480 – Which Comes First: Show Ring or Whelping Box?

Veterinary Voice (1)

Which Comes First: Show Ring or Whelping Box?

Dr. Marty Greer, DVM, joins host Laura Reeves for a discussion about whether we should show or breed our dogs first. Our consensus? Breed them, *then* show them.

“The whole reason that we show our dogs in AKC,” Greer said, “and the whole reason that AKC makes us show dogs that are intact, is because they are meant to be reproducing.

“I really think we need put a bitch’s breeding career way up the list of priorities. It is difficult when you’ve got a bitch, or a male for that matter, out there winning. It’s hard to pull them. It’s hard to miss that opportunity. But I look at it as most bitches, most dogs, get better with age. They look better when they get to being mature at five, six years old. But fertility isn’t so kind. Fertility is an elusive and a God given right. If we don’t take advantage of the youth and the fertility associated with youth, I think we’re missing a big opportunity.”

Better living through chemistry

Greer runs through the pros and cons of using drugs to inhibit heat cycles in bitches, including including Cheque drops and Ovaban. She also covers medication that can be used to bring bitches into season as well as nutritional considerations that may need to be addressed first.

Greer’s advice for breeders on how to transition a nursing bitch successfully into a show career following a litter includes exercise and Witch Hazel.

Discussing the importance of collecting males for frozen semen while they are young, Greer again offers this advice.

“I have people that come in all the time with older dogs. They may be sick. They may be elderly. And they’re just like I really, really, really wanna puppy out of this guy. I really need semen… and they’ve got three sperm and two of them are swimming backwards and there’s nothing we can do with that. Nothing you can do. We have a sign on our wall in big letters that says ‘Freeze early and freeze often.’”




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