Well I am thrilled for you with nothing hidden in my message. I fully understand the warmth in your heart at your grandson's comment. In your absence, Zoe was surrounded by your other dogs and had the love in the room she needed to deliver her new bundles of joy. Bless your heart.
I'm so happy that the delivery went without complications and that you have a nice healthy litter...
However, you are lucky. Especially with you not being present for the delivery A LOT of things could have gone wrong. (what if a puppy had gotten stuck being delivered?)This is not how things work out with every litter and when you decide to breed your pet, it's usually a good idea to at least make sure you're present for the delivery. I also recommend you have your dog examined by your vet and have her X-rayed pre delivery to get a puppy count - especially for a first time breeder.
And that is my big advice to you - I don't know what your reasons for wanting to breed were - they could be good, they could be bad... But if you haven't already, have a conversation with your vet about necessary vet care on the puppies. Really, I think dew claws should have come off on the puppies 2-3 days after the litter was born (with most breeds - I don't know with your breed specifically). You'll want to discuss worming and vaccinations with your vet and at what ages he/she wants these things done. (both are VERY importantly to having a healthy puppy)
I also hope you have a place in mind for keeping 7 puppies until they are 8-12 weeks old (they should stay with Mom until they are about 6 weeks and then weaned away from her. They should stay with their litter until at least 8 weeks for socialization reasons). And please - not the basement, garage, or barn - especially small breed puppies.
I am making assumptions that you don't have things planned completely out - which may be wrong on my part - but I sincerly hope you do. 7 puppies can be a lot of work. The mother does a lot of it the first 3 weeks - but then it starts to fall on you. Cleaning alone takes at least an hour a day. Socializing the puppies should be at least that much. Screening homes...
I also hope this was not a litter bred to make money and that if you're planning to charge more than $100 a puppy that you plan to offer at least a two year health guarantee with a refund option available to the new owners.
And I hope you enjoy your puppies and that all of them mature to be healthy, wonderful adults.
I don't want to seem negative as I am happy for you - but I also feel strongly that the decision to have a litter of puppies is not the same one made 30-40 years ago on the farm. People then bred working dogs to work on the farm. They didn't breed small breed puppies just so they could see a litter of puppies. The family dog had puppies and every family in the neighborhood was given one - no one bred the litter and expected to sell puppies for $500 (our first Sheltie we bought from a family that had a Sheltie they used for herding on their farm and we paid $25 for him 25 years ago).
So the comparison to things on the farm doesn't stand. I hear a lot of people use that as a reason why dogs can do things without supervision from people. The truth is, that if your dog had delivered puppies and died during delivery on the farm, your parents would have simply told you that your dog died. She wouldn't have been a family pet in the same sense that we have family pets today.
There also were not animal shelters brimming full of dogs. For some crazy reason, back on the farm, people really did commit to a dog for life. They didn't drop it off at a Shelter if things didn't work out - and they do now...
I am a breeder, but I started off with a couple of nice pets I wanted to have a litter out of once and a while. I learned very quickly that if I wanted to be a responsible breeder and produce the best puppies possible that it's important to do breed specific health testing on your dogs before breeding, to make sure that the dogs your breeder offer something to the breed and are a good example, and that you are prepared to be a breeder (because one litter makes you a breeder and as soon as you sell those puppies you become SOMEONE'S breeder - who they will turn to both to tell you how wonderful their puppy is doing and also to tell you when things go wrong).
And I hope, if this is your first litter, that you feel comfortable enough to ask questions and learn. Some of us here have been raising dogs for a lot of years and have a lot of good information to share. And I personally would love to learn more about the Rat Terrier as a breed - so I hope you share that with us, and information and stories of your other dogs!
"As for the miracle of birth...it is just that...a miracle. I have to work and am very sorry Zoe chose the 4 hours I was gone in which to give birth."
That is one of the many huge contradictions of "what is a reputable breeder", because no one is supposed to have a 'real job' that they can't leave for 8 weeks to whelp and care for puppies around the clock. Yet they aren't supposed to have enough litters to stay home full time.
I guess the only people that should raise dogs are the retired or the independently wealthy. Lol.
Good luck with your babies. You sound like a sane normal adult.
Ali - actually, I work from home. I have a bookkeeping firm and run it out of a small office just off my kitchen/dining room. I have a full time job that pays the bills.
If done right, puppies shouldn't make you enough money to not have a job... Unless you're selling your dogs for $2000 a pop... Most of the other breeders I work with have jobs as well... they save their sick days for whelping litters and that seems to work really well for them...
Most of us that are serious about breeding dogs find a way to make it work and have it still be safe for the dog.
And I DID say in my post to the OP that I was making assumptions - which was justifably based on your post. I'm glad you knew what you were doing and getting yourself into.
However, I disagree with not getting the female spayed. While going under anesthetic can be scary, the risk of mammary cancer and Pyometra is greater. I spay every female I have that isn't one I intend to breed or breed again. I think it's kinder to them to not have to go through the heat cycles and I'm a worry wart and don't like having to worry about Pyo's.
I do strongly feel that a bitch in whelp should not be left to deliver puppies unassisted, however. And certainly shouldn't be left to run a whole house (what if she'd had the puppies an decided to whelp them in random places all over the house?). My very first litter was a c-section delivery... so I'm very cautious about making sure every litter requires my attendence (I just had a litter due the end of December that resulted in one, very stuck puppy. I managed to pull the puppy so the bitch didn't need a c-section - but without my help I probably would have lost her as well as the puppy - which was stillborn).
And I also strongly feel that if a breeder isn't going to offer a good health guarantee, and isn't showing their dogs, and isn't doing any pre breeding health screening then they shouldn't be selling puppies for more than what they put into raising them. That is an opinion. Every person has the right to do as they please... but I have personal issues with people using money from a litter of puppies to pay their bills or to buy random, non dog related things with money off a litter.
Good for you for making sure you have homes lined up and for treating the placement of the puppies just as you viewed the decision to have puppies - as something to do for enjoyment. I think that is very ethical of you.
And I'm very up front about the fact that I started off thinking I was just going to breed and raise pet puppies. I learned from experiences that to do things well and in the best interest of the dogs, it's better to put a bit more of yourself into the process.
Ali - I'll never figure out how you manage to make money breeding... Not and do everything you should be doing... unless you're selling your puppies for A LOT more than I am... Or you're not doing a lot of the things I think are very important as a breeder.
Ali, seriously, whats wrong with you? If you know your female is due to give birth, you either take some time off or have someone else around so she is not alone. A mother should never give birth alone, human or canine. Anything could go wrong.
Wow, what a surprise-OP deletes her post. Maybe because it sounded too much like a tall tale? For example, a vet owns the sire, and yet is going to let the owner of the bitch allow the dog to stay home unattended when they know the pups are due? Yeah...it could happen.
The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
I too was gone for the birth of Rory's puppies- believe me not by choice though. My son was at a friends house and they were playing air soft guns and my son was not wearing his goggles so he got shot in the eyeball. I got the call from the mother and I had to leave to go get him. Rory was in my closet of all places in labor. My husband and my daughter were at home with her. Anyways, my husband had to leave during the birthing process because we had to go to another hospital where they had a specialist. My 14 year old daughter was at home with the dogs. She was scared and nervous about her brother, the puppies coming out, Rory and the other 5 dogs that we had. What were we supposed to do at that time, we called neighbors but no one seemed to be home at that time, my brother in law came over several hours later though. The puppies and the mother were all fine and my son had no permanent damage either. Does this make me a bad breeder because I left her?
Part...you're not a bad breeder. Life gets in the way of lots of things. I'm really happy to hear that your puppies and mommie made it through safe and sound.
We don't all check adoption agencies/orphanages before we decide to have children so we won't all check the rescues/animal control/humane societies before we get an animal. It's our choice to make as we see fit.
Although they are going through the process of getting these dogs on the AKC registry, there are currently no AKC standards for Miniature Rat Terriers/Rat Terriers, so there is no reason to breed these for show and/or charge a fortune for them.
I could care less what some of you think about my life and the choices I've made and I really don't care whether you choose to believe what I wrote or not.
For any sane/rational individual that keeps their halo on straight and their pedestal tucked into the closet where it usually belongs, that would like to talk about my puppies or their own or any other animlas, I would be more than happy to speak with you.
Make sure your halo is nice and straight before placing judgement on others.
For one thing, comparing having children to having a litter of puppies is ludicrous. (unless, of course, your dogs got together to discuss birth control and who would support the puppies)
And second, you are just another in a long line of posters who take offense at ANYONE suggesting that maybe things could have/should have been done differently. But why take advise from someone who actually breeds champion dogs and does health testing, etc? After all, you're not selling the pups-you're giving them away.
The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
Nan I'm going to assume you're a breeder and probably one who just breeds for pets to make a few bucks... otherwise you would see that my horse is really a very nice height.
I have standards - and high ones - for what a breeder should be about, yes. But you see I didn't start by having dogs in my life just to breed. I was strictly a pet owner first. I bought, from a "breeder" a dog with so many health probably that I sunk almost $2000 into her vet bills before she was 2. I can't even tell you how much time spent on training because she was a mess temperament wise (snappy, afraid of everything, barky, high strung - mainly from bad breeding but also from being poorly socialized by her breeder). She's now coming up on 8 years old and between 2 & 8 the health problems just keep showing up. She will not live a long life. I'll be darn lucky if she makes it to 10 years old (when a Sheltie can easily live to be 15-18 years old). I've done everything I can do for her - her breeder didn't do anything that they should have to insure they were breeding sound dogs with good temperaments. So instead of having a great dog to enjoy and love, I have a dog that I care about, that really feels like a burden a lot of the time because she is hard to live with and medically costs an arm and a leg to support. And her breeder continued to breed her parents together even after I told her that the dog I got had health issues - and I know half a dozen people who got dogs from her also with health problems.
You can get this same dog from the animal shelter for a lot cheaper and be saving a life. If you're going to buy from a breeder, you should know that you're getting something that someone spent time and money on to insure it was good quality and healthy.
I also, BTW, have a deaf Sheltie that her breeder dropped off at the Humane Society because no one would buy her (surprise). Then, the breeder turned around and bred the sire and dam together again (Sheltie rescue took the 2 puppies from the next litter than she dropped off because they had hearing and vision problems). She was a lady who had 2 dogs as pets that she bred together so her grandkids could "see the miracle of life"... It's a miracle until mother nature gives you a puppy with a defect and then you have to deal with that responsibility - and many breeders who get into this to have fun are all for having puppies - until something unpleasant happens... I have issues with people who want to breed and do a 1/2 asked job doing it because I've been that pet owner who suffers because I got a dog from a breeder who didn't care about whether the dogs would be healthy in the long run as long as they had fun and made a little money.
What very few of the pet owners that want to breed understand is that a breeder like me, who has had multiple litters, who knows a lot of people who also breed... we have done this long enough to know the bad things that can happen - and if you breed long enough, SOMETHING will go wrong. You're dealing with Mother Nature and if you think it's going to be all fun and games you're playing Russian Roullette. The less prepared you are, the less knowledge you have, and the more you try and convince yourself that this is not a "medical event" - the higher the odds are that you're going to draw the short straw sooner.
That first litter may go smoothly... but what happens if it doesn't? I know as a breeder what I should do if something goes wrong with the mother, or one of the puppies. I know what I'll do if someone who gets a puppy from me calls me when the dog is 2 and says is has a health problem... I also know how to make sure the odds of that happening are less...
You compare dogs to livestock one minute and then to human beings the next.... they are neither. They are domesticated animals that YOU chose to breed. When you decided to have puppies you committed to the well being of that dog - and guess what, dogs die delivering puppies. It happens a lot more than people think - and it happens even more often when the owner isn't present to assist. You find a way to be present for the birth. You call in sick. You skip Church. You don't go to your kids Christmas concert. You make that decision when you breed the male and female together. You know that about 9 weeks after the mating that you will get puppies. You learn how to tell when your bitch is going to deliver - and you stay home. Period.
Really, letting a dog deliver puppies unassisted is like putting them out the front door loose and hoping they don't play in traffic... Not really very responsible.
I doubt I'll trade my cute little horse in for you little "hobby horse" any time soon...
What cracks me up is that most of you people who have issues with being told what should be consider good practice as a breeder are the same people that would complain about another breeder if they did the same things you are doing...
And I agree with catlover... I have a hard time believing a vet would think it's okay to leave a bitch unattended during whelping... I imagine that same vet didn't suggest either of you have brucellosis testing done on your dogs prior to breeding?
Now nan is against educating anyone to the proper and safest way to breed? Nice.
Abby is no higher on her horse than any good, respectable, breeder and dog lover should be.
No, the mom, should NOT ave been left alone, no shs should NOT have been given full reign of the house to have them anywhere she pleased. If the stud owner was a vet, he should have informed you of the dangers involved in whelping puppies, especially toy breeds. Also he should have suggested an xray on her for a puppy count estimate. It was very clear from yor orignal post that you were not a experieced breeder, or had the knowledge to whelp properly with things as simple as a whelping box, proper quarters for her to be in, assiting with delivery, ect.
Breeders also have jobs to go to...the better ones dnt breed hundreds of dogs to supplement getting a job outside the home. Yes, I work, yes I breed, yes I show. Granted I do not have litters frequently, but when I do....those due dates are requested off from work, I use my vacation tie, sick days, whatever to be home to see to the safety of the deivery for mom and babies.
I am truly glad your puppies are fine....but please take the info given and plan to imprve things next time, if you choose to breed again. You may not be as lucky next time to not have complications.
part...no ths does not make you a bad breeder. You had the proper intentions. You plannedto be with her, you went out of your way to see someone was when things came up. Life happens and things dont always go the way that we want....bu your intentions were good. Glad your sons eye is ok BTW.
***Edited By: lpn169 on 1/15/2008 4:33:30 PM*** Reason: add
People are like slinky's, not really good for much. But its still fun to push them down the stairs.
nansyorkies-if you were really into rescue, you would want ALL breeders to be as ethical as Abbylynn. It's not the ethical breeders, as a rule, that are a problem. It's the BYB that breeds a dog just because "all my friends and neighbors want one just like mine". Or "she is such a sweet dog and I know she wants to be a mother". Or "I want my kids to experience the miracle of birth". It's always selfish motives-NOT to better the breed. Who cares if the dog develops dysplasia or any number of problems that can be inherited and prevented with proper testing? That will be someone else's problem...
The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.