1. Why might I want to breed a litter of greyhounds?
Breeding a litter of greyhounds can be both rewarding and challenging. People may want to breed for reasons like:
- They have a successful racing female who has retired and they want to pass her talents onto her offspring.
- It’s a way of remaining involved in the life of their racing greyhound.
2. What should I consider before choosing to breed greyhounds?
Before deciding to breed greyhounds, you should consider:
- Breeding is expensive and requires a lot of time and effort.
- A large portion of work comes from caring for both the female during pregnancy, and pup care post-birth.
- Genetics play a significant part in racing prowess, with both parents contributing to the genetic potential of the pups.
Be prepared for surprise costs, such as when a pup falls ill or the female requires a cesarean section.
3. How much does breeding greyhounds cost?
Breeding a litter of pups may appear financially appealing when comparing it to buying well-bred pups. This is because mating costs are spread over possibly six or more pups. However, if you hire contractors for whelping, rearing, and education, the litter’s cost could escalate to around £20,000, which needs to be paid within less than two years!
|Cost is spread over 6 or more pups
|Whelping, Rearing, Education
|Could reach up to £20,000 total for whole litter
4. How does early development affect the greyhound pups?
Many critical stages of a greyhound’s life happen during whelping, rearing and education phases. Therefore, the pups require:
- Good food
- Correct amounts of handling and exercise
- Careful monitoring
These steps help them develop into potential athletes. Early socialization, proper handling, and management are crucial. A pup’s readiness to transit through these steps – based on confidence and adaptability – can impact their future racing ability and capacity to acclimate to a domestic environment in retirement.
5. What will I do with the pups I breed?
Plan what happens to the pups post-breeding. Will you sell them, keep them for yourself, or mix of both? Blessed with a large litter, you’re presented with an exciting opportunity to hand-select the perfect pups from your brood to raise for racing training. You’ll also be able to bring joy to other families by offering the remaining pups for adoption as beloved pets, ensuring that each of one them receives the dedicated care and attention they deserve!
6. What about the greyhounds that might not make the racing grade?
While all greyhounds do not necessarily become successful racers, there’s a comprehensive racing program catering to all abilities and age levels. However, ensure that those not making the racing grade are looked after well.
7. Are my facilities appropriate for breeding activities?
Evaluate if your facilities meet breeding standards:
- Good facilities ease and ensure safe handling of breeding greyhounds, resulting in healthy, happy pups.
- Comply with very strict minimum requirements for housing design, especially for whelping and lactating females.
Remember, always think and act for the good of your greyhounds, particularly when considering their future post-racing, post-breeding, or after other activities.
8. How should I prepare if I want to breed greyhounds?
In order to successfully breed greyhounds, you’ll need to invest significant time and effort, as well as resources in terms of money and facilities. When getting started:
- Research: Gather as much information as you can about the process.
- Find a Mentor: Look for someone experienced in the industry and respected for their knowledge in genetics, anatomy, husbandry, and breeding. A good mentor is someone who has had consistent success, not just one or two well-performing dogs.
9. What are some crucial aspects of caring for a pregnant female greyhound and the pups?
Great care must be taken when looking after a pregnant female greyhound and her pups. Key things to remember:
- Ensuring both the mother and pups are healthy before and after birth is critical
- Appropriate interventions, including knowing when not to intervene, are equally important.
Your knowledge and experience grow by actively participating in these activities. For example, assisting a mentor with their whelping and helping them care for their pups can gain valuable hands-on experience.
10. What further resources can I leverage to improve my greyhound breeding skills?
Seek out additional information on caring for greyhounds pre-, post-, and during birth, learning from experiences of others and studying other greyhound breeders’ best practices. Consider also any available education or training opportunities for added knowledge.
11. How do I become a successful breeder?
Becoming a successful breeder doesn’t happen overnight. It necessitates time, a critical analysis of your actions, learning from past experiences, and continuous improvement. Ask yourself:
- How could I have improved my approach or made things better?
- Which combinations of sires and dams have worked well, and which haven’t?
The answers will allow you to refine your process and steadily increase the chances of breeding successful racing greyhounds.
12. Why is it important to find a good veterinarian when planning to breed greyhounds?
Building a good working relationship with a veterinarian is crucial when considering breeding greyhounds. Here’s why:
- The new Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds necessitates having a veterinary agreement with a local veterinarian.
- This veterinarian is responsible for providing veterinary services, being available for 24-hour emergency services or offering a referral to a 24-hour clinic.
- The vet is responsible for approving your Establishment Health Management Plan, ensuring a healthy environment for your greyhounds.
If you don’t have a reliable veterinarian who is able and willing to perform these functions, you shouldn’t start a breeding program.
13. What can a veterinarian advise about my pregnant greyhound?
Having a knowledgeable and trustworthy vet to discuss your pregnant greyhound’s care can significantly help, as the vet can:
- Advise on the right nutrition and care for your pregnant greyhound.
- Provide guidance for unexpected occurrences during the gestation period.
14. What kind of assistance will I need from a veterinarian post the birth of the pups?
Once the litter is born, your veterinarian will remain a pivotal part of the pups’ early life, assisting with:
- Vaccinations: Ensuring your pups receive timely vaccinations to prevent serious diseases.
- Health checks: Regular health checks to monitor and ensure healthy development.
- Microchipping: Embedding microchips for identification and tracking.
- Care: Providing any required medical care or interventions to ensure the pups’ wellbeing.