Once I was young, naive and considered crazy by my family. Well, actually my family considered me crazy for a number of reasons, but to stay on topic the one I’m referring to here was my desire to breed show dogs, Gordon Setter show dogs to be exact. What was I thinking?
I digress, you see what I wanted to share with you today was the book that became my “dog breeding bible” way back when we all “walked a mile to school, barefoot through the snow”. And, if you’re too young to have heard your parents (or grandparents for some of you) say that, you’re probably too young to be witnessing sex between dogs so perhaps you should skip on out of here.
Back in 1980 a fine lady by the name of Ann Serrane authored this fantastic book called “The Joy of Breeding your own Show Dog”. I read that book from cover to cover so many times I’ve memorized whole chapters. I kept that book next to the whelping box every time I had a litter (no, you don’t want to know what the stains were from on some of the pages). Ann’s book starts at the beginning, before you’ve bred the bitch, and covers everything from simple genetics and pedigrees through whelping the puppies and caring for fragile newborns. Ann taught me so many things, like the importance of knowing the traits of the dogs in the pedigree to other life saving things like using a glucose solution to rehydrate newborns to keep them strong so they could nurse. She taught me when to call the vet and what that vet would really need to know. (Told you I memorized whole chapters!)
I’ve read several other books about breeding dogs, but they just weren’t as useful to me, some were missing information that Anne had included, others were not as clearly written, and very few offered me new ideas or concepts. I don’t know, must have been a first love sort of thing, but no book ever quite replaced this one for me.
There was a reprint of this book and I’ve found used copies online, I’ve seen it at dog shows and have even found a site where it can be downloaded – though I’m not seeing the fun in having an electronic copy that can’t be left around for a few puppies to chew.
So, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest how about you all share with us!
What’s your favorite book about breeding dogs? Do you have one? Who wrote it and why did you use it?