Thinking of breeding your female Boston? Here's a wonderful article written by fellow breeder Kelle Arvay and used with her permission.
Lately you've given some thought to breeding your dog. She is of course an ideal candidate in your opinion. After all, everyone who comes in contact with her thinks she's adorable and many family and friends have said they would love to have a puppy from her if you decide to breed her. Perhaps you bought your female from a nice couple that live on a farm and breed a few litters a year. You found their ad in your local paper, called and visited the puppies. Granted the environment left a bit to be desired but the puppies were so cute. One in particular pulled on your heartstrings and you felt this overwhelming need to rescue her. So you brought your new bundle of joy home the same day, even though she wasn't yet 8 weeks old. The breeder told you she was eating on her own so she could go to her new home. You took her to the Vet for a check up and shots and the Vet informs you that she has a hernia, but it's not a bad one and if you like they can repair it when she is spayed. He also notices she has mites and sends you home with medication. Fast forward to a year and a half old. You decided not to have her spayed because you are still debating on letting her have just one litter. Her hernia hasn't gotten any worse so you figure it really isn't that bad. You decide you'd like to breed her on her next season, so you start doing some research on possible stud dogs for her. You find some gorgeous looking stud dogs after browsing some show breeders websites. You call a few and they ask you questions about your female: What is her pedigree? You can't answer that because you don't have her pedigree. They ask what health tests you have had done on her? You answer none. They ask if she has been shown or is a finished champion? You answer no. They go on to ask a few more questions and by this time your thoroughly discouraged at the prospect of being able to use one of their stud dogs. Actually, you decide your rather offended by the questions...Sheesh, you just want to breed your dog!
So you then contact some non-show breeders about their studs. Granted their studs don't look nearly as nice as the show breeders studs and these breeders don't ask you any questions except for when did she come in season and then proceed to tell you they have a stud and what the stud fee is. So you make arrangements to take your female to the non-show breeder to be bred. You think you have the timing correct, but you aren't positive because you didn't do any progesterone tests as you feel they are too expensive. You get there and pay the $800 stud fee. The stud breeds your girl but she fights and screams, so you and the stud owner hold her so she can be bred. Once finished you put her back in the car to head home. She appears tramatized by the whole ordeal but you figure she'll get over it.
Two months later your female goes into labor around 8 o'clock at night. All appears to be normal until a couple hours go by with her straining and not producing a puppy. So you call the Vet only to find a recording telling you to call the emergency Vet office after hours. So you call them and tell them what's going on and that your female now has green fluid and some blood coming out of her. They tell you to get her to the clinic asap. Once there the Vet tells you that she needs a emergency C-section. At this point you are a nervous wreck and pace back and forth in the waiting room waiting for news. Finally, one of the techs comes out to tell you that the first two puppies were born dead. They believe that there are 3 more and will come back out with more information when they are done. After another hour the Vet brings you into a room to deliver the devastating news that your female died on the operating table due to a ruptured uterus. He says they were able to save 3 of the 6 puppies. The third one born had a cleft palate and had to be put down. You are hysterical at this point. Not only did you lose your beloved female but half of her litter. The Vet tries to console you and get you calmed down. He then explains that you'll need to tube feed the puppies every two hours around the clock and shows you how to do it. It simply terrifies you to put a tube down their throat and pump puppy milk into their tummies. But you know it has to be done so you pay the $1,500 Vet bill, take the puppies and instructions and head home.
The following days are a living nightmare. Besides having virtually no sleep yourself, one puppy died after two days and you're not sure why. Seems it got cold and wasn't thriving. Of the remaining two, you are pretty sure one of them has pnemonia as it sounds raspy and acts listless. You take them to the Vet who confirms the one has pnemonia and gives you some antibiotics to start him on. You pay the bill and head home. Another week later the raspy male died and his remaining only sibling also appears to have pnemonia. Back to the Vet you go and again he confirms the pnemonia and gives you more medication. You pay the bill and head home. You try everything you can to save that one remaining puppy but to no avail.
In retrospect, what seemed like a innocent endeavor to breed your female just one time in order to have puppies for friends and family has cost you greatly. Not only did you have a huge financial burden, but an emotional one as well. You lost your female and all of her puppies.
The scenerio is very familiar to all breeders and things have gone this way for many, many breeders, more times than they would like. It's important to thoroughly research before you breed and breed for the right reasons. Your beloved pet wasn't meant to be bred, she was meant to be a pet. Don't risk her life by breeding her!! Unless you are willing to thoroughly education yourself on breeding, do all the required health testing, show your dog to determine if she is conformationally a good candidate, and willing to take the risk that things can and do go wrong, then it's best to leave the breeding to the professionals. Instead enjoy your female as a loving companion and have her spayed.
See another page of ours with more breeding information including pictures and video of Boston moms giving birth here.