Are you considering breeding from your bitch?

While we are specifically looking at the papillon, the same could be said for all breeds of dog.

Before considering breeding-

  • Do you have the time and money to raise a litter?
  • Are you confident of the support of your vet
  • Will you be able to find suitable homes for any puppies.

Breeding is not something to be undertaken lightly while it can be lovely and rewarding when all goes well it can be heartbreaking, expensive and soul destroying when things go wrong.

Some costs to consider:

  • Stud fees
  • Veterinary costs, worming, caesarean sections, dew claw removal, post operative care,
  • Puppy vaccinations £60-90 per puppy
  • Microchipping 
  • Extra food, heating
  • Loss of earnings while raising a litter
  • Whelping accessories - heat pads/whelping box/syringes...

This list is not exhaustive.

Caring for a bitch during pregnancy and raising a litter of puppies is time consuming and expensive. With no guarantee of any puppies or financial reward! Raising a litter is not without risk to your bitch - would you spot the signs that all is not well?

 Before breeding research your breed and ask an experienced breeder to advise you.

Before breeding your bitch will need health testing by your vet to ensure she is healthy in addition to the breed club guidelines for health testing. You can expect to take your bitch to the stud dog and pay a stud fee up front. Stud fees vary enormously within breeds and more from breed to breed. You will need to make more than one trip to see the dog.

During pregancy the bitch will need worming from day 40, daily in line with veterinary advice. (We use Panacur 10%) The bitch will need an increase in her food intake from around 6 weeks in pregnancy of high quality food.

An ultrasound scan, at around 5 weeks, while not essential will confirm pregnancy and give an estimation of the number of puppies expected.

It is inadvisable to leave a bitch alone for the last 2 weeks of pregnancy (which can often be 3 weeks if puppies are late)  Puppies will then need monitoring closely for the first 10 days. This includes weighing daily, checking, eyes, ears and bottoms.

While a bitch should provide for her pups - both food and stimulating them to wee and poo this is not always the case. We advise having to hand a milk substitute. If you do have to hand feed a puppy this is a 24 hours a day 7 day a week job for at least 2 weeks.

Papillons can be difficult whelpers and in our experience need caesareans about 25% of the time.

The first 3 weeks are the easiest - it then gets harder. Puppies will need weaning, toys to play with and lots of sitmulation and lots of human contact. 6 week old puppies are high demand!

We had our 1st litter of 4 healthy puppies in 2008 - after finding good homes for them we had made a loss of around £500. Stud fee, worming, extra heating/food costs, caesarean section, puppy vaccinations and KC registrations and the equipment.

If you are considering breeding, please be honest with yourself about your motives and also when you go to buy a puppy. Most breeders are willing to help others get started in the breed. We are avaialble to help.

If buying a puppy as a pet and subsequently breeding from it without help or advice from the breeder will cause bad feeling as rarely do the best quality dogs go to pet homes, they are retained by the breeder.

As breeders we are looking to improve the breed and only want the best animals bred from.

Papillon Club breeding advice - please click here



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