To breed or not to breed? 


New owners frequently ask, "Shall I breed my dog?"  The answer is complicated, for there is much to consider.  Breeding is not a casual undertaking.   All breeds have genetic defects which can be passed along from parent to puppy.   The Basset is no exception.  Responsible knowledgeable breeders know these problems and strive to avoid them when selecting mates.  Breeding is a commitment.   You must have a good understanding of the breed standard and what health problems exist.  You must study canine structure and movement.  You must breed only the best and be prepared to spend considerable time, effort and money.  Bassets may have several major health problems, some of which can be detected through testing (bleeding disorders, glaucoma), and others to which he may be predisposed including bloat and immune deficiencies.

And, of course, one must be very careful with temperament for this trait is also hereditary.  No dog or bitch with known genetic problems should be used for breeding.

Old wives tales regarding the benefits of breeding abound.   They are just that -- old wives tales.  You will have a healthier, happier pet if he or she is neutered or spayed.  Your dog's disposition will not change adversely with alteration.  In fact, you will have a more polite house pet who will not be apt to wander or leave his mark on your corner cabinets if neutered.  And having a litter is in no way beneficial to a female; in fact, it can lead to problems, even death.   It is fact that spayed bitches often live longer and have fewer health problems than unspayed females.

Breeding dogs is a real responsibility.  One must have knowledge of what makes top quality animals, understanding of pedigrees and genetics, proper facilities to keep and socialize puppies and to take them back, if the situation demands, financial resources for shots, food and unforeseen medical emergencies.  The average size of a Basset litter is 6 to 8, though 10-12 also occurs.  Pet population is a serious problem in all breeds today.  Bassets are being produced by indiscriminate breeders in unhealthy environments and with serious health problems which are likely to cause much financial and emotional stress to the owners.  Many dogs are put to death annually in animal shelters, and Bassets share in those statistics.  You would not want to contribute to this problem.

Copyright BHCA, Inc.