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8 Reasons NOT To Breed The Family Dog

Breeding a dog should not be something that is taken lightly.

Many times I have heard someone say that they want to breed their dog because it’s cute or because the dog is such a good dog that they want to have another one.

The problem with these reasons is that they aren’t very reasonable.

Just because a dog is adorable doesn’t mean it should be bred.

A dog should be healthy, a great example of the breed and bred by someone who knows what they’re doing.

I’ve been asked before from a complete stranger if I would offer my Newfie as a stud.

This person had no idea of his health history, no idea what breed of dog he was and even if he was intact.

Of course, I said no and was pretty shocked that someone would have the nerve to ask me that but it seems as though that is the way that some people think.

When I worked at the vet, we had clients here and there that would ask about breeding their dog.

Over 10 years it wasn’t many but it was enough to make you shudder.

pros and cons of pet owners breeding their dogs

8 Reasons NOT To Breed The Family Dog

Breeding your family dog might seem like a tempting idea, especially if you have a lovable, purebred pet with a great temperament.

However, responsible dog ownership involves more than just the desire to create adorable puppies.

Let’s take a dive into eight compelling reasons why breeding your family dog may not be the right choice, emphasizing the importance of ethical and thoughtful dog ownership.

why dog owners should not breed their dog

Cost Of Breeding a Litter

When done correctly, breeding a litter can be very expensive.

There’s veterinarian care, vaccines, food, puppy supplies, supplies needed for the dam such as a whelping box, supplements, and money to pay for any emergencies that may happen such as an emergency c-section and sick puppies.

Do you have money to care for 10 puppies?

Do you have a license or permit to breed dogs?

Many states are now cracking down on how many dogs can live on personal property.

What about paying for a stud fee?

Who’s going to be the sire of those puppies?

You shouldn’t just pick any dog off the street without knowing their health history.

Money may not grow on trees, but it certainly flies away when you’re breeding dogs.

With vet bills, prenatal and postnatal care, and the unexpected surprises that come with puppies, you’ll be waving goodbye to your retirement fund in no time.

how much does it cost to breed a family dog

To Make Money

Selling puppies from your backyard does not make you money. 

When done the right way, it actually costs you money. 

Reputable breeders don’t rake in the bucks.

Most reputable dog breeders are breeding with the betterment of the breed in mind and not to make money.

They pay for the cost of raising their litters and breeding stock.

They invest money in health screenings and they pay for their dogs care.

They attend dog shows, breed events and educate the public. They are continually investing money into their breed of choice.

To Experience the Joy of Birth

Watching a litter being born isn’t always beautiful.

Puppies can be stillborn, born with deformities and get stuck in the birthing canal.

If you want your family dog to have a litter so that your children can experience it, be prepared for the good and the bad.

What if the bitch goes into labor at midnight?

Are you going to wake your children up out of a dead sleep to sit there for hours and watch?

What if the bitch is in pain and starts biting you as you try to help?

Do you know how to help?

What if the bitch turns around and eats one of her puppies?

Are your children prepared for that?

What if you have to rush the bitch to the emergency room because a puppy is stuck?

Are you going to take your kids or leave them hanging?

Lack Of Time

Having a litter of puppies takes time and if you’re just doing this for fun, you’re quickly going to find out that this is hard work.

Speaking of work, I’m sure your boss will let you take time off to care for the puppies and the bitch?

You can’t just let them be born and be done with it.

You have to check every few hours to make sure that they are eating, that the bitch is taking care of them, that the bitch didn’t roll over on them, that the bitch is eating and staying healthy.

You can’t leave them alone for 8 hours a day. 

And what about down the road?

Do you have the time to screen potential puppy owners?

Talk to them on the phone?

What about in 2  years when a health issue arises?

Do you have the time to address it?

Are you going to give out your contact information to the owner for the life of the dog?

To Give Your Family Something To Play With

If you’re looking for something for your kids to play with, go to the toy store and get a toy.

Puppies and dogs need to be fed, walked, groomed, trained and cared for.

They shouldn’t be there to occupy kids until they get bored and they shouldn’t be used to teach your children responsibility.

If your child is interested in caring for a dog part-time, perhaps see if they can volunteer at a local animal shelter first.

You Want Another Dog Just Like Yours

Remember, no matter how much you plan, breeding is like opening Pandora’s Box of unpredictability.

Puppies may not inherit your dog’s impeccable table manners or love for classical music.

They might end up being total rebels. Surprise!

Look, we all think we have the best dog and none of us are wrong.

However, breeding should be done to improve and advance the breed not to keep making the same dog over and over again.

All dogs have faults, even mine and yours and the purpose of breeding is to improve on those faults not reproduce those faults over and over again.

You should want to take your dog’s faults and improve on them to produce a better family dog.

This is hard for the average person to do. 

You should be able to step back and take a look at your dog’s flaws and form an objective opinion. 

Most people can’t do this in this day and age. 


Ensuring that the puppies find loving, responsible homes is a significant challenge.

Many dogs end up in shelters because their owners couldn’t find suitable homes for their puppies.

As a breeder, it’s your responsibility to thoroughly vet potential adopters and provide support and guidance to new puppy owners.

Who are you going to sell them to?

Do you have a list?

Are people contacting you or are contacting them?

Did you take deposits?

Responsible breeders have a list of potential buyers way before the puppies are born.


When it comes to breeding, who has time for ethics?

Profit over pooch, right?

After all, your dog is just a means to a financial end.

Who cares about her well-being or the well-being of her offspring?

You don’t want to be known as the backyard breeder who sells sick puppies, do you?

If you’re going to breed your family dog hopefully you’ve done all the necessary health checks and genetic screening.

Yes, dogs have genetic screenings too.

Knowing your dog’s genetics help with determining your future puppy’s health, temperament, looks, and soundness. 

It’s what responsible breeders do to ensure the breed is staying healthy and that they aren’t giving owners a genetic nightmare that they have to mortgage their house to take care of.

In a world already bursting at the seams with pups, where responsible breeding feels like quantum physics, and where health, time, and ethics are mere afterthoughts, remember this: breeding your family dog isn’t just a decision; it’s an adventure into a different world.

So, unless you’re willing to rewrite your life’s script, maybe it’s time to rethink the breeder’s path.

Because when it comes to your dog  the most potent part of all is a lifetime of shared moments, not just a litter of fleeting ones.

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Padraig Walker

Friday 13th of December 2019

Good article. Only one thing to add...The heartbreak of losing one or more pups or even the dam. It happens and sometimes there is nothing you can do.

Padraig Walker

Tuesday 10th of September 2019

Excellent and well said. People with no idea about breeding is why my occasional Irish Wolfhound pups are placed only with a contract and I co-own all puppies.

Nancy Woodcock

Wednesday 28th of August 2019

Thanks for the article. People think it's a piece of cake to have a litter. I currently have a litter of Borzoi's and the world has stopped except for the care of these puppies. No dates out with my hubby, no shopping trips. Now do an article on people who want you to 1) hold a puppy for them for free for "a couple of weeks" 2) give them a discount cause it's Christmas, they just lost their dog, money is tight...Blah blah blah. If you can't afford the puppy, you can't care for the puppy properly. Well I feel!


Monday 2nd of September 2019

Yes! There is so much work and energy that goes into raising a healthy litter! It's not as easy as people think. It takes times, money and experience!

Sandy Delameter

Saturday 11th of May 2019

Great article. We have 2 black labs (not related) My boy is intact & my girl just went through her 1st heat. He was @ Grandmas during her heat cycle. She is scheduled to be spayed in late June. Since we love them so much and think they are the best I've wondered if we were doing the right thing not breeding them. But reading this article along with learning how many dogs are euthanized each year reassures me that we don't need to breed them. Thank you!


Thursday 18th of October 2018

Great post! Yep, to all of these reasons. Our puppies are bred to be Service Dogs and some end up as family pets. Raven was screened and had to pass all of her genetic testing before she was bred. Technically she's not my dog and belongs to the breeding manager at the Guide Dog school.

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