Questions about becoming a breeder - Page 1

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by EddieB on 03 March 2018 - 14:03

Hey all,

First of all i want to state that i am not INTERESTED in becoming a breeder, i was just wondering how things work out, what's necessary and what's not.

I live in Republic of Kosovo and interestingly enough there's no breeders here, none. Most of the puppies sold are imported from Serbia or Macedonia by pet shops without any kind of papers, although they always state they come from top lines. You don't have the choice of choosing from a litter, they simply buy a puppy from anywhere available and put it on sale, with the price decreasing the longer the puppy isn't sold.

Me and my best friend are huge dog lovers, both of us having had dogs almost our entire lives. He's more into training them and teaching them tricks while i like to "spoil them" with A LOT of love :D.

We were talking about what it takes to be a good breeder? When we are buying, we know what to look out for but as i said we have no kennels here and we have only visited a few in neighbor countries.

- Is it necessary for the dogs you own to be champions or titles?
- Can you be a successful breeder without it? By that i mean having good/great dogs physically and with great temperament who have very good living conditions (and by that i mean much better than what I have seen in these countries) and well taken care of. We think that this, apart from being good for you and the dogs, would also be a good "marketing" angle. Of course these dogs are meant for the pet market, not for other breeders.
- What are the things needed to start? Most of the breeders history i read online is they started by being dog lovers, getting a good male and a couple good females and breeding them.
- Does it take much space? I've noticed a lot of breeders in Europe or Eastern Europe are located in the country side, where people own much more land and the nature is beautiful.

I know it's more complicated than that, so if anyone has any input or info on how these "businesses" work i'd appreciate it. The financial side of it is intriguing for me as well as i own a couple of companies so i always like to know the financial side of any business.

Q Man

by Q Man on 03 March 2018 - 14:03

IF you breed...You should always breed with a goal in mind...For instance you should always breed to Better the Breed...NOT just for financial reward...
"TRAINING"..."TITLES"...etc. are just a way to prove your dog's worth...
To me the most important thing IF you're going to breed is to find the best female you can...You can usually find a good stud...just pay a stud fee...


by Centurian on 03 March 2018 - 16:03

Q man ... I agree in what you are trying to communicate... the notion is correct. But : you cannot breed to " better the Breed " . That makes no sense .A GS is a GS because of the specific genetics involved that had defined that as a breed. . When we breed , as a BREED , we don't add any new genetic material . We use only those GS genetics that are present - The genetics that make a GS a GS. That is to say the genetics are already there in the parents by definition are GSs - you don't better those traits . The pup can be no more than either of what the parents are . The traits that the parents don't have , the puppy itself cannot have. And the puppy can not have more than what the parents have and already exists. The irony is that genetic traits can can be lost .. but not added to . So you cannot make the GS better than what it is using the traits already within the breed already are existing ! And if you cross a Gs with another breed.. what you have is another animal neither of the Gs and whatever else you used.

What is important is to understand that form and function are interconnected. The most important feature in Breeding is to comprehensively educate yourself in both of those and to understand what behavioral traits are need to attain what you need to accomplish > You have to know anatomy with your eyes closed ... You have to know which specific MALE and Female will accomplish what you want to attain. Q mani is correct.. you have to not just a plan , but what lacks today is ' a vision '. You have to understand formally nor informally genetics. For example , If you have to correct an oversize .. most people uneducated think : oh I use a smaller female . NO ... that is not how you breed. You have to be knowledgable enough to realize the a few generations of breeding will give you the size of the GS you want. Also , as far as anatomy is concerned .. you have to be educated to know what is fixable and what in the anatomy is not so fixable !! Behavioral traits. You have to understand behavior. Many many times I see some people on threads that show me limited understanding via a post. . Ad nauseam I write behavioral traits have a qualitative and a quantitive measure. So , titles .. they don't give anyone the information they need to know or they should know and use in breeding ... In this respect , figuratively , they to me in breeding are worthless. What is important is seeing the dogs !! Give me 10 minutes and I will yell you about that dog in it's working ability , how it was trained , how the handler may in training compensated to make the dog look more than what it is , or less than what it really is .. and so forth ... For example the aggression I would want in one endeavor is entirely different than Im would want in another endeavor.

I keep this shorty and omit other features and considerations to breeding...

EDDIE the most important feature for anyone that breeds : before they to educate, they should themselves comprehensively. Go to clubs , events .. read literature , talk to people ... look , listen and learn !

by Hundmutter on 03 March 2018 - 16:03

To give some answers to your questions, in reverse order:

- If you are going to breed dogs, even if you start off as a small 'hobby' breeder having one litter of puppies per year (or less), it certainly helps to have a reasonable size property, and as few near neighbours as you can manage. Even the smaller breeds take up space, but this is particularly true of larger dog breeds. You will find 'stuff' collects (multiple quantities of feed stuffs; spare bedding, crates, toys, medical products, etc), so you need storage, as well as space for the dogs to live and run in. All dogs bark to some extent, and you need to cause the least possible noise nuisance to people who live around your property. If you own your own, it saves hassle with landlords who may not want you to fill a rented place with multiple dogs.  So that is why what you see around you is as it is;  it can become very difficult trying to cope with the needs of a litter of baby pups and one or more adult dogs in a small apartment. Not impossible, people do it - but it can certainly bring its problems !

-  As Bob says, 'most' (good, sensible) dog breeders start off with a 'foundation' (good quality) bitch; and can then take their pick of available Stud dogs to suit their bitch, on payment of a one-off fee for the service.  If you buy a male of your own, you are out of pocket if he proves unsuitable, or unable, to impregnate your bitch.  Anyone who says otherwise on their website is either being untruthful or taking a risky approach to breeding, that could mess up plans before you start.

- The breeders of dogs, whether for Show or working Competitions, or just to satisfy the demands of the 'pet' market, should ALL, always, be aiming at breed improvement, especially on health issues, and keeping their dogs in the best possible living conditions.  Anything else does no service to the dogs or the customers, and no, it would not help the breeder's own reputation !  I'm not sure if it is such a 'positive marketing angle' however; many less good breeders will still TELL you they do all the right things.  What buyers need to do is make sure they prove they DO do the right things - by checking paperwork, health certificates, the conditions dogs are living in, etc. And not accepting excuses, or meetings at motorway service stations, or friends houses, or puppies from Pet Shops, or other places rather than the premises the pups were born at. And potential buyers should be always prepared to take their money elsewhere if anything looks, or smells, dodgy.  Anybody who buys a pup just to get it away from an unsuitable situation simply gives the bad breeder the space, and money to finance, the next poorly bred and raised litter. [All these points are reasons why so many times on this board people are advised to buy direct, travel if necessary, meet the breeder face-to-face;  with a pup who is shipped in by air or whatever, the opportunities for scammers are legion.]

- There is another current thred, on this or the last page, discussing the very issue of genetics versus titles, I suggest you read that.  The primary thing when reproducing dogs is that the puppies should have good sound temperaments and be suited to whatever the life that customers want for them;  they should also be as healthy and as free from the possibility of hereditary diseases as the breeder can possibly ensure.  Titles (of any sort) are an indication of whether parents and grandparents were themselves healthy dogs, capable of doing what is required of them well - but, in themselves, being a Champion or graded VA, or holding an IPO, or other, qualification, are only an indication of the potential of puppies that are the product of such dogs.  And if anything tells the story of what it is to be a good breeder, it is in acknowledging the fact that breeding (at least doing it properly) is not a fast route to making money;  people spend both money, and time & energy, in putting titles on their dogs, and training, exhibiting and health testing is not cheap. Nor are the veterinary bills which can occur.


I'd imagine Kosovo does not have many breeders because the country is still feeling the effects of being a war-zone.

Does that help ?

by ValK on 03 March 2018 - 17:03

Centurian, with present condition of GS breed in mass, betterment for health and temperament definitely very necessary thing.
in my opinion being a breeder foremost means to be responsible for chosen breed and direction, into which it will spearhead.
EddieB, are you ready to accept such responsibility? from your post above i have impression you're rather looking at this as new business venture.

by Centurian on 03 March 2018 - 18:03

Valk ........

What you wrote is an undeniable concern !!! YES , issues such as temperament and health ... for what they should be , are becoming seriously lost . Irregardless , if anyone wishes to debate this.... Temperament and Health have already been significantly adversely , negatively impacted, and are being lost in the GSD in general because of breeding practices. But this is like spitting into the wind trying to bring this to light , because many many many breeders are breeding with no sense of planning and a vision for the GSD due to the fact that breeding has become a commercial enterprise. It has become an end to a means. making money !! Any animal, let alone dog, should be bred on the premise of the right mentality and viability / health. And if an animal cannot produce offspring with good mentality and health .. then we should discuss whether they should be bred in the first place.

Great commentary Valk , that you bring into this thread !!

by EddieB on 03 March 2018 - 19:03


As i said, me and my wife we already run 2 companies (1 with 3 retail stores and the other is a wholesale business). The only time we discussed starting a kennel was after at bbq's with my best friend, but even then it was just talk. I won't deny that the business aspect of it intrigues me and there is definitely a market in Kosovo for it, plus it's something i think would enjoy doing. Maybe in 10-15 years :).

I am just interested in how people started, i've been looking to buy a GS for a while now and been talking to many breeders. It was curious that some started after they were gifted puppies and fell in love with training and breeding them. I do however see lots of breeders who keep their dogs in very poor living conditions, i took my daughter to see a breeder and she cried on the way back because she felt like the dogs are living in "prison".

What i find the most discouraging about it is the titles as main selling point.

by Hundmutter on 03 March 2018 - 19:03

Eddie, there's nothing 'curious' about wanting to breed once you have had a dog and loved it and trained it, or whatever. But as everyone here so far is trying to say, in their own way, is that there is a big difference between breeding one litter, almost by accident, because you love the dog you already have and want to reproduce it ... and becoming 'a breeder' who is doing it as a way to make some money and/or to supply a lot of people with dogs of whichever breed.

There are responsibilities which come with dog breeding, as well as the right to do it. For the one-off litter in a pet home, those responsibilities are still important ... but if you are going to set out to produce multiple puppies, they are ten-fold.

If you have one 'pet' litter, you have the responsibility to find the best homes you can for the resulting half-dozen or more little lives you bring into the world, you have the responsibility to educate yourself as much as possible about the breed and what to look for in prospective mates that will produce the best specimens you can, and in health conditions and what to do about those. If you can't do all that, it might be 'nice' to have a replica of your pet, but the world is not so short of numbers of most breeds that there is any point in breeding in a half-hearted (and half-arsed) way - so better not to do it at all. This would probably be true of 99% of the contacts or friends you mentioned.

If you are, on the other hand, someone who wants to seriously make a go of breeding as a long-term, and hopefully at least 'pin money' proposition, then it is even more incumbent upon you to know the Standard, know the Work or other intended function, know the temperament parameters, know the health situation in the breed and things to do about it. To not overreach yourself, and have sufficient funds to cover outgoings without detriment to the dogs in your care. And still to consider if the homes you are going to sell to are going to provide that suitable 'forever' place for the pups.

IMO anybody who does not take due care on all these fronts is not a 'Dog Breeder' but instead a 'Puppy Miller / Farmer'. And a poor business-person, to boot.


by yogidog on 03 March 2018 - 20:03

Eddie I agree with most of what was said. But for mr honesty is the most important part. Be honest about the breed and what you bring to the table be honest about the negative and the positive.test your dogs in every aspect. If you are starting a kennel it takes a long time to understand your dogs what is good and bad. You need to study the animals and watch for weakness and strength. It will take along time to get your own breeding line . So be happy and proud of what you have pruduce after you put the work in. I always say if there is any doubt there is no doubt and that's where honesty comes in.

by ValK on 04 March 2018 - 06:03

many breeders are breeding with no sense of planning and a vision for the GSD

my understanding on this is different. there are well thought planning and vision, only with changed priorities. commercial breeding took on mass consumer market of Joe and Merry, who don't need dogs as reliable working partner but rather noble looking oversized lap-dog or hiking/jogging companion.

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