Tuesday, January 22, 2008

To breed or not to breed...

While surfing and looking for some information on a specific dog shampoo, I came across Yahoo! answers. A basic question/answer forum. I started reviewing some of the questions, and was floored by what I found. People who can't even spell the name of the breed of dog they have, don't know the signs of a dog that's in heat, and don't even know what breed of dog they have, are wanting to breed their dogs! Questions like, "How long will my dog be in heat?" and "How many times does the dog have to have sex before it's pregnant?" And my personal favorite, "My dog is 4 months old, when will she be old enough to breed?"

The arguments on both sides of this debate are heated and sometimes even angry and hateful. It sickens me to think that these poor dogs' lives are being controlled by a human that doesn't care enough to take the time to actually research their own breed, and what's involved in breeding. When asked why they want to breed Fluffy, they can't even give you a good answer. One person said, "The vet told me my dog must have 2 litters before being fixed." Come on! What vet in their right mind (or even their left one for that matter) tells someone that their dog MUST be bred? Sheesh!

Breeding a dog is not for the faint at heart, just like having kids is not for the faint of heart. I was certainly never brave enough to have children, and I'm not sure I'm brave enough to have puppies. You see, I've done research, and the task is just something that I'm not sure I'm well- equipped enough to do, so I wonder about someone who can't even spell the word spayed.

Because of all of the health issues and structural problems in poodles, finding a male and female that can have healthy puppies that will be structurally sound, is like solving the rubix cube blindfolded! What would I do if I couldn't find buyers? What would I do about docking the tails? There is so much debate out there right now, good reasons to, good reason not to. What about possible future health issues? What if, after all of my research and good intentions, I bred a pup that had addison's, or hip dysplasia, or seizures? I would feel compelled to take the dog back, but am I equipped (physically, emotionally, financially, etc.) to care for a pup with these types of issues?

So, after reading numerous questions about "Is it illegal to breed dogs for reasons other than dog breeding?" and "I think my dog is in heat because there's blood everywhere she sits, what should I do?" I just had to take a break, and a stand. Even if it falls on deaf ears, I felt I had to scream from the mountaintops: "IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING....DON'T DO IT!"

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