY painful and hard to set. You should have adequate space to house all the dogs safely, and be able to "run" a breeding program. Your babies can't be shoved outside at 4-5 weeks of age - especially medium breed puppies. You're going to need to figure out where you plan to house puppies for 8-12 weeks safely (nothing they can get into, somewhere easily cleaned and disinfected). The garage is NOT an option. If carbon monoxide has been in the room in the last 30-60 days you can very easily lose a whole litter of puppies in a heart beat. You have to figure out what part of your house you want smelling like puppy poo for a lengthy period of time. :) It should be somewhere not too noisy of high traffic, but not so secluded that the puppies never get socialization and exposure to noise.
Need more advice - I'm always willing to help a new breeder with responsible expectations!!!
Hi Abbylynn, many thanks for you reply I ahve read it again and again we live ina 3 story victorian house ina park across the road from the beach I work from home so Im here most of the time. We do wish to bread and realise the time involved but we also want to do it properley our dogs are first and foremost pets and part of a loveing family home. Do you think it would be a good idera to get an older male say a year or over instead of a puppy to begin with? We dont wnata dog taht gets unhappy because he is not being breed enough we have 2 bitches but as I said thay are pets first and foremost. Any advice greatfully received Rhianna .
It sounds like you are a concerned dog owner and that is half the battle. I am sure that you will make responsible choices concerning your pet breeding. It is NOT rocket science, and it is not too much work, for very long any way. For the first 3 weeks, unless you have a HUGE litter and need to suppliment feed, mom should be doing 99% of the work. After that, plan on a lot of paper changing and monitoring until the 4-5 weeks until they are gone.
People are so discouraging of pet people breeding, but then they don't like large breeders either. If your dogs are over 2 and don't have obvious health issues that your vet notices in a pre-breeding exam you should be okay. If people are being honest, most of the parents to pups being sold on this site and most others are not tested for genetic problems. I test for heart only, because that is the major issue of boxers, they are ranked 68 for hip dysplasia and my vet has NEVER seen a boxer w/ hip dysplasia. HIP DYSPLASIA and other issues that are tested by the OFA often have OTHER FACTORS BESIDES genetics that also cause the disease. Genetics is just one of many factors on why dogs get sick.
As for getting a stud dog, I would discourage it, it would be to your benifit to get another female if you can handle 3 dogs. Stud dogs, even in your area are a dime a dozen. You just have to know where to look, contact your local or even not so local kennel clubs. Check out confirmation shows. You may as well be breeding to the best male dog you can find, hopefully Champions. Also consider this... if you have a stud of your own you are not looking at a dog that will truely compliment each of your bitches. You are going to breed with him because he is yours and convienient. Just a suggestion. I didn't get a stud until I had 8 girls, and 2/3 of the time I still will breed w/ Champion dogs anyway. GOOD LUCK, I am sure you will do fine, what ever you decide.
Okay alicat1 - how much socialization do you do with your puppies? I can't believe you said that breeding isn't a lot of work? Do you just whelp the litter and then make sure none of them are dead each morning? For me it is a full time job (and by full time I mean I get overtime in as well). At least I think it is a lot of work if done properly!
Rhianna - I actually do recommend getting a stud dog rather than finding one. Here is my reasoning - yes stud dogs are a dime a dozen - good ones aren't so easy to come by. Then you have to take into consideration the trouble of finding a breeder that you are comfortable with, agree with their practices and want to deal with on a regular basis. THEN you have to make sure that the stud dog doesn't have any sexually transmitted diseases (Brucella Canis being a big one that will ruin your females breeding career very quickly). Then you have to deal with the stud fee, which can range from chump change for a poor quality guy to up to the cost of 2 good quality dogs with each litter. If your female has one puppy - there goes your stud fee. :) You also have to work out the "stud contract" and be knowledgable enough in this area to make sure you don't get screwed over. THEN most stud owners will ask you to board your female - unless they happen to live down the street. So you have to be comfortable enough to leave your pride and joy with them. It's a pain in the rear - not to mention the paperwork involved and your not fully knowing the temperament or health background of your stud male.
The perks with owning your male/sire are many - especially if you are only going to have a couple of litters a year. Most boys only act like boys when you have a girl in heat. The rest of the time they are not hard to live with. We have 4 males (because my Mom and sister love male dogs and couldn't resist :) and that means that they get to breed twice a year if they are lucky. One guy hasn't had a litter in over 18 months because we tried "his girl" with another male to see if the puppies were better. We have NO problems. And all our boys are inside. :) It doesn't take much to keep a male dog happy, and breeding is NOT all they think about. Ours are just as impressed with a belly rub or some kind of dog treat...any kind of dog treat.... :)
On the age thing - it depends on how old your females are. You want a female to have her first litter before she is 3 to insure that she will not have too much difficulty whelping and that her maternal instincts are strong (older maiden bitches tend to be less receptive mothers - especially pet ones as they might view their first tour of duty in the whelping box as jail time). If your girls are older I would consider an older male BUT here is the clinker - look for one that a show breeder has possibly rejected as a show prospect due to a minor fault, but that they may still consider selling as a breeding dog. Some breeders will also place dogs that don't "Add" something to their breeding program (too much like Dad and they want something new to add to their pool). You want it to have been raised indoors as a pet, housebroken, you want to meet him (with puppies I don't always think this is a must, but older dogs something already have bad habits set in stone or temperament issues that are harder to overcome). Obedience training is a big plus. Again it depends how old your girls are. If they are a year old then anything 6 months to 2 years would be a possibility. If you plan on doing any testing (OFA) you want him to be a little older. If you don't plan to test - make sure that the breeder has good records and/or test results in the problem areas of your breed - and it is usually safe for a male to breed between 16-24 months depending on the dog. Big plus to an older male is that his testicles will be down already (no risk of a cryptorchid or monorchid). Another plus, you may be able to get a "proven" male (one that has previously sired a litter so you can see the quality of his puppies).
I'm glad to hear you are doing your homework and want to do a good job! It helps to be home a lot (I also do my "bill paying" job from home so I'm here round the clock and can set my own hours around the dogs). And it sounds like your intentions are great. Keep asking questions! Just take each answer with the grain of salt and feel free to research everything!!! Good breed books are priceless and mentor in your area is always a plus - if to only share stories with!
Alicat: If breeding, whelping and raising a litter of pups isn't a lot of work you are what is known to many of us as a BAD BREEDER.
I'd love to pick your post apart quote by quote but quite frankly what you don't know you wouldn't understand. Uninformed people with poor advice don't really do a service to those truly interested in their dogs.
Rhianna. I'm sorry but just curious, why did you bring this up twice "We dont wnata dog taht gets unhappy because he is not being breed enough we have 2 bitches but as I said thay are pets first and foremost" . Unhappy because he's not being bred enough? What? I strongly urge you to get your dogs fixed. They are not breeding machines! There are plenty in shelters, pounds etc that need homes. There are currently 28 English Cockers that need home now on Petfinder. You say you live on an Island but no access to studs. "Sadley we ;ive ona n island and there are no english cocker bredare over her so takein a bitch to a stud is not an option". How did you aquire two English Cocker Spaniels then to begin with? You also stated "I work from home so Im here most fo the day". You also said that twice. Spelling cetainly is not my best subject but gezz! You are writing like a child! Something just doesn't smell right about this at all!
***Edited By: rhondakbt on 4/29/2005 2:44:30 PM*** Reason: Added
Dear Rhondakat, I ahve dislxya sorry thsi upsets you and you find is childish !!!!!!!!!!!! oh to be perfect. I live near the Uk and we bought our dogs there we do have ECS on the island but no breaders. as for saying I was worried about the male not being happy I wa stold at the local dog parlor taht if amle didant bread regulary he would be difficault to handel and unhappy hene the question! I suggest you reda the post properley i ahve also said we dont wan a brood mare I ahve stated taht first and foremost our dogs are pets. no need to smell a rat Im 42 years old happlie married for 20 yeras with 2 kids and have run my own busines form home for 27 years. Is this explinaton enough or do you need ot no more remeber curosuity killed the cat !!!!! To the rest of the peole her you advice has been invaluable and I take it all on board. Rhianna x.
***Edited By: Rhianna on 4/29/2005 5:39:37 PM*** Reason: i wanted to add acomment
Ok Rhianna, I sincerely apologize for coming across so abrupt. We get a lot of people that come on here just to stir the pot & that is what I thought. I again apologize. I still recommend against breeding your girls & would get them fixed. I personally have been around English Cockers & I think they are a wonderful, happy breed! I would just enjoy them for the pets they are. There are too many dogs in pounds & shelters now needing homes. There is no need in adding to the all ready booming pet over population while many die in shelters daily.