A house full of German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) puppies probably sounds like the best thing that can happen to you but you are having a hard time understanding why animal activists are against breeding, you might be wondering if there are some things you need to consider.
Owners of GSPs should carefully consider the requirements and commitments for breeding dogs – as well as the consequences of irresponsible breeding practices. Aspects such as whelping complications, health evaluations, and sick puppies are just some of the factors to keep in mind before breeding.
If you can’t get the puppy-paradise image out of your head, or you are merely thinking about making your handsome stud available to other breeders, there are five crucial things you need to know before you breed your GSP.
Why Do You Want To Breed Your GSP?
The very first thing you have to establish is why you want to breed your GSP. There appear to be three main reasons:
- An old wife’s tale that believes that a female should have one litter before her owners spay her. We’re not sure why this sounded like a good – or even beneficial – idea, however, there is no medical evidence to back the claim.
In fact, spaying and neutering hold more benefits than leaving your dogs intact. Just the sheer number of animals on the street should be enough to convince you that breeding your GSP is not a good idea.
- Owners who are not registered breeders allow their dogs to have puppies to sell them for profit. The bad news is that selling purebred canines like GSPs without certification from the American Kennel Club (AKC) will not be very profitable.
The big bucks are reserved for reputable breeders for a reason; a lot of resources go into responsible breeding methods, which is reflected in a purebred GSP’s price tag.
Keep in mind that purebred dogs need to conform to a breeding standard that identifies them as such, and in addition, if the dam and sire of your dog weren’t registered with the AKC, your GSP will not be able to receive certification either.
- The last – and most selfish – reason people breed their GSPs is because “they’ll make such cute puppies!” When owners put the health of their dogs at risk just to see a few cute puppies, that is akin to animal abuse in most dog lovers’ eyes.
The bottom line is, if you are not a registered breeder (or planning on becoming one), there is no workable reason for you to breed your GSP – especially a female. There are reputable breeders for this exact reason.
Should You Breed Your Male GSP?
Let’s consider another side; if you want to make a sire out of your handsome boy, you won’t get far without proof of registration from the AKC.
No matter how beautiful or studly your GSP is, no reputable breeder would even consider your dog as a sire if there is no recorded lineage.
Another thing that you should not do is to let your male dog impregnate a stranger’s GSP just for the sake of breeding cute puppies.
You can never be sure that health checks and vaccines are up to date; your GSP might contract an illness.
Added to that, you’ll probably have no say in what happens to those puppies anyway. The owner could be running scams or puppy mills, and you’d just be helping them along in their crimes against animals.
Health Evaluations For GSPs
The second most important thing that GSP owners need to take into account is that unhealthy dogs are not fit to reproduce. Dogs should be taken for health evaluations before they are bred; it is the responsible thing to do.
If owners are unaware of health issues, they could breed sick puppies or contribute to hereditary health issues. And if profit is the motivation, this makes terrible business sense. People will avoid breeders who sell sick dogs.
When considering the sire point of view and making your AKC registered male available to reputable breeders, you’ll have to produce documentation of health evaluations.
Don’t trust supposedly trustworthy breeders if they claim not to care about it because they need to adhere to breeding guidelines.
GSP Whelping Complications
Before thinking about the possible risks, GSP owners have to consider their dog’s age before breeding; according to the AKC, females should not conceive in their first season.
Her first cycle happens as young as six months. A medium-to-large female breed is still considered a puppy at this age, and breeding such a young dog holds various risks.
Some complications that might occur during or after birth are:
- Breech deliveries
- No puppies after contractions
- Puppies stuck in the birth canal
- Suffocating puppies
- Females not caring for the puppies
If there are complications and a vet needs to step in, the issue of overwhelming medical bills rears its head again, and remember, in the event that the dam and her pups die, these bills will still be due.
Caring For GSP Puppies
Mommy and her pups will need your help to make sure they grow up strong and healthy.
GSPs can have 8 to 12 puppies that would need to eat, be dewormed, vaccinated (at six weeks old), and weaned (between three and four weeks) before they can leave at eight weeks old.
Some owners might not realize this, but dams come into heat twice a year.
Not only do they run the risk of having two litters a year, but they’ll also need to make sure no other dogs come near her; this could mean that they’ll have to ward off potentially aggressive dogs.
There is also the risk of sick puppies shooting up a vet bill in the blink of an eye. If owners were looking to make a quick buck, their money would go down the drain in any way.
More often than not, as the novelty wears off and these pups start to grow, the owners soon realize that puppies aren’t so cute when they cost money. It is not worth it when you cannot commit to making sure these little guys stay healthy.
If you do not know a thing or two about the process of reproduction, it is not a good idea to breed your GSP.
Responsible breeding involves factors like gene considerations that most people know next to nothing about; reputable breeders have expert knowledge on the subject.
Rehoming GSP Puppies
Owners might find it challenging to find good homes for the puppies because there are enough reputable GSP breeders to give them a run for their money.
Because of hereditary health issues in purebreds, most people prefer dogs that come with complete medical history.
Responsible breeders of purebred dogs also do home checks on new owners to ensure the pups go to good homes. Owners should be willing to do this for every puppy, and if they are not, they are not breeding at all.
Another thing that might hamper their quest to find good homes is that more and more people are becoming aware of the desperate need to find homes for shelter animals and, as a result, become less inclined to buy puppies from the guy next door.
GSP owners should think long and hard about all the disadvantages of breeding before they make a decision that might lead to heartbreak down the road.
These warnings caution against irresponsible breeding to uphold humane practices that produce healthy, well-rounded puppies.