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 Post subject: Breeding my first cocker litter-Update: New Decisions
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:12 am 
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It seems like for the past 6 weeks or so, I haven't been able to visit the forum without leaving in tears. So many losing their beloved friends or facing severe illness. I have been fortunate that my doggie crew has remained healthy, but 2 weeks ago I had to PTS my beloved 13 y/o Grand Champion blue-point persian, Sparkle. She was diagnosed with cancer two months prior and the time had come. It seems like some fun news was in order.

Several weeks ago, I contacted Jim Zim and received permission to post about my adventure in breeding my first litter of cocker spaniels. I have noticed that members of the forum always seem to enjoy when breeders post about their litters. So I thought that they might enjoy reading about the whole experience from beginning to end.

So why breed now? Originally, I had planned to breed Tango when she was four (she turned 2 in March). However, she started coming in heat at 11 mos and has conistently come in heat every six months followed each time with a severe false pregnancy. I have been warned that if I don't breed her soon, she may develop pyometria and I will lose this opportunity altogether. Since she is a beautiful dog, and should produce a show puppy for me, I decided to go ahead and breed her in September when she is due to come in heat. This is, of course, contingent upon her passing her health checks.

Tango had her OFA eye exam by an opthamologist 3 weeks ago and he said her eyes were fine. Last week, she had her hips done and I am waiting to see if they pass the OFA panel. My vet who is a retired military vet and very experienced in looking at hip xrays, said they looked very good to her, but I need to hear from OFA to be sure. So, this whole breeding idea may be a moot point if she doesn't pass.

In the meantime, we'll be off to the Nationals. Tango will be shown in the Cut-down Sweepstakes and in Rally. Going to the Nationals will also give me the opportunity to look for a stud dog. I have several in mind, but might see something really special that I'm not aware of.

I'll post again when ready for the next step-- choosing a stud dog.


Last edited by Gale on Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:14 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Adventure-Breeding my first cocker litter
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:25 am 
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Thanks for sharing your story with us. I'll be looking for updates :th-up Have you posted pictures of Tango before? I don't remember seeing any on the forum.

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 Post subject: Re: New Adventure-Breeding my first cocker litter
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:38 pm 
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YAY!! Anytime there's a chance for puppy pictures, I'm all for it!! :th-up

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 Post subject: Re: New Adventure-Breeding my first cocker litter
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:37 pm 
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I can smell the puppy breath already!!

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Louie 02/15/2002
Cooper 12/07/07
Leila 03/21/08
Bridgette 01/12/09
Echo 08/10/12

Waiting at the Bridge: Little Sister, Savana, Tivy, Slider, Arrow and all the others, I will always love you.


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 Post subject: Re: New Adventure-Breeding my first cocker litter
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:31 pm 
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Here's a picture of her that was previously posted on the forum:

http://dogbreedz.smugmug.com/Dog-Shows/ ... &k=FwP2TZn

Looks like PeggyM took her photos - and she's a beauty!

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Waylon (non-cocker, terrorist) 2/1/01 -

Shiloh - 4/5/95 - 5/23/11 RIP, sweet girl


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 Post subject: Re: New Adventure-Breeding my first cocker litter
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:15 am 
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Wow, she is beautiful! :love

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 Post subject: Re: New Adventure-Breeding my first cocker litter
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:41 am 
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She is takes-my-breath-away beautiful! I'm sure her puppies will be gorgeous too. Can't wait for updates - hope this is a terrific experience for you both :sm

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missing Cocoa, a sable merle parti girl


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 Post subject: Re: New Adventure-Breeding my first cocker litter
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:00 am 
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What a pretty girl. How exciting!

Please keep us updated after your trip to Spaniel Club and let us know who the lucky sire will be.

It will be fun following your adventures in first time breeding. I am hoping to do the same within the next couple of years.

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Jackie

Rocky (7/18/02), Onyx (10/2/10), Misty (8/15/11), and Ethan (10/20/11)
Weesister (7/18/02-7/22/10) and Killington (10/85-2/02)waiting at the bridge


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 Post subject: Re: New Adventure-Breeding my first cocker litter
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:32 pm 
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Tango is stunning!! :hp Hoping everything turns out positive and you can breed her. How fun to see puppy pictures again!! Best wishes!!

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Parker November 2006
Emma June 2009

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 Post subject: Re: New Adventure-Breeding my first cocker litter
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:39 pm 
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She is absolutely beautiful! I look forward to reading about your experiences and of course seeing lots and lots of pictures ^_^

I too plan to start a breeding program in the next few years (been waiting to pay off student loans but that is finally coming to a close woo)

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~Kirra~ Shiloh Hills Secret Sunrise ~ cocker spaniel } born December 31, 2008

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~Jewelz~ cocker spaniel } 1/31/01 - 5/31/13 RIP <3
~Angel~ mixed } 11/1/01 - 1/7/13 RIP


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 Post subject: Re: New Adventure-Breeding my first cocker litter
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:48 am 
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How exciting!

Can't wait to hear about your journey! (and see lots and lots of puppy pictures!)

Wishing you the best as you seek Tango's perfect mate!

:Fever

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Lisa R

Chesapeake NF, AX, AXJ (CGC)
4/20/10

The road to MACH is full of jumps and weaves....

Competing in Master Agility
Double Q's - 3
MACH Points -126
MX Q's - 4
MJX Q's - 4

(edited 12/17)


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 Post subject: Re: New Adventure-Breeding my first cocker litter
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:27 am 
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So excited to hear the whole process! And of course also get my puppy fix! So fun! When is her next heat cycle? Do you plan to breed her then? Or the one following?


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 Post subject: Re: New Adventure-Breeding my first cocker litter
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:58 am 
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She's due to come in heat in September. Hopefully, she'll take then. Puppies by mid-November. However, still waiting on hip results from OFA. Keeping fingers crossed!


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 Post subject: Re: New Adventure-Breeding my first cocker litter
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:53 pm 
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Nationals Update:

Tango went Best of Variety in Cutdown Sweepstakes and finished her Rally Novice title. She has some beautiful rosettes!

I have chosen the stud that I will be breeding Tango to in September (pending OFA results). He is AMGRCH Braewood Grand Larceny. "Lars" is a 10year-old black boy bred by Marnie Wood of Braewood Cockers. He has a lovely head, gorgeous long neck, beautiful topline, and a well-laid back shoulder that contributes smooth movement with forward reach and back end drive. Even at the age of 10, he still loves to show and it shows. The cherry on top is that he has the most wonderful disposition--he knows no strangers. When I met him at the Nationals, he flew into my arms without hesitation. Lars had been in my top 3 candidates prior to the Nationals, but after meeting him and seeing him in the ring, the choice was clear. So, Tango will be taking a little airplane ride to Canada. If you would like to see pictures of Lars go to the Braewood Cockers website (braewoodcockers.com). I don't think that they do him justice, but they do give an idea.


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding my first cocker litter-Nationals Update
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:50 am 
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Congratulations! How exciting :joy

Approximately when will she be bred?

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Jackie

Rocky (7/18/02), Onyx (10/2/10), Misty (8/15/11), and Ethan (10/20/11)
Weesister (7/18/02-7/22/10) and Killington (10/85-2/02)waiting at the bridge


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding my first cocker litter-Nationals Update
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:21 pm 
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:Fever

Can't wait...

Lars is gorgeous!

hope that OFA comes back with GREAT results.....

Congratulations on Tango's wonderful weekend!

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Lisa R

Chesapeake NF, AX, AXJ (CGC)
4/20/10

The road to MACH is full of jumps and weaves....

Competing in Master Agility
Double Q's - 3
MACH Points -126
MX Q's - 4
MJX Q's - 4

(edited 12/17)


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding my first cocker litter-Nationals Update
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:55 am 
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Great pedigree for Lars. :Clap

Best of luck on your breeding adventure. :th-up

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding my first cocker litter-Nationals Update
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:28 pm 
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Wow! He is gorgeous! (And he knows it hehe) how fun! I love LOVe following these! And am excited to follow again, start to finish! Hope the testing is all good! :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding my first cocker litter-Nationals Update
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:55 am 
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I noticed that Lars' dam is Braewood KLAD in Black. I believe she was at one time co-owned with Kelly of KLAD and Kelly showed her in the breed ring. (Someone can correct me if I am wrong)


Small world

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Jackie

Rocky (7/18/02), Onyx (10/2/10), Misty (8/15/11), and Ethan (10/20/11)
Weesister (7/18/02-7/22/10) and Killington (10/85-2/02)waiting at the bridge


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding my first cocker litter-Nationals Update
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:15 pm 
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Great News! Received OFA certificate in mail today-- hips rated "good". Eyes have already been cleared. Thyroid negative per Dr. Dodds. Okay to breed!

And, yes, at one time, Kelly did co-own Lars's mother.


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding my first cocker litter-Update: OFA good!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:25 pm 
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:joy Good news :Clap

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Jackie

Rocky (7/18/02), Onyx (10/2/10), Misty (8/15/11), and Ethan (10/20/11)
Weesister (7/18/02-7/22/10) and Killington (10/85-2/02)waiting at the bridge


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding my first cocker litter-Update: OFA good!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:41 pm 
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Awesome News!

Let the adventure begin! :YAY

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Lisa R

Chesapeake NF, AX, AXJ (CGC)
4/20/10

The road to MACH is full of jumps and weaves....

Competing in Master Agility
Double Q's - 3
MACH Points -126
MX Q's - 4
MJX Q's - 4

(edited 12/17)


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding my first cocker litter-Update: OFA good!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:15 pm 
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YAY! So exciting!


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding my first cocker litter-Update: OFA good!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:40 pm 
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:joy :YAY Great news!

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~Kirra~ Shiloh Hills Secret Sunrise ~ cocker spaniel } born December 31, 2008

Rainbow Bridge
~Jewelz~ cocker spaniel } 1/31/01 - 5/31/13 RIP <3
~Angel~ mixed } 11/1/01 - 1/7/13 RIP


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding my first cocker litter-Update: Next Steps
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:12 pm 
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It's been almost a month since my last update. Things have been proceeding on track. Today, I thought that I would talk about 2 things: Why I chose Lars and the cost of breeding.

Why I chose Lars... yes, he is a beautiful boy, but there are many beautiful boys I could have bred to. Let me first say that while this is my first cocker litter, I am not an inexperienced breeder per se. I have bred champion persian cats, arabian horses, nubian goats, and suffolks/hampshire sheep. The principles in breeding are the same no matter the species. There are basically 2 philosophies in breeding, line breeding (based on genotype) and type breeding (based on phenotype). Now, there can be huge explosive debates on which is best--please, let's not get into that (at least not on this thread--fully open to it on another). I will tell you that I am a huge proponent of line breeding and my choices for Tango were based upon that philosophy.

When choosing a sire, you must first honestly and thoroughly evaluate your girl. While I have been told that I have a very good eye for cockers (believe it or not conformation standards in arabian horses are very similar to cockers), I also got feedback from handlers (both of whom are long-time breeders and handlers of top cockers) as well as her breeder who has been breeding top-winning cockers for about 40 years. The concensus was that Tango really didn't have anything to fix-- another words she didn't have any faults, for example, a straight shoulder. That doesn't mean that there aren't areas for improvement. In Tango's case, I am focusing on three things: size, coat, and neck. Size: When Tango was 9 mos old she was wicketed (measured) at 14 inches which is standard. However, in the time since then her shoulder has laid back more (a good thing) and I suspect that if she were wicketed today she would measure somewhere within 13 1/2 to 13 3/4 inches, still within standard and not penalized in the conformation ring but on the smaller end. Tango is a highly marked black and tan (which means she has lots of bright tan), but she also has genetic patterning which means that when she came in heat the first time and blew her coat most of the tan did not grow back in with long hair it just stayed short. So, her coat is insufficient to be competitive in the show ring currently. Finally, her neck is not short, but it is not super long and elegant which I would prefer. So, I needed to find a sire that possessed those qualities in abundance as well as having no major faults. Now there are a number of dogs that fit that bill, however, if you remember I am a huge proponent of line-breeding. So, I needed to find a sire that had those qualities and had certain ancestors in common with her--- not so easy to find! To be honest, Beckham would have been the ideal sire (Beckham's breeder got her original dogs from Tango's breeder-- so they are fairly closely related) but he is not open to public stud. I spent hours online pouring over the cocker database. One dog I really liked got sent to Denmark while another only had one 9 week old litter on the ground (not enough to judge what he's going to produce). There were a couple of others on my list, but after I saw Lars at the Nationals, I decided he was the one! To be honest, three things sold me-- his gorgeous long neck, his attitude in the ring, and his temperament. Temperament was the most crucial-- I want to breed puppies that love people! and it will, of course, be a line breeding.

Okay, second topic, the cost of breeding. I think most hobby breeders, no matter the species, just laugh when people ask them about making money selling their animals. I have never made money breeding, if I was lucky, I broke even. Most of the time, I have had to seriously supplement my breeding programs. So, I went into this with my eyes wide open. I'm only talking about the actual dollars for 2 reasons: One, to help people understand why their "pet" puppies cost so much when they come from responsible breeders and, two, if you are thinking about breeding what you may want to think about budgeting for ahead of time. Of course, your actual costs will vary depending upon your choices.

So, to start with there is the cost of your bitch. Tango cost $900. Add into that general healthcare and maintence for 2 1/2 years before you can breed. That's another $1,000 (at least!). Let's not forget the $1800 it cost to finish her championship. You might say that a championship was not necessary to breed her, but I personally would not breed a dog that had so many faults that she could not finish. Even with a really good bitch you are likely to get only one, maybe 2 show quality puppies, the rest will be pets, very nice pets, but pets. I am breeding to improve the breed so in general, I am not going to breed a bitch that has limited potential to produce show quality puppies.
Now, my actual costs so far specific to this breeding. Eye exam for OFA (used to be CERF): $35 (cheap! did it at one of my dog club's clinics--if I would of had a private appt. $100!) $12 for the certification. Hip Xrays for OFA $169 + $65 for the OFA panel review. Thyroid panel with genetic marker testing $100. Brucellosis (Brucella canis) testing: $100. Vet Health certificate (so that I can ship her to Canada) $46.00 (actually $92 because I had to have it done twice because shipping dates changed). Air fare to Canada ($450 -roundtrip). Kennel that was the size that the airline would accept (mine were all 2 inches too big): $90. Stud fee: $600 + additional $400 to cover lab tests for progesterone levels (so they know the best days for breeding), an ultrasound at 4 weeks before she is shipped back to me, and a health certificate so they'll let her come home.

If I put it into the calculator correctly that is a grand total of $5,813 and she doesn't even leave for Canada til August 24th! And ... she's not pregnant yet! As you can see, it all adds up to a rather tidy sum, even this early in the game. Of course, I've had the fun of showing her and the little brat's company for 2 1/2 years which is, as the commercial says... priceless!

I am not looking forward to putting Tango on that plane. Her breeder assures me that she has shipped dozens of dogs over the years without a single bad incident. She even had a pregnant dog in the air coming from Denmark on 9-11 when all of the planes got diverted away from the US. The plane ended up landing in Nova Scotia and the dog received wonderful care from volunteers in Canada. Gibbs's grandmother was one of the puppies in the dog's tummy. I just can't help but worry a little!

Will post again when I start preparing for the litter, whelping boxes etc.


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