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Answers from vets about your pet:

Should You Breed Your Dog?

Posted January 20, 2014 in Dog Checkups & Preventive Care
Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a mobile, board-certified surgeon in Allentown, PA. Find him online at www.DrPhilZeltzman.com. He is the co-author of “Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound” (www.WalkaHound.com).

Kelly Serfas, a Certified Veterinary Technician in Bethlehem, PA, contributed to this article.

(Editor's Note, Dr. Peter Kintzer: Given the large number of homeless dogs available for adoption that would be wonderful pets and companions, very careful thought and serious deliberation should be undertaken before electing to breed your dog. Please consider adoption.)

Sure, little Chiastiffs*, Puggiedoodles* and Chischmoodles* could be cute and all (if they existed), however dogs should only be bred by experienced breeders in order to improve the breed. Good breeding can help get rid of some genetic conditions, like hip dysplasia, or at least reduce their frequency, but unplanned or irresponsible breeding can lead to continuation or spreading of these problems in the dog population.

Think your dog is a good candidate to improve the breed? There’s an interesting chart that we’ve seen a few versions of which can help dog-owners decide whether a pet should be neutered (i.e. spayed or castrated) or not. I’m not sure who originally created this chart, but here’s an example and I’ve paraphrased part of it below:

Is your dog purebred?

  • No? Get your dog neutered!
  • Yes? Read on.

Where did you get your dog?

  • A pet store, animal shelter, or the street?  Get your dog neutered!
  • A breeder? Read on.

Did you get a 3 to 5 generation pedigree with your dog?

  • No? Get your dog neutered!
  • Yes? Read on.

Are there at least 4 titled dogs (conformation, obedience, tracking, field etc.) in the last 3 generations?

  • No? Get your dog neutered!
  • Yes? Read on.

Does your dog have a stable temperament?

  • No? Get your dog neutered!
  • Yes? Read on.

Does your dog fit the breed standard?

  • No? Get your dog neutered!
  • Yes? Read on.

Is your dog healthy and certified (OFA, CERF) free of genetic diseases?

The OFA is the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, which certifies for a number of diseases affecting the hips, the knees, the elbows, the heart, the eyes etc.  The CERF is the Canine Eye Registration Foundation which certifies dogs for all kinds of diseases affecting the eye and the eyelids. Responsible breeders who are trying to improve the breed will get their prospective breeding pair tested for these and other common genetic defects

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Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a board-certified veterinary surgeon and author. His traveling practice takes him all over Eastern Pennsylvania and Western New Jersey. You can visit his website at www.DrPhilZeltzman.com, and follow him at www.facebook.com/DrZeltzman.