Skip

if a purebread dog is impregnated by a mutt, is it still fit for breeding?
April 10, 2005 9:19 AM   Subscribe

If a dog breeder has purebred dogs and the dam becomes impregnated by an impure dog, say a stray mutt, is the dam still fit for breeding (according to AKC or similiar standards)?

I've tried google and AKC. I can't find a specific regulation, but I've heard that in this case the dog is not fit for breeding. What is the general opinion or reaction by breeders and buyers if this happens? Any dog breeders out there?
posted by miniape to Pets & Animals (20 answers total)
 
wha? how would an "impure" pregnancy have any impact on later breeding? How would anyone even know? If that's true, I'm very interested to hear the reasoning.
posted by mdn at 9:41 AM on April 10, 2005


1. I'm willing to believe in some amazingly stupid standard like this, but it seems like the sort of thing everybody would happily lie about, knowing scientifically that they couldn't possibly get caught.
2. Has the word "dam" replaced the once-accepted "bitch"? I thought I had heard dog breeders freely talking about their bitches.
posted by Aknaton at 10:09 AM on April 10, 2005


Some years ago, I read about a lawsuit brought by a (stunningly clueless) owner of a pedigreed female that was knocked up by the neighbor's dog, claiming that this had somehow ruined the dog's pedigree. IIRC, the case didn't go anywhere, but perhaps this is what miniape is referring to.

I don't inhabit the world of dog shows, so I don't know what hoohah passes for reality there. It's interesting to note that the Dutch kennel club actually has rules that require a small amount of cross-breeding, because the bloodlines of pedigreed breeds become incestuous otherwise.
posted by adamrice at 10:24 AM on April 10, 2005


I asked someone who has bred dogs, and they said something that sounds a bit inbetween - the dog can be bred later, just not during the same breeding cycle.

Apparently, when breeding two dogs, they are mated each day for several days to ensure a full litter of puppies, rather than just one or two that grow so large that a c-section is needed.

I asked if that meant that a dog could have puppies from different fathers in the womb at the same time, and she wasn't sure, but suspected it might be possible.

So we're uncertain, but it sounds like there is a period of time you need to wait before breeding.
posted by -harlequin- at 10:32 AM on April 10, 2005


I am not a breeder--but it seems the idea might arise because dogs can have litters with multiple sires.

Therefore, if she's been caught by a mutt, it's important that she have those pups before she's bred again, or it will be very hard to tell which dogs can be registered and which can't.
posted by frykitty at 10:35 AM on April 10, 2005


adamrice:
It might not have ruined the dog's pedigree, but could still cost the owner many thousands in lost revenue, since each litter is very valuable, and there are only a small number of litters you can get out of a dog without creating other problems.
posted by -harlequin- at 10:38 AM on April 10, 2005


Yes, there's a financial loss incurred because reputable breeders will only allow their prize bitches to have a few litters before retiring them.

But it won't affect the value of subsequent, sanctioned litters. You can just quietly put the products of miscegenation up for adoption and hope that the folks at the Animal Rescue League won't gossip about your sweet little bichon being hot for black labs.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:44 AM on April 10, 2005


could still cost the owner many thousands in lost revenue, since each litter is very valuable

Argh. Ethical breeders don't do it for the money, if you look after your dogs properly, you make at most a pittance after you've paid for proper care for the pregnant female and subsequent puppies, the people who'd care about "lost revenue" are puppymillers. But then, ethical breeders take care of their dogs such that "oops litters" with a mutt couldn't happen.

While carrying and whelping a litter of mutts won't harm the female intrinsically (provided there isn't a large size difference - extreme size differences between the parents rarely results in a successful whelping, but you can still get puppies who are too large for the dog, and this can be very serious or even fatal), there is an increased likelihood of her having caught an STD like Brucellosis from a mutt (ethical breeders test their own stock and will not breed to dogs who have not been tested), and that can cause permanent problems. For registration purposes with most respectable registries (i.e. not the "Continental Kennel Club"), breedings must be witnessed in order for the subsequent litter to be accepted for registration. This can be faked, but the old myth of being impregnated by a mutt "ruining" a female is just that, a myth.
posted by biscotti at 10:57 AM on April 10, 2005


Has the word "dam" replaced the once-accepted "bitch"?

Dam is a momma, bitch is any old girl.

There's sire and dam, and dog and bitch.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:58 AM on April 10, 2005


All great answers. Thanks. You guys are great.
posted by miniape at 11:08 AM on April 10, 2005


biscotti:
I'm under the impression that even ethical breeders who don't do it for money often depend on revenue from puppy sales to help pay the costs of raising the animal. Few people can raise and keep an entire litter themselves.
posted by -harlequin- at 11:19 AM on April 10, 2005


Argh. Ethical breeders don't do it for the money, if you look after your dogs properly, you make at most a pittance after you've paid for proper care for the pregnant female and subsequent puppies

I realize that ethical breeders don't try to make a living at it, but they certainly often depend on the income from selling pups to help defray the cost of their hobby. Otherwise, I'd expect to see ads for pedigreed litters starting with "Free to go homes." And I don't. So a litter of pups with no value is a loss because it's one less litter a champion bitch can have.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:28 AM on April 10, 2005


Ethical breeders hope to recoup most or all of the costs of breeding and raising the litter, and part of the reason they don't give puppies away is to make sure that their puppies are going to people who can afford to care for them properly, and who will regard the puppy as something of value. Ethical breeders are prepared to keep any puppy they don't place, and take back any dog they've bred at any time in the dog's lifetime. They do not rely on puppy sales to support their hobby, they hope that the revenue from puppy sales will cover most of what it cost to bring that puppy into the world, but do not breed in the first place for that reason. Any breeder who is concerned about "lost revenue" because their female had an "oops litter" is a breeder I would run away from, any breeder who breeds a bitch more than five or six times in her lifetime is a breeder I would run away from in most cases, and any breeder who only breeds to her own males or repeats the same breeding more than twice is a breeder I would run away from. Ethical breeders have specific reasons for the matings they do (mainly to get a puppy with the specific qualities they want to improve their own lines, NOT primarily to provide pets for people, that is a secondary concern), none of which have to do with revenue.
posted by biscotti at 12:32 PM on April 10, 2005


Ethical breeders hope to recoup most or all of the costs of breeding and raising the litter... any breeder who breeds a bitch more than five or six times in her lifetime is a breeder I would run away from

So we agree that the breeder hopes to recoup some money from a litter and will have a set limit on the number of litters any bitch has. Sounds to me like a litter of mongrels is a financial loss that the breeder would prefer to avoid.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:41 PM on April 10, 2005


No, I still don't see that a litter of mongrels is really a financial loss, since no ethical breeder expects to earn money off their bitch, they only hope to recoup some losses IF they breed her, no ethical breeder says "I will breed her five times and earn x amount of money" which is really the only way I can see that a missed season could be seen as a financial loss (not least because no ethical breeder breeds on every season), and the puppies would ideally be sold, not given away, anyway (you still have a responsibility to place the puppies properly). The bigger loss is the risk to the bitch's health from having mated with an untested dog, and carrying and whelping an unnecessary litter (always a risk regardless of who the sire is). But either way, an ethical breeder wouldn't have a bitch end up in this situation in the first place, having an "oops litter" with the breeder's own dogs is one thing, but for a bitch to mate with a stray mutt, she would have to be available to the mutt (i.e. outside unattended), and that is not a position any responsible dog owner would place their in-season bitch in. You don't "prefer to avoid" this scenario, you prevent even the remotest chance of its happening. Owning an intact dog carries a set of responsibilities, the most important of which is keeping it from whelping or siring unwanted litters, if you cannot manage your dog responsibly, you likely shouldn't have a dog at all, but at very least you shouldn't have an intact dog.
posted by biscotti at 1:57 PM on April 10, 2005


biscotti, you clearly have strong feelings about breeding ethics, but a party can be entitled to compensation for losses without being a wholly irresponsible breeder. If an unlawfully loose neighbor dog dug his way under a kennel fence and, say, killed a couple puppies rather than knocking up a bitch in heat, would you still insist the breeder had no right to compensation? And would you think that the only motivation the breeder might have to sue is monetary gain? You probably can't get arrested for letting your dog run rampant & have its way with the neighbor dogs, so one's only legal recourse would be to take the errant sire-owner to court. Poorly-trained dogs will go to extraordinary measures to get at a nearby dog in heat, and may be dangerous to approach as well. I just mean to say that perhaps the litigant dog breeder in this anecdotal case isn't the more irresponsible pet owner of the two.

I do see your point, though, and wonder about some other aspects of breeding ethics, like the current incidence of inbreeding-caused disease.
posted by obloquy at 3:51 PM on April 10, 2005


Inbreeding doesn't cause disease -- it's not a mystical force that weakens the strength of the dog.

Inbreeding means that the genomes of the dogs will be less variant, for good or ill. It means that your inbred dogs will be more likely to have some genetic maladies than a free-breeding population, and less likely than a free-breeding population to have other genetic maladies. In general, you'd expect to see more recessive traits in an inbred / controlled-breeding population, for good, ill, or irrelevancy depending on what those recessive traits are.

Crops of maladies are caused by bad breeding, and breeding without regard to the dogs' health, not by inbreeding itself. The way to get out of dogs with a strong tendency towards some genetic malady is usually exclusion of dogs with the trait from breeding -- which will have the effect of further reducing the genetic variance of the breed.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:20 PM on April 10, 2005


So, as breeds go through periods of popularity, do they become more susceptible to genetic maladies from increased bad breeding practices?
posted by obloquy at 5:21 PM on April 10, 2005


If an unlawfully loose neighbor dog dug his way under a kennel fence and, say, killed a couple puppies rather than knocking up a bitch in heat, would you still insist the breeder had no right to compensation?

Well, I never said a breeder didn't have a right to compensation in the first place, nor did I say that a breeder's only motivation was monetary, merely that an oops litter of mongrels does not ruin a bitch in and of itself. I think you're confusing my answer (which was to the original question, and to comments specifically about the "lost revenue" of a mongrel litter) with adamrice's comment about the breeder who sued, I wasn't talking about the breeder who sued. In your above scenario, actual existing property is being destroyed, not potential property (although I'll make myself even less popular by pointing out that fencing is not dog proof if a dog can dig under it, and therefore the puppies in your example should not have been left outside unattended). And either way, leaving a bitch in season outside, unattended (which is the only way a mongrel litter would result), is poor dog management, and you shouldn't be surprised that every intact male in the neighbourhood will be beating a track to your door. It's not about training, it's nearly impossible to train out mating drives, it's about management.

So, as breeds go through periods of popularity, do they become more susceptible to genetic maladies from increased bad breeding practices?

As a general rule, yes. Breeders who don't do their homework, who breed just to make money off a popular breed, who don't do health checks on their breeding stock, etc. These things increase the occurrence of genetic problems (from health issues to temperament issues) in a given breed. For good examples of this, see Golden Retrievers, who have an insanely high incidence of allergies, see German Shepherds and their Hip Dysplasia and temperament problems, see pretty well any breed in the AKC top ten, for that matter. This happens in any breed where there are breeders with poor practices (which is most), but it's much more obvious in popular breeds.
posted by biscotti at 5:45 PM on April 10, 2005


From an AKC email (for the ages):

Thank you for contacting the American Kennel Club however the AKC does not license or register breeders therefore we have no control over the breeding of their dogs.

If the female was bred to a non AKC male the litter cannot be registered with the AKC. This does not effect future litters if she is bred with an AKC male.
posted by miniape at 9:46 AM on April 14, 2005


« Older How do I convince my Mac to ig...   |  I have a number of favourite a... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.


Post