Hi everyone,

It's been two months since Pem entered our home. We are in love with her. She's a fast learner, almost house broken, listens to her name. Everyone loves her. I'm spending a lot of time socialising her. I'm taking her everywhere: play time with kids, visits to elderly, elevators, pubs, friends houses, busy streets, woods, parks, puppy class. She's doing really great. I'm working on loose leach training and she's learned a lot of tricks so far. She's getting better at being alone and is a confident dog.

My vet is also in love with her and asked me if we want to use her for breeding or get het neutered. Me bf Would love to have just one litter of pups one day, to have second Corgi. Corgis are VERY hard to find in Belgium. We actually got her from a kennel, where she sat in a tiny space for the first few weeks of her life. Pem is still being treated for giardia, she was sick when we got her. My vet was not impressed by this and is against these kind of breeders. They also import pups from different countries.

That's why she said I shouldn't worry about breeding, that these kind of pups are better socialised,and don't get sick because they don't have to live in a tiny space. I would love to see more corgis in Belgium znd that people don't have to buy a dog from a bad breeder just to have one.

My vet would LOVE to have a pup of our Pem. But I'm in doubt. She is not a pedigree dog. My vet told me this isn't important if i don't want to make loads of money out of the litter, but just experience the joy of having pups and make sure people don't have to buy from bad breeders.


What do you people think? Get her neutured or trust our vet?
Thanks

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What a cute pup!

If you were in the US I'd say "neuter" but I don't know the situation in Belgium. I know that in many European countries, Corgi numbers are so low that the breed is in danger of being lost. Genetic diversity, once lost, can't really be recovered easily.

So I would suggest waiting and seeing how she matures. When she grows up, is she conformationally sound? Tempermentally sound? How she acts as a pup is not really an indication of how she may be as an adult.

She should be tested for von Willebrand's before she is bred, a simple recessive. If she is a carrier, she should be bred to a clear or you will have pups with a bleeding disorder.

Her hips should be checked, which can't be done til they are 2.

I think Corgis are meant to have eye checks as well.

And then you have to ask yourself the hard questions. If you breed pups, they are your responsibility for life. How will you check out potential puppy buyers? Will you be willing to take back any pups for any reason for as long as they live? Would you be able to handle if your girl needs an emergency C-section, or worse, during delivery? Can you take care of a whole litter and start socializing them to sights and sounds and people before they leave you, and keep them til they are 10 weeks old or so?

Good luck with your decision.

I live in Ireland, where corgi numbers are also low. If you want to keep your options open, don't have her neutered yet because that is an irrevocable decision. If you keep her un-neutered, be prepared for twice yearly heats, where she will require vigilant minding to avoid mismating. Enjoy her, no matter what.

People have very polarised views as to whether dogs should be neutered: take sensible and professional advice but in the end, the decision to breed or not to breed is yours.

I would recommend neutering your pup.  If you breed "just one litter" from a dog of questionable bloodlines and others to whom you give or sell a puppy then do the same thing, you do the Corgi Breed no favor at all and you join the rank of poor quality breeders.  Your doubts are well founded!  You did not acquire her as breeding stock, you got her as a pet. Have her spayed and enjoy her as a pet.  If you decide you would enjoy being more active in the Breed, then learn all you can about Corgis. There are many things you can do with this pup without breeding her.  Someday, down the line, if your interest and knowledge of the Breed grows, you may decide to acquire a second Corgi suited to your new desires, from a reputable breeder willing to mentor you.  I can guarantee you that, if and when that happens, this will be the kind of advice you will be giving to a newcomer, some day, with a similar question, as any experienced good breeder does that I have ever come across.  Your question is a very thoughtful one and your own feelings are leading you in the right direction.

Anna, 

I fully take your point about questionable bloodlines, but the status of the breed in parts of Europe is so vulnerable that in the current situation, if one were to breed only from what are deemed to be appropriately suitable animals, then the gene pool would become extremely restricted. I realise that in the US, the stock is sufficiently large that one can screen out for Von Willebrands, DM, fluffies (a trivial flaw by comparison with the first two- as the proud owner of a (neutered) cryptorchid -), etc, but in Ireland, corgi numbers are extremely low. It is my understanding that when the breed was originally "rescued", from its farm dog status some less than optimum specimens were used to generate some level of hybrid hardiness. It has been speculated that the ban on docking tails has been a contributing factor in the decline in numbers over here, but breeding for natural bobs can lead to a lethal mutation in the homozygous variants, while the gait of natural bobs is not well regarded in the conformation show ring. 

The shedding is probably the factor least popular with owners: when corgis were outdoor farm dogs, the fact that they shed prodigously was not significant, but as indoor dogs, it makes their presence felt.

When I went searching for my own corgis, it was very hard to find them and I purchased from show kennels to ensure health. Alot of my judgement was based on personal references and intuition about the people selling them as some breeders can apparently have alot of documentation but their pups may not match the sales spiel.

Again, the decision to spay is one that should only be made after careful consideration. Responsible and informed dog owners should be able to mind a fertile bitch without mismating.

I agree with Frances actually, it's sad how low the number of corgis is in Belgium. We really wanted a corgi and there was only 1 litter of pups in the whole flemish part for quite a while. I've searched and had to wait a long time... So we decided to go for this breeder, because there literally was no other option.

It will be hard to find a male corgi IF we decide to breed. We will probably have to go to England, the Netherlands or Wales even to find one. My vet would never want a puppy from the kennel where I got Pem. They gave me some bad medical advice, gave me wrong medicine and even told me NOT to go see my vet. Ofcourse I went to my vet, Pem was not getting any better. So I would want to make a change! People shouldn't have to buy from that kind of breeder. And I'm sorry I did.

I wanted the option to buy a pup from a warm home, where they could play in the garden and stuff like that.

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Anna, in the US your answer is completely correct, but in parts of Europe you can count the number of litters each year on one hand.   Genetic diversity has been devastated and genes lost cannot be recovered.  

I have seen those early Corgi pictures and they definitely were not breeding from optimal stock. 

I understand the points being made.  I respectfully disagree with the notion that breeding a poor quality Corgi from questionable bloodlines ( "not a purebred" in Brenda's words ) can be of any value in bettering the Corgi situation in Belgium, or anywhere else, unless done under the auspices of a Breed Club in extreme situations, not what we are talking about here....

If you are serious in your concerns for the breed in Belgium Brenda, save up your money and import a good quality female ( after your pup has grown well into adulthood. It will take you that long anyway to research breeders, get on someone's waiting list, save up for expenses, travel, whatever ).  Then you will have something to offer the breed.  You will also have to charge a reasonable price for your pups and you'll find out that a lot of your would be supporters now will have evaporated. 

Dog breeding, like brain surgery, is perhaps best left to the experts.

I've just opened your pictures: she looks adorable!

You wouldn't be breeding from her until she was at least two, by such time you would have much fuller information on which to base such a decision.

My personal experience is that experts who are committed to the breed are happy to share their expertise: having maintained stocks, they are always encouraging of new people becoming involved .

I'm a total noob here, why do you think that is? I'd like more opinions from different people.

I had never seen a corgi in my life, untill I saw Pem. Don't you think that's a bit sad?

Is your pup registered with the LOSH? In France we have the LOF, I believe LOSH is the Belgian equivalent. Sort of like AKC/CKC reg. for USA and Canada. If she's not registered, then do not breed her. Yes, the breed is in low-ish #s in the EU. But you are not doing the official #s a favour if your dog is not even registered. According to the LOF/LOSH if a dog is not papered with them, it cannot even be considered part of X breed. It must be labelled "X-type".

I never saw a corgi in my life until a few months before I got Ace. I do not consider that a bad thing. There are plenty of breeds that have terribly depleted numbers worldwide, not just in one region. Otterhound springs to mind. But I wouldn't want an initiative that just randomly breeds Otterhound-types.

Not to mention that there can be a LOT of heartbreak involved in breeding. What if Pem dies? I know this is a morbid thought, but it is a very real danger. Even with the best help of your veterinarian surgeon, a bitch can die on the operating table. And for what? Because the breed isn't very popular? I believe breeding should be left to those who have a mentor, and are fully prepared for the loss of their bitch in case *everything* goes wrong. Not to mention if it is done correctly (including registration, which your Pem does not have) then it can be extremely costly. There are not a lot of reproduction-specialised vets in the EU so prices will be VERY high.

Breeding also take months worth of time. The easy part is waiting for the pups but then expect them to be with you at least 10 weeks and having the time and space to do it right. I replaced my carpet with flooring so I could have them in pet fences when they got older. I built a special fence outside for them to run also. I slept on the floor in the bathroom a few nights with pregnant momma and awaiting their births. Mine had many pups 8-10 and this meant watching to see if they were all getting to eat and changing out the ones I didn't think were getting as much. Then they also go through the shark faze that means those tiny little teeth grab your feet and bite. I took off work1-2 weeks just for this. Socializing and working with the pups several times daily once they get bigger so you know their personality. Screening potential owners as there were many that I would not sell too. Having a lifetime return policy and many more policies. I am still in contact with several of my pups owners and always willing to answer any questions they may have. Hours and hours of work go into raising a litter. It's wonderful but I no longer have the time or energy to do this.

My females were also trained through our AKC classes and we spent 2 hours each class just driving there and back and each female took at least 2-3 classes (each 8 weeks) of obedience. Sage(my own pup) has her CGC and is a Therapy Dog Inc. dog... the more you do the better.

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