A Mixed Mailbox…

Cliff walks a litter in freshly cut hay field!

The truth is it is a wonderful thing to raise Weimaraner puppies but that statement is weighted with the facts….

  1. It is a lot of work ~ Way before you even mate the select parents you have work to do with them–health screens, training, socialization, proving them in your venue, etc. When the pups arrive it is often around the clock for the first couple of weeks. There are many facets to the whole process that involve client’s wants, needs, and general interest. Your Veterinary must be involved and this means trips to their office. As they grow they need handled in a certain way, exposed to all kinds of stimulus, and prepared to leave for their forever homes. None of this includes the hours spent screening prospective homes. Nor does it count the hours of support and education you need to provide both clients and prospective clients.
  2. It is expensive. ~ Even if you purchased the least expensive Weims you can find thinking you can do this no matter what, there is a lot of expense. You have health checks of various kinds that need to be done. The parents should at a minimum receive either OFA or PennHIP screens and blood work.  You need a Veterinary that has an eye for the breeder and who will take the time to give you honest advice. They need to be invested in understanding your breed and be willing to make on-site visits. A good Veterinary can save you money but there is a pretty large upfront cash out lay. Once the pups arrive you will not only be depending upon your Vet’s advice for the mother’s health issues during the process, but also for the litter’s needs. Depending upon your experience the amount of time and number of visits can vary but most of the time you expect two litter visits. Quality puppy chow is vital to the Weimaraner pup. Puppy chow is expensive and as the pups grow the bags of food disappear quickly. The longer you keep the pups the more the expensive incurred. Some people will feel the pressure and let the pups go way too early due to the expense. Just because the puppy is weaned it doesn’t mean it is old enough to leave the litter. During the process you need a lot of supplies other than the puppy chow. As you can see expenses do add up and yet we have not even mentioned advertising. Although there are free advertising options they may prove fruitless and you may end up with your pups needing a home when they are far beyond placement age. Often friends and family will urge you to mate your lovely Weim because they want a pup from them, but when the time comes those that want a pup are often no longer to be found waiting or ready.
  3. There is a Weight of Responsibility. ~In our opinion the breeder must not only understand the responsibility of breeding but be willing to commit to shoulder the entire weight. That would be a lengthy post in and of itself, so we will omit many facets a breeder should consider and once again hit the high points. Weight of responsibility connects directly back to points 1 & 2. Responsibility equates to spending money as needed, time required, and energy when you have nothing left. Money, time, energy, are wrapped up with a passionate commitment. You can love the breed but that doesn’t make you a breeder. In fact many clients who love the breed know enough to know they are not equipped to raise Weimaraner puppies. We have not even mentioned finding the right breeding pair. Even with a vast amount of research things may not turn out as planned. There are unknown risks on every side. Often after much effort you end up with nothing.

Our Mailbox ~

We see a lot of requests for breeding rights.

We should note that we rarely give out breeding rights and when we do it is almost exclusively to an established breeder. On occasion, someone may be titling a pup along with agreeing to a specified list of health checks and whatnot prior to getting breeding rights. This is a rare arrangement. Although many pups we place might be breed-worthy choices you can see there is a lot more to doing this than getting a quality Weim pair.

We feel for most clients spaying and neutering is the responsible choice. There are long lists of reasons given by rescue organizations and shelters for spaying and neutering but the short list should suffice:

  1. Less risk of cancer
  2. Shelters and Rescue organizations are overrun with mixed breed pups from unplanned litters. They even see purebred pups.
  3. Intact females and males alike can suddenly (and we do mean suddenly without notice) take off in search of a mate. The intact female’s scent broadcasts far and wide and the intact male is driven to find her. This puts an unplanned pregnancy in the works as well as puts your beloved Weimar at risk.

Speaking of our mailbox……….this week we have found a lot of comments about spaying, neutering, and breeding rights.

Arnie and Izzy were neutered and spayed respectively. We have been receiving reports on how they are doing. We thank their families for the reports! We received a very nice inquiry from someone who saw one of our pups and wanted to get one from us. Unfortunately, beyond their comments about loving our pup’s quality they also wrote:

I prefer female. And i don’t want someone to tell me it has to be fixed (spayed). I may want to raise a litter so if that is not an option I would not be interested.

We replied despite the comment. Typical breeding right requests come often and normally read something like this…

  • I have a gorgeous male or female and I cannot bear not to raise a litter. How much would a male/female cost?
  • I want to raise a single litter it makes a better female.
  • Tell me how much for AKC registered female (upon our query they mean AKC with breeding rights).
  • We want to raise one litter as we want to keep a pup ourselves and several family members and friends also want a pup.

We simply cannot support the idea of someone casually raising a litter of Weimaraner pups. That doesn’t mean they cannot go somewhere else and get breeding rights. Some of these folks might do a decent job, however, in reality there is no way we can have peace doing it this way. It is our goal to avoid having off spring (even second generation off spring) to never end up at a shelter or rescue. Once we give out breeding rights we lose control and cannot be responsible for those pups raised by someone else.

Unfortunately, some people don’t understand our reservations. They don’t realize how many Weims end up in rescue. Rescues are filled with Weims of all ages discarded by well-meaning individuals (puppy owners, breeders, etc.). Ultimately it is the breeder’s responsibility to make sure this doesn’t happen. This is easier written than it is accomplished!

Adorable Nursing Pups

Yes, it sweet handling and raising puppies. It would be a lie to say otherwise. It is, however, not always as imagined. There are many ups and downs. Heartache and disappointment go with the territory. Sometimes try as you might you cannot imagine all that can happen and the what-ifs can be a pretty long list. Can you deal with pups dying, people failing you, the expense of a c-section, or a puppy needing special care? All of this and more could potentially happen to you and you have to be prepared for the worst scenario. We hope if you are contemplating breeding that you think about all the aspects and honestly weigh whether you are cut out for the entire process. After pouring your heart and soul into raising and placing the pups they will leave. Many people cannot deal with the hours of being homebound due to having a litter of pups and if they get through that they cannot let the pups go.

In closing, some unhappy persons have been turned away. It is not meant to be personal but a person has to determine certain guidelines. Breeders need to establish a mission and goals. In the end, unless you can show you are working to improve the breed you should not step into the breeder’s circle. Not every breeder does this in the same manner but all quality breeders set the bar high and aim to prove their lines worth. This might happen in a show ring, in hunt tests, or other venues. In addition there are other components (of which we mentioned a few) that must be considered. Thank You for taking time to read this post. We know most of you are not looking to breed but the topic still might be of interest.

Here are some other links that might be of interest:

About OwyheeStar

We are Professional Weimaraner breeders--with forty years experience at raising puppies. For many years, we have focused exclusively on the Weimaraner! If you are considering the Weimaraner, or live with one, we welcome you to sign up to our blog. We sincerely hope you will find the information, the stories, and varied posts insightful (as well as entertaining). To those who live with an OwyheeStar Weimaraner, we send special thanks. We appreciate the photos, the news, and your friendship. Thank you for being a part of the extended OwyheeStar family.

Posted on December 15, 2010, in Information and Education. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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