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
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
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 chaffing.
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'
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
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
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
~ 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 above steps.)
~ Testing & possible treatment to ensure the dog has an adequate sperm count to be a
If shipped semen is requested, more is involved, but for our purposes here, I'll leave
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 involved:
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
By Sandra Morgan
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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 fifteen 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
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 breeding.
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,
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
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.
WindWalker Pugs is an AKC Registered Kennel Name.