AnnA asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

When breeding German Shephards, how impoprtant is genetic testing/dog shows?

I weould like to breed my German Shephard dogs soon and I have herd that testing for hereditery health problems, especially if breeding GSDs, is very impottant and that I should put my dog in shows before I breed ethem. How important is genetic testing? How much does it cost? Is it worth it? My dog is only going to have a few babies and yes. Why should i show my dogs if they are just pets and only having a few kids together? and when is the best age to stop mating them together? i think henry is 1 years old and milly is aproaching her 2 year birthday in the nezt fwew weeks. plus hjow much will it cost to shpw them and test them? i havent got much money sp selling the babies are my best cash idea and easy and fast idea to het money (but dont think thats why i want to breed)!.

Any info or tips or experience on breeding and mating dogs will help.

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I tell all my customers who are interested in buying any puppy to go to the AKC shows (plural), hang around the confirmation ring, talk to a couple of show people who are breeders AND WHO HAVE PRODUCED CHAMPIONS OVER AND OVER again.

    OFA hips and elbows can't be done until the dogs are two years old, as the structure changes throughout their lives. A six-month old pup can have problems that aren't visible until it is about two; so the official testing for OFA is done at age two, so that you can put your dogs OFA numbers behind their official AKC names. If you are going to breed, your dogs should have a good or excellent rating from OFA. You want to study genetics and see if the breeder is trying to breed away from hereditary diseases and not just producing more dogs who can try for championships but will be very ill as they age a little.

    You want to purchase your breeding dogs from one of these breeders, and chances are both of the parent dogs will be champions and you will pay accordingly. Having a champion "grandparent" means nothing at all, when you look at the pedigree.

    I was with a German Shepherd rescue as a evaluator for temperament to decide whether we would pull the GSD from an SPCA or shelter and try to rehome it. We had only about three folks who would bring a strange adult dog into their homes, so we couldn't save many.

    I looked, so that I could report accurately to you, how many German Shepherds are now in my area shelters, available for adoption. The laws here are they have 48 hours to live if they are brought in as strays. If the owner turns the dog in (because it jumps on the kids or allergies or too active for the family, none of which is a reason to give up on the dog), the shelters usually take the dog from the owner right to the euthanasia room to be destroyed. As you drive away, your dog is probably already dead.

    We right this moment have 7,700 German Shepherds in the shelters available for adoption, but most of which will be dead very quickly due to a lack of space in the shelters.

    Why would you even consider bringing more of them into this world so they can end up dead before they're often even adults? Others end up isolated in a backyard for life, because they mess up a house and the people will not spend the money, w hich is a terrible life for a dog. They need a "pack", be it other dogs or people. Mother Nature made them to spend their lives with others.

    If you don't know the answers to the questions you asked, then I beg you not to bring more dogs into this world. You can buy a purebred German Shepherd around here for $250. One visit to the vet will wipe out all the money you think you will make.

    Plus you must spend thousands of dollars on the tests, then the vet checks to be sure the dogs carry no diseases which would abort the litter, then you have puppies who get stuck in the birth canal and to save your momma dog, you have to have an emergency C-section. It happens VERY OFTEN. It happens to high quality and low quality German Shepherds and every other breed. There is no money left over, believe me, plus you are now responsible for every life you brought into this world. Will you take back EVERY dog, for sure, when the owner wants to give it up? And believe me, some of them will want to get rid of the dogs.

    Can you enforce a contract that the puppy buyers NEVER breed your puppy, that it must be spayed or neutered because you know the horrible ending if more dogs are brought into the world.

    I know that you didn't buy them from a good breeder, because a good breeder would never let you breed her dogs, because you don't know enough about it. She would never want her line to end up like this.

    So, please, be a loving owner and neuter these dogs. We have people losing their HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE now because they own German Shepherds. They are considered in many, many places as "dangerous dogs" because of the statistics of the bite records. And the insurance companies have the right to cancel your homeowner's insurance.

    You know the pup will be dumped when people find out about that law! And it is not a new law, but with so many bites taking place because we have so many dogs running around, the insurance companies have begun to refuse to insure, among other breeds, akitas, German Shepherds, pits and pit mixes, Rottweilers, and the list of uninsurable dogs gets longer every day. But German Shepherds are right at the top of the list.

    I beg you, do not add to our problem. Get involved with a rescue; save some good German Shepherds who are already alive and now will die by being gassed. It makes me sick.

    Brenda M. Griffith

    Source(s): Years of working with and showing my own GSD in AKC Conformation and AKC Obedience, and Schutzhund; but more importantly, working with breed-specific rescues and many, many shelters.
  • marina
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Genetic testing is very expensive though, but very important. It is well worth it because it helps give you an idea of the future littlers genetic health. If one of your dogs has bad hips, it is very likely that a pup or more will inherit that. But keep in mind that if both your dogs pass hip tests that doesn't necessarily mean that none of the puppies would ever develop hip problems. Also for things like allergies, which are almost always genetic, it would be very bad to breed a dog with proven allergy problems because you would almost be insuring that these problems would be passed on to a pup and it is not fair for the pup to suffer. As for showing, no, showing isn't necessary, but if you don't show, then you should get your dogs titled in some sort of work. It is important because dogs that are only pet quality should not be bred. They would only be producing pet quality puppies, which could be found anywhere, esecially in shelters waiting to die.

    Please think long and hard about why you want to breed. It must be first and foremost to better the breed. To improve things like health and longevity, and to preserve the breeds great work ability, or conformation. It should never be about the money. In fact, if you are breeding the right way, you will not earn much, even after selling all the pups and even if there are no complications. If you do not have much cash, then you will probably not be able to afford to breed properly.

  • DP
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Health testing is very important, especially in a breed like the German Shepherd.. Hips are a big one...

    Depends on what you get tested, and where you live.. Prices are different in different areas. You should talk to a reputable Shepherd breeder in your area, they'll be able to give you a better idea of prices and best places to go and what to test for.

    Likely in the conformation ring you are going to hire yourself a professional handler... You are responsible for the cost of the entry fee and paying the handler.. Depends on what type show you are entering, specialties etc. Contact a professional handler .. Ask the shepherd breeder, she'll be able to tell you who is a good one to handle a shepherd for you.

    It makes no sense to breed a litter to produce only pets.. Anyone can do that.. Why wouldn't you want to do better and produce quality?? Have you no pride at all?? Improve the breed, don't breed for pets.. Every backyard breeder and puppymill in the world is breeding for pet quality or worse.. Do better than that and better the breed, or why bother at all..

    If you think you are going to make some cash, you had better shake your head.. You will spend far more before you even produce the litter than you will get in return. And that's if nothing goes wrong.

    You should get a job, maybe volunteer at the local shelter.. Ask them for some advice on breeding and what they think you should do. While you are there, look to see how many shepherds are put to sleep..

    If you are thinking that breeding is a fast buck, you have been talking to the wrong people. If you figure you breed your b itch and she whelps in 58-65 days, there's 2 months, then you keep them for 9-10 weeks of age.. There's another 2 1/2 months. there is 4.5 months.. You know how much money you could make in a real job ??? FAR more than you would breeding a litter of puppies.

    Fast money idea, best cash idea.. money so selling the babies... Hmmm YEAH I think that's the only reason you want to breed.. I do think that you are selfish.. I hope you are prepared and able to keep the entire litter. There are thousands of shepherd breeders out there breeding gorgeous shepherds that are registered w/ championships, and SCH titles etc.. You have a whole lot of competition.. If it was me, I would buy the Shepherd that came from SCH3 parents, before I would buy the backyard bred piece of garbage bred by someone who was doing it to make a few bucks... But that's just me...

  • 1 decade ago

    If you have to ask all these questions...You should NOT be breeding. When I bought my purebred I would only buy one that has been thorougly tested. And if You don't have alot of money now, having puppies will make it even worse. It is NOT easy or fast. After the puppies are born, you will need to care for them, initial vet bills, initial shots and vaccines for the puppies ,,not to mention NO one will buy GSDs that are not tested and guaranteed.

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  • 1 decade ago

    On a scale of one to ten it's about a twelve. If you don't want to spend the $$ to be a reputable breeder, then please spend the $$ to get the animals altered. In fact that's cheaper in the long run! And better for the dogs.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Here's a tip - get them both fixed and move on. There are millions of puppies being killed everyday because of breeding. It's not worth the money, trust me.

  • Yo LO!
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Yeah, well if you need to ask all of those questions, then spay Milly and neuter Henry.

    Just so you know, we don't take kindly to backyard breeders around here!

  • Elena
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    What about instead of using your dogs as cheap ATMs, get a JOB and take a few extra English classes!

  • April
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Don't breed your dogs, hon, you'll be just another BYB (back yard breeder). You don't have enough money to breed dogs, if you have to ask these questions.... between emergency vet call, (or she dies) shots, the work, your little scheme to make $$ will cost you more that you will ever make. Forget it.

    Source(s): Owned dogs all my life, train dogs, rescue dogs. Help in dog rescue places... we really try to discourage people like you who think they can make a quick buck. Hon, you'll just add to the over population... come here and see all the purebreds that have to be given the needle because of BYBreeders. It aint pleasant.
  • 1 decade ago

    Well, gentic testing,, because german shepherds have a lot of problems is VERY imortant you cannot get certification untill after 2 years,, so NO dog should be bred before then!!!!

    This is the current list of HIGH risk issues in shepherds..

    German Shepherd Dog adults; choosing a puppy from a breeder who tests parents for health can help avoid future health problems in your puppy:

    Cardiac Evaluation - OFA $100-$200

    CERF Screening (Canine Eye Research Foundation) $40-$80

    Elbow Displasia (OFA, by X-Ray)

    Hip Dysplasia (OFA or PennHIP) $200-$400

    Mucopolysaccharidosis VII (genetic test) Not sure on this one..

    the test are not cheap,, but very important,, if you are concerned about future health.. and honestly in this day and age people can SUE you if you produce a puppy with a problem and you HAVE not tested..

    Not the sticky is,, Because several of these health problems are polygeneic (many genes) testing your dog is only the first step,, you also should only use dogs that come from tested parents, and also grandparents..Ideally you should know what your dogs littermates test results.. If your dogs parents where not tested then it is VERY likely your pet may test CLEAR but be a carrier and produce the problem.. BUT, you still need to test your dog.. there is NO excuse to breed a dog affected with any genetic health disorder..

    As far as showing, conformation shows are to prove by a independent evlauation how closely your dog meets the breed standard, cost can vary but are generally about $20-30 a show entry(class) and you need at LEAST 3 shows,, in a popular breed like GSD expect to have to go to at least 10-20 shows BTW,, I spend about 200 a weekend on entries, hotels food gass and such,, and most weekends to not get the "points" needed for a CH,, I figured out I spent about $3000 in expenses to finish one of my males,, showing the dog myself,,over a year,, no if your dog is not of show Quality then no amount of money will get that CH,,and honestly shoudl not be bred,, and in a breed like GSD you do often need a professional handler.. or at least classes to learn how to show your dog,,cost for that adds more $$..

    Perfomance titles include hearding, obedience, Temeprment testing (manditory) rally, agility tracking, and schutzund if you decide the conformation ring is not for you,, honesty you should prove your dogs merits though the peformance venues..

    Honesly I spend at least 2000 a dog a year to compete in conformation, rally, herding, agility, obedience, tracking and weight pulling.. and about $1000 a dog on health testing,, most needs to be repeated annually..

    Now the breeding stuff, overall cost for a litter,,you should never breed a litter UNLESS you have at least $2000 free cash on hand to spend to cover some basic expenses and emergencies.. call around and get pricesand such and base you budget on that..

    can vary but intial cost are stud dog fees, good quality male with proven health testing and produces nice quality pups,, can be anywhere between $500-$1500 or even more,, Whelping supplies,, box, medical kit and such $300 at least.. Testing on mom, independent of genetic health testing..Complete exam, Brucelosis test, CBC/CHEM and propper testing to determine her most fertile period, vaginal cytology progesterone assays can run anywhere from $100-$1000.. My last litter I spent $4000 just to get the dog pregnant with a very nice male by AI..

    Food and supplies for the puppies, they eat a lot,, toys, milk replacer,, and such..

    then of couse you need the basics for the pups,, vet exams, health certificates, Vaccinations at least $40 a pup

    I also do eye exams on each pup with a opthomologist a additional $40 a pup and microchipping $20..

    Now if all goes well, than that helps,, but if you have complications like a C-section,, not only do you run the risk of losing mom, pups or both BTW that can cost anywhere between $500-$3000 depending on when and where it happens,, and it generally happens at night,, and you need the services of a emergency clinic..

    So the actual process of breeding the litter independent of shows and health testing is expensive..

    you also need to be able to take at least a week off work,, longer if mom is not willing or able to take care of her new kids,,

    Honesty you might if your lucky, make a couple of hundred bucks on a good sized litter.. that is ALL,,and assuming all are sold at 8 weeks,, this is for 4 months of HARD work and also potentially a week or so of lost regualar salary.. But most cases you are lucky to break even..

    Now you did state that you did not want to Just breed puppies for profit,, So you would need to do a good percentage and honestly all of the above,, to offer quality dogs that people really would be intrested in buying,, the way people make money on breeding is by taking chances, not doing propper screening, not using quality breeding stock to start with, and selling their pups to anyone,,who comes along and really not caring if they end up dead, abused or negleted

    The truth is, often these breeders do loose puppies (die) loose mom, have sick puppies for sale,, and only make money because the actuall number of litters, and volume make up for the losses,, that is the truth,, most commercial breeders only make a couple of hundere bucks on each litter,, if they don't break even.. Common most live in HORRIBLE conditions themselves,, and are NOT rolling in the Cash.. and with the case of smaller scale breeders back yard breeders get lucky and happen to make some cash, get lucky because the demand may be high at that particualr time.. The IRS sees it as a hobby, so if it was such a money making prospect do you not think that they would not be cashing in on it?

    Reputable breeders generally show a loss, when all expenses are in, or break even..

    Breeding dogs, even if you cut every corner possible is not a high cash income,, if you figure in all the time you spend,,

    I do on occasion breed a litter,, and I don't make any money that is for sure,, I get my extra cash from selling stuff on e-bay..I make at least 10 times the extra income from selling show leads,, and collars.. the dogs are my hobby, and I do it for fun and enjoyment,, that is all..

    Yes it is possible to make some money,, but FAR less then what you expect,, and really only if you do not care enough to health test, take propper care of mom and such..

    Most people think ok,, A GSD can have anywhere from 5-10 pups,, sold for a resonable amount of $500-$1000 each,, then heck thats a lot of extra cash.. right? unfortunaly when all the cost are in, puppies do not sell as soon as expeceted..small litter,, and such.. and that is the REAL truth.. Hope this helps..

    Source(s): http://www.gsdca.org/ Check out the breeders code of ethics.. for a guide
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