The Golden Retriever Club
of San Diego County, Inc.

I Want to Breed My Dog!

I Have a Purebred Golden...Is That Enough For Breeding?

In short, NO!  AKC Registration is just the tip of the iceberg when you are considering breeding.  It is extremely important to learn the facts and possible consequences in advance if you are contemplating breeding your dog.  

Am I Improving the Breed?

Most dogs, even purebred, should not be bred.  Breeding animals should be proven free of defects in health, structure and temperament prior to breeding.  For golden retrievers that means complying with the GRCA Code of Ethics.  Breeding should only be done with the goal of IMPROVEMENT - meaning breeding should only be done with the goal of creating puppies better than their parents.  Ignorance is no excuse - once you have created a life, you can't take it back!  Please read "Should I Breed My Dog?" to determine if your dog is breeding quality.

You Mean, I Won't Be Making Money?

Dog breeding is NOT a money making proposition.  Health care and shots, vet bills, medications, extra food, facilities, stud fees, puppy care, etc. are all costly and must be paid before the pups can be sold.   An unexpected Cesarean or emergency intensive care for a sick pup will make a 'break even' litter become a big liability.   And this is IF you can sell the puppies.  
Veteran breeders with good reputations can have difficulties selling puppies, particularly in a tough economy.  First-time breeders have no reputation and no referrals to help them find buyers.  Hollow promises of "I want a dog just like yours" often evaporate when you have puppies available.  Consider the time and expense of caring for your pups that may not sell until they are four months old, eight months old or more!  Consider what you will do if your puppies don't sell?  Will you send them to the pound?  Dump them in the country?  Sell them cheap to a dog broker who may resell them to medical labs or other unsavory buyers?  Please read "Costs of Raising a Litter of Golden Puppies" for more information about the costs of breeding.

It's Not Always a Joyous Occasion...

If you're doing it for the children's education to witness the miracle of birth, remember the whelping may be at 3 a.m. or at the vet's on the surgery table.  Even if your children are present, they may get a chance to see the birth of a grossly deformed puppy or a mummy, or watch the bitch scream and bite you as you attempt to deliver a pup that is half out and too large.  Some bitches are not natural mothers and will either ignore or savage their whelps.   Bitches can have severe delivery problems or even die in whelp - pups can be born dead, partially developed or with gross deformities that require euthanasia. Of course there can be joy, but if you can't deal with the possibility of tragedy, don't start.

Raising Puppies Is Hard Work

Veteran breeders of quality dogs have estimated they spend well over 130 hours of labor in raising an average litter. That is over two hours per day, every day, for the first eight weeks!  The dam of the litter cannot be left alone while whelping and only for short periods for the first few days after.  Be prepared for many days off work and many more sleepless nights.   Even after delivery, mom needs care and feeding, puppies need daily checking, weighing and socialization.  Later, grooming and training, and the whelping box needs lots of cleaning.   More hours are spent doing paperwork and interviewing the buyers. If you have any abnormal conditions, such as sick puppies or a dam who can't or won't care for her babes, count on at least double the time.  If you can't provide the time, you will either have dead pups or poor ones that are bad tempered, antisocial, dirty and/or sickly - hardly a puppy buyer's dream.  And those poorly cared for puppies will be even more difficult for you to sell.  Not exactly what you envisioned, is it?

More Unwanted Pets....Do You Want That on YOUR Conscience???

It's midnight - do you know where your puppies are? There are three and a half million unwanted dogs put to death in shelters in the U.S. each year, with millions more dying homeless and unwanted through starvation, disease, automobiles, abuse, etc.   Nearly a quarter of the victims of this unspeakable tragedy are purebred dogs "with papers."  The breeder who creates a life is responsible for that life.   Will you carefully screen potential buyers?  Or will you just take the money and not worry if the puppy is chained in a junkyard all of its life or runs in the street to be killed?   Will you turn down a sale to irresponsible owners?   Or will you say "yes" and not think about the puppy you held and loved now having a litter every time she comes in heat, which fills the pounds with more statistics.  Would you be prepared to take a grown puppy if the owners can no longer care for it?  Or can you live with the thought that the baby you helped bring into the world will be destroyed at the pound?  Please read "Thinking of Breeding?" for more information on the impact of your decision.