There are over 30 breeds of dog that originate in England. The English people have a long history of loving mans best friend. UK Dog breeders know that breeding is no walk in the park. It is a massive challenge full of obstacles and, sometimes, disappointment. If you are passionate about our canine companions and interested in breeding, then take the time to learn, and do it responsibly.
- Breeders typically spend around eight weeks looking after the puppies before they are ready to go to their new homes.
- Breeders must not only be knowledgeable about canine health care, but also must be able to advise new owners and ensure they possess all the knowledge and equipment necessary for their dog’s health.
- Costs in the UK can run quite high for dog breeders before they see any profit. A dam and her litter may need health tests, or the dam may need a caesarean, or she may whelp a large litter of ten or twelve. Be prepared for the initial costs.
- Breeders should be confident they can find a home for their dogs before they start breeding. UK dog breeders also need to be in a position that allows them to take puppies back if their new home doesn’t work out, for whatever reason.
Whether you are a Bulldog or a Labrador breeder in the UK, each litter will require very specific equipment and environment conditions. It is also very important that dog breeders in the UK register all dogs and puppies with The Kennel Club and follow its Code of Ethics. The Assured Breeder Scheme aims to drive puppy farms out of business by committing to good practice. It is suitable even for novice dog breeders. More info can be found on The Kennel Club website.
- Register the dog under your ownership and create a kennel name for yourself.
- Have a microchip implanted in your dog (this will also register your dog with the largest database of micro chipped pets in the UK, and grant you access to an all-day, year-round lost and found line).
- Have all relevant health checks performed (hip scoring, elbow grading, eye testing and DNA testing), and consult a breed society for more in-depth, breed-specific information.
- Determine what whelping facilities, such as bedding, will be most appropriate for your dog.
- Ensure you have the necessary equipment for the whelping.
- Set up appropriate housing for the breed with sufficient room for exercise and play. Maintain clean and sanitary conditions throughout the facilities.
Finally, dog breeders in the UK should have passion for such an important endeavour. Aside from the tangible and practical steps to breeding, here are some ideals any respectful breeder should pursue:
- Make every possible effort to ensure your litter is an improvement on the parents.
- Plan far ahead of mating so that each puppy that comes along will be bred in the safest environment possible.
- Accept responsibility for each dog you breed, which means making yourself available to the new owner for questions on health, diet, exercise, etc. for the duration of that puppy’s life.
- Draw up a contract for each puppy sold that clearly delineates the rights and expectations of both buyer and seller.
- Ensure that each puppy has five weeks of free insurance upon leaving your kennel.
Though this advice is by no means exhaustive, if dog breeders in the UK keep it in mind they will have the best chance of producing a safe, healthy and happy litter.