So You Want to Breed Your Boston Terrier

It’s easy to look into your Boston’s face and think that surely everyone would want one just like her. After all, she has a fantastic temperament and is very cute. What isn’t to love? But the decision to breed your dog should not be made lightly. Breeding is time consuming and requires many long hours of work and devotion. It can be expensive and many breeders do not make money on puppies. There’s also the risk that something goes wrong and one or more of the puppies die or, worse still, your girl dies.

Poor Reasons to Breed Her

Showing your children the miracle of birth is never a good reason to breed your dog unless you are equally willing to show them the other side of the coin. Their pain if something happens to their beloved dog will not be balanced out by their amazement over the birth of a dead puppy or worse still, one with a health issue that has to be euthanized. There are many ways, particularly in the age of the internet, to show your family the beautiful experience that birth can be. The breeder of your girl will likely be willing to impart all kinds of knowledge and pictures as well.

You want another dog just like her is also a poor reason. For one thing, there are no guarantees that her babies will be just like her. The father will contribute 50% of the genetic material and there are also many external factors that go into the development of personality in a dog. Environmental factors play a big role.

Others have told you they would love to have a puppy out of her. While it is flattering when someone adores your dog, many of those who say they’d love a puppy find reasons not to take one when talk becomes reality.

Other Considerations

Where did your Boston Terrier come from? Did you buy her from a responsible breeder, and if so, was it under a non-breeding contract or were there conditions that had to be met if you wished to breed her? If she came from a pet store than you likely know very little about the dogs behind her or any health issues within her pedigree.

The Boston Terrier Club of America suggests that all Boston Terriers being bred should have the following health tests done at a minimum:

-          Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) certification that your dog is clear of patellar luxation. This is a condition where the kneecap slides out of place. The test is conducted by a veterinarian.

-          OFA certification of BAER testing. BAER testing is a hearing test that is conducted by a trained professional to prove the dog is not deaf or hearing impaired.

-          Canine Eye Research Foundation (CERF) certification done annually by a canine ophthalmologist to ensure that your dog does not have a genetic eye disease such as cataracts or glaucoma.

Despite doing the tests, sometimes you can still end up producing an affected puppy. Are you prepared to care for that puppy until a good home can be found for it?

There are thousands of dogs that die in shelters every day, including many Boston Terriers. If you are going to breed your dog, you need to make sure that you are not contributing to that problem. That means that you need to take responsibility for the puppies produced in your girl’s litter until good homes can be found for them. If you have not found enough homes by the time they are ready to go at eight weeks of age, you need to be prepared to keep them and provide for all their physical and mental needs until such homes can be found. This can get expensive and time consuming.

Many Boston Terriers deliver their puppies by c-section. Are you prepared for the expense of surgery and the possibility that something goes wrong? Puppies are delicate beings, especially during those first few weeks. They may die for reasons that are not obvious externally. Giving birth poses some risks too. You might lose their mother to complications from the birthing or surgery.

You will also need to do lots of research and make sure that you clearly understand the signs that something is not right with the birthing process, with a puppy, or with the dam. If something goes wrong, your window of opportunity to fix it tends to be very short. Recognizing a problem quickly is crucial to the puppy or mother surviving it.

If you still want to breed your girl, then contact her breeder. They can help you and make sure that the risks are as small as possible.

Photo credit: George/Flickr