DO YOU WANT TO BREED YOUR WEIMARANER?

WHAT THE WEIMARANER CLUB OF GREATER LOUISVILLE WANTS YOU TO KNOW
BEFORE YOU BREED YOUR WEIMARANER

Although the Weimaraner Club of Greater Louisville only refers potential buyers to people who adhere to the Weimaraner Club of America Code of Ethics, we are glad to send you information on breeding and we ask that you help us protect this great breed by becoming a responsible breeder.

Before You Breed
Whether a litter is being bred for top competition and future breeding or for companions that will never be bred, temperament and health are the most important considerations when breeding. Puppies inherit temperament just like they do coat color and size. Nothing is more tragic than a dog with an aggressive temperament that ends up having to be put to sleep to insure that it doesn’t injure, disfigure or kill someone. It’s also sad to see a nervous and scared dog that lives its life in fear of everything. Responsible breeders strive to breed Weimaraners that are people loving and healthy. A sound temperament is a must.

Temperament
The stud dog should have a temperament that is easy to live with and not aggressive or shy. It is even more important that any female that is used for breeding have a good temperament as she affects the puppies both genetically and environmentally. Puppies watch how their mother reacts to humans and pattern after her. A sound temperament is a must for the brood bitch.

Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) is an inherited trait involving multiple gene pairs which results in poor development of the hip joint(s). Apparently all dogs are born with normal hips but in affected individuals, the radiographic signs of CHD can become evident within several months to several years.  It has been demonstrated that the frequency of CHD can be reduced by responsible selective breeding practices.
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, Columbia, MO, phone 573-442-0418, <http://www.offa.org/>, provides a consulting service and maintains a registry and data base for control of CHD. For a nominal fee, the OFA’s panel of radiologists will review a properly taken x-ray and if the hips are evaluated as normal for that breed, a certification number is assigned by OFA. Currently, dogs must be at least 24 months of age before hips can be certified normal. Categories of Normal which receive an OFA number are Excellent, Good and Fair. Dysplastic hips are Mild, Moderate or Severe. A recommended repeat study in 6-8 months is suggested for hips receiving a Borderline evaluation. Some female females show subluxation (a slight dislocation or looseness) when x-rayed around a heat cycle. This hormonal effect could result in a poor evaluation. The OFA recommends x-raying 3-4 weeks before or after a heat period or 3-4 weeks after weaning a litter of pups.
Your veterinarian probably has information on submitting x-rays for evaluation to OFA and can answer additional questions you may have.

OFA recommends the following breeding principles:

  1. Breed normals to normals
  2. Breed normals with normal parents, grand parents, etc.
  3. Breed normals from litters with a low incidence of CHD
  4. Select a sire that produces a low incidence of CHD
  5. Replace dogs with dogs that are better than the breed average

Brucellosis is caused by a bacteria called Brucella canis. It is an important cause of reproductive failure in dogs. The most common mode of transmission is by sexual intercourse. In a kennel it can spread from dog to dog through contact with infected secretions. 
Brucellosis is the leading cause of late abortions (45 to 55 days gestation). It may be at fault when a female delivers stillborn puppies, or puppies which sicken and die shortly after birth. It can produce sterility in the male or female without causing obvious signs of disease.
Males may develop enlargement of the lymph nodes in the groin or beneath the jaw. Joints may become swollen and painful. The testicles may swell up, then go on to atrophy as the sperm-producing cells are destroyed. In the male, bacteria may be found in the prostate gland, and in the female in the uterus and vagina.
Your veterinarian can screen for this disease. It should be done on all dogs before mating. The stud owner should always request a veterinarian’s certificate showing that the female to be bred has been tested and found free of brucellosis. False positives do occur. They require more detailed laboratory studies and cultures.

Evaluating Your Female and Selecting a Stud Dog
No one stud dog is the right dog for every female. Purebred dog breeding is based on selective breeding for specific traits or characteristics that make up what defines a dog as a particular breed. Without this “breed type” a dog is just a dog. While some characteristics may be just for looks, many qualities determine the function and overall health and quality of life for a dog. Poor conformation traits such as bad bites, weaknesses in back, legs and feet and droopy eyelids are to be evaluated in both the stud dog and the female. The breed standard for the Weimaraner describes the ideal dog and lists any disqualifying faults which would keep the dog or bitch from becoming a Champion of Record with the American Kennel Club. If possible, try to locate an experienced breeder who knows the breed standard or a professional handler, who can help you evaluate your female.

Read and Learn. There are many great books on whelping puppies. You might even be able to find some at your local library. If you would like to buy a couple of books, Dogwise is a very comprehensive book seller. You can visit online at <www.dogwise.com> or call 800-776-2665 and get a catalog. Regardless of how well you prepare, there’s always a possibility of complications. It’s not a bad idea to take your bitch to the vet the week the puppies are due to refresh his memory and to find out who you can call in case of an emergency.

Here are some books you might consider:
Book of the Bitch, J.M. Evans & Kay White, UK, 1997 $11.96, All you need to know to care for your bitch. Includes behavior, illness, pregnancy, whelping and early puppy care.
Whelping and Rearing of Puppies, Muriel Lee, 2000. $15.96, A clear and concise guide to walk you through the sometimes nerve-wracking whelping process.
How To Raise a Puppy You Can Live With, Rutherford & Neil, 1999, Written for the puppy buyer, but discusses what the responsible breeder should have done so that the new owner can continue on to raise a well adjusted family companion. This is a great book for the people who buy your puppies.
AKC Complete Dog Book. 1998. $26.36 Official publication of the American Kennel Club. Includes a very good section on canine reproduction. Much, much more valuable information.

Pricing puppies is a complicated issue. First and more important is the proper placement of your puppies. No amount of money will convince a responsible breeder to part with a puppy to a home they don’t think is in the puppy’s best interest. A responsible breeder must cultivate an instinct to listen to potential buyers with his/her brain and good judgment and NOT emotions. Being a responsible breeder is not for people who have trouble saying NO. You have to learn to ask questions like do you have a fenced yard, will there be anyone home or can arrangements be made to do the extra feeding and extra potty breaks a puppy requires. You must never forget that you planned the breeding and brought new life into the world and it’s your responsibility to do everything possible to insure that the puppies go to families that are being realistic about getting a puppy, are excellent candidates for keeping a dog throughout it’s lifetime and who can be counted on to return the dog to you should it ever need to be placed in another home. The Weimaraner Club of America believes that when a dog is in need of rescue the breeder has the primary responsibility. The WCA Rescue Committee  is committed to help fulfill this commitment and will call the breeder concerning dogs that they have bred that are in need of rescue.

As far as prices go, puppies from parents who have had health screenings, such as for hip dysplasia, and from parents that have titles for accomplishments that speak for the conformation (how well the dog conforms to the breed standard) and/or hunting instincts of a dog will make the puppies more valuable. Unless the pedigree of the sire and dam lists titled dogs from recognized blood lines in the first three generations, there is no way to access the potential quality of a dog as an adult. Weimaraners sell for different prices in different areas of the country. You may see Weimaraners offered for free by desperate people who didn’t know what a tough job it is to raise and find homes for as many as 10 puppies or more. You will see prices from $200.00 on up. Responsibly bred puppies from health screened and titled parents will start at around $600.00 and they are guarantee for health and for conformation quality (when being purchased for competition/breeding).

The old saying, “if you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” applies to breeders and puppy buyers alike. For the betterment of the Weimaraner breed, the safety of your puppies and because of the many Weimaraners who end up in need of rescue, we strongly urge you to sell your puppies under the American Kennel Club Limited Registration condition which is your privilege and already part of each puppy’s individual registration application. If you check this option, even if the dog is bred (accidentally or on purpose), puppies from the breeding cannot be registered with the AKC. To complete the protection of your puppies, you should also have a simple conditional sales contract stating what you and the buyer have agreed to and stating that the buyer acknowledges and agrees that the dog will not be used for breeding and is being sold under AKC Limited Registration. NEVER let a puppy leave your premises without a signed registration application and/or simple sales contract stipulating in writing everything you have agreed to with the buyer. Once the puppy leaves, you have no power unless you have a contract. We will be glad to send you an example of a simple conditional sales contract if you send us your address. If a person is unwilling to buy a puppy under these reasonable conditions, they don’t deserve one of your puppies. Breeders we know have no problems selling puppies under these conditions.

You have taken the first step to becoming a responsible breeder by asking for information. The Weimaraner Club of Greater Louisville’s goal is to promote the Weimaraner while at the same time protecting the breed from over population and exploitation. Please help us protect this wonderful breed and preserve it for future generations of people to enjoy.

Good luck and best wishes for an easy whelping, healthy puppies and great puppy homes.

Connie Morris, Chairman
Breeder Referral/Education Committees
Weimaraner Club of Greater Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky
502-922-4574  or  kyweimcm@twc.com

 

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Last Updated: 09-Nov-2019
Weimaraner Club of Greater Louisville
Webmaster: Janet P. Wallace, PhD
URL: http://www.weimlouisville.org
mailto: wallacej@indiana.edu