"He/she is such a wonderful dog that we want to have his/her son/daughter - or "our friends want a puppy." Breeding your dog will not necessarily produce offspring with the same qualities. You stand a much better chance of getting a similar temperament and personality by going back to your dog’s breeder and getting another pup from the same bloodlines. And the friends who all say how much they’d love a puppy just like your dog might not actually want a puppy when the time comes. Send them to your dog’s breeder if they are seriously considering getting a pup.

"It will be a good experience for my children to see puppies being born." There are many excellent educational videos on dog breeding. The amount of work and expense of breeding a litter of puppies does not justify using your dog as a teaching tool. Your time would be better spent showing your children how to train your dog, to show kindness to all animals, and what it takes to be a responsible dog owner.

"My dog is purebred and registered so I will be able to make money selling the puppies." The worst motivation to breed a litter of puppies is for profit. Breeding, done right, is expensive. Puppies need shots, wormings, special food and a lot of care. By the time you have properly cared for the mother dog and her pups, your profit margin has disappeared. But the hardest job is finding good homes for all the puppies. Screening puppy buyers is extremely time consuming. You cannot assume that someone willing to pay your price for a puppy is going to be a responsible, loving dog owner. There may not be a good market for your breed in your area and your price may be the same as a breeder’s with a following and reputation. As a first-time breeder, you are unlikely to attract the kind of puppy buyers who will be responsible owners.


"It changes the dog’s personality." Spaying or neutering is a simple, surgical sterilization procedure that only renders a dog unable to produce offspring. The absence of reproduction hormones does little or nothing to change a dog’s personality, temperament, working or hunting ability. A neutered male may actually be better able to focus on training and working/hunting. A spayed female will not go through heat periods, during which she can display changes in her attitude and focus.

"It is healthier to leave my dog intact." Unneutered males are more prone to cancerous tumors of the prostate and testicles. Unspayed females have a much higher incidence of breast cancer and other tumors of the reproductive organs.

"Spaying or neutering will make my dog less aggressive and less likely to wander." Aggressive or wandering behaviors are training issues, not hormonal issues. These behaviors must be dealt with from the early stages and through responsible training and supervision. A dog’s natural ability as a watchdog or protection dog will not be lessened by spaying or neutering. Spay or neuter surgery, recommended for all pet dogs, is not a replacement for adequate training or a "quick fix" for behavioral problems. A male dog’s nature and response towards other dogs will not be changed by neutering. Other males may perceive your neutered male as less of a threat, and thus be more likely avoid confrontations. Spaying a female will in no way make her less aggressive towards other dogs. Aggression towards people will not be affected at all by spaying or neutering. If your dog is shy, fear aggressive, dog aggressive, or aggressive towards people, this would be all the more reason to have him/her spayed or neutered. You would not want to reproduce these kinds of temperament problems!


If you have visited your local animal shelter lately, you understand that many of the dogs who end up there have come from homes where the previous owners believed these things. Many of the young puppies you see in shelters are the result of indiscriminate breeding of dogs from the environments described above. EVERY THREE SECONDS a companion animal is killed in shelters across the country because there are not enough homes to go around. Every citizen in the United States would have to own 100 pets in order to empty our animal shelters*. If you believe that breeding a litter of puppies might be in your future and that no puppy your dog ever mothers or fathers will ever end up in an animal shelter, THINK AGAIN. Only one out of every five puppies will live out its life in its original home. Euthanasia is the primary cause of pet death in America*.

If you think that you can adequately protect your female dog from becoming pregnant, or supervise your male well enough so he does not sire a litter, THINK AGAIN. Accidents happen even to the most responsible owners. You cannot control the irresponsibility of other dog owners. But you can make a lifesaving decision for your own dog.

A male or female dog of breeding age can produce an average of 6 puppies twice a year (12 total). Those 12 pups could potentially produce a total of 144 more puppies by the following year. Those 144 puppies could potentially produce 1,728 more puppies by the year after that. And so on and so on. Do the math. The numbers are astronomical. Every owner who makes the responsible and vital choice to spay or neuter will ultimately save thousands of lives.

(* Statistical estimates are those published by the ASPCA and Humane Societies of the United States.)



If you are committed to having a dog of a particular breed, you’ll seek a reputable breeder with the knowledge and experience required to have solid breeding practices. Just because your dog is purebred and registered does not make him or her a candidate for breeding. The main motivation for getting a dog is to have a lifelong friend and companion, right? If you have a goal of getting into competitive dog showing or training, you must realize the time, energy, money and commitment this takes. You will need to work closely with an experienced person, possibly the breeder of your dog, to learn the ropes and decide whether your dog has uniquely desirable traits to pass on. A very low percentage of dogs actually become "stars" with such exceptional qualities that they are considered the best examples of their breeds. You can have a lot of fun and enjoyment competing with your dog without ever having to breed. Other than conformation showing, all competitive activities welcome spayed and neutered dogs.