Dear AKC: My question regards breeding. I have a young male Beagle, about a year and a half, and I'd like to breed him with another beagle. I am told by my veterinarian, who has bred beagles extensively in the past that it is next to impossible for a breeder to accept my dog as a stud unless he were of championship quality. Now keep in mind that my objective is not to make money on this arrangement, but to allow my pet to have some measure of fullness of life and to perhaps have descendents. So how do I go about finding an interested owner of a female beagle? -- Bachelor Beagle Blues in Biloxi
Dear Bachelor: Responsible breeders choose mates for their dogs and bitches because they are trying to improve their breeding stock and create better dogs according to a written standard of the ideal Beagle.
Breeders go to dog shows to get the expert opinion of judges. In theory, those animals that obtain their championships are given the go-ahead that their DNA should be added to their breed's gene pool. To pass along worthy traits, such as excellent temperament, sound conformation, good hunting ability along with beautiful markings and color, is what good breeding is all about.
Why Breed? I'm curious about why you want your dog to experience a "measure of fullness of life" or to have descendants. Many times owners tend to anthropomorphize their feelings onto their pets. I doubt a neutered dog misses those hormonal urges to breed. And to breed a dog just so he can have descendants sounds more like your wish than his.
Do yourself and your dog a favor and forget about breeding your pet. Most breeding decisions are controlled by the owner of the bitch and unless you can present a stud dog with stellar credentials, such as all his health clearances and some measure of success in the show ring such as a championship, not to mention if your dog complements the bitch and can improve upon any faults she may have, your vet is right, there isn't much you can do to entice a responsible breeder to breed to your dog. If your heart is set on becoming a responsible breeder, then visit a dog show near you and find yourself a breeder as your mentor.