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Selecting Dogs to Breed

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015

Things to Consider

Choosing the right dogs to breed to one another involves a lot of research and gathering a great deal of information. The breeder should consider both the male’s and the female’s history, conformation, temperament, breed type, health and possible medical concerns. Additional considerations include behavioral traits, physical soundness and an evaluation of reproductive organs and systems.

Medical History and Background

A thorough medical history should be gathered and evaluated before dogs are bred. One of the most important considerations is screening for diseases that may have a genetic component. These may include: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, osteochondrosis dessicans (OCD), craniomandibular osteopathy (CMO), hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD), eosinophilic panosteitis, Wobbler Syndrome, alantoaxial subluxation, Legg-Calve-Perthes’ Disease, medial patellar luxation, eye diseases, subaortic stenosis, pulmonary stenosis, ventricular septal defect, patent ductus arteriosis, Tetralogy of Fallot, persistent right aortic arch, dilated cardiomyopathy, hemophilia, Von Willebrand’s disease, epilepsy, hydrocephalus, intervertebral disk disease, mange, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s Disease, pituitary dwarfism and autoimmune skin disorders.

Dogs should be examined for any present congenital deformities (for example, an overshot jaw or indication of cervical disc disease) and their familial history should be researched to check for any possible genetic disease which the dogs may carry. A complete physical examination and x-rays can help check for possible underlying medical issues that may suggest that a breeding shouldn’t happen. The female should have her vagina examined for any physical strictures or other structural impediments to a successful natural breeding, and her mammary glands should be checked for any signs of abnormalities. Male dogs should have their testicles examined and the health of their sperm, and sperm numbers, evaluated.

Behavioral Evaluation

Dogs that display any type of behavioral abnormalities, such as excessive shyness, aggression towards dogs or people, tendency to bite, separation anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorders, probably should not be bred. These behavioral traits may have a genetic component and may be passed on to subsequent generations.

Check Breed Standards

Anyone interested in breeding purebred dogs should familiarize themselves with the specific standards for the breed that they are considering breeding (through the American Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club, etc.) to make sure that the male and female conform to the breed standards as recognized and approved by those organizations. Registered purebred dogs must meet physical and temperament standards, and dogs that do not meet these standards should not be bred.

Basic Care Topics
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