Top 10 Dachshund Breeding Rules of Ethical Breeders

Becoming a top-quality dachshund breeder means you have no interest in breeding your dachshund just for fun.

Professional dachshund breeders should be prepared to invest 15 or more years into developing a reputable dachshund breeder. That’s how long it can take for your breeding program to show results. Those results are better dachshunds than what you started out with. A reputable dachshund breeder’s goal should be to achieve and meet the dachshund breed standard— not just to produce and sell more dachshunds for more profit.

Examine your motives for wanting to breed dachshunds. Is your motive more than just a passing interest? Do you really like being around dachshunds and making sure they receive the best care possible? This is a big responsibility and not to be taken lightly.

We see a lot of dachshunds coming through dachshund rescue that people of having given up on for whatever reason. Our question is: why? A reputable breeder would never want to see one of their babies going to a household that wouldn’t provide the same loving care that they have provided. We get the impression that many first-time breeders may be more motivated by the expectation of making a lot of money just to supplement their income with a seemingly easy part-time business.

The odds are high that if money is the primary motive for starting a dachshund breeding program, you won’t be in the business three years from now. If the love of dachshunds and spending time and effort with your little guys is the main motivating factor, then there’s a good chance you’ll be doing this for many years. But that’s a BIG IF! Breeding is expensive and time-consuming.

Preliminary steps

Before making any commitment, talk to other dachshund breeders. Most reputable breeders will be happy to discuss their life’s work and be able to impart some important aspects of what the business is like– both pros and cons. Study the want ads in your local paper for “Dogs For Sale” to give you an idea of what the dachshund market is like in your geographic area.

Do some homework. Read some books on breeding. There are several out there (look at any books on breeding, even if they’re not specifically about breeding dachshunds).

Study the dachshund breed standards so you’ll know what is acceptable and what is not. Spend time at the dog shows. You’ll begin to get a feel for the business of dog breeding and showing. You’ll soon find out who’s important in the dachshund world. You’ll also soon discover what the show judges are looking for in the breed. Judges are particular.

This doesn’t mean that you must be a complete conformist. You’ll have to decide what’s important regarding how you think the breed should look, but always use the Breed Standard as your guide. Write your goals and your own standards down. Develop a kennel philosophy that you can rationally defend and stay with. But remember, the smart dachshund buyer will ask for referrals from other people and if you develop a reputation of breeding problem dogs, those important referrals will be few and that will only cause you problems in the future.

A successful breeder is one who knows the virtues and faults of all the dogs in a pedigree for 4 generations. The breeder must have the judgment to pick the best puppies and the willingness to eliminate the breeding stock of all defective or substandard specimens.

This type of knowledge does not come quickly or easily. A breeder needs to learn everything about dachshunds, especially about the bloodlines from which you plan to choose your stock. Visit as many kennels as you can, talk to the owners, and see the tried-and-true producers, the winners, and the retired dogs.

Remember that a pedigree shows only that the dogs are registered with the AKC. It does not guarantee the quality of the dog. What a pedigree does do is give you a means of studying the bloodline value. A successful breeder can see the faults in his or her own dogs as readily as those in a rival’s.

Costs and investments

Operating even a small breeding kennel is a big consideration that should never be underestimated when considering whether to get into this business. Breeding requires a lot of upfront money to secure a quality dam. This should be a show-quality bitch.

Carefully consider the effort and expense that goes into producing a litter of healthy and active puppies. Many pedigree puppies cannot be sold locally. This means advertising and the effort and cost of finding just the right home in which to place them.

If operating money is an issue will you have to rely on cheap, grain-based foods that lack proper nutrients for a healthy animal? Do you have a veterinarian you can trust to assist you? What happens when things go bad and you have sudden unbudgeted vet expenses? How about insurance costs, advertising in the right publications, plus all the miscellaneous expenses such as printed materials, telephones, websites, phone bills all related to the business of breeding dogs? Have you considered the zoning problems? Some municipalities will not allow homeowners to have more than just a few pets on the premises?

Breeding dachshunds is a business and not one that you consider as a part-time second income. Taking care of your dogs is a full-time proposition. Assuming that you love the little guys a lot, you still have to look at them in business terms. That means making a business plan that outlines ALL of your expenses that you’ll likely incur during the first 5 years of operation. Where does the money come from to meet those expenses? Don’t plan on paying for those expenses from puppy sales, because it will take at least 4 years before you’re likely to show any kind of profit and that’s assuming you do everything just right without any major medical expenses. Owning a kennel is not a get-rich-quick proposition.

There can be a lot of satisfaction when a buyer calls you a year after you sell them a pup and tell you how happy they are with their little guy, but there’s also the phone calls from people wanting their money back and for you to take the puppy back because of some unforeseen problem like soiling the living room carpet. It takes a special kind of person to operate a kennel without having your kennel falling into the puppy mill status.

10 Rules of Ethical Breeding

  1. The only reason to be breeding purebred dogs is to preserve the best qualities of the breed. Breeding just to supply any market is not a justification for breeding.
  2. Do all of your breeding with the best interests of the dachshund in mind–never your pocketbook.
  3. You MUST be a serious student of the dachshund and devote years of your life to it. Dachshund breeding is not a part-time business that you can do now and then.
  4. Find a suitable mentor. As a beginner, you need to engross yourself in the breed as much as possible. A mentor will be there to help guide you especially when you encounter some bumps in the road.
  5. Serious breeders must show and compete in the ring. You must keep track of all the puppies you produce, whether they are pets or show quality, to know how your breeding program is working.
  6. Spay or neuter all pet-quality dogs. This must be in writing before completing the sale.
  7. Show quality puppies need to go on a contract that will not allow breeding unless the dog lives up to the quality intended and passes all health checks and certification necessary. If a prospective breeder does not want to do this, then I am sorry but they will have to mess with someone else’s dogs, not mine!
  8. Co-ownerships allow you a certain amount of control in this regard because they require your signature in order that puppies be registered. The latest news from the AKC is that there is a pending change to the rules that will not allow registration unless all papers are properly signed. If you have a difference with your co-owner it will need to be settled in court before the AKC will register litters or puppies. This is new and still pending, but a step in the right direction.
  9. Every dachshund breeder owes it to the breed and to themselves to be involved with dachshund rescue organizations.
  10. Every breeder should be prepared to take any dog back for whatever reason. If they don’t have space, then they need to be prepared to make other arrangements.

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