How dog breeding can go wrong

By Kodichukwu Okonkwo, DVM | March 6th, 2018

As a beginning veterinarian I had this client who owned two Caucasian dogs, one male and a female. He complained to me about his female dog losing pregnancy all the time and how much he desires to have puppies from the bitch so he can sell and recoup the money he has spent on them. I wished he could reverse his intention because the female was not good enough because I believed he would like to sell them expensively due to the price he bought his own dogs.

My nightmare came when his bitch became pregnant. He kept spending to make sure the bitch never lost the pregnancy. I decided to do my job as a vet and forget the business aspect which was the part I dreaded. The bitch later gave birth to eight (8) puppies and I was called in to make sure the bitch was well cared for. I drove to his place under heavy rain to make sure the bitch and her puppies were relocated to a safe and conducive place.

Six weeks later, after we had given the puppies their first shot of vaccines the trouble began. The man started telling me to help him sell the puppies since I am the vet and probably has numerous buyers. I decided to ask him how much he would love to sell the puppies. He echoed ‘80k’ and my heart skipped. How can I tell this man that his puppies were worth a lot less than he expected. I decided to work with his instructions and promised him that if I have a buyer I would bring them to buy.

One of my veterinary friend called me to ask if I had a Caucasian puppy available for sale and I quickly referred him to the clients place to pick his choice. At the back of my mind I knew it won’t work. The vet asked me if the puppies were good and I told him to find out for himself. The vet went with his client to make a choice but called me later to express disappointment that the puppies were not good at all and that he can’t pay 20k for those puppies – that was the reality.

I got a call from the client that my buyer didn’t buy, I told him that they were not satisfied with the puppies that the puppies were not as good as they thought. I told him that he might not be able to sell those puppies above 20k. He was outraged and started recounting all his expenses and even the price he bought the both parents of the puppies (120k for female & 80k for male).

I really didn’t know what to do but I had no choice but to tell him the hot truth. He went to another veterinary clinic to advertise the puppies. He went as far as registering his dogs there and buying many unnecessary things just to make them help him sell the puppies at his price thinking I was trying to cheat him. I was rather happy because that was a relief for me.

He ended up giving out the puppies to family and friends and sent some puppies to his home town also. He did this because he could not conceive selling those puppies as cheap as 20k.

This story is just one out of many episodes of similar pattern. At a time in my vet practice I would out rightly advice the client not to breed the dogs and explain the implication of going ahead with the breeding.

It’s really difficult to tell some clients the possible worth of the puppies they could produce from their dogs. Some will just want their bitches to get pregnant from any male regardless of the breed which is rather unfortunate because cross breeds are a lot harder to sell. When you recommend castration for the males just to avoid accidental puppies some clients will take it with some suspicion but will finally embrace it fully when they have experienced the difficulty in caring for puppies you might not be able to sell reasonably.

I only hope that some dog owners who are nursing the intention to have puppies from their dogs will ask for advice and get a frank advice before they allow their dogs to breed to avoid unintended playout like the one above.


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    Kodichukwu Okonkwo, DVM

    Founder of Fairvet Animal Clinic Ltd since 2011, studied at the University of Nigeria Nsukka. He is well experienced in small animal, large animal & poultry medicine, and also skilled at zoo medicine. He loves animals and builds both professional and personal relationship with pet owners in order to sustain a good interaction with pet and animal owners, coupled with His great skills in programming; he brought about which he personally built from scratch.

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