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 Post subject: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:35 pm 
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I don't have any dogs yet, but within the next couple of years I'd like to get a cocker spaniel or two and have puppies. I've heard that cocker spaniels can be very loyal and attached to their mates, so should I own both the mother and father dogs? Ideally that's what I would like, but that raises a lot of questions for me. Like:
If she is in heat but has already had a litter that year, do I need to keep her away from him completely so they wont have another?
Do male dogs become very aggressive if a female is in heat? I've had many litters of kittens in my house in my lifetime, and male cats can get pretty mean if a female is in heat. Is it the same with dogs?
Do male dogs care about their puppies?

I guess my main question is if I should use a stud service or own both parents.


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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:08 pm 
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Hi Chelsea: Here is just a little bit of advice for you regarding breeding:

http://www.zimfamilycockers.com/FAQ.html#Breeding

Personally, I think you are jumping the gun if you are asking those types of question. I would spend the next couple of years studying all about breeding and genetics and maybe align yourself with a good role model who can teach you the things you need to know before you breed, and help you to prepare to breed a cocker to cocker standards. There are already thousands of backyard-bred dogs, by people who just decide to breed without knowing what they are doing. A lot of them are euthanized in shelters. So, if you are really serious about bettering the breed, study, study and then study some more before you attempt it. A good breeder conducts health testing on their dogs, usually has homes picked out and approved before breeding, and is willing to take any dog back for any reason if it doesn't work out for the adopter. Those are just a few of the things that you should be thinking about. I'm sure you will be an awesome breeder if you just take your time and learn as much as you can.

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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:45 pm 
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That's why I'm asking questions here to begin with. I feel like every website I read about breeding tells me everything about the girl and the boy dogs separately, but never about the relationship between the two of them.
I wouldn't be a breeder to make money, and I wouldn't want to have puppies more than once a year. I'm pretty early on in the whole process and I won't even be able to get my first dog for another two years, at least.


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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:06 pm 
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Your questions make it obvious you are not ready to start breeding dogs. There is much more to it than finding 2 dogs. Are you aware of the necessary testing for starters?

Why do you want to breed?

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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:48 am 
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I don't see how me wondering what the temperaments of dogs has to do with how ready I am to breed them. How about you guys just get off your high horses and answer my questions?
Also, I read the page suggested and all it said even relative to what I asked was that most breeders own their own male dogs for breeding.


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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:48 am 
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From my experience, males and females who are mated do not necessarily bond over any two random dogs in a house. They have to like each other some, or the female might not accept the male. But nature tends to remedy that with hormones.

During season you absolutely must keep them separated if you do not want puppies. They will breed each and every time they are given the chance, which is way too often for the health of the female.

During heat the female will be spotting, a very messy and annoying process. She will have an odor to her that is perceptible to humans and is not pleasant. Most males are going to whine and be aggressive with one another (and possibly humans too) during that time, about 3 weeks long twice a year.

Most males do not care for puppies and should be kept well away from a nursing mother, as she is likely to be VERY protective. When the pups are old enough to be away from mom, you can try introducing them to the male, but with extreme caution and nowhere near the mother.


Its do-able with the male in your house, but its probably easier to visit a stud dog.

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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:40 pm 
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Thank you so much! That answered all my questions and really is helpful. I'm not looking to start a puppy mill or anything, so I was mostly planning on getting a male for the benefit of the female, but knowing all that really helps. Thanks again, Erika.


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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:33 pm 
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What "benefit of the female"?

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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:17 pm 
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Are you an adult or a student trying to find out information? Just curious. If a student I would suggest talking to our breeder experts for your assistance.

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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:59 pm 
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If you've never bred dogs before, it would definitely be better to just start out with a stud imho. A lot of things can go wrong in having a litter, and owning both dogs if you're not experienced will only complicate your life. Many people decide after one litter they never want to do it again for one thing, as it is a lot of work/time commitment and can be very stressful. Also, if your house is small, your life and your male's could be especially miserable for several weeks at a time if you need to separate them during each of the bitch's seasons. If after the first litter, you discover something congenital is wrong with the puppies, you also may not know whether it is due to the mother or father so you may need to stop breeding from one or both of your dogs and you'll need to decide what to do with them if not keep and spay/neuter them. Bear in mind as well that if something goes wrong and say your female needs to have an emergency c-section, this could cost you a couple grand. Also, if after your first litter, you discover you are having problems finding good homes for the puppies, you may end up keeping the ones you can't place and end up with a houseful of dogs which you didn't intend to have. Better to continue your research, consider the risks, and start with small steps before plunging into deeper waters.


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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:16 pm 
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and Chelsea when you get on a random forum and ask questions it is often better to be open to all answers not just the ones you are looking for. the "get off your high horse" is kinda rude too. That said you really don't seem like you are anywhere ready to think about breeding dogs of any sort. Research, go to shows, meet some breeders and exhibitors and get to know the breed. Also go to your local pound and look around all the dogs sitting there without homes. They are often there because the "breeder" did not put a lot of thought into producing them and certainly put little thought into what kind of home the puppies where going. Well bred puppies, while do find themselves at the pound sometimes, more often it is the dog who was produced just because who ends up in the shelter/pound.


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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:09 am 
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Something to remember is that a LOT of members of the Zim forum are involved with rescue to varying degrees . . . . so we've seen what happens when people don't think through the entire breeding process, and the puppies they bred end up in rescue. A responsible breeder takes back EVERY puppy they've bred . . . so you have to be ready for that possibility.

If you are serious about wanting to breed, I suggest going to some dog shows (search http://www.akc.org for shows in your area) and talking to breeders there. They will be able to provide you with plenty of insight into the world of breeding. While there are breeders on the Zim forum, the vast majority of the members are pet owners, and won't be able to answer your questions.

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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:10 am 
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This is a reply to somebody else's questions about breeding, just to give you some food for thought . . .
***************************************************************************************
I would like to say this - not all show people are ethical breeders, and not all ethical breeders show their dogs. Now, for those breeders that don't show their dogs - VERY few actually take the time to research the backgrounds behind their dogs to produce high quality dogs, let alone taking into account health testing.

An ethical breeder is more than whether or not a person shows, although in my world, that is part of it. As Rae said, showing your dog is a way of having breeding stock evaluated. The point behind breeding should be to produce as close to perfect as possible within a given breed standard. Unless you have your dog evaluated by others (judges, longtime breeders or handlers, etc), you will never know. Learning the standard includes understanding why things are written the way they are, and what the overall goal of the standard is. Why do we want a Cocker with a certain front end assembly, or a certain head shape? That's part of a good breeder's job. It's more than looks - it's construction. Just like anything, if the dog is not built properly, it won't perform properly. And while not many Cockers hunt these days (although some do!), we should preserve the innate reason for the breed.

Ethical breeders take many things into consideration when planning a breeding. What weaknesses does their bitch have? What do they want to improve through this breeding? When looking at stud dogs, they need to find a dog that can produce what their bitch needs, without bringing in other weaknesses. There’s always going to be some kind of trade off, and each breeder has to determine what they can and can’t live with. There’s a lot to consider, and you need to know an awful lot about the lines you’re working with, to know if things take more than one generation to breed out or whatever.

Ethical breeders think about puppy homes. Do they have people waiting for puppies? What is the probability that they will be able to find homes for all of the puppies OR will they be able to afford and give proper care to several puppies if they can’t all be sold.

Ethical breeders think about health. What testing has been done already, and what testing needs to be done. This is not set in stone, but the absolute bare minimum is CERF for eyes (at least annually) and OFA for hips. Many breeders are also checking knees, thyroid and other things. There are things like DNA tests for certain diseases that would potentially allow breeders to eradicate those issues from the gene pool completely if testing is done and people are honest about results and how they breed using those results.

Ethical breeders ensure that they have time to whelp the litter as well as to socialize the puppies and give them a good head start on life. Puppies should ideally be raised in the home, underfoot (so to speak) so they are used to the noise and activity of a home. The majority of puppies from any given litter will be sold as pets, so they need to be comfortable living as a pet.

I could go on all day about this, as it’s a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. But I think you get my gist. My advice to you is that if you can’t commit to doing things properly, spay and neuter your dogs. It’s more work than you think it will be – it’s not all cute puppies and fun times. Puppies die, bitches die, other bad things happen. Be prepared for all of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:50 pm 
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debbiefive wrote:
What "benefit of the female"?

The benefit of her happiness.
Deborah wrote:
Are you an adult or a student trying to find out information? Just curious. If a student I would suggest talking to our breeder experts for your assistance.

I'm not a student, but talking to more breeders sounds wise. I've never been to a dog show, but I'd like that to be an option for any puppies I may have. I have spoken to some breeders, but only a couple, and none who bred for shows.
Grace LCM wrote:
If you've never bred dogs before, it would definitely be better to just start out with a stud imho. A lot of things can go wrong in having a litter, and owning both dogs if you're not experienced will only complicate your life. Many people decide after one litter they never want to do it again for one thing, as it is a lot of work/time commitment and can be very stressful. Also, if your house is small, your life and your male's could be especially miserable for several weeks at a time if you need to separate them during each of the bitch's seasons. If after the first litter, you discover something congenital is wrong with the puppies, you also may not know whether it is due to the mother or father so you may need to stop breeding from one or both of your dogs and you'll need to decide what to do with them if not keep and spay/neuter them. Bear in mind as well that if something goes wrong and say your female needs to have an emergency c-section, this could cost you a couple grand. Also, if after your first litter, you discover you are having problems finding good homes for the puppies, you may end up keeping the ones you can't place and end up with a houseful of dogs which you didn't intend to have. Better to continue your research, consider the risks, and start with small steps before plunging into deeper waters.

Yeah, I think that's probably what I will end up doing. I'm actually in the process of finding a house to buy and the size of th back yard I need depended on whether or not buying a male was something I was going to do. But this way I can fully focus on giving my girl all my attention, which I like better.
KLADCkrs wrote:
Something to remember is that a LOT of members of the Zim forum are involved with rescue to varying degrees . . . . so we've seen what happens when people don't think through the entire breeding process, and the puppies they bred end up in rescue. A responsible breeder takes back EVERY puppy they've bred . . . so you have to be ready for that possibility.
If you are serious about wanting to breed, I suggest going to some dog shows (search http://www.akc.org for shows in your area) and talking to breeders there. They will be able to provide you with plenty of insight into the world of breeding. While there are breeders on the Zim forum, the vast majority of the members are pet owners, and won't be able to answer your questions.

I'm a huge advocate of birth control and responsible parenting for all races. But that's a whole other soap box. ( :wink )


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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:11 pm 
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:dk

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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:03 am 
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debbiefive wrote:
:dk

Yeah, a pets' happiness comes into consideration for me when I'm making long-term decisions. Crazy, I know. /sarcasm


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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:30 am 
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:bang

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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:04 am 
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Please keep the rude comments and sarcasm to a minimum. This is a public forum, so if you post here you have to be prepared for a multitude of replies, whether you agree with them or not.

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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:49 am 
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It's like going to a site devoted to ice cream and then being surprised when people say they like ice cream. I guess when I joined a forum built by an ethical breeder, I expected to see more ethical members.


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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:21 pm 
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The majority of the members of this site are ethical, including the people that you disagree with. Just because their views aren't what you want to hear doesn't mean they're not ethical.

As I stated before, I highly recommend you do a ton of research before breeding a litter, just so you're prepared for the possibilities. Trust me, sometimes the worst DOES happen . . . I am the voice of experience speaking here.

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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:03 pm 
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OK, I guess it's time for me to weigh in on this one.

I'll start with my advice to Chelsea on the original question of stud versus dad. I learned this lesson the hard way. For about the first 2/3 of the period in which I bred Cockers, I kept my own male here at our house. My thinking was that I wanted to keep it simple and be independent... not needing to get anyone's cooperation when I wanted to breed a litter, not needing to drive to another breeder for use of a stud, and not having to pay anyone for stud services.

I went with this strategy for a long time, but one day a comment from Julie Hydro was a "light bulb moment" for me. She knew I was having all sorts of problems with fights among my dogs, my male dog marking his territory, and a lower quality of pup than I was striving for. One day she asked me why I didn't just use a stud dog instead of owning my own male. It would eliminate the fights and the marking of territory... it would allow me to bring in some better bloodlines in to my breeding program rather than being stuck with the one fairly average male dog I had... and it would allow me to own one additional female dog which meant I could have more litters than I would have had the other way. I thought it through and realized Julie was right!

That one suggestion from Julie changed my entire breeding program... it forced me to start dealing with other breeders for use of a stud dog, which ended up bringing some much higher quality bloodlines in to my breeding program. It also eliminated most of the fights and the marking of territory... and by adding an additional female dog to the family I ended up having several additional litters I never would have had the other way.

So, my advice to Chelsea is strongly in favor of stud instead of Dad.

Now, regarding the tone of the debate in this thread... Chelsea, you've gotta realize that when a new member joins our community and the first thing they start asking about is breeding... it sets off alarm bells among many of our members. It's frustrating when someone joins the group and their primary motivation is to make puppies... because in most cases those kind of people aren't saying it, but their real motivation is to make money off of the pups. It's one thing when a long time forum member decides to get in to breeding after years of having Cockers... but when someone new wants to immediately go in to breeding, it worries a lot of us here who have seen this kind of thing before.

Also, sarcasm is tricky when you are typing. It's much easier to do it in person without offending people... because they can read your body language and you can read theirs. They see you smile when you make a sarcastic remark, and they know you are just teasing. And if they take it wrong... you see their facial expression, and you back off and apologize. But on the forum, when you're just typing, it's easy for sarcasm and snarky remarks to get misinterpreted or to offend. I've found friendly works a lot better than sarcastic on the forum (and in email)!

I hope that's helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm 
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I can see why someone would be skeptical in that situation, and that's why I was fine when the first response I got was that way. But she at least attempted to answer my questions while at the same time showing skepticism. It was mostly the second comment that bothered me. She offered no helpful advice and asked if I knew the very most basic aspects of reproduction. That was frustrating.


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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:05 am 
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I think its important that we provide a friendly place where people can ask questions and learn about how to do this the RIGHT way. Chelsea said in the very beginning that she does not have any dogs, and she was talking about this all in future tense. That's exactly what many of you are asking her to do, her research. If we slam the door in the faces of people who are doing exactly what they should do, we lose the opportunity to educate.

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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:54 am 
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Exactly! Than you, Erika. Again.


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 Post subject: Re: Stud vs. Dad?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:30 am 
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Found this video in here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hex00WjSobE

As I been told it's really hard to find a great hunting dog as most dogs have been bred for the beauty shows here in America. We never had the time to train our second dog who could had the agility in her. I never had a dog play and knowing that I had brought home dinner in the house after work on Fridays. She wanted to play ball then eat.

Now on hunting dogs the best place is to import from England as there are people that do breed just for that. They stay away from the American cocker and go for the English because of the larger head for pheasant hunting.

The American-English cockers have been dumb down to look pretty.


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