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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Number of dogs, number of litters?

I have recently joined the forum and have been enjoying learning more about Havanese, which we're considering for our next dog.

As I've been browsing websites of breeders (for Hav and Cotons --also considering), and it seems to me that many breeders have a lot of dogs (8 - 12) and some have quite a few litters a year (2 or 3 up to eight or even more).

How many dogs is it reasonable for a breeder to have and give sufficient time and attention to? How many litters is reasonable for a year? How many litters would a bitch have?

I realize that it's not an absolute number but I'm just trying to understand better.

I have some other questions as well but will post separately. Thanks.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 10:45 AM
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You are going to get different answers/opinions from every breeder.
Personally my dogs are not baby-making machines. Sometimes I skip a heat inbetween litters, sometimes I will do a back-to-back litter. I have had a max of 2 litters a year. (heats are every 6 months, so there is a potential for one dog to have 2 litters a year).
I don't have my dogs so they can pump out puppies. I have my dogs because I love them. They are part of my family and involved in our everyday activities. Raising a litter is alot of work. If I can't put 100% into a litter, I won't have one.
For some breeders, this is their 'business'- for others a fun hobby. For every breeder their choices are going to be different.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 11:06 AM
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Most breeders I have asked breed their females 3-4 times max and I read that somewhere as well. But then again, I am not a breeder.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 11:11 AM
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I am not a breeder, but I also think the number of litters that is reasonable can vary between breeders. Dusty's breeder rarely has more than one litter a year. Another local breeder (who shows, health tests, all that, and who I have met personally) had I think four litters at once when I met her. I thought it was a lot, but all her dogs seemed healthy and with great personalities, the puppies were well socialized. But she had a lot of help with caring for the pups and lots of people in and out to help socialize. All the litters were right there in her family room. The place was happy and clean, but busy. I couldn't really find fault with it. She did say it would be a while after that before she had any more puppies! It may have been that her girls all came into season at once that year. I don't know. We didn't get a puppy from her because we were not ready to make a decision and still trying to decide if we could handle a dog in our lives. I just think that the number of litters is one of many things to consider when looking at breeders.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 12:49 PM
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I am not a breeder either, but I think I agree with Joelle. I visited breeders on both ends of the spectrum that way and some in between. I think it varies with the situation.

One breeder I met last year had more puppies than I was confident she could handle, given what I saw with her set-up, her health, and what I was afraid I couldn't see. I didn't get a good feeling about it, so I didn't get a dog from her.

On the flip side, the breeder I'm buying my May puppy from currently has 3 litters, but one is at her daughter's (they both breed and show, and will take turns watching puppies when the other cannot be there), and she only works 2 days a week, so she is with the puppies almost full time, and is very focused on their proper development. The part about how often to breed a female - that I can't comment on, since I don't know much about what is appropriate or healthy for them.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the comments. I kind of figured that there would be individual variation. We are in no rush and have lots of time to learn more about the breed and breeders. There will certainly be more questions coming from me...
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 09:20 AM
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I think a lot of breeders don't want to admit how many dogs they have! I know one breeder I talked to had 15 dogs and kept getting 'puppy backs' and had about 4 litters a year...I don't know how anyone could care for so many dogs.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 09:29 AM
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You'd be surprised Jill, especially when they don't work outside the house and there is more than one person (human) living there. Unfortunately, unlike working outside the house, you don't ever get a day off.

Edited to add: I don't have anywhere near 15 dogs, but when I had two litters (8 puppies) and a couple of my puppies here for boarding, it got a little nutty. Frankly, 8-12 week old puppies are a heck of a lot more work than multiple adults.

Last edited by Havtahava; 04-03-2009 at 09:31 AM.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 09:37 AM
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I just know with 2 dogs- my dogs get a walk every single day and each one has a class once a week so they are very well socialized -and there's no way to do that with 15 dogs. Not necessarily a bad thing but definately different.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 02:11 PM
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"Frankly, 8-12 week old puppies are a heck of a lot more work than multiple adults."


That is hysterical but true.
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