Since the beginning of time, man has been keeping and domesticating animals like dogs to help with the manual labor around the farms and also as alternate sources of food. Preferred dog types were domesticated while others were killed or neglected. This started a partnership between man and specific dog types that would last until the present times. Over the years, dogs have been bred according to specific types like guardian dogs, hunting dogs, hounds, etc. In order to obtain the distinct characteristics of a particular bloodline, dogs with particular characteristics have been mated. Prior to this, dogs used to breed without human intervention. Dog types/breeds came about as a natural selection process where the stronger species survive and the weaker ones die.
Dog breeding then is simply choosing the right pair with the characteristics you want for your offspring. It is an advantage if one has a working knowledge of genetics and some canine physiology. Most breeders prefer breeding using crossbreeds rather than pure breeds because cross breeds are healthier than pure breeds and less prone to genetic abnormalities that may eventually result to disability; make them susceptible to diseases, or even a give them a shorter lifespan.
First, select the particular type of breed. Make sure that this is definitely the type you want. See to it the bitch and the stud are both healthy. Certain infections, e.g. Brucellosis, may cause sterility. Choose bloodlines or pedigrees that are compatible.
Second, never breed animals with behavior/temper problems. If the dog cannot be trusted around humans, e.g. too aggressive, too timid, do not breed it. Choose animals that are happy, obedient, etc.
Third, never breed a dog that is less than two years old. By this time, the bitch has achieved full maturity of its reproductive system and is now able to bear healthy puppies. Make sure you have spacing in the breeding frequency. Too frequent breeding cannot restore full recovery to the bitch that has to undergo the stressful conditions attendant to pregnancy.
Fourth, be aware of the additional care that a pregnant bitch requires. She needs or requires about a three hundred percent increase in food intake. In case she needs special treatment, take her to the veterinarian before it gets too late.
Fifth, puppies should be properly cared for. Have an adequate litter box so that your puppies do not get too crowded. It must be warm but not too hot. With a greater number of puppies, you have to give supplemental feeding. The puppy may not be able to sustain such a greater number. Each week will have developmental milestones in your puppy. Make sure you are conversant about these. You may ask your veterinarian about these milestones. And consider where you may put the extra puppies in the litter. Unless you want to keep all of them, thereby putting further stress on the already-strained family budget.
For genetic advice and other considerations, feel free to consult a veterinarian or any dog breeding specialist. So go on, have fun! Enjoy the pleasure of the company of a dear dog, man’s best friend.