Finding a mate for your dog is something that many people want to do but may not know where to start. Not just any dog will do, after all. You want to make sure the mate that you find is suitable for your dog.
People have been breeding dogs for thousands of years, and it can be a rewarding and unique experience. It’s also a pricey endeavor that can occasionally lead to heartache along the way.
When you commit to breeding your dog, you take on a responsibility that goes far beyond playing with cute puppies. This guide will help you learn the steps involved in responsibly finding a mate for your dog, both online and offline.
Before you start the search for a proper dog mate, consider why you want this for your dog. If your goal is to create puppies to sell, keep in mind that there might be many puppies that don’t get sold quickly and you’re responsible for their care until and sometimes, even after they do. Shelters are filled with litters of puppies that someone thought that they wanted and then quickly realized once they arrived that they were too much work. While you might love your dog and think that creating miniature versions of them would be adorable, puppies require a great deal of care and effort once that daydream becomes a reality.
Another reason for wanting a mate for your dog is to preserve the breed standard. Perhaps you have a dog that is the perfect specimen of their breed and is in perfect health. In this case, you want to “breed to improve,” which is the motto of responsible dog breeders. They are preserving the breed standard and striving to breed out genetic health conditions. Is your dog an example of their breed standard? Find out for sure by studying and researching the breed and comparing this information against your dog. Be honest about any health or behavioral issues that your dog may have. The goal of breeding to improve is to produce healthier, happier dogs that make better companions than the generations before them.
Can You Care For a Litter?
Once the puppies are born, the mother dog usually does most of the work for the first few weeks. After that, when the puppies are mobile and moving around, they become work for you. It’s your responsibility to keep them safe and warm and provide any veterinary care that they may need.
The cost associated with raising puppies is not cheap. It includes the prices of vaccinations, food, and supplies. If there is a medical emergency, that is also your financial responsibility. When you’ve made the commitment to breeding your dog, the puppies will be here eventually. Make sure you understand what you’re taking on before you decide to go through with it.
Consider your options if some of your puppies don’t find homes. Are you willing to keep them? Part of responsible breeding is making sure every puppy goes to a loving home with people who can properly care for them. If that doesn’t happen, their care is still your job.
The 3 Ways of Finding a Mate for Your Dog Online
If you’re still interested in breeding your dog, it’s time to start looking for a suitable mate for them. If your dog is a pure breed registered with the AKC, look for a mate that is also AKC registered. The litter can then also be registered.
1. Join Facebook Groups
People love their dogs, so there are Facebook groups dedicated to certain breeds where owners of these dogs chat through posts, comments, and messages. This can make your search much easier when you’re trying to find a specific breed. You may find others who are looking for mates for their dogs too. Once you join the group, you can describe your dog and the kind of mate that you are looking for and see if any of them match.
Since the dogs must meet in real life in order to breed, the mate that you select should be nearby. This also enables you to visit the owner’s home or breeding facility to make sure they’re legitimate. You don’t want your male dog creating a litter that is going to be kept in squalor and you don’t want your female dog having a litter fathered by a dog that is unhealthy. Responsibility is key here. Once you determine that the mate that you selected is healthy and kept in quality conditions, you can move forward.
2. Browse Breeder Sites
Search for breeders with websites so you can browse the information and see their online reputations. Not every breeder will be willing or interested in providing a mate for your dog, but you can email or call them and see if they are. Many may want to check your dog’s medical records and behavior or have them evaluated by their own veterinarian before proceeding.
3. Post on Message Boards
Message boards are another way to find dog owners who are seeking mates for their dogs. You can review their profiles and see any reviews left for them. This is a place to exchange information before you meet and see if your dogs would be a good match. There are message forums for specific breeds, and you can find them just by searching online for the breed that you want.
The 3 Ways of Finding a Mate for Your Dog Offline
People have been breeding their dogs long before the internet was a thing! If you don’t want to go the online route, you don’t have to. There are plenty of ways to find a suitable mate for your dog without using a computer.
1. Speak With Breeders in Person
If you’re a seasoned dog breeder, you likely have established relationships with other breeders. This is a convenient position to be in because the guesswork is taken out of everything already. You know the breeder’s ethical stance, the standards to which they hold their dogs, and how they treat and care for their animals.
If you have friends who are breeders, you can reach out to them too. They can either help you find a mate for your dog themselves or know someone who might be a good fit to help. If they passed along a phone number to you, you could contact the breeder directly.
2. Join a Kennel Club
Kennel clubs, such as the AKC, offer ways for you to get in touch with others who might be looking to breed their dog. Newsletters are sent out to members offering breeders’ contact information. You can browse them and see if one looks suitable to you.
Meetings also take place where you can gather with other dog owners in your community. Animals are not at these meetings, but these are places where you can make in-person connections and learn more about breed standards, animal welfare, and training practices. Meeting people in person can help make the process easier. They can answer any questions that you have and walk you through the next steps.
3. Attend Dog Shows
Just as you can communicate with dog owners at Kennel Clubs, you can also get to know them at dog shows. You can find certain breed owners here and discuss any questions that you may have. Even if they don’t have many options for you, they might know someone who does. Establishing connections at professional dog shows also enables you to speak with experts who have learned the breed standard and are familiar with proper practices when it comes to breeding.
What Is a Suitable Mate for My Dog?
Healthy dogs with gentle and friendly temperaments are suitable mates for your dog, but compatibility is also important to consider. Breeding to improve means finding traits in each dog that could be improved and setting up breeding mates accordingly. The right mates should each have a set of strengths and weaknesses that factor into the litter that you want to produce. Where one dog is lacking, the other parent dog should be strong. For example, if one dog has a dull coat, the other dog should have a lush, shiny coat. The goal is to create puppies that possess the best traits of both dogs.
After a Mate Is Found
Once you’ve secured the perfect mate for your dog, it’s time to nail down the specifics. Where will the puppies be born? Have you seen the living quarters of the other parent dog? How much is each breeder responsible for in terms of finances and puppy care?
When you’re satisfied that you’re ready to move forward with breeding, it’s time to talk about genetics.
To make sure each dog is healthy enough for breeding, they must be evaluated by a veterinarian and tested genetically to rule out the risk of any health issues in future litters. Of course, there is no fool-proof way to guarantee that every puppy will be healthy, but by breeding to improve, you are trying to create the healthiest puppies possible. A dog with a high risk of disease is not an ideal dog to breed, for example.
In genetic testing, they test for:
While temperament is determined by several factors, genetics play a large role in the outcome. If a dog is aggressive, fearful, aloof, or exhibiting signs of any other trait that would be undesirable in a family companion, the dog should not be bred.
Does My Dog Need to Breed With a Mate?
No, but if your dog is spayed or neutered and you have no interest in breeding them, that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a friend! If you own a social dog that wants to play with other dogs, you can find local dog owners who also have social dogs and plan dog playdates.
Taking your dog for walks in the neighborhood or to your local dog park is a fun way to introduce them to other dogs in the area that are looking for canine companions. Running and playing in a dog park together will give your dog a chance to socialize, get a ton of exercise, and fulfill their need for entertainment. This is especially true if you work long hours and your dog is home alone. That trip outside when you get home is when the dog knows that they’re about to see their friends.
Using these options for finding a mate online will also work for finding a doggie friend online. The temperament of each dog is important, so only allow your dog to play with others that have similar personalities. Never let two or more dogs play together unsupervised.
Do’s & Don’ts
Finding a mate for your dog can be a long process, but there are a few things to remember as you start this journey.
Choosing to breed your dog is a big decision. Whether you’re looking for a mate for your dog to have puppies with or just share a friendly relationship, there’s so much to consider. Working with reputable breeders who are ethical, who are concerned with their dogs’ and future puppies’ health, and who can answer your questions is the best way to ensure that the puppies will be as healthy as they can be. However you choose to look for a mate for your dog, either online or offline, we hope that this article gave you a few ideas on how to start this process and what to expect along the way.
- See also: How to Get Dogs Unstuck After Mating?
Featured Image Credit: MVolodymyr, Shutterstock