Looking on the internet for information on progesterone testing is a nightmare. It’s nearly impossible to find information on what the #’s mean, or what numbers that would be ideal for breeding. Several websites will offer different advice and many vets aren’t helpful at all.
So what numbers am I looking for when progesterone testing?
When do I start progesterone testing with my female?
What numbers are best for an AI (Artificial Insemination)?
Well that depends on the type of Artificial Insemination you will be doing, if the Stud is local or you’re receiving shipped fresh chilled or frozen semen.
We’ll break it down for you in a way that’s simplified and won’t make you go cross-eyed. For you slow readers, skip to “Cheat Codes”
The use of artificial insemination in the dogs has experienced a tremendous increase in popularity over the last several years due to bot its increased success rate and the flexibility it allows the dog breeder. A stud dog can be utilized successfully and easily from thousand of miles away, allowing the breeder to choose the best genetics for his or her bitch without the risks, expense, and other difficulties associated with transportation of the bitch.
A previous or current champion’s genetics can be preserved indefinitely through the use of frozen semen. There are several factors that determine the success or failure of artificial insemination. The most important of these factors is proper timing of the insemination.
Old rules of thumb such as breeding between days 10 to 14 will not work in every case because of the variable length of standing heat (receptivity) and because the optimum time to breed may occur any time during, before, or after standing heat. Vaginal smears have been used to help diagnose the proper time to breed. They are at most, helpful as a rough guide to know when to begin insemination when doing a natural breeding (Live AI) But they are not accurate enough to use alone when utilizing fresh chilled or frozen-thawed semen.
A more exact method to properly time insemination is to measure serum progesterone levels. During estrus, progesterone levels are as low as 0–2 ng/ml early on, rise to levels of 2.0–2.9 ng/ml during the LH surge (Lutenizing Hormone; initiates ovulation), continue to rise to 4–8 ng/ml on the day of ovulation (2 days after the LH surge), and may peak at levels as high as 25 ng/ml post ovulation.
After ovulation has occurred, the oocytes (eggs) must go through a maturation process before they are capable of being fertilized. This process takes approximately 2 days. When fully mature, eggs can then be fertilized for about 48 hours. Thus, the optimum time to breed when using fresh chilled semen is 2 days after ovulation and 3–4 days after ovulation when using frozen semen due to its shorter life span.
If previous breeding history is unknown, begin progesterone testing 4–6 days after the onset of heat. If the levels of progesterone are baseline, then the dog should be retested every 3–4 days until a level of progesterone is detected that is consistent with the onset of the LH peak.
Call the stud owner as soon as the bitch is showing signs of heat. Contact the Stud owner after the first progesterone test is performed to begin coordination and planning of the semen shipment.
It has often been said “Timing is everything” and this is certainly true when using artificial insemination in the bitch. By planning ahead and using these guidelines, one can maximize the probability of pregnancy.
Progesterone is a hormone produced by the ovaries that rises as the heat cycle progresses. Early in the heat cycle the progesterone values will usually read less than 1.0 ng/ml. The first significant rise in progesterone usually coincides with the “LH Surge”. The LH stands for luteinizing hormone and is released by the pituitary gland in the brain.
Ovulation occurs about 48 hours after the LH surge. The progesterone level at the time of LH surge is usually about 2–3 ng/ml. The progesterone will rise to about 5–8 ng/ml at the time of ovulation. Canine eggs are not ready to be fertilized at the time of ovulation and take about 2 days to mature. Once mature the eggs remain fertile for 2 to 3 days and then begin to deteriorate.
Fresh chilled breeding’s are usually performed 48 hours after ovulation and frozen breedings about 72 hours after ovulation. Due dates can be determined by counting forward 65 days from the LH surge (LH surge is day 0) or 63 days from ovulation. This is accurate +/- one day.
When your female goes into heat the first drop of blood is counted as “day 1 of her heat.” Schedule a progesterone test with your vet for day 4 or 5. Based on her progesterone test results, your vet will instruct you on when to come back for a follow up test.
There is no single exact number for determining the time of ovulation; we are looking for a number between 4ng/ml to 8ng/ml as the start of ovulation. Most typical bitches ovulate around 5ng/ml.
The magic number you’re looking for is 5ng/ml. Example: If you test on a Monday and she is at 3.9 and then you go back and test again on Wednesday and now she’s at a 6.5… You know that she passed 5ng/ml on Tuesday. Count Tuesday as when she ovulated (dropped her eggs)
DETERMINING BREEDING DAYS
Once you’ve determined the day of ovulation by using the method above, you now know (approximately) when she dropped her eggs.
The best day(s) to breed will next depend on which type of Artificial Insemination you will be doing.
Ask your vet if they perform Surgical AI and TCI beforehand so you know your options.
BREEDING DAY(S) CHEAT CODES
NATURAL BREEDING (LIVE AI)
This is where the Stud is collected next to the female and an AI is performed or the 2 dogs are allowed to mate. Most breeders will opt for a live AI instead of letting the dogs mate in order to avoid injury to the stud dog.
24–48 hours (1–2 days) after progesterone reaches 5ng/ml. Skip a day and do a 2nd AI if you have the option available to you.
FRESH CHILLED SEMEN
48 hours (2 days) after progesterone reaches 5ng/ml.
72 hours (3 days) after progesterone reaches 5ng/ml.
TYPES OF ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION
Artificial insemination (AI) can be performed by a number of different methods and utilizing sperm from fresh, extended or frozen sources.
There are 3 Common Methods used in Artificial Insemination:
AI, Surgical Insemination and TCI (Transcervical insemination)
All 3 methods will work, but when shipping in a Stud we recommend Surgical Insemination or TCI.
Both Surgical Insemination and TCI have higher %’s of success with shipped semen. Ask your vet about the methods that they perform and are most experienced with. If you’re shipping semen in and your vet offers surgical or TCI options.
As a general, rule stud dogs should produce 10 million sperm per pound of body weight and have more than 75 percent progressive forward motility with less than 20 percent miscellaneous morphologic defects. Since “normal” dog semen lives another 3-to-7 days in the bitch, the better the semen quality, the more leeway there is in ovulation timing.
Too few sperm, abnormal sperm, or poor motility may all result in poor fertility. Semen evaluation of the male prior to a breeding is always recommended, but if it wasn’t done before breeding and the bitch fails to conceive, it should be done after the bitch is determined to be not pregnant. Sometimes this can be overcome by intrauterine insemination or multiple inseminations, but in other cases, the infertility may be too severe.
EVERY FEMALE IS DIFFERENT
With most female dogs they enter their cycle every 6 months but may vary as much as 4 to 12 months between cycles. Variation can exists between the length of the “heat cycle”, with the range being as short as 4 days up to 3 weeks in length. The average time from the onset of heat to the actual mating period is 9 to 11 days.
Making matters more confusing, some dogs have “silent heats” meaning little or no obvious signs of heat such as swelling or bleeding. Some females could have whats called “split heats” where they go into a heat cycle but stop short without ovulating and then go into a fertile heat period weeks later. Heat cycles can vary meaning that just because she was ready to be bred on the 11th day the last heat doesn’t necessarily mean she will be ready on the 11th day of the next heat.
DECIDING ON A STUD
A Stud that is an actual Producer can out produce themselves on a consistent basis. They are the few with the ability to stamp their look with every litter.
“A dog can be a truly great show dog and a poor sire. A dog can hate the show ring and never win a point and be an outstanding sire. It is just as simple as that.”
The biggest mistake breeders, novice or veteran, can make is to confuse their show dogs with their breeding dogs. They can be the same. We hope they will be the same. Often they are not.
There are those who say show wins are the indicator of a dog’s value to the breed. In other words, if many judges agree a particular dog is the current ideal in its breed, the dog should be bred to. I agree — but only to a degree.
You can get every judge in the country to agree that the dog of the hour is the dog of the hour, but that same dog can be a complete disappointment in the breeding department.
If a dog’s quality is not realized in the whelping box, all we have is a box full of ribbons and nothing more.
This is not to say a winning dog cannot also be an outstanding producer. Records prove otherwise. But I cannot stress strongly enough that it is the producing ability that must be looked to and not the show record!
BEFORE DECIDING TO HAVE A LITTER
Ask yourself what you are looking to achieve by producing a litter of puppies. Do you have enough money saved for ultrasounds, X-rays and a c-section?
What about an emergency?
The last thing you want to have happen is an emergency with your female and then not being able to provide the care she needs. This could cost you the entire litter and possibly worse, the loss of your female.
Are you able to provide proper care for the puppies? Can you afford to bring the pups in to the vet for the necessary shots and vaccinations or do you know how to administer vaccines and de-worm the puppies?
Do you have a market to sell the pups? Are the parents registered? If they don’t have papers, you can forget about selling the puppies. Hold off until you have a quality female with a good pedigree and registration papers.
You’ll save yourself a ton of work and a long exercise in breaking even if you’re lucky, but most likely it will be a loss.
Some who are new to breeding, think that they will have a litter and just sit back and count cash all day while playing PS4. It doesn’t work like that, this requires a ton of work, dedication and sleepless nights.
Hopefully this aids responsible breeders in the process of producing healthy pups.
• 2018–2019 Mascot Grand Champion Tone “The Clone” • Interview: Double D’s Adam Davis • Top Studs 2019: “The Producers” • Top Upcoming Studs: Future Stars Who’s Stock is Rising Fast • Breeder’s Corner: Progesterone Testing, Determining Breeding Days, Fresh Chilled VS Frozen, Regular AI’s, TCI’s & Surgical Insemination • Interview: Tone Roldan of Duval Bullies • Allergy Season: Solutions to One of the Worst Seasons in Years • Marketing Your Kennel or Stud: What Methods Work Best? • Beyond the Hype- Top Supplements That Actually Work • The 3rd Annual People’s Choice Awards: Coming June 2019 • BULLY KING Searching for 2019 Mascots: 3 Spots Remain • Plus Much More Inside Issue №15!
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Ed Shepherd is one of the original founders of the breed known as the American Bully
Ed started at a time where American Pit Bulls for the most part, were tall, thin, and followed the APBT breed standard. When Ed first started breeding, he did some research on the internet and purchased a couple of pit bulls. He soon realized that both he and his kids loved the temperament of these dogs and it was the breed of their choice from that day forward.
HOW GOTTILINE STARTED
The Gottiline Pit bull Bloodline, otherwise known as the Gotti Pitbulls, Gottyline or Gotty Pitbulls have become one of the most popular bloodlines in American Bully Community. This bloodline was started by Richard Barajas of West Side Kennels. He actually owned the first sire,The Notorious Juan Gotty.
Back in 1997 he bought Gotty for an amount of $1,300, from Tony Moore. Richard probably didn’t know at the time what a great buy Juan Gotty was. Tony owned Grey Line Kennels in Los Angeles.
Tony Moore of Greyline pitbulls produced Notorious Juan Gotty, a dog who later would be the credited for the Gottiline bloodline. Tony sold Gotty to Richard Barajas when he was still a puppy. Gotty was a 100% Greyline dog. The dogs Tony produced were known for their drive and gameness, far from the American Bullies that you see today. Gary Moore of Blue Star Kennels refers to dogs without drive as “Kibble Munchers” and wants nothing to do with lazy dog without drive.
Gary’s ideal dog would be able to climb trees, take down criminals. This was a temperament that Ed Shepherd was not interested in. This extreme drive or “gameness” is not found in today’s American Bullies and was is known to exist find in lines like Greyline, amongst a few others considered “old school bloodlines.”
Some die hard game American Pit Bull Terrier fans would argue that dogs like Gotty were dogs in the early stages of the transformation of the American Bully breed and that these dogs were not true APBT lines (think Colby, Jeep, Old Family Red Nose etc.) But that is a controversial topic and an entire article in itself.
Whichever side of the argument you’re on, many of the old school bloodlines and the majority of the 100% greyline dogs still carried the original APBT temperament and drive. New Troijan Kennels in Los Angeles for example has 100% greyline dogs. Their dogs for the most part are known to have extremely high energy levels and drive, and are able to preform well in sports such as weight pulling, and protection training.
Richard Barajas was breeding Juan Gotty at the time. His kennel name was West Side Kennels. So Ed decided to come up with an idea for creating a name for his yard. The name Ed decided on was Gottyline.
HOW ED SHEPHERD CREATED DAXLINE
Richard was a friend of Eds and at the time, and although he didn’t really like the idea Ed using the name “Gottyline”, he didn’t make a big deal of it and began to use the name as well. Ed chose to spell Gottyline as it reads on Juan Gotty’s papers with the letter “Y”. Richard however, began using the name but spelling it with an “I” and using “Gottiline.” This is the reason you will see this bloodline spelled both ways from time to time.
THE PURCHASE OF 21 BLACKJACK
Ed had purchased Blackjack at the time Cruz was first getting into the Razors Edge bloodline. At the time, Cruz wasn’t as interested in Blackjack, because Blackjack wasn’t a Razors Edge dog. At the time, there was no Gottiline. Things really started to take off for Ed after purchasing 21 Blackjack from Cruz of Bow Wow Pits.
Cruz is perhaps most well known for his Stud Blow, a Monster G son. Cruz went on to be successful in his own right, creating a clothing line based off of Blow. The clothing line was simply known as Blow Genes.
Ed started to show 21 Blackjack and soon champed him out. From the popularity of 21 Blackjack, Ed started to build his Kennel. After years of line breeding and inbreeding, he created a solid recognizable look and had a yard full of amazing bullies.
Around 2008, Ed bred West Coast Gottyline’s Romeo to his female Barbee. This is how he produced the now world famous Gottyline’s Dax. After Dax began to mature, Ed realized that he had produced a truly remarkable stud dog, that at the time, was his best production to date. He then renamed his kennel and bloodline Daxline.
Dax was considered an extreme Bully. He had a very easy going temperament and was completely non aggressive. Ed has no interest in breeding dogs with aggression, high energy or poor temperament. Dax finished his Show Career as an ABKC Grand Champion in the Extreme Class, but it was not without controversy.
Dax stood around 15 inches at the withers, weighed 75 pounds, and had a 24 inch head. He was Ed’s only house dog at the time. Ed simply states that he is loved part of the family and is also too valuable to leave outside.
Dax is known as the best producing bully in the history of the American Bully movement. There is some debate as to whether Dax was an F1, F2 or F2b dog, but what isn’t up for debate is whether Dax could produce. There was an ongoing joke among breeders that his ability to produce was so consistent he “could lay dick to a Chihuahua and drop a Champion or two.” We’re kidding of course, but his ability to produce was legendary.
Dax Sired Ch Lucky Luciano, Louis V, Ch Magoo, Cashpot, Dual GrCh G-Train, Spartacus, Phenom, Boss, Kill Bill, Heat Stroke, Lil Sitch, Status, Havoc, Goku, Uso, Wyatt Earp among many others.
Several of the top programs in the country have utilized what only Dax could bring to a yard- that Daxline signature head, neck and shoulders. Without Dax, we would be without most of the Top American Bullies today. Thank you Ed, for trusting & sticking to your vision, especially before everyone became a believer.
On top of being one of the most important figures of the American Bully movement, which has now become a worldwide phenomenon… Ed is one of the most down to Earth people you’ll ever meet. He’s always willing to pass down what he’s learned to those willing to listen, and is always respectful. For as much as he’s accomplished he remains humble. You’ll never hear him put down another breeder or dog.
From all of us here at BULLY KING Magazine, and from everyone who’s been impacted by Ed’s contribution to the American Bully Breed, we want to say thank you. It’s only right that Ed will be the receiving our 1st ever “Lifetime Achievement Award” later this year.
Most people get into the dog breeding business for a one of two reasons, either to make money, or because they love the breed.
Some breeders are successful and improve the breed, while the majority end up damaging it. We will try to guide you on how to better the breed. If done properly, you can end up making money as well.
The reality is that 50% of new breeders will be out of the business within the first two years, and another 20-30% will be out of business in 3 years. That leaves 20%. Of this 20%, 10% is struggling to either break even, at a small loss or profit, while the other 10% does well and has a profitable business.
Wait, so you’re telling me only 10% actually make money for an extended period of time?
That’s right.Most that decide to become breeders have seen dogs like Dax, Miagi, Bullseye, Magoo, Shamrock or Venom (dogs that have made their owners a lot of money) and think that if they purchase a Male Stud that they'll get rich too. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, and many end up frustrated and disappointed.
First Understand the History
The American Bully breed was created around 1990 and gained recognition and establishment in 2004 with the inception of the ABKC Registry.
The United Kennel Club or UKC recognized the American Bully breed in 2013. There are other registries, but for the purposes of this article we will mention the main few- which are the ABKC, BBCR and UKC.
The American Bully breed has been selectively bred to give America’s breed, the American Pit Bull Terrier, a new direction and outlet.
American Bullies are thick, beautiful, impressive muscular dogs with a great disposition towards other dogs, people and children. When bred correctly, they can be quite athletic for their build.
Obviously they are not athletic in the same way that a 45lb American Pit Bull Terrier is.. This breed carries a lot more muscle, and some of the gameness has been bred out. Which makes them perfect family companions.
So.. The American Bullies that you’ve seen on line have caught your eye, but there’s so many different types and names being thrown around, you have no clue where to start and you’re afraid to ask. That’s ok, we’re here to help.
According to the ABKC-The American Bully breed has been selectively bred to give America’s breed, the American Pit Bull Terrier, a new direction and outlet. Like with the American Staffordshire Terrier (which is also an offshoot of the American Pit Bull Terrier) all of the positive characteristics of the breed’s ancestry were kept.
These Include loyalty, stability with humans and children, along with their physical attributes. Traits of dog and human aggression have been bred out, as they have no future purpose for that trait (outside of hunting & sport)
According to the UKC- The American Bully breed was subtly influenced by the infusion of several other breeds, which include the American Bulldog, English Bulldog and Olde English Bulldogge.
What differentiates this breed from the American Staffordshire Terrier and American Pit Bull Terrier from the American bully is the dog’s physical appearance. This breed has heavier bone structure and a “Bullier” build.
A reinvented breed was formed with the purpose of being the ultimate companion breed, and this breed is the “American Bully.”
It is important to note the ABKC got rid of the extreme class. So there are currently 4 Classes.
This is an amendment to the basic standard which aPocket Bullyis determined by its adult height. Males under 17″ and no less than 14″ at the withers. Females under 16″ and no less than 13″ at the withers.
The American Bully should give the impression of great strength for it’s size. It is a compact and medium/large size dog with a muscular body and blocky head. The American Bully should have the appearance of heavy bone structure with a bulky build and look.
Males 17 inches – 20 inches (43 cm – 51 cm) at the withers.
Females 16 inches – 19 inches (40 cm – 48 cm) at the withers. Important to note that the Standard American Bully dogs are not to be penalized for exhibiting heavily muscled, massive, bulky body type.
This is an amendment to the basic standard. A Classic Bully variety is simply an American Bully dog having lighter body frames (lighter bone) and less overall body mass (less substance) than the Standard American Bully. Aside from this difference, the Classic Bully variety follows the same standard as the Standard American Bully.
Males 17 inches – 20 inches (43 cm – 51 cm) at the withers. Females 16 inches – 19 inches (40 cm – 48 cm) at the withers.
This is an amendment to the basic standard, determined by it’s adult height. Males over 20"-23" at the withers. Females over 19"-22" at the withers. It is important to note that the XL Bully variety is simply taller than the Standard American Bully. XL dogs share the same build, body type and breed type as the Standard American Bully.
This isn’t a real classification of American Bully. If a dog reaches the height and size of an XL, that’s it’s class. Please stop using this term.
The American Bully in itself is a faily new breed — barely 25 years in the making and steming off from the bullier type American Pitbull Terriers, American Staffordshires and various types of bulldogs. The American Bully has a bullier, shorter, more compact, dense body than your average pit bull.
The exotic bullyhowever, is a relatively new term for the somewhat “overdone” type of American Bullies. These American Bullies tend to favor more of the “Bull” side of the Pit Bull, often being mixed with smaller bulldogs. They often have exaggerated features and a plethora of issues.
Once you find the style of bully that you’re looking to breed, you will need to the right kennel to purchase from. We started with two males and a female, but that was not the best move. I wish someone would have advised us to start with females! You want to get your foundation females from a kennel that has been around for a while.
Be sure to get detailed pedigree information on the dogs to ensure you are getting a quality line bred dog (Meaning that the same ancestors appear more than once in the 4 generation pedigree)
The Bully Market’s Grand Champion Thee Buss
Line bred dogs usually produce the most consistent litters. Any kennel that has been around and knows what they are doing will usually line breed. There is a difference between line breeding an inbreeding.
Having a great dog in the pedigree several times is not always better,just because a breeder says 8X Dax (Dax is in the pedigree 8 times) does not mean it’s better than a dog with Dax 1X.
We are using Dax as an example for this article, because Dax was unbelievable at producing very “bully” offspring.He throws great headpieces, neck, shoulders & chest.. but like any dog he has faults. Breeding a dog like Dax too many times can result in his negative traits being magnified ie: trouble breathing, heart issues, short life span. That’s why you see so many inbred dogs passing before the age of 3.
It is important that the Daxline or other foundation dog is at some point properly outcrossed if it is too closely linebred and having issues or inbred. Good breeders know this. Dogs like Miagi & Kratos (not that we have a problem with these dogs) But they have many more issues.
Ever wonder where these hyped up exotics disappear to after 3 years? It’s a place called doggy heaven. We will discuss line breeding and inbreeding in a future article.
A good quality foundation dog will usually run in the 2,500 – 6,000 price range. Anything more than this, don’t bother. I’ve seen kennels that have 10,000 price tags on their puppies. While they may be producing nice dogs, they usually don’t have anything that you can’t find cheaper somewhere else.
The reason people pay these ridiculous prices for dogs is always due to lack of knowledge about the breed. Anyone with any type of knowledge about American Bully bloodlines would never pay this much for a dog.
Just keep in mind, just because the price tag is high, doesn’t mean it’s worth it.
Finding a Stud dog for your yard
Most breeders offer a stud service. If you are new to breeding dogs, you should take advantage of this.
Many people that get started in the dog breeding business usually purchase a stud dog or two along with some female dogs.
Housing, feeding, and taking care of stud dogs is expensive and you’re not always guaranteed to have a great stud dog once they mature.
The better way of going about this is to start off by purchasing female dogs. When they are ready to breed you can contact kennels that offer stud service or contact the kennel you purchased the female from.
You have a few benefits using a stud from another breeder instead of purchasing one yourself:
1. You can use a well known stud this will help with your sales
2. You can line breed your dog using the kennel that you purchased your female from. (Line breeding will guarantee more consistent litters.)
3. You may end up waiting two years- only to find out the dog you purchased didn’t turn out to be a worthy stud dog. (Avoid this all together by using studs from top breeders)
If you’re spending $2500-$4000 on a Stud fee for your female, use a kennel that will provide a contract that shows you exactly what you’re paying for. DO NOT SEND MONEY via Moneygram or Western Union unless you have already established a relationship with a breeder you trust.
If you send $2500 using moneygram and they disappear, you’re shit out of luck. Use common sense! If the breeder’s name on Facebook is James “Hustlemyownmomma” Jenkins, don’t send money!
Grand Champion Beastro of The Bully Market
If you expect to collect Stud fees and increase litter sales, you can’t be cheap. Invest in yourself or your program.. it doesn’t have to be through us, but you need to do it.
American Bullies have excellent temperaments when socialized properly. If you put the work in when they are young, it will pay off in the long run. Always socialize your dogs as pups! Make sure that all social interactions are positive.
Having an aggressive dog can be a very big nuisance, not to mention a huge liability. If you own a dog that has the strength and power that an American Bully has, you need to put the work in to make sure they are socialized properly.
Now that you’re armed with the basics, it’s time to start doing your homework. Compare different kennels and find the one that you plan on partnering with to begin your program. By partnering with, we mean finding one that will assist you with your goals rather than just taking your money.
There is much more that goes into becoming a successful American Bully breeder, and we will go over that in future articles. Hopefully we’ve at least provided you with a starting point to begin your research.
Remember, it’s better to be patient and make the right additions to your program, than to rush and later regret it.
GRCH El Toro Owned by Ivan Condor
The bottom line is that the majority of people that attempt to become breeders do not make money.
The few that are successful can do very well. If you are not improving the breed, have an outside source of income to support yourself between litters and have limited knowledge on breeding.. this isn’t for you.
Let me repeat that. Anything and everything possible at some point will go wrong. If you don’t have an outside source of income and cash reserves in the bank, you will fail. Miserably.. and possibly lose a dog because you couldn’t afford the surgery or medical treatment they will need. Be patient and responsible.. start after saving.
If you think you’re going to be able to sell dogs for $2500-$5000 just because of a big name dog is in your pedigree, you’re sadly mistaken. Without a solid reputation in the bully community and a proven track record of honest business, most people won’t send the type of money you think you’re going to be getting for your puppies.
CH MBBP’s Rocky Has A Hard Head
If you’re looking for a get rich quick scheme, this isn’t it.
Dog breeding isn’t a get rich quick plan, it’s a get-broke fast plan.
Unless you are furthering the breed or following your passion, keep your day job. There’s enough dogs in shelters from “breeders” who wanted to get rich and didn’t.
If you are truly passionate about this breed, you’ll educate yourself on what it takes to be successful.
Find a mentor (someone who’s been successful as a breeder and is willing to share their knowledge with you) and you might be one of the very few that do well and do things the right way.
Over the years countless “Kennels” have come and gone.
What seems to be the cause? What separates the ones that last from the ones that pop up only to disappear a few years later.
Why do Most Kennels Fail?
There are many reasons a business can fail, but when it comes to dog breeding the answer is often simple: Most kennels that fail have a few things in common: wrong intentions and a lack of real knowledge that is passed down through mentorship.
Most respected kennel clubs have mentorship programs, some even require a mentor prior to showing or breeding. Not so with The American Bully-anyone, anywhere that owns 2 dogs can decide to become a breeder.
Why is Having A Mentor Important?
What do Larry Page, Steve Jobs and every Shark Tank mogul have in common? They’ve all received guidance from mentors. Yes — even the famously individually-minded Apple Founder got by with a little help, advice and support from time to time. No matter who you are, where you’ve come from, or what you have achieved, a good mentor is an invaluable asset in business.
When it comes to dog breeding, having someone who’s seen it all- Issues with Co-Owns, Contracts, Health Issues, Birth complications etc.. will not only help, but can prevent some pretty avoidable legal and financial issues and might even save the life of one of your dogs.
Newly established kennels get caught up with the excitement and potential financial gain that they see on social media or hear about from other breeders. What they fail to understand is the time and work involved in having a successful setup.
What most need to understand is that the few who manage to turn a profit have years and years invested into their yards.
What you’re not seeing is the struggle, the loss of money it took to gain the knowledge to properly produce quality dogs: the time away from family traveling to different shows, the sleepless nights whelping litters, the heartbreak of losing puppies, the devastation of investing several thousand into a litter only to find out it didn’t take, or even worse the bitch didn’t make it.
Combine all of this with the frustration from customers who expected a puppy that wasn’t delivered. The arguments with a spouse over your love for these dogs the list could go on..
One thing is for certain, dog breeding isn’t for the faint of heart.
Being knowledgeable and having the ability to apply that knowledge in real world situations (through experience) are two completely different things.
Wisdom is being able to admit that regardless of how experienced you may be.. that you don’t know it all.
This is an ever changing and evolving industry, staying humble enough to be taught, and realizing there is always more to learn is key to any breeder or aspiring breeder’s success. The understanding of genetics, business, cost, care etc. comes from real life experience, mentorship and studying.
Knowledge that you gain through these sources not only save you financially but prevent unfavorable outcomes. As a breeder, you’re working with live, breathing animals and your actions can cause suffering. It’s important we regain some of these old fashion practices to secure our breed’s long term survivability. The system that’s currently established is causing great instability in our future growth and public image.
Olin Stephens of Grindhouse Bullies states “Over the years I’ve personally mentored many upcoming breeders and to this day I still guide and support them in their breeding programs. The learning process is never ending- even for all those expert breeders out there, every day is an opportunity to improve and expand your knowledge.
It’s your duty to share what you’ve learned and help educate others. Align yourself with individuals that have the proper mindset to grow and develop your skill as much as their own. Not every outcome will be a success story when greed and ego takes hold- failure is not far behind. The beginner is just as easily victim to this as established kennels/breeders.”
It’s important to remain humble and always seek to improve yourself and others.
Lack of Quality Breeding Stock
They call them Foundation Males & Females for a reason. If you’re not building on a solid foundation it won’t last.
You NEED QUALITY BREEDING STOCK. Without it, you’ll be spending generation after generation correcting faults.
“Females in my opinion, separate the men from the boys. There is some debate as to the exact amount a female passes on to her offspring. Some say 60%, others say that with genetics it should be closer to 50%.
I’m not quite sure what the geneticists claim, but I know what I’ve seen with my own eyes (in more than one breed) and in my opinion females are as important, if not more important than the males.”
“I see so many breedings where mediocre bitches are paired with Top Studs and the breeder thinks it’s the hottest breeding ever. Very few kennels have the quality of bitches to pair with a Top Stud to produce consistent litters time after time.”
Improper Use of Finances
Improper use of finances is a large factor that contributes to kennel failure. When it comes to finances you must apply basic business practices, incorrect spending can put a strain on any kennel or business. You must take the time to not only research general breeding practices but also invest time in planning a proper business model, calculating risk and choose to act appropriately.
Never think you can buy a kennel and become an overnight success by reading a couple articles online and thinking that is all that’s required to be successful. With financial stress and inexperience you’ll see improper evaluations on breedings and stud fees. People need to understand you need to properly establish yourself before expecting a large return.
Lack of Advertising/Promotion
You NEED TO ADVERTISE.
Invest in your program, and don’t be cheap either.
Again this is probably the biggest key that so many breeders are missing so I will repeat it again:
You NEED TO ADVERTISE!
You need to advertise & promote your Stud & Breedings outside of just your Facebook friends if you want to get your Stud booked and top dollar for your breedings.
It doesn’t matter if you have the baddest dog on the planet if no one gets to see it. Every successful business markets their product. With the rise of social media you can reach several hundred thousand people overnight. Our average weekly reach is just over million people.
You can Advertise in a magazine, have a professional HD Video created, promote on Facebook, Google +, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest.. the possibilities are endless. You’ll need a following if you expect to sell your pups at a decent price. We can help with building your following, no one does it better thanBULLY KING Magazine.
How often do you see posts of blood from a female in heat followed by “Looking For Stud?” then deciding from a thread full of posts from thirsty Stud owners and then taking the cheapest offer. Nothing says “I have no Vision for my program” better than a last minute post while a female is in heat just starting the search for a Stud.
Thirsty posts from hundreds of Stud owners on the thread isn’t a good look for your Stud either. Without knowing anything about the female, it gives the appearance that the Stud owner would breed to anything for a dollar. Any legitimate breeder with a Top Stud won’t auction their Stud off cheap because they don’t want to devalue their line to make a couple bucks.
You need Contracts for EVERYTHING. Everyone is on the same page until money starts to come in, and money makes people act funny. If you don’t have Contracts in place for Stud Service, Co-Owns, Puppies For Sale etc.. You are setting yourself up for failure.
The bully world is full of drama. As your kennel progresses people will talk down about you and your program. You’ll hear several people bitch online that your stock isn’t good enough, and that anyone who is serious should spend more on foundation dogs for their program.
On the flip side of the coin- if you spend money and invest in quality dogs other breeders will say “anyone can buy a top dog” and boast online their dogs are “produced, not bought” If you’re on the right track others will get jealous, and jealousy breeds envy.
Avoid "drama dog groups on Facebook like the plague: you will get sucked in. If all the group does is hate on others dogs and post "user submitted posts" as a crutch to call out people.. you'll get nothing out of the group. Associate yourself with the winners. Anyone who's successful in this, doesn't have the time to gossip or talk about other people's dogs.
Remember this quote “people want to see you do well, but never better than them.” In the bully world, most won’t even want you to do well.
No one ever became a breeder without starting with a dog or dogs that they didn’t produce, and anyone that views you as a threat will bitch and complain.. especially if you’re selling pups at higher prices than them. You can’t please everyone, block it out.. it’s just noise. Follow your vision.
If you argue and use foul language and go back and forth with other breeders slinging insults it reflects poorly on you and your kennel.
Be a Good Sport
If you’re competing in Confirmation Shows-eventually you will lose. Congratulate the winner and don’t bitch and whine or complain about Judges, the Registry etc.. It makes you look childish, and it will turn away customers. Whether the outcome was in your favor or not, thank the registry, the judges and your competitors.
Lastly I will discuss claims and drama that will poison and destroy even the most established kennel.
Never speak or repeat the words of another with out fully understanding the facts. If other breeders are talking about you, unless you’re doing something unethical or wrong.. it’s usually a good thing. Avoid getting sucked into online drama at all costs.
Getting caught up in drama online will put a strain on your time and the energy you should be putting into your program. Not only that, but even if you win the keyboard war, it usually gets heated and you’ll look like an asshole to your buyers and customers will avoid you like the plague.
Many of us have backgrounds, lives that weren’t as pristine or pampered as some of the owners of Show dogs in other breeds. The American Bully & Exotic have given many of us a new direction, an outlet for positivity, or a fresh start.
Now that you’re a business owner, act with professionalism.
Hopefully we’ve highlighted the leading causes of kennel failure and shed some light on some of the growing problems within our community.
• Everything You Need To Know About The American Bully • History Of The American Pit Bull Terrier & The Evolution Of The American Bully • History Of The Razors Edge Bloodline • Notorious Juan Gotty & Gottiline • The Legend Of Lowjack Remy Martin & Remyline • History Of Daxline • History Of The Tri Colored Pit Bull & American Bully • Caring For Your American Bully • The Importance Of Socialization • 5 Star Rated Dog Foods • Best Muscle Building Exercises • Preventing Heat Stroke • How much Does An American Bully Cost • Finding A Reputable Dog Breeder • So.. You Want To Become A Breeder? • How Stud Service Works • Ovulation & Progesterone Testing • Artificial Insemination (AI’s) • Dog Pregnancy: By The Week • Why Do Most Kennels Fail? • What’s Your Bully Worth? Determining The Value Of Your Stock • Linebreeding, Inbreeding, Outcrossing, Backbreeding & More • Parvo: What You Need To Know • Daxline & Exotics: Why Are Dogs Dying Young? • The Exotic Bully
Bonus Chapters: • 1st Annual BULLY KING Magazine People’s Choice Award Winners • How The American Bully Saved My Life • The Story Of Champion SMP’s Lucky Luciano • Muscletone Bullys’ Bashar Daoud On Creating The Muscletone Bloodline • Important Terms & More!