This is a reference for breeders new and old based on my 20+ years of breeding as well as 15 years of watching the tough lessons several larger breeders I have webmastered for have encountered.
All of the products listed herein are just my preferences I do not make any money for referring them and you may be able to find them thru a multitude of pet supply vendors.
All of the health practices herein are based on methods that have worked for me and multiple other breeders I have personally known over the years, but should not be used without first consulting your regular veterinarian. This article is provided as a reference only.
Health & Genetic Testing
Embark is my preferred testing site they are the least expensive option for the number of items the test covers. This test covers a myriad of things including but not limited to traits (coat colors, coat types, and morphology, if they carry back dewclaws) as well as drug sensitivities, PRA (eye defect), plus 200+ other health defects. The plus about Embark is as they add new gene tests they automatically add them to your already tested dogs where the other places charge to retest and/or cost per color or gene.
The price is just under $150. per dog but well worth your investment. Your first test only costs $99. if you use the code tryembark99.
The best method is to test your oldest dogs first because if both parents are clear you would not need to test offspring. However just because an offspring is clear is not a definite sign that the parents are clear and they just got lucky not inheriting something that a sibling may have.
Some breeders believe that all afflicted AND carrier dogs should be removed from the breeding pool. However, there are also some diseases that a very large percentage of the breed carries so you would end up with a very small genetic diversity if you wiped out all the carriers as well.
Many breeders believe with testing and carefully selected pairs such as breeding carriers only to clear individuals and then only keeping back clear offspring the diversity can be maintained while also eradicating the illness. The problem overall lies in how many breeders are not testing.
Here is a chart to show how the carrier and clear status can affect offspring.
Communicable Diseases can very quickly bring your kennel to its knees! I have experienced this first hand when I once purchased some adult dogs from a “retiring” breeder in Oklahoma. Turns out these dogs were just losing almost all their litters so she was culling them to buy new. Thing I found out the hard way was her kennel had herpes and mycoplasma so adding new dogs was fruitless as they too would become infected.
Unfortunately, this also infected my kennel! At first, I tested via snap/titer test at my vet’s office and it came back with false positives saying they had brucellosis so I started putting my dogs down en-mass for the protection of my family.
However, after the ugly deed was already done I discovered that the tests had been affected by recent vaccinations my dogs had. It was devastating!
Soon after a co-breeder and I discovered there are foolproof DNA tests for communicable diseases this is when I discovered the dogs had herpes, not brucellosis. While herpes will still wipe your kennel out due to lost and premature litters it at least not communicable to humans so rather than killing those dogs they could of been fixed and placed in pet homes.
So word to the wise IF you must add adult dogs to your kennel or offer stud services require this test for all dogs not part of your kennel.
This company does offer a “breeding test” however it does not cover mycoplasma so I suggest the “showing” version which is more comprehensive. The price is usually under $60. per dog and does not require a blood draw.
Amoxicillin And Cephalexin
These common antibiotics are used for bacteria related illnesses they are related to penicillin. Amoxicillin is used to treat gastrointestinal, respiratory, and genitourinary systems of dogs, as well as skin infections.
Cephalexin is used to treat various infections, but it is primarily used to treat wound, skin, and bone infections.
(brand names: Toltrazuril sulfone®, Marquis®, Ponalrestat®) is an antiprotozoal medication used to treat protozoal parasites such as Toxoplasma spp, coccidia, and Neospora caninum.
This antibiotic is strictly used for various infections as well as urinary tract infections in dogs. However, it is important that plenty of water is drunk when this is taken and side effects include nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. This can be used for the treatment of Cocci but requires a much longer dosage period 5-21 days than Ponazuril.
Pneumonia, ear infections, and eye infections can be treated with this antibiotic alone or with a combination of anti-inflammatory medication. This is available in tablets as well as a topical spray.
This antibiotic contains a certain level of pH that can go through a dog’s body completely to treat bacteria and parasite infections. It can also enter the organs of a dog to battle infections making it a popular antibiotic.
Also known as sulfa drugs, this antibiotic is specifically used to treat parasitic infections that cause gastrointestinal conditions in dogs.
Protection against a variety of bacterial infections can be derived from tetracycline as it does not allow proteins to synthesize. However, infections are easily treated with this antibiotic because it has the ability to break through barriers that hinder treatments of infections.
This is similar to tetracycline and it is also used in a variety of infections to prevent growth and production.
an antibiotic that is used to treat a wide variety of infections. It works by stopping the growth of certain bacteria and parasites. This antibiotic treats only certain bacterial and parasitic infections.
Here are a couple great links for dosage and usage:
And one for herbs
Allergic Reactions To Antibiotics
Allergic reactions can occur and depend on the type of antibiotic taken, as well as its dosage. Most of the time, the symptoms of allergic reactions occur within 24 hours, but they often last for a few hours after treatment is sought. The common reactions include breathing difficulty, painful rashes, itchiness, coughing, nausea, unable to eat, and swelling. In severe cases of allergic reactions, dogs can experience anaphylactic shock which requires immediate medical attention.
Many breeders I have known purchase fish antibiotics because they do not require a prescription like the canine prescribed ones. I do not recommend this for new breeders who are not familiar with proper dosing.
Pyrantle Pamoate is the most common wormer used on puppies. I use this vanilla flavored (human grade) Pyrantle at 1 ML per 5 lbs every 2 weeks, from 4 weeks old till they go to new homes. Dosage may vary by brand. Adults, I usually only de-worm every 6 months unless there appears to be a need (butt dragging is a good sign of worms but can also be a plugged duct). This de-wormer is a single treatment for the removal of large roundworms and hookworms in dogs and puppies. It only kills adult worms, not the eggs so needs to re-administered after two weeks when the remaining eggs start hatching.
Fenbendazole is a de-wormer and light-duty giardia preventative/treatment. If Giardia is suspected (vomiting or frothing clear fluids not blood, runny stool, lethargy) you can give Fenbendazole for 7 days if the pup continues or restarts showing symptoms you will need to seek veterinary care for an antibiotic usually Metro.
I like to give one dose of the fenbendazole the day before the pup is due to go home, then second dose the day of, and send the third dose home with the buyer as a preventative against Giardia.
I have found the easiest and least expensive way is this SafeGuard liquid form (advertised for goat use) I use a dosage of 1 ML per 10 lbs. The dosage will be different for other brands and types such as the gel or paste for horses.
The best time to give vaccinations in my opinion is earlier in the day when the pups are going to be active. If you give it in the evening they tend to get more stiff and cry every time another pup tries to snuggle on them at bed time.
The first shot I give is Neopar at 4.5-5 weeks old it is a modified live Parvovirus that overrides the maternal antibodies to ensure your pup gets coverage. The typical 5 way does not override so may or may not build immunity which is why you have to keep giving it until 16 weeks to make sure it works.
Solo-Jec is my preferred brand of multi coverage vaccination. I have noticed the Spectra tends to invoke more of a reaction like it is stinging for a couple of minutes.
Dew Claw & Tail Docking
After much research, we no longer remove our pup’s dew-claws unless requested before 3 days old. While helping multiple breeders of active herding or agility breeds we came to understand the importance and connection of that extra digit. Not only do they use it for quick turns but it is also medically proven dogs that have had the dewclaw removed have a higher chance of wrist damage and arthritic complications.
Here is an xray of a dogs wrist and digits compared to that of a humans.
If you are choosing to remove dewclaws or have a breed that docks tails this is the best blood stopping agent I have ever used. It does not take much at all and mama’s don’t get sick if they lick it but also don’t seem to like the taste so I have only had one that actually did mess with it.
These are my preferred forceps for clamping umbilical, removing dewclaws, and tails, suturing, etc..
I generally whelp my girls in a small kiddie pool you can get at a family dollar or Walmart (plan ahead they are seasonal) because I like being able to move it room to room if needed and spin it when they move out of my reach or view. So many uses for pools whelping, litter box, pool, play sandbox.
I found this great bed that fits just perfect for after the pups are a couple of days old and have figured out how to latch well. I did have to put some quilting ties in it to make it so the pups didn’t get sucked into the folds and it also helps the fluff not bunch up when running thru the washing machine. I keep two so I can do daily washes if needed while moms are still leaking. In my washer, it takes an extra drain and spin cycle before I can get enough water out of it to put in the dryer.
This scale has been very useful it does both oz and lbs so you can measure newborn pups with ease.
Here is a nice scale for weighing older pups and adults. It can do Oz but has not proven accurate for pups under a pound.
A nice no-touch thermometer for tracking mama dogs temperature before whelping
These are my preferred forceps for clamping umbilical, removing dew claws (and tails if you have a breed that does that), suturing, etc.. 5 1/2 – 6″ is perfect for dachshunds
This is an excellent formula I even raised two, very premature pups on it
I bought this kit thinking my preemie pups would prefer the smaller nipple but they actually preferred the big tall one I think due to the thinner feel.
My dogs LOVE this powder it has a cheese flavor. I do not supplement pregnant mamas as this can cause their body to stop producing calcium on its own. However I do give this during and/or as soon as they will take it after labor. If your giving Oxytocin injections to bring on contractions or for clean-out after tends to deplete calcium so whelping ladies need a heavy dose as soon as possible. If you have a mam who gets rear end paralysis a couple days or even up to 2 weeks after delivery it could be calcium deficiency get her to the vet for an injection immediately.
Another helpful supplement I like to give my ladies during nursing is cod liver oil it helps them quickly put fat back on their backline. The cheapest place I personally have found is Walgreens but you can also get it here:
There are other places you will see a gallon for “less” however check your labels a lot of the cheaper ones are mostly soy oil with a little cod liver in there.
A nebulizer for helping those wee ones catch their first breath
You will want this handy mask for your nebulizer
Not every breeder will reinvest in their dogs the way I have but I will put these next few links here for those who are in a position to take their investment to the next level.
This machine literally can be the difference between life and death for a struggling puppy
Last but not least on the big dream list an ultrasound machine comes in very handy (and fun for teaching the kids about anatomy)
Food & Vitamains
We feed and recommend Life’s Abundance brand dog food I have a whole page on why here:
From a breeder’s point of view it has given me larger and more colorful litters. I was feeling stingy at one point and decided to just feed the good stuff to my mama dogs, not my stud. Until I put him back on he threw almost all black litters not his usual high percentage of dapples and piebalds. Soon as I put him back on as well the next mating produced great color again. That was enough selling point for me but there is more.
My mama dogs do NOT get skinny even during nursing or throw their coats like they did on Taste of the Wild, Kirkland, or Blue Buffalo brand foods. I even fed raw for a couple of years but kept having issues with my house dogs giving family members e-coli infections no matter how careful we were about feeding them outside.
Don’t let the price fool you they eat less, even freed fed, so the price evens out in the end. One 45 lb bag lasts my 8 adult dogs (free-fed) for a month.
I can’t rave about this bio-base floor (and everything else) wash. I use it in my sinks, toilet, fridge, carpet, tile, concrete, washing machine, potty grass, you name it. It is safe to use even with pups playing underfoot. You don’t have to wait for it to dry to put dogs back in the pen. I don’t actually even rinse it off every time applied it doesn’t get sticky. If you are going to rinse it let it work its magic for at least 20 minutes before rinsing. I spray the soles of my shoes with it as well every time I return from errands. It is a concentrate so this little bottle lasts quite a while.
If you are concerned about illness spreading in your kennel there are several different cleaners that can kill parvo, giardia, and the likes but only one I have found that smells good it tends to go out of stock often so don’t wait till the last drop to order more. I mop my floors as well as wash all my dog bowls, and toys with this. For floors, I do not rinse. Bowls and toys should be rinsed thoroughly. I feel it is safer than bleaching everything sure smells better too.
This Bio-Base Deodorizer actually works! I have used it on stubborn stud dog pee stains and they stopped peeing in that spot. I love to spray this on all the bedding after letting everyone out of their sleeping crates in the morning. It keeps my room smelling clean and you can’t even tell there has been a dog.
I have begun using grass training for my puppy’s ( I used to use a kiddie pool and non-clay kitty litter with success until on puppy decided to eat too much of the litter and became impacted). While their are several good methods for potty training I have discovered a little trick when potty training that seems to help the pups learn much faster regardless of the style you are using. If you have the bed (could be in a crate) at one end and the food at the other end with your potty area in the middle it follows the rule that pups will always potty after eating or waking.
This is the layout I start using as soon as the pups become mobile enough to get out of the nest and/or start eating food.
As the pups grow you can expand the area to have more room to play and the pups will have learned to come back to the grass to potty.
Here are a few of the supplies I use:
Washable potty pads for birthing beds, floor protection, as well as use under the faux grass (you could easily also use disposable under the grass as well but pups LOVE to chew up disposable pads)
These blue pads are the very best for small jobs they are about the same size as the typical disposable potty pads. I have tried quite a few brands and this one has held up the best and has held up the best to sharp toothed puppies.
For larger needs like covering the entire floor of a puppy play area, I love these paw print pads. They too have passed the test for durability.
For couch or bed covering I love this jumbo size potty pad it only comes in gray but absorbs like no other and unlike most advertised “waterproof” couch or bed covers this one really is. WOrks great for large puppy runs as well. Not to bulky to fit in the washer either but you will want to do an extra drain and spin cycle because it really holds its water. Beware some of the large couch cover style covers that claim to be waterproof are not actually PLA inside instead a cheap almost saran wrap type plastic that punctures easily and is very noisy.
This is my favorite faux grass so far it works great for photoshoots, puppy play areas, or potty training. It is easily cut to whatever size you need. I cut several pieces just slightly smaller than the potty pads shown above. I have had one large piece I use outdoors for over 5 years now. I have tried other brands and the backing did not hold up as well or look as realistic.
I remove when soiled then spray with the Bio-based floor cleaner (listed in the cleaners section), and hose off. By having at least two you have one to use while the one you just cleaned is drying. However, there will be times you need a third because it never fails you put a clean one in and the little monsters all got to go poop on it! I have noticed the smaller the grass section the more often you have to clean it so for me a 3’x 3′ square seems to work well. SO I buy a bigger chunk and cut multiple out of it.
A warning to the wise don’t let the poo sit and dry before you spray it off. Puppy poop is like industrial glue! If it gets dried on something like this grooming rake works well for getting it off:
This is what I suggest for my buyers who wish to continue the faux grass method
When I put the grass out on my concrete back porch I like to use these tiles under to help the water flow thru and out when I hose it otherwise it builds up nasty under the grass quickly. Even with these I still need to once a week lift and spray under. I do apply some of the Bio-base floor cleaner listed in the cleaning section and leave it before putting the grass back down.
Toys and Enrichment
This slide is just right for dachshund pups and even my adults play on it
My pups big and small absolutely love this tunnel. It does unzip in the middle if you would rather not have the donut shape.
The only thing I have discovered with it is the end of the wire loop will break free and start to poke out of the cloth when it does it is simple to push back inside the cloth and then use a pair of pliers to bend the end of the loop wire into a horseshoe shape so it can no longer poke out. It is easy to hose off and I really like that the interior of the tunnel is pee proof cloth while the outside is soft fluffy cloth.
Great little soft flannel and velcro straps. These particular ones have a longer velcro area than most which are helpful. They are washable but frankly, they are so cheap I just toss them and buy a new pack each litter that I need them for. One caution these are not break free collars so an older pup can get them caught on something and strangle themselves.
I use these collars when the pups start to get really active and/or play outside they are quick release so if the pup gets caught on something it pops open to avoid strangulation. I also use them on my adults around the house and yard. I have had climbing dogs hang themselves before so I only use quick release unless were going on a walk. The smallest size works great for pups and smaller necked adults. The medium works for all my adults.
One of my favorite things to do when giving vaccinations is either remove everyone’s collars or if you can’t tell the pups apart flip them upside down then once each vaccination or de-worming is done you put it back on or turn right side out again. This makes it easier to keep track on large litters. I also like to use a sharpie and write the parents and birth date of the litter on each collar for identification if you have multiple litters. You can also write the pups given name while to you try and learn them.
A great bowl for feeding a large litter of pups and keeping them out of the food, it is fairly large though.
These collars are not for the pups they are for my adults when we go to town or on walks. My dogs eat them in a heartbeat if left on all the time where they are nice leather and they are not quick release. I only use quick release collars for my dogs around the house and yard.
Containment and Identification
I have been very impressed with the quality and ease of use on these amazon brand panels. I prefer the 36-38″ for my adults on outings and for covered puppy playpens, but when not using them with a cover they are kinda tall to lean over and grab a puppy. The 30″ are better for that use but my adults easily jump them.
I really have used and abused the Midwest brand crates some of mine are over 10 years and still holding up well. I prefer the double door they seem to be sturdier and so much more useful.
I use the 18″x12″ for puppy crate training as well as part of my emergency evacuation plan.
I use the 24″x18″ for my adult dogs individual night time beds
I still have a couple of the XXL crates left from my great dane days and we have found lots of fun uses for them from hauling goats or chickens, attaching to smaller bed crates for puppy play or potty areas, private mating pen, to the kids playing sheriff and blanket fort with them.
As required by AKC I like to use these dry erase cards for my cage identification cards. You can write on both sides with dry erase or sharpie or use a labeler for more permanent stuff. On the backside, I keep notes like special food or medical requirements.
and these clips to attach them
I have found these microchips to be the smallest and least expensive for individual identification of your dogs and puppies. If your puppies are allowed to play with other dogs or puppies after weaning then AKC and USDA require microchipping. They come with multiple stickers for each microchip. These can be registered for free at https://www.foundanimals.org/microchip-registry/owners/
I have found by putting my contact info in the notes section people do not have to wait for a reply from the registrar (a pain if it is a weekend or holiday) to view your contact info.
Here is a good universal reader that will make life easier for reading your own dogs.
Getting good photos is NOT as hard as it seems! Honestly!
There are a couple secrets I use:
#1 A table. Short dogs and puppies are so much easier to photograph at their level so if your not a fan of laying on the floor pick get a fold-up picnic table or even a dresser might work then you could store your props in it. I use a 6′ plastic fold up picnic table which I have adhered some of those nice wood looking floor tiles on to. It also doubles as my sewing/cutting table. I also have a smaller 4 ‘ fold-up plastic table I put tile looking floor squares on that I can fold up and haul to my daughters or friends’ houses for photoshoots. When I need grass to go with my backdrop theme I simply lay a piece of faux grass over the faux wood/tiled tabletop.
#2 A Turntable/Lazy Susan: you know one of those dinner table spinners you put condiments on. It never fails newborn pups want to turn away from you while taking photos. Place a blanket, fur, pillow on a spinner, and wait for them to settle down and go to sleep. Then you can spin them any direction you need. No-one can tell they are asleep they still have closed eyes.
Lights and backdrop holder
You could just make your own setup but honestly, for the price this package has earned its weight in gold ten times over already for me.
This little box is awesome for up to 2 weeks old especially when you combine it with a turntable as described above.
Amazon is chock full of backdrops everything from haystack to Fantasy forest. The light kit above comes with black, white, and green.
Watch your sizes! Some are tall and not very wide while my preferred ones are wider than they are long. Also keep in mind when choosing backgrounds dachshunds only show in about 1/4 of a backdrop. One of the benefits of using a table is if you want them to be in a different spot is higher in the picture you can simply drop the parts you don’t want down behind the table by lowering your holder stand.
The best way to store them is to buy 1/2″ pvc pipe and cut them just longer than the cloth. If you are fast enough and have a helper you can hot glue the cloth to the pipe but my preferred (but a bit messier way) is to use 3M spray adhesive. Having the cloth on a pipe makes it easier to hang by yourself and they roll up when not in use to avoid wrinkles.
Dachshund sized couch (cheapest one I have found)
This camera is the one I use for my personal viewing of my yard as it has a swivel function so can’t be contained to one view (privacy from buyers viewing live). It has better visual clarity and night time view.
This camera is the one I use for live viewing by clients. It is locked in whatever view you put it the closer you are the smaller the area that can be viewed. This is the camera I use for clients. It has a simple share feature where it has limited capabilities. I do also put tape over the microphone hole for added privacy.
Here are a few screenshots of the different views and angles possible
A handy clamp-on holder that the light bulb shaped camera fights nicely into.