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To Spay or not to Spay


First Ice-Mike

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I have a female Ivory Lab and I'm trying to decide whether or not to breed her. My wife really wants our dog to have a litter of pups, but I have no papers for her and neither of her parents are registered either. We could get her registered and get the DNA registration done, but her bloodlines will be impossible to trace. We know a breeder that would breed her either way. My question is if I get her registered, get her hips and eyes checked and all that good stuff will it be worth the time, money, and effort or should I get her spayed and deal with a mad wife for a while?? She is a smart dog and I admit having some pups would be exciting - it might also settle her down a little bit (she is quite hyper). Right now I'm in limbo. What do you guys think??

FI

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First Ice,
Quite honestly from your post I see no compelling reason to breed your dog. I tend a bit toward the purist side and am by no means a breeding expert but I don't see where the breed is being improved by doing this. And doing this because the missus is excited about it isn't a good enough reason in my opinion. Also keep in mind that if you do it right, unless you have a big time dog, breeding and selling pups isn't exactly a big money making venture either. You also mention all the costs in prep for breeding the dog. If it were me, I'd go the mad wife route and spay the dog. Don't mean to bring you down, I just think you'd be doing it for the wrong reasons. Just my $.02.
gspman

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Without beating a dead horse I will just duplicate without writing it what GSPman said. I agree with him 100%. Enjoy what you have with this dog and maybe with the next one you can make your wife happy.

GOOD LUCK

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I kind of regret getting my dog spayed. Like you my dog didn't have papers either, so I figured why bother with it, but now I wish I could have had a litter of pups with this dog. I know probably everybody here will disagree with me but I don't need papers to tell me what a good dog is. I know hips and eyes are a big concern, but having papers doesn't seem to protect against this all the time either. If you feel you have a good dog, and the hips and eyes check out, there is no reason you should feel bad about breeding the dog. Most importantly I think you should only breed if you have people wanting pups from your dog, I mean what is the point of breeding if the pups don't have a home?

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Your wife might think it would be fun, but is she going to be doing any of the work involved? Sure they are fun, but they are also alot of work. I agree with what was said before me, I don't believe that you would be helping the breed, and just becuase she has a litter of pups doesn't mean that your dog will mellow out. But, do whatever you want, it's your dog. Maybe you could wait and decide later to get her "fixed". It's up to you...

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Although raising a litter of puppies is fun and exciting (especially for the wife), in this case, you could end up regretting your decision. Unless you are certain you have homes for every single pup, breeding this dog could be a very expensive proposition. You will not (and probably shouldn't) be able to find many people willing to purchase from an unregistered litter. Also, I would be suspicious of any "breeder" willing to breed a dog with questionable lines.

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First off I would ask why you are thinking about breeding your dog? If its because she is the absolute best bird dog you have ever seen and can't think of buying someone elses pup, then don't listen to anybody and go ahead and breed her, only your hunting would suffer if you didn't. But like these guys here have said be ready to own 12 puppies if you can't find homes for them, and be ready to fork out $$$ for the vet visits and prenatal vitamins and special food and shots for the pups and dew claws and running the ad and food and time off of work and a whelping box and a heating pad ect. ect. ect. I think if you did the math an unregistered pup could sell for what, maybe 100 bucks? if she has lets say 8 puppies you will be taking in maximum of 800 bucks, if you keep one 700. Add up all the expenses of having puppies and you are probably better off going and dropping 1000 on a world class puppy that you could breed without problems. Again this is one mans opinion, but I would think long and hard before you took on a task such as that. Good luck, whatever your decision.

PS - I just forked out 350 bucks for a stud fee and the pregnancy didn't take...

[This message has been edited by setterguy (edited 01-29-2004).]

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I would like to add letting you dog have a litter will not settle her down,neither will spaying her. I have found the only thing that will settle them down is age. I have a 5yr old springer thats still as hyper as she ever was.

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I would agree with the people before me. I can see where having a litter can be fun but to do it right it is a lot of work and moey too.

I can not agree more about being prepared to keep every puppy. Odds are you will find some homes but maybe not all of them.

Shots, dewclaws, tails(not in labs), food, not including time and home destruction will add up to about 500-1000 for the litter. If you think it will be that rewarding try finding someone on this site or locally that will be havng a litter and offer help and assistance. That will give you a better idea of how to do it and what you are getting in to if you go ahead and do it yourself. The help would be much appreciated if they whelp late at night.

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My wife would take all the assistance she can get as this years litter will be during my busiest time of the summer. People don't understand how much time and money goes into whelping a sound litter.

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setterguy please tell me you got your money back or at the very least you get to try again in 6 months at NO CHARGE.

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I was at the breeding process and have to admit that it was probably due to my female being such bi**h, she didn't want anything to do with the stud dog. I am going to try again in 6 months with the same dog. There is a little more to the story though..the guy came home early from a trial in Texas so that I could use his stud. We have been friends for years and there are definietly no hard feelings. I was making a point that sometimes you are paying for service, the stud dog owner provides that service and thus should be paid. There are many reasons that a pregnancy doesn't take, with many of them being attributed to the female. If you used a national breeder for stud I don't know if they would refund the money or not. I will have to look into that situation.....

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I think you should be getting your money back or a free hook up in 6 months. Your paying for that dog to impregnate your bitch. If they lock up and she doesn't take does he still keep his fee? Why should he, what's to say the dog can't produce. I think your friend or ANY owner of a male would be wrong NOT to refund unless she becomes pregnant.
One other thought is that you are lucky your friend came home for the process. Generally the owner of the bitch sends the dog at his expense to the stud.

GOOD LUCK in 6 months I hope it works out for you.

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