BREEDING - How hard can it be?????????????
I have been a visitor to your site for a pretty long time. I have noticed over the last few months especially, that you have a good few letters on your site from the public, fellow yorkie owners etc.
This has prompted me to write to you and I hope you put this on your site, I have no objections to that at all. I have also included all the names of the Breeders concerned, the Kennel information where the dogs come from and obviously all my own details, your choice if you publish it or not.
We as a family, myself, my Hubby and our three teenage children, lived a very good life. We wanted for nothing and I was a fulltime working mother. The time came and my children wanted their own dogs. We have always had the outside dogs but they wanted a housedog. It started with Cindy my eldest. So off we went and bought a yorkie. I must be honest, I did not do my homework, I picked up a paper read a few ads in the Junkmail and off we went. The next daughters birthday was around the corner and she too wanted her own dog. This time I did a bit of homework and looked in a doggie magazine. I paid considerably more for the next yorkie, and it was obviously a very much better bred dog. Totally different in looks. The Breeder advised that the dog was banned for breeding purposes. I was not concerned, I had no intention of breeding. The time I bought the first yorkie a colleague in my office bought two. She now offered me the male. They lived in a complex were allowed two dogs and they had four. So I took over her male.
The economic climate took its toll. I was retrenched from a senior position in my company. It was a huge shock to us, but I received a pretty good package. My husband has been a car salesman all his working career. Understandably his salary goes up and down. It is not constant. I started looking for employment and was quite devastated when the interviews I went to, told me I had been over paid and in turn I was offered considerably less than I had been earning. I was with my Company for a good few years. The first to be in in the morning, the last to leave late afternoon. I now believed my salary must have been as a result of my efforts and loyalty, more than what I was possibly worth….
My yorkie came on heat, in all the turmoil of the last good few months, I had not got them sterilized. So I felt this a golden opportunity to make some money. The first yorkie girl got mated. I read up as much as I could, I was on the internet every spare moment. I was going to become a yorkie breeder. I was going to get all the info I needed from the internet. I also went to the local library, something I had not done since a varsity student. I took out books on breeding dogs, breeding Yorkies, the complications one could expect to be faced with. The time arrived and Cilla – Cindy’s yorkie went into labour and popped out four pups. I was in seventh heaven. I was working out how rich I was going to get from this litter.
All went well and the pups went up for sale. I advertised them, and the buyers came – the first two pups flew out the door, the second two, which I have to admit were nowhere near as pretty as the first two, stayed behind. I found people coming and going. In the end I reduced their price and I must be honest. The buyers that came and bought them, were not the type of people I wanted my dogs to be owned by. I lay awake that last night thinking that the smallest one, which went last, went to a couple with two small kiddies. I remembered those eyes looking at me, and I really felt ill. The next day I phoned them up and they assured me the pup was fine. They would send me pics. Well they did send pics on a regular basis, and I overcame my fear, that they may not have been good owners. The next yorkie girl came on heat, the one that had been sold to me not for breeding. I took no notice, and let her mate. These pups I felt would be far better looking, she was beautiful in comparison to Cilla.
My friend who was still at my old work called to say she was divorcing and would I take her female yorkie. I did not have to think twice. Along came Sally. She too. believe it or not was coming on heat. I felt I had hit the jackpot, breeding Yorkies, was so easy. Two preggy girls, three or four pups, I did the maths. I then was reading the junkmail, to see what pricing the Yorkies were selling at and there before my eyes I read what I thought was the luck, the jackpot. Three breeding yorkie females plus stud yorkie. I took the money from the first litter of yorkie pups plus some from my nest egg. I had this feeling, things were turning the corner. I could stay home, breed Yorkies, did not need to concern myself with the career any longer. I was a BREEDER.
Mitzie came into labour, she tried and out came the first pup, dead. I was shocked, how could this be. I was off to the vet Mitzie and the dead pup. Caesar, another three pups. Brilliant, I was already thinking well money wise, still fine. I would have enough to pay for the Caesar and all the inoculations and deworming and of course these pups would not be registered as the pedigree was banned, but I would still be making a profit. MItzie however, had problems, she was not keen to nurse her babies, had hardly any milk. I would handraise if necessary – how hard could it be??? It was tough going, the babies cried most of the time. The mother was not at all interested. I then had a lucky break, the other yorkie girl popped. Five babies, this was the cherry on the top. I gave her Mitzies three babies. Eight pups was a bit hectic for the mother but I would help out. All went well for the first week. I was there to give the extra feeds. The Mom was fed like a queen, she had loads and loads of milk. I stopped the supplement feeding. The pups were approaching two weeks old. I got up in the night to check on them, and one was missing. I found her dead under the mother. Well I still had seven pups. The next day another one started looking poorly and I was at the vet. Mother dog and all the pups. He told me he doubted if I would save the pup, I could try. The mother had loads of milk, and he then warned me to watch her carefully. She actually had too much milk. My thoughts – how can she have too much milk the more milk the more food for the pups. We lost that pup.
Three days later I noticed her cringing when the pups were suckling – I picked her out of her box and her breasts in some places were totally hard red, and patchy creamy coloured in parts. Off to the vet, she had mastitis. Not a good thing. TOO much milk. He expressed as much as possible and told me to monitor it carefully. If the milk became discoloured could kill the pups. The mother would get ill. I watched for a couple of days, all seemed fine, I expressed loads of milk. The next two days were hectic my Aunt had been in hospital and had passed away. I had to help with the eats for the funeral. I kept a watch, but not as much as usual.
The mother jumped out of the box, to go to the garden, and I noticed a pup breathing its last. Back to the vet. He now told me, the mother’s milk had become infected, she could no longer feed her pups. It would kill them, her milk now contained toxins. This was the reason this baby was dying. I armed myself with more milk formula more nursing bottles, because now my teenagers were going to do their fair share. It was not easy. The pups would feed then they would not, another two were slipping away. Back to the vet, they were not feeding enough. He kept them at the clinic, said his nurse would get them sorted. Two days later, the one had died but the other one returned home. During this time Mommy dog became really off colour – back to the vet – she was admitted and put on a drip.
We now had four pups, we started solid foods, and the first day brilliant, they were all eating. It was now pretty easy. They ate four times a day, they were dewormed, eventually inoculated and went up for sale. Now they had to be sold without papers. My first call was from a breeder, she was in the Free State. Were the dogs registered? NO, well then you must advertise them that the parents are registered but not the pups. So that was my wording from then on. I had a call from the Breeder who had sold me Mitzie asking how she was, and I told her she had been mated by accident. She let me have it. Said she would be on my doorstep with the money and wanted Mitzie back. Well Mitzie definitely was a problem breeding dog, so I would return her no problem. My husband gave me a mouthful, how could I do such a thing? I now considered myself a seasoned Yorkie Breeder, I had been through the mill, it could not get any worse. The Breeder arrived and gave me half of what I had originally paid for the pup. Told me she would see me in court if necessary. I handed over Mitzie, nothing more was said.
The time I had bought the breeding dogs, the breeder gave me a story that she was moving and the papers were packed away but she would send them immediately when she unpacked her boxes. The papers arrived. The dogs were not 3 and 4 years as she had said they were. The ages ranged from 5 to 8 years. I tried phoning her, the number you have dialed does not exist…….. Off to the vet. He told me yes indeed, they were in good shape but older. What was I to do? His suggestion. Allow them one litter and spay. The smallest and by far the most beautiful of them all, was either spayed or had had a Caesar, he could feel the stitches, but the vet felt certain it would have been a Caesar the dog was quite small for natural birth. He then told me something that shocked me into the ground. The male had one testicle. He was not suitable as a stud. He was booked in to be neutered the following day. A dog I had just paid R6 000-00 for, the Breeder ………….. I called her, and she was not overly concerned about him being an unsuitable stud – I asked her why she had then sold him as a stud to ……………. She had definitely bought him as a stud. She felt it was not really a problem. His grandfather had had the same problem….. I could not believe what I was hearing. This breeder was breeding dogs from dogs that were not suited for breeding.
As my vet suggested, the boy was neutered, I used my own boy on these girls. All three had a litter of pups. The small beautiful girl, a Caesar and one pup. The other two, had two pups each. All these girls were spayed – to this day I cannot contact the breeder concerned that sold them to me. She has stopped advertising.
My breeding experience has been a disaster. Although I have read everything possible on the subject of breeding dogs, all about Yorkies. I have surfed the net for hours and hours for days on end. I cannot class myself a BREEDER perhaps a backyard Breeder. I now realize that it is a profession and not just something you do in your stride. It is something that obviously takes years and years of on hand experience to know all the ins and outs. I now realise why you insist on selling your dogs purely as pets. I sometimes just sit and wonder how the pups I have bred are doing, are they in suitable good homes, are they going from breeder to breeder? I eventually feel quite ill with worry. I am not sure how Breeders survive all this.
Joyce all I can say, I wish in the beginning someone had sat down and explained to me, that breeding is not that easy, it can be – but in general not that easy. I hope people read this letter of mine, and realise that rearing and breeding dogs is a commitment, that a lot of people are not prepared to make.
I have now started my own business, have rehomed most of my Yorkies, which I might add really made me ill. I just was no longer in a postion to give the dogs the life they deserved or the care they needed. I am back to the old grindstone of slogging for most of the day. Things are looking much better.
I do hope you publish this letter and by all means add your own feelings on the subject.
Best of luck for the future.
D L P
I must commend you on putting pen to paper and being woman enough to admit your mistakes. Breeding of any animal is a specialised field. So many people buy a yorkie, then another and in no time they have a few. The dogs come on heat, they get mated, they sometimes have a couple of males, do they know who the sire is? They register them irrespective. The pups are sold, as pets , for breeding???? Who knows and they are not remotely concerned. Very often the dogs go from home to home. I have seen it time and again over many years of doing rescue work and not only with the Yorkies.
One experience of mine still upsets me to this day when I think back on it. We visited a lady who was selling puppies, not Yorkies toy poodles. One of my family members wanted a toy poodle as a pet. We went quite a distance, the toy poodle pup on offer, was not what we had in mind. The elderly Lady then asked if a yorkie would not be better. She would have a litter in the next few months. I being a breeder took interest. Would we like to see her dogs? The male was huge. Not a good quality dog, she had never received the papers although promised them at time of sale. Her female she had purchased recently and if we wanted her she would sell her R6 000-00. Why was she for sale?
Well she was a bit on the small side. I had to agree, but she should be able to produce naturally if she is mated with a much smaller male. Well that is what the Lady said that had sold her to her. I looked at my husband and he at me. He knew what I was thinking. Buy her and take her out of this situation. I asked her what age the dog was and could I see the paperwork. The dog was three. I had no reason to think otherwise, it was a beautiful little female that took up position on my lap. She gave me the pedigree, the dog was in actual fact 7 years old. I opened the mouth, it said it all. Most teeth missing, dirty teeth. This dogs teeth had never been cared for. I told her what I felt. I would not be prepared to pay R6 000-00 but would pay her R4 000-00. NO she had paid R6000 it was R6 000-00 or nothing. We left. My thoughts over the next good few days would repeatedly return to that little yorkie. I phoned her at least once a week pleading with her to sell me the dog. I said she should be spayed she is too old and your boy too big. Please sell me the dog………. The reply was always the same…….. R6 000-00 or she would breed with her. On my last call to her, I was saddened to hear the dog had been covered by her huge male. I had to ask, how close her vet was in case the dog needed a Caesar. Down the road, but she had no money for caesars……. She was sure the dog would be fine. I never called again. I could not face hearing what had happened. I had left my number with her, if she ever had a problem or considered selling the girl for the money I had offered. I hoped and prayed that if she did hit a problem, she would lift that phone and call me. I never heard again.
Some people are heartless, cruel, and should not have the honour of owning the first dog, let alone be breeding them. The genuine reputable breeder, does not make all this money people are under the impression they are making. To breed and breed properly costs money, dedication, an abundance of unconditional love, not to mention unlimited time from the breeder. Breeding properly, takes over your life. I myself handle all my dogs and pups, no staff member works with them at all, cleaning yes. I have some fellow breeders, who do the same. We also do not cage our dogs. I am not saying that that is a bad thing, but not something we do.
Over the many years of rescue, I have seen a lot, somethings, I wish to never see again in my life. While volunteering at the SPCA some years back, I saw some real eye openers.
If people just sat back and considered themselves in the animal in questions position, and thought about it for a while, I am sure they would think twice about their actions.
Once again I have to thank you for putting all this down on paper. You are one in a million. Most would just look at it as a bad experience, and forget about it. Your letter hopefully will make people think twice, and save a good few dogs from going down the same road. I am sorry if it sounds harsh. I have removed all the information referring to the people, breeders, Kennels concerned as well as your own information. It would be highly unethical of me and totally unprofessional to mention the people concerned, their names and details. I can understand you feel you have been wronged, however it is your issue with the people concerned. I do not black list people and breeders on my website. You are more than likely 100% correct but your argument is with them directly. I do not believe in gossip. I do believe however, that the people who continue to do this to other people do get found out at the end of the day. Like with anything – there are chancers out there. The fact that you have mentioned all this will hopefully make the odd person think twice, where they purchase, who they purchase from. The experience of the breeder concerned. I will say it once again. IF a breeder does not enquire why you want to purchase the Yorkie pup, and for what reason??? You have to ask yourself WHY?? Are they not interested in the future of their pups? Do they care? I would far rather never sell a pup, than sell it to the wrong person or wrong home…. Like everything in life, there is good and bad, there are breeders and breeders. There are some with a vast knowledge and others with a limited knowledge. Some with “?” knowledge. We all had to start from the beginning. You could consider breeding this way, same as a Doctor, you go to varsity, you become an intern and then a Doctor. The Director of a company was not in the admin department and overnight the Director……… reputable breeders have done their homework over many years, and walked before they ran, got the experience and then continued. To see something in print and to have hands on experience with the same situation, is like night and day. There are a good few excellent Yorkie Breeders out there. Some Breeders are an overnight sensation OR are they?????
I wish you the very best in your career.
I will close with a beautiful poem that a fellow friend/breeder has shared with me. Thank you Elsa............ this poem may give the readers an idea of what breeding means to us..... there is no lengths we will not go to for the sake of our animals............
Each and every time we, as dedicated Breeders find ourselves in this situation, we think we will never get over it, that baby has climbed right inside our hearts. We have done this over and over for many years, and yet each and every time we do it, it is every bit as painful as it was the first time.
THANK YOU for your time.