There are many unwanted dogs in shelters across the country, so the decision to add to the canine population must be made carefully. While it sounds attractive to breed a beloved dog so that you can have another like it, there is no guarantee that the puppies will be just like the parents. Also, dog breeding is time-consuming, often expensive, and sometimes has serious complications for both the dam and the puppies.
The reason to breed a dog is to produce healthy, good-tempered dogs which will help to improve the breed. The decision to breed your dog starts with education. The national breed club is a good place to start, giving information about the breed standard, recommended tests for heritable diseases, and alerts about current issues.
Associations such as the American Kennel Club and the North American Versatile Hunting Dog are also good sources for information. Books are available with information specific to breeding, pregnancy and puppy care. Going to dog shows allows you to see your breed in action, and is a wonderful way to connect with other breeders. And of course we are here to help you with this important decision as well!