(An extract from the Compuserve dog world forum - author unknown)

So you want to be a breeder do you? Good for you! That's what I am, a breeder. But before you decide to go ahead and breed dogs, here are a few things you need to know, and a few things you need to have.

1. You'll need to be willing to clean up vomit, urine, feces, chewed up couches, ruined shoes, and destroyed garbage cans. Then you'll need to be willing to do it all over again the next day, and the next, and the next....

2. You'll need a strong stomach, to be able to stand the stench of rotting fetuses aborted mid term by your pregnant bitch you've been waiting two years to breed. You'll need that strong stomach when you look down on the occasional deformed monster your bitch gives birth to, and you'll need it when you humanely destroy that same puppy.

3. You'll need a strong heart to be able to nurture and love your healthy puppies until they're ready to be sold into the hands of strangers who may abuse, neglect, starve, beat, or at best ignore them. You'll need that strong heart when even the puppies that go to good homes end up run over by accident, or put down from illness. You'll need it when the tears of those good owners are pouring their way into your heart.

4. You'll need lots of room to be able to keep bitches in heat away from stud dogs, stud dogs away from each other, and puppies away from everything. Don't forget about those last two pups that you couldn't find homes for, or the rescue dog your breed club begged you to take in, or the pup from your last litter that the owners decided just wasn't right for them.

5. You'll need to be able to stand grief and loss. Like the way you'll feel the first time you lose a bitch during labor, and realize that it was your decision to breed her that killed her. You'll need it when you explain to your kids why the miracle of birth has a dark side as well.

6. You'll need an employer that will understand if you have to take time off work because your bitch died in labor and you're tube feeding the new puppies.

..........Wait a minute you're saying by now! Give me a break! All you breeders are the same. You only tell us the gory stuff, the stuff intended to scare us off breeding forever. What about the money? I mean you guys just don't want anyone else to compete with you.....

Oh yes the money, glad you mentioned it.

7. You'll need money. Lots of it. Probably lots more than you have, especially if the above mentioned employer didn't turn out to be so sympathetic after all. Lets do some math shall we? Vet bills, Cesarean section, stud fees, registrations, shots, worming, puppy check ups, special diets, whelping gear.... Let's say an average of $2500 per litter, if nothing complicated arises. All this must be paid out before the first puppy ever sells, assuming that they're not all stillborn, in which case don't forget the cost of autopsies. Even if every puppy in the litter is show quality (we can all dream after all) and you find each one a dream home, you're still going to lose about $750 per litter.

.........Wait! Where are you going? I didn't tell you about show fees, or handling, or picking the right stud dog, or government forms, or AKC registrations, or dog runs, or irate neighbours, or city licenses.......