Thinking about breeding your bloodhound?

Prairielands Bloodhound Club

"The Bloodhound is not a dog that one simply owns or belongs to; it is a breed that totally envelopes everyone who even casually becomes involved. There are no Bloodhound owners but lots of Bloodhound people. All good Bloodhound breeders are pests. They will sell you a dog for a fortune and then haunt you for the rest of your life to be sure you are taking proper care of their baby. You adopt their dog and they adopt you. The contract may not read that way but that is what happens"........Roger Caras

Our club does not keep track of litters or stud dogs , but we do get questions from time to time from people who want to breed their bloodhound and ask us for help finding a stud dog or brood bitch. Almost always - our response will be the same - please think about this very carefully and educate yourself before proceeding.

It may seem paradoxical at first, that an organization of bloodhound fanciers wants to discourage you from producing bloodhound puppies, but it's true. It's because we care so much about the breed, and because we understand it's shortcomings so well - that we want to be sure the breed is carefully bred by individuals who understand the work involved, are willing to study pedigrees and make informed decisions, and are responsible enough to ensure that each of their puppies are placed in the right home. Let's look at some of the reasons you may have for wanting to breed your dog:

1. You want to recoup your investment?
Wrong! Nobody makes any money breeding dogs responsibly. Medical expenses for the bitch should include health exams, hip and elbow x-rays , checks for infection, extra food, veterinary examinations, ultrasound, vaccinations, whelping equipment and supplies and so on. Expect to pay close to $1000 just to prepare for that first mating. The owner of the stud dog may well require a number of tests before breeding to your bitch. Stud fees alone can run $800 to $1000. Plus, your dog or bitch must be at least two years old before x-rays can determine the presence of hip displasia.

2. She (he) is such a wonderful dog, I want another just like her! (or him)
Of course you're right - he or she is a wonderful dog. But the major advantage of owning a purebred dog is that you can pretty much rely on the consistency of type and temperament throughout the breed. The carefully bred bloodhound from a quality litter will be just a wonderful as your beloved pet.

3.But he (or she) is a Champion!
Many good breeders have champions at home that are never bred. Even though they may be titled dogs, they still might not be of high enough quality for breeding stock.

4. She should have one litter before she's spayed.
There is absolutely no medical or psychological reason for this old wives tale. None whatsoever. Veterinarians who still give this advice are behind the times. Find another vet.

5. But my friends want puppies!
Good homes have a way of evaporating when the puppies are born. Besides - think about it- are your friends really able to provide the best homes for them? GOOD homes? It takes a lot of experience to be able to evaluate a potential owner, and could give rise to some awkward situations should careful reflection make you decide this person would not be a good home for your puppy.

Other things to think about....

Can you afford all the food, vaccinations, testing, worming, dew claw removal, etc. for 10 or more puppies?

Do you have space to keep any and all puppies you produce and can't sell or that are returned to you when they're " too big for us now, didn't know they'd get this big".

There are many fine people already breeding quality bloodhounds. If you're serious about getting involved in breeding, we urge you to seek out an experienced breeder at a dog show or through magazines like Dog World and learn all you can. Join the American Bloodhound Club and a regional chapter, attend some National Specialties, purchase a show quality puppy, finish a champion, and above all - talk to other people who love the breed. Study the breed standard, study pedigrees, look at dogs in the ring.

If on the face of all this you decide not to breed your pet - you have made an intelligent, selfless decision and we applaud you for it. You truly love bloodhounds and understand how special they are. So many bloodhounds end up in rescue and pounds that we don't encourage people to breed without a great deal of research being done, time in the breed, and exceptional quality dogs to start with. If you are determined to breed your dog and have taken the above steps, always ask yourself whether or not this particular breeding will produce a litter of exceptional, quality puppies that will enhance the noble breed itself and will be better than those that have come before.

You have a lot of time to consider these things before making any decisions. We wish you luck and hope you'll consider these things, and many more, before going ahead.

Compliments Of:
Prairielands Bloodhound Club
David de Jong
dejong1@earthlink.net