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Should I breed my Dog?


You are toying with the idea of breeding your Bitch. Here is an article for you to read. 

By Diane Wright  

If you have a beautiful, friendly dog, perhaps one or more of your friends have mentioned wanting a dog 'just like' yours. Perhaps your sister's boyfriend's cousin has a neighbor with a GSD of the opposite sex. Perhaps you could breed your dog to that dog and have wonderful puppies for all your friends. The decision to breed your dog is not one that should be entered into casually. A breeder is not merely one who orchestrates the mating of two animals of the opposite sex. Breeders are guardians of their breed.  

The goal of the responsible breeder is to breed an animal that represents the ideal for that breed. Each breed has a written standard, an outline of the desired physical and mental characteristics. Reputable breeders do not breed dogs to supplement their income nor do they breed for fads or trends, such as 'king size' dogs. Their goal is to create a living example of the breed standard.To breed responsibly, one must have an understanding of who their dog is, know it's strengths and weaknesses.  

The breeder must also assess which traits are genotypical, that is inherited from it's ancestors, and which traits are phenotypical, the way your dog appears. The breeder must evaluate both potential parents and their relatives in regard to temperament, health, structure, movement, intelligence, trainability, longevity, color and coat.  

The following questions barely scratch the surface of common GSD knowledge. If you find the majority of your responses are 'I don't know', it may not be in the breed's best interest for you to pursue breeding a litter at this time. Feel free to contact listers for help in learning more about the breed and breeding. Every breeder started out in the very same place you find yourself at now, the beginning. 

1. My dog is bred from: 

  • a) American lines 
  • b) Imported working lines 
  • c) Imported show lines
  • d) I don't know 

2. My dog's breeding is best described as:  

  • a) Line breeding 
  • b) Out cross 
  • c) Inbreeding 
  • d)I don't know 

3. Select American and Canadian Champion Stuttgart's Sundance Kid is just one of many dogs linebred on this significant American dog:  

  • a) Lance of Fran-Jo 
  • b) Rin Tin Tin
  • c) Etzel von Oeringen (a.k.a. Strongheart) 
  • d) I don't know 

4. OFA rates acceptable hip x-rays:  

  • a) Fair, Good or Excellent 
  • b) 'a' or Normal 
  • c) Pass 
  • d) I don't know 

5. Which recessive gene is common in GSDs?  

  • a) Long coat 
  • b) Hip dysplasia 
  • c) Intelligence 
  • d) I don't know 

6. GSD is the abbreviation for: 

  • a.) German Shepherd Dog
  • b.) German Sheperd Dog
  • c.) German Shepard Dog
  • d.) I don't know

7. The bred was originally used as: 

  • a.) Sheepdog
  • b.) War dog
  • c.) Police and Guard dog
  • d.) I don't know 

Artwork © Paula 

Once you've made the decision to breed, the health testing begins. Are both dogs free of crippling hip & elbow dysplasia? Neither dog should be bred if it's being treated for allergies, lameness, digestive disorders, behavioral problems, skin disorders, immune system problems, heart problems or thyroid problems.  German Shepherd in the Ring 
Moral decisions must be made if breeding dogs that have bloated, required corrective or cosmetic surgery or have litter mates with any of the fore mentioned conditions.  

Most breeders do hip X rays (a stamp, OFA, Penn Hip), check for genetic diseases (thyroid, Von Wilderbrands Disease), 

show their dogs in Conformation ( to prove the dog is within the standard) and or work their dogs towards titles in obedience, tracking, agility and or schutzhund.  

Lastly, are you prepared to take back any dogs you have bred during the course of its lifetime?  

What happens when a breeder does not make this committment to his or her puppies? Then there is a desparate need for breed rescue

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