Thursday Thirteen – 13 Most Useful Books on Dog Breeding


Thirteen Things Most Useful Books for Dog Breeders

I should note here that I don’t think that any book can ever replace the best source of information and advice on dog breeding, and that’s a mentor. A mentor is an older dog breeder who ‘takes you under their wing’ and offers hands on advice, help, suggestions (and usually really good gossip).

That said, I’ve also gotten a lot of useful, practical advice from the following books, including a crash introductory course on canine genetics.

A caveat: books with asterisks beside them are pretty much French Bulldog specific only.

1. Born To Win: Breed to Succeed
Patricia Craige’s book is a really great crash course on how to go beyond just ‘dog breeding’ and start breeding to win.

2. Genetics of the Dog
Malcom Willis’ book is considered to be the classic ‘layman’s’ guide to canine genetics. Invaluable for understanding – or at least trying to understand – coat color genetics, in particular.

3. Canine Reproduction: The Breeder’s Guide
Patricia Holst’s book is a wellspring of practical, no nonsense advice and tips. I refer to this book at least once per litter.

4. Successful Dog Breeding: The Complete Handbook of Canine Midwifery
Offering more than just practical advice, Chris Walkowicz emphasizes the ethics and responsibility that goes along with breeding.

5. The Whelping and Rearing of Puppies: A Complete and Practical Guide
A great book that covers all of the ‘what ifs’ and best and worst case scenarios. Spiral binding makes it a breeze to use in the somewhat hectic conditions of the whelping room. And no, I’m not saying that just because Muriel is my editor at ‘Just Frenchies‘.

6. Puppy Intensive Care: A Breeder’s Guide to Care of Newborn Puppies
This is just about the most useful book for a novice breeder. It comes along with shopping lists, and a companion CD showing video illustrations on such topics as tube feeding and a live delivery.

7. Breeding Better Dogs
Long time breeder and judge Carmen Battaglia shows you how to apply canine genetics to your specific breeding program.

8. Another Piece of the Puzzle: Puppy Development
This useful little paperback helps breeders to develop the absolute best puppies possible, utilizing puppy’s varying developmental phases to enhance temperament and behaviors. Really useful and simple to follow.

9. The Joy of Breeding Your Own Show Dog
This book, like “Successful Dog Breeding“, shows you how to plan out a breeding with the ultimate goal of producing a show winning litter. Helping you to see beyond just what’s down on paper, to what’s actually within your dog’s genes.

10. Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook
Every dog breeder needs a good, basic, simple to understand veterinary handbook, and this one does an exceptional job at being easy to read and follow.

11. The Healing Touch for Dogs: The Proven Massage Program for Dogs
This might seem like an odd choice for a list on dog breeding, but I’ve found that using massage on pregnant moms, moms in whelp and on puppies enhances their health and wellbeing. New, nervous moms can be calmed into accepting their pups more readily if you use massage while introducing them – especially useful if mom is shaking off the effects of anesthesia from a c-section.

* 12. The French Bulldog by Steve Eltinge
Yes, we know this book require deep pockets, but this is the classic book on French Bulldogs, and contains some fantastic photos of dogs you’ll find behind the pedigrees of most of the top show dogs in North America. Put it on your wishlist.

* 13. The French Bulldog (Kennel Club Classic)
Pockets not quite deep enough for the Eltinge book? Muriel Lee’s new book is a fantastic, more up to date alternative. Covering health, history and much more on the Frenchie, it’s an essential addition to the library of any aspiring French Bulldog breeder.

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How to spend a Saturday

How was your weekend? Really? That good? Awesome. Mine was the typical, obsessed, dog breeder’s weekend.

Here’s a re-cap.

How A Dog Breeder Spends Her Saturday

Get in car, drive three hours, cross border. When asked ‘Purpose of visit?’ contemplate answering ‘Picking up pregnant dog’, decide against it, answer ‘Shopping’, instead.

Drive two more hours, arrive at meet up location. Consider how correct Barb was in suggesting that an outlet mall, two weekends before Christmas, might not be ideal as a meeting spot. Shrug, buy and drink fourth coffee of day, and thank God for Starbucks.

Meet Barb, get Mae and assorted dog supplies, get back in car, drive back to border again, with quick stop at Walmart to pick up vacuum and snow shovel. Don’t even bother lying to border guard when he asks you purpose of trip. Watch border guard’s eyes glaze over as you explain the complexities of co ownership. Drive away amazed he let you bring $150 worth of electronics back without charging you duty.

Grab more coffee, stretch legs, let Mae out to pee, get back on road to face three hour trip home from border.

Notice that gas tank is almost on empty, and boyfriend seems to feel no rush to fill up. Feel eyes glazing over as he explains that the ‘e’ light actually means car can make it another 50 kilometers or more. Feel horror mounting as boyfriend smugly recaps recent 20-20 show confirming that ‘e’ light is warning, then anger growing as idiot boyfriend mentions website where people (all guys, you are sure) recount how far they made it with their cars on ‘e’. Tell boyfriend in graphic detail what kind of bodily harm you will inflict on him if he even thinks about driving on empty while you and pregnant dog are in car with him.

Notice that it’s snowing, curse. Loudly.

Watch boyfriend drive past gas station because he ‘doesn’t like their gas’. Contemplate hitting him with shovel after he tells you that gas is so different at different stations (unlike shoes, which are all the same) which is a clear analogy to your preference for shoes from Browns instead of Payless. Explain quality of shoes to him and how important manufacturing process and materials are, unlike gas, which all comes from same squished up prehistoric gunk. Reach for shovel when he rolls eyes.

Find ‘acceptable’ gas station, fill up car, let Mae our for another pee, get back on road.

Notice it’s snowing more heavily, curse. Even more loudly.

Drive two hours in zero visibility. Contemplate just why on earth you have a Chipmunks Christmas song on your iPod. Twice.

Pick up fast food, let Mae out for another pee, eat fast food in car.

Arrive home, discover dogs have knocked down baby gate and have gone on Texas Chainsaw massacre style pee fest in upstairs of house. Remind yourself that you meant to pick up paper towels while you were out.

Wrangle dogs, clean up pee, crate dogs, arrange Mae in quiet room.

Visit Bunny and puppies, discover Bunny has eaten corners off of box spring, christen her ‘DumbDumb Bubblegum’ for her habit of chewing everything in sight. Clean up ten gazillion puppy poos and pees. Wonder why you don’t just have cats.

Get boyfriend to feed dogs while you’re tending to Bunny and kids. After feeding, he puts stopper in sink so he can soak bowls. Boyfriend notices pee on floor, goes to clean up, gets distracted, probably by contemplation on whether its possible to drive to Florida on quarter tank of gas.

Forget about running sink.

Hear boyfriend screaming, discover forlorn dogs watching flood waters rising towards crates. Giggle, but internally only.

Clean up dog room floor, using towels, because you forgot to buy paper towels, dammit dammit dammit.

Put in laundry.

Contemplate trading dogs for cats. Small, quiet cats. Stuffed cats, from Steiff.

Head for bed, leaving boyfriend surfing

Throw shoe at his head.