Why don't you try minding your own business? It's their dog, and their mess and their responsibility and if they want to take that on, what business is it of yours?
Do you enjoy seeing people breed a dog that never should have been bred? Since puppymills, shelters and rescues are my business, and should be yours too, people should be educated about the pitfalls of breeding. Not everyone had that education, as Abbylynne said, and advice now could save these people a whole lot of heartache down the road.
If you value the friendship I would advise against giving anything except verbal advice, when and if they ask. Presenting articles and giving other uninvited advice would be too pushy IMO.
I think your best bet is to (over-)dramatize the costs and risks involved in breeding. Emphasize the health risks of not spaying your dog (uterine cancer) and how much of a "mess" a female in heat makes in the home. But try to do it in a personal way that does not come off too preachy or know-it-all. Good luck.
illni - that's a good concept, but I find that intelligent people appreciate it when you don't treat them like children and overdramatize things. Honestly, from someone who is a breeder and has been doing this long enough to have experienced both the good and bad things that come with breeding - you don't have to overdramatize things, you just have to tell the truth. Depending on the breed, about 1 out of 5-6 litters every breeder has WILL have some kind of complications. It can be the 1st or the 6th. My first litter was a c-section delivery that I proceeded to lose 2 of the 5 puppies to hypoglycemia within the first 48 hours because they were small and weak. Some litters are an absolute joy and a lot of fun to raise from start to finish (a lot of work still, but very rewarding and enjoyable). Some litters are difficult and trying from day 1 until the last puppy leaves.
I think you have to test the waters when it comes to friends. If they don't want to see literature then they can turn it down or you'll know after starting the conversation how much they want to hear... but I don't think sugar coating things shows much respect for someone you consider a friend. At least I would want my own friends to be upfront with me. And the OP's intentions aren't to be preachy - they are with her friend's best interests in mind. If she's from the heart and honest that should come across.
I think it's really important to share the positive with the negative as well. People tend to take you more seriously when you aren't harping on the negatives. Breeding is NOT all negatives - but you have to accept the negatives as readily as the positives because they are usually evenly weighted.
I respect what you're saying abbylynne, but I read this situation differently.
Perhaps this is too judgemental but here goes.
(1) Friends buy filthy dog from filthy barn because they pity it. (2) Friends decide to breed pitiful dog. (3) Friends do not listen to knowledgeable OP who tried to discourage them.
I fail to see how these people can be leveled with logically, intelligently, as adults. Where is the logic in lining the pockets of someone who keeps dogs in a dirty pen...or worse, wishing you could have bred a rescue? They fundamentally do not understand or care about animal overpopulation. And if they already don't listen, why would they read literature?
Again, my $0.02: Do your best to dissuade them by casually emphasizing the negatives. Then back off and respect their decision if you want to remain friends. My guess is that really trying to "teach" them would make you exasperated and possibly end the friendship. I could be wrong. But that's just my take on it.
***Edited By: illini on 7/10/2008 2:23:20 AM*** Reason: add