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So you Want to Breed Mastiffs

by Sharon Medforth

So you want to breed mastiffs. Breeding mastiffs is not an easy job. Please take a moment to read this before considering being a mastiff breeder.

The English Mastiff is one of the hardest and most expensive breeds of dog to raise and breed . Fertility problems in both the male and female mastiff is common . Whelping difficulties are normal for the female mastiff as well as post delivery problems are a high probability in this breed. You can not breed a mastiff until they are at least 18 months of age and if you try breeding after 6 years of age you will be courting disaster. So you would be very lucky to see 3 litters out of a mastiff female. I have been breeding mastiffs for 10 years and have never managed to get 3 litters from any of my bitches. This is one of the reasons the cost of buying a mastiff puppy is higher then other breeds. Reputable mastiff breeders seldom ever make money breeding mastiffs.

Before deciding to breed a mastiff stud dog or bitch, the breeder should be confident that their mastiff is a good example of the breed in both temperament, size and confirmation and does not have health or temperament problems that can be passed on to their puppies.

Health problems that should be tested for are Hip and Elbow Displacia, Heart problems, genetic eye problems, and thyroid. Many reputable breeders go even farther and do testing for many more genetic health problems.

If you are thinking why bother testing, I will tell you that from a monetary standpoint you do not want to be refunding money to unhappy puppy buyers because their pup has Hip dysplacia or a bad heart. You could go broke really fast. You may even find yourself in court over an unhealthy puppy. Your goal as a breeder should always be to produce a healthy, sound, friendly mastiff, of outstanding breed type. You can contact you local veterinarian and he can make all the arrangements for the testing you should do before breeding your mastiff.

If you are thinking of breeding your mastiff to make money let me show you how wrong you can be. First of all you will need to factor in the cost of buying a breeding quality mastiff. You are looking at paying $1800 to $3000 dollars for a mastiff puppy from a breeder who does genetic and health testing on their lines. Then the cost of caring for that mastiff for 2 years before you can breed the mastiff. Then you are looking at about $700 dollars to do X-rays on hips elbows, eye testing, and heart and thyroid.

You can then expect to pay $2000 for stud fee to the owner of the male you are using. As I stated before mastiffs are very hard to breed so you may well have to do progesterone testing on the female to make sure you have bred her at the right time, so factor in another $400 dollars on progesterone tests. 60 percent of mastiffs need some sort of veterinarian help whelping and many end up in C-sections at a cost of about $800 or higher. After the mastiff whelps you have a very high probability of mastitis in this breed--this is an infection in the mammary glands. In my last 4 breedings my females all got mastitis and you may well end up bottle feeding pups and have a bitch so sick she needs strong antibiotics and sometimes surgery to drain the infection. You could well be looking at another $400 to $600 dollars for this common complication. Then you must supplement the pup, pay for worming and vaccination and health checks before you can sell the pup, as well as the cost of registering the pups. Add another 600 dollars for this expense. We are not even going to factor in to this the cost of laundry, whelping box, puppy food, milk replacer, thermometer and other whelping and medical supplies. Now suppose you only have 4 pups in the litter. Even if you sell your pups for $2000 each, you are in deep big time. Now to make matters even worse, lets say some of the pups have a genetic health problem after you have sold the pups. You will ether have to refund the puppy buyers money or they can take you to court and sue you. Gee, should have done that genetic testing and X-rays right!!

So you wonder why anyone would every want to breed mastiffs. There is only one reason reputable breeders keep on with the breed and that is LOVE OF THIS BREED. Any long time mastiff breeder will tell you they have gone in dept, that breeding mastiffs is hard on the pocket book. I know many mastiff breeders and do not know a single one who can say they make a profit.

Article on Determining if your mastiff is breeding quality.
http://www.angelfire.com/biz4/MastiffBreeder/m3ap2adetbrpotmast.html

Are you a going be mastiff breeder, this mastiff breeders site has lots of great articles.
http://www.angelfire.com/biz4/MastiffBreeder/main1sitetableofcontents.html

Carting , draft work and weight pull with the mastiff.
http://mastiff25.tripod.com/carting/

Island West Mastiffs
http://www.englishmastiff.com

Mastiff puppies
http://www.englishmastiff2.com

Mastiffs in Sandlot 2 movie
http://mastiff25.tripod.com/islandwestmastiffsonsandlot2thesonofthebeastmovieset/

About the Author:
Sharon Medforth has been breeding and showing English Mastiffs for over 10 years. Visit her at www.englishmastiff.com and www.engishmastiff2.com.



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