AKC Gazette - May 2020
The Welsh WAG – August 2020

For most of us who breed and show dogs, there are many decisions to make. Planning which dogs to show and where to show them takes time and research studying judges and competition. Comparing pedigrees to decide which bitch to breed and to which dog requires research into pedigrees and analysis of good points of each.

Many of us find it better to show dogs in the summer and breed a bitch or two in the winter. Unfortunately, this year we have to consider the problems of the COVID-19 virus and protect ourselves from exposure to it. The spring shows, obedience trials, and performance events have been canceled, and it is quite possible that there will be no competitions until fall, or even later. Our schedule and plans have had to change.

For many breeders, the choice may be to breed a litter or two in the interim. If you own the stud dog you will be using, and he is on the premises or close by, then that would be a logical option. However, if the stud dog is not yours or owned by someone who is located near you, there may be other factors to consider. Can you drive to the stud dog owner and then return to pick up the bitch in a reasonable schedule? Will that be legal to do so, and feasible as well? Some states or areas may have very stringent controls in place, and some areas will be more risky to travel into than others. Another option is having fresh-chilled semen shipped to your veterinarian, who will then artificially inseminate the bitch. It is generally recommended that two AI procedures be done two days apart. So, if that is your choice, be sure that all arrangements are feasible and made in time, so that you do not miss her optimal breeding dates. Since mail service is often slower than normal, be sure that you know what service will work, and have it all planned out beforehand.

Welsh Terriers, particularly those that are accustomed to being shown, adapt well to new surroundings, but even under the best circumstances, new people and new surroundings may put enough extra stress on the bitch, which lowers the chance of ovulation and successful conception. Obviously, no breeder wants to risk the life or health of the dog, and many people are deciding to wait until next year—which is fine if the bitch is young, but if she is age 6 or older, this may be your last chance to get a litter from her. Therefore, even more than usual, you may have a difficult decision to make.

Assuming that you have puppies available at the right time, deciding who gets a puppy is always a challenge, as there are usually more people waiting for a puppy than there are puppies available. However, since dogs are such terrific companions, particularly in times of stress, you may have more people interested in a puppy than usual. Several breeders have told me that many people are waiting for a puppy at this time than the breeder generally has waiting. While that sounds good, a dog is not to be considered a disposable item, and when things get better the new owners decide to place the puppy, because they have other interests and a dog is a big responsibility.

Most breeders are only looking for homes where the dog will be part of the family for years to come. Please, if you are considering purchasing a dog, do not do so unless you plan to have the dog as a family member for the rest of its life. If you want a dog just for a short time, look into fostering and training it to help get it ready for its forever home. Most breed clubs will welcome the help from people who love dogs but know that they cannot provide longtime care but do have some time now out now. It would also be wonderful for people who have a family member requiring their care and attention to know that a kind, caring “dog person” is helping you out while you must care for your loved one. If you are interested in possibly adding a Welsh Terrier to your household later, having the opportunity to help and also getting to know the breed’s personality may inspire you to plan to for this possibility. I would expect that most breeders would then put you on the top of their waiting list for a puppy, knowing that yours would be a wonderful place for one of their dogs.

Diane Orange

Welsh Terrier Club of America

AKC Gazette – May 2020
Welsh Terrier Column
Reprinted from the AKC Gazette