WindWalker Pugs is an AKC Registered Kennel Name.
Caring for the newborn pups is usually done by leaving the mom and "mother nature" to raise the babies.
That might work for some, but here we take the pro-active approach. Our babies are not left unattended
with their moms, until after they've become old enough to regulate their body temperature (3 weeks of
age) and are strong enough to get out from under mom if she sits or lays on them. (A typical Pug mom
Newborn canines need warmth, hydration, and nutrition to sustain life and grow up into mature dogs.
Pug moms are for the most part a bit clueless as to what and how to do what's necessary for their pups.
Some will lay down and let them nurse, some will not step on or lay on them, some will lick them and clean
their bottoms (newborns cannot urinate or defecate on their own, so must be stimulated to relieve
themselves. If not, they will die), some will cuddle them and keep track of each pup to ensure they're
warm, but I've yet to meet a Pug girl that did it all. If they don't, it becomes your responsibility to provide
this much needed care, or resign yourself to the pups dying from neglect.
Again, many books on the subject are available, and I can tell you most of them are adequate for a normal
healthy litter, but don't address the needs of a Pug breeder with a mom that's clueless.
All the care in the world will not save a defective puppy, but if a healthy puppy becomes chilled, or it
doesn't get enough to drink from mom, it very quickly becomes a "sickly" pup. These pups are typically
pushed away by a mom, and were always thought to be "defective" by breeders who gave their girls the
intuitive ability to detect those unseen defects, not so. Once chilled, a pup stops processing their food.
The food in the gut of the pup starts to ferment. This causes the pup to smell differently, and a pro-active
dog mom will want it away from her other pups that smell good to her. It has nothing to do with the ability
to detect internal defects.
Don't expect a Pug mom to be that intuitive, chilled or not, she probably will not worry about any individual
pup. She'll lay down, or just sit, to feed them, only because having full teats gets uncomfortable, and she
figures out quite fast those "smelly icky things" relieve that discomfort. She may even take to cleaning
bottoms, either before she lets them eat, or after, and sometimes both, but she may not do an adequate
job if left unobserved. You must watch carefully to ensure each pup is going to the bathroom each time. If
not, you can assist the babies with a cotton ball, or cosmetic pad, soaked with some baby oil to avoid
If you aren't watching the pups closely you can miss changes in their poop, which if not corrected can lead
to dehydration, or impacted intestines and puppy death. Every time the puppies are fed, you should be
there to observe and make sure all are full and "pot-tied" afterwards. Also, you'll want to have a good
kitchen scale on hand to weigh the pups at birth and once a day to know they are getting enough to eat.
Weight gain is an indication of a healthy pup. Weight loss means things need to change immediately to save
the pup's life.
To learn all about the ways you can save a puppy in trouble, check out the books and products available by
clicking on this link to my "Puppy Guru," Myra Savant-Harris' web site:
PUPPY PLACEMENT - Key to Success
The number of dogs and cats euthanized in the US is staggering! Many communities are banning pet
breeding altogether because of the over-population problem facing shelters. As a responsible dog
breeder, it is your job to make sure your precious pups NEVER end up on death row, or worse, in the
hands of someone that will abuse, or neglect them. You brought them into the world, so you must step up to
make sure this isn't their fate.
The best way to ensure this never happens to one of your pups is proper screening of potential buyers.
NEVER, sell your pups without knowing what kind of home they will go into. Spend time getting to know
your buyers, establish a relationship of caring, let them know if they ever need to find a new home for
their pup, you're willing to assist them. Be willing to take back each pup, no matter what, and keep it until a
new proper placement can be found. Do not forget about them once the check clears! Keep in touch!!!
If you're going to be a breeder, consider being involved with Pug rescue in your community. Be part of the
solution, not part of the problem!!! If you're going to breed, be ready to lend a hand to less fortunate Pugs
from less responsible breeders, It's only right! If you can't give your time, give financially. Donate a
portion of the money from each pup sold to Pug Rescue! Make a difference in the lives of Pugs in any way
you can. You owe it to the breed. Besides, fostering Pugs for rescue is a really great way to learn more
about the breed. The more you learn, the more you can contribute to making a difference. Provide as much
information to the general public as possible to teach them about responsible dog ownership, and the
needs of the Pugs in their care. It's the right thing to do, and the rewards are tremendous!
STUD DOG OWNERSHIP
So far I've talked about the responsibilities of female Pug owners in the breeding process. Sometimes I
get email from folks with a boy, hoping to get me to use their dog as s stud on one of my girls, or asking
how to go about promoting their boy as a possible stud dog to the Pug breeding community. So, I think
something should be said on what the responsibilities are for the stud owner.
Not every dog should sire a litter of pups. The Pug Standard applies to both males and females, but the
attributes for a stud dog are much more stringent that for a female Pug, among those of us wanting to
improve the breed. I've owned more than one champion male that I never used as a stud dog, because I
didn't like something about the dog, so wouldn't risk passing on those traits to a litter of pups.
We all think our Pugs are beautiful, that they are even the very finest, but we have to be realistic. Does
the world need more Pugs that are not physically sound? The idea for those of us dedicated to improving
the breed is to improve upon each litter we produce, so that each generation is better (closer to the
standard and healthier) than the parents generation. We can't do that if we don't understand the
shortcomings of our dogs, particularly the males we use for breeding. There is no perfect Pug, but we
must be careful not to overlook things that will ruin years of hard work.
Breeding is part science and part art; a whole lot of luck with some skill thrown in. Get more than one
opinion from more than one source before you use any dog for breeding. This is why we show, to get the
opinion of the judges that our dogs are worthy (close enough to the standard, which is the ideal for the
breed) of being used for breeding.
Remember, decisions you make will impact future generations. Think carefully and make informed
decisions you're willing to live with.
Providing your dog passes all his health tests and is worthy of being a sire, next you should know what to
expect when doing a breeding to someone else's girl. Most stud dog owners have a Stud Contract. This
spells out the terms and conditions which both parties agree to, before the breeding takes place. If the
owner doesn't have one, get one! You can agree today, but tomorrow, one of you may remember the
agreement in a different way. If you have it in writing, there's no problem, you just look it up. You can
always agree to change it after the fact, but a good contract will save you so much grief later, they're
worth their weight in gold.
A contract won't prevent all problems, but they are a basis for a working agreement. Never enter into
anything without one. Like any other endeavor, there are unscrupulous folks waiting to take advantage of an
unsuspecting Pug lover.
Typical Stud dog owner responsibilities associated with breeding include the following:
~ Caring and feeding of the girl while she's there to be bred (This would include picking her up at the
airport if she's been flown in for the breeding)
~ Transporting her to the vet's for any required testing as many times as necessary
~ Providing the documentation for registering the litter (This can mean just signing the litter registration
application, or include sending the contract, DNA certification, etc., including a certified pedigree and
proof of Brucellosis testing to the girl's owner)
~ Re-breeding for no additional money, if the girl doesn't get pregnant. (This includes repeating all the
~ Testing & possible treatment to ensure the dog has an adequate sperm count to be a stud dog
If shipped semen is requested, more is involved, but for our purposes here, I'll leave that alone.
Breeding can be a rewarding experience. It can also be emotionally devastating when things go wrong, and
even for the best planned litter, and the most experienced breeder, things do go wrong. It's a lot of work,
financially draining, and there's the life-long responsibility of bringing those innocent beings into the
world. If you think you can handle all it entails, good luck to you!
Here is a breakdown of some of the litters I've had using my own stud dogs, including the expenses
Girl A bred to Boy A - Two live pups
~Total direct cost of the litter = $4,000
~Total income = $0 (kept both)
Girl AA bred to Boy B - Three live pups
~Total direct cost of the litter = $4,200
~Total income = $2,200 (all 3 sold as pets)
Girl B bred to Boy C - Two live pups
~Total direct cost of the litter = $3,600
~Total income = $1,400 (both sold as pets)
Girl C bred to Boy AA - Six live pups
~Total direct cost of litter = $1,200
~Total income = $0 (Kept 2, co-breeder 1, friends who helped me, got 3 of them)
Girl D bred to Boy D - Four live pups
~Total direct cost of litter = $800
~Total income = $500(1 sold as a pet, 1 to co-breeder, kept 2)
Girl E bred to Boy E - No live pups
~Total direct veterinary costs = $850
Girl E bred to Boy E - No live pups
~Total direct veterinary costs = $1,300 (surgical implant)
As you can see, I've got some serious expenses, but not much income!
Breeding is not a money making opportunity unless you're willing to forego the vet care. If I added in an
amount for my time involved the cost would skyrocket! Then there's the expense of providing the
equipment and supplies, and the expense of using someone else's stud dog. Don't forget you have to hire a
competent person to care for them when you have to go to work. You can see it adds up quickly.
Being a breeder means putting the Pugs first, before your social life, before family sometimes, and surely
before yourself. If you think you're still interested and willing to do what it takes to be a responsible
breeder, no matter the cost. Remember, learn as much as possible FIRST! ~Sandra
Close this browser window to return to your previous page on the WindWalker Pugs site!
So, you think you want to breed your female Pug and perhaps make a few extra dollars for that vacation
you'd like to afford.
Sounds reasonable, right? WRONG!!! Take it from someone who's been breeding Pugs for over ten years,
there is no way to make money breeding Pugs, at least not if you intend to be a responsible breeder.
Although Pug girls are usually sweet and loving, and seem like they would be great moms, the truth is they
typically are not good mothers. Let's look at what a good canine mother means . . . A good canine
mother is one that can whelp and care for her pups, wean them at the appropriate time, and teach them
proper canine behaviors so they will know their place in the "pack" or the social structure of canines.
These abilities are all very important to the pups, and to you, the owner, because if you want happy,
healthy babies, who are not going to have social issues with other dogs, the puppies will need help. If
their own mother doesn't provide all the necessary care & skills to do a proper job of caring for and
raising them, it's YOUR responsibility to step-up and do it.
What does that mean to you? It means that you must be the one that helps her do a good job. Not too
worried yet? Sounds easy enough. What's the problem?
PLEASE READ Our DISCLAIMER!!!
PUG BREEDING 101
First, most Pug moms are totally clueless when it comes to labor, delivery & newborn care. Most are also
unwilling to spend time caring for their pups, if it means time away from you, the center of their universe.
Here's what you must be prepared to do for your girl's babies before, during and after birth. Puppies are
sweet, innocent, and adorable, but they require a tremendous amount of care, and unless you have a super
Pug mom, YOU will be the their primary caregiver! I'd put a cute picture here, but we all know they're
cute. I won't scare you with some of the specific problems I've had to deal with, but read on to get a
general idea of what it's all about.
BEFORE The Miracle of Birth HAPPENS
OK, so you've decided to become a Pug breeder, and you'd like to be responsible, what should you be
doing to prepare for the big event?
Do you have a male Pug that has not been neutered, or do you need to find one that belongs to someone
else? If you find a male Pug that has not been neutered, do you like the way he looks? Is he healthy? What
Pug/dog genes and/or characteristics will he contribute to your girl's genes to make their puppies? Does
he carry any genes that will combine with hers that although not dominant in either parent, would be in the
genetic makeup of the pups, that would adversely affect the quality of life the pups will have? How do you
know for sure? If you sell a puppy and it develops a life-altering genetic condition, what would you feel
your responsibility would be to the puppy buyers, and/or the pup? Would you be willing to take the Pug
back and return their money? Would you just give them their money back? Or, would you even want to hear
from them in a year or two, and be expected to do anything?
These are all relevant questions, considering the number of cases of litigation clogging our courts. You
must have a policy in place and provided to the buyers listing your responsibilities and theirs if a health
issue develops in the pups to protect yourself and finances for the life of any pups you sell. In some states
there are puppy lemon laws which you should become familiar with as well. Talk to a lawyer familiar with
the pet laws in your state to be safe from legal issues BEFORE you proceed.
Back to finding that male Pug . . . Unless you're working with an established show breeder, any
available male that is unaltered (not neutered), will likely be someone's pet. AKC registration is not a
guarantee of quality, it only means the parents of the Pug were registered with AKC as Pugs. (They're a big
database of pedigrees.) If you want to breed Pugs that look like and behave like PUGS, you can find the
Pug standard on the Pug Dog Club of America's web site, as well as pictures to compare what is correct in
Pug structure and what is not. Study the Pug Standard and start comparing your Pug and others you see to
it so you can see what to look for in your search for the right male to be the sire of your puppies.
Once you find a male you like, ask the owners some basic questions to find out if they're willing to let their
male breed. Not everyone wants a male dog that will develop an interest in "humping" as a house pet, so
although a male hasn't been neutered, and even if the owners are flattered, they may not want their boy
learning about S-E-X. Such an experience can change the basic nature of their once docile little Pug boy,
and turn him into a raging sex addict. Such behaviors are not usually something the average pet owner
wants to deal with, and who can blame them?
So, where do you find a quality stud dog? Well, I have to recommend a show breeder. Not because
we're all looking to have pet owners use our champion males as stud dogs, that is NOT what I mean to
imply. But, we are the source of good information, and we also know we cannot supply all the Pug puppies
sold as pets. We are not the elitist snobs some folks think we are, but we want to protect and preserve the
breed we love. This is the foundation of the philosophy behind every responsible breeder. Find a show
breeder, who's accountable to follow a code of ethics, to mentor you and teach you how to be a
responsible Pug breeder!
That said, we need to talk about your girl. You should know that the best reproduction vets (vets that
specialize in canine reproduction) will tell you there are some breeding fundamentals, similar to human
reproduction, you should follow to ensure the health of your puppies. Foremost, you need to make sure
your girl is free from any health issues, BEFORE she is bred. Talk to your regular vet about the tests
he/she can do on your Pug to rule out the issues affecting the breed. These tests are going to cost you,
but better now than after you have a litter of puppies with a severe debilitating health problem that will
require you to make a decision about expensive surgeries, or euthanasia. Yes, I did mean you might have to
decide to mortgage the kids or put the puppies to sleep. This isn't something I'm saying to scare you, I
just want you to know it can happen.
Don't have a clue, so an vet must "collect" the semen (yes, that does mean what you think it means), and
then do an artificial insemination to impregnate your girl. Before that, or a natural breeding happens, be
sure to take her in for an examination as soon as she comes into season, to rule out any infections she may
have in her reproductive track that could affect her pregnancy and/or the development of the pups. Blood
tests should also be done on both dogs to check for brucellosis, a canine STD, which is extremely
dangerous to dogs and people. Dogs that have this should never be bred, and in most cases they must be
put to sleep before they spread the virus via their bodily fluids to other dogs and possibly people.
If the dogs check out, you can proceed with the breeding, either naturally, if both cooperate, or by
artificial insemination, if your vet will assist you. You should know that most general practice vets to not
support the breeding of dogs. If you do not have a supportive vet, you must find either a reproduction
specialist vet, or a breeder willing to assist with the A.I., if a natural breeding is not happening.
If you use an established stud dog, the breeding is usually the responsibility of the stud dog owner, as
part of the stud fee, and any veterinary assistance will be extra, and must be paid up front before the
breeding takes place. Some breeders require an AI, since it is safer for their stud dogs, and they may
request that your girl be tested for her ovulation (the timing of the release of the eggs from the ovaries).
Ovulation testing is done by a blood test, and it can take several to pin-point the correct timing for the
These tests can be expensive, costing $35 - $130 each, and several can be needed. Once ovulation occurs,
the eggs must become ready for fertilization. In canines, they are not ready when the egg is released, but
at approx. 48 hours afterwards. The due date of the pups is calculated by the day ovulation occurs, unless
no testing was done. If ovulation is not known, the breeding is done based upon the best guess of the
person handling the breeding, and the timing of the experienced stud dog. If the dog is inexperienced, or
inept (Pug boys are not the most savvy), a breeder must rely on other signs the timing is correct. Missing
the fertile period for the eggs is always possible, but more likely without the testing. When no pregnancy
results, the owner of the girl is forced to make some decisions about the future plans for their girl's next
season. Females are only able to conceive when their eggs are fertilized during the critical time they are
"ripe" which last only a few hours per season, and Pug girls only have one season every 6 to 11 months.
If you own both a male and a female, some of these problems are overcome, but your boy might need some
help figuring out exactly what to do to get the job done. If he's a "natural" leaving them together will
often result in pups, but you won't know when to expect them. This can be a BIG problem, because Pug
mom's typically do not do well delivering their pups.
WHELPING (Delivery of the Puppies)
OK, so now you know your girl is pregnant. Pretty exciting, but scary if you're not an experienced breeder.
If you've never had a litter of Pugs you're probably thinking, "Scary!"
Pugs are pretty easy to get pregnant, and some are terrific moms, but that's the exception, NOT the
rule!!! You must be prepared to do it all, including opening the sacks when they're born, cutting the cords,
and even holding your mom still long enough so her pups can nurse. You MUST be prepared and ready to
step in and assist, or be willing to allow the babies to die. This is the part no one has told you about. It's
not easy being a breeder. If you're not emotionally prepared to live with the consequences of losing mom
and/or her babies, DO NOT BREED your girl!!!
Hopefully, if you've read this far, you're dedicated to doing all you can to ensure the health of mom and
pups. So, how do you prepare for an upcoming Pug litter? DO NOT, under any circumstances, breed your
girl, unless you're prepared to spend 24 x 7 with her from one week before her due date, until her babies
are three weeks old! If you leave her unattended, you can return to find dead pups. Newborns will still be
in their sacks. Puppies will either get chilled, dehydrated, or mom will lay on and suffocate them. Not on
purpose, but because she doesn't quite know what to make of these strange alien creatures. I've only had
one puppy in over ten years, that mom delivered and got going (opened the sack and got it breathing)
without my help.
Find a breeder/mentor to teach you all the things you may need to know. I can try to describe it all, but
there's no way I can teach you on paper (or a web site) what you might have to do, unless you're at least
familiar with the birth process. I can provide pictures and/or video, but there's nothing like hands-on
experience to give you the best instruction. Find a mentor! Ask to assist at an upcoming whelping. It could
mean the difference in saving the life of a future puppy of your own, if you can watch and learn!
Make sure you know what you're doing, or you have someone available to help, BEFORE you breed your girl.
Now that you understand the importance of planning and learning how to whelp your new litter, we should
talk about how to care for the new puppies. Typically, 30% of all puppies die before being weaned. This
might be acceptable to large commercial type breeders, but NOT acceptable if you understand you can
reduce puppy death to less than 10% with proper care. Approximately 10% of the pups born will have a
birth defect that will cause it to die in spite of the best vet care available. This is very difficult to accept,
but to be a breeder, you must.
The most common cause of neonatal death is premature separation of the placenta from the uterine wall, or
a delayed passage down the birth canal, which causes the pup to suffocate from lack of oxygen before it is
born and the sack opened. A perfectly formed little one that never takes a breath. This happened to me in
my first litter. My girl stopped having contractions after three of her five pups were delivered. She had
to have a c-section to deliver the last two. It was too late for one of the two pups.
Another problem, puppies born with birth defects, seen or unseen. Some live for a few days, then quickly
go downhill. Nothing works to bring them around, and even with expert care, they eventually pass away.
The heartbreak of aspiration pneumonia, almost always fatal, and infections, viruses, etc., the list goes on.
As a responsible breeder, we learn as much as we can, do everything possible to give each pup a chance,
but in the end we cannot control who lives and who dies. We can't "make" a puppy defect free, or fix what
can't be undone.
Learning how to deal with these tragic losses, the emotional toll it takes, the exhaustion of going without
sleep to ensure each precious baby gets a full tummy every 2 - 3 hours, or more often if one is small, weak,
takes a toll. If you can't find a way to deal with these things, you shouldn't breed.
Being a breeder means rolling up your sleeves and doing some pretty gross stuff, but if you can't do it with
love, you shouldn't breed.
By Sandra Morgan
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