Nigerian Shepherds, also known as Ekuke, is a medium to large-sized dog breed in Nigeria. This dog breed’s origin is yet to be discovered, but it is assumed that they were found in Nigeria. The Nigerian Shepherd is also known as local dogs, Nkita, and Ekuke. Nigerian Shepherds are the most popular and oldest dog breeds found in Nigeria and the whole of Africa.
They are known to be working dogs because of their size, strength, and build. They are also highly intelligent, easy to train, and obedient dogs. They are popularly used to assist people with disabilities and aiding police and military during search and rescue operations.
Dog breeding is a big responsibility. To get it right, it takes plenty of preparation and careful planning. If you get it wrong, it could cause significant heartache. It can also cost you a sum of money if the puppies end up having complications with their health and are returned by disappointed buyers. Here are some guides on how to breed Nigerian Dogs the right way.
Things to Consider Before Breeding
Watching new puppies come into the world is one of the best experiences anyone could witness. But do not let that distract and divert your attention from the basic principles of dog breeding. Every litter should be healthy and happy. That is the goal.
As a Nigerian Dog breeder, you should consider and think through health issues, temperament, and soundness before the breeding process begins. To ensure the optimum and best environment for your dogs, you need to plan ahead of mating.
As a breeder, you need to be ready to accept all the responsibility for all the newly born puppies even after they have gone to their new owners and homes. Always be prepared to assist with matters like socialization and training. In some cases, you even have to take them back if any problems arise.
10 Things to Consider:
- Study and learn about the breed that you want to breed. In Nigeria, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Bull Mastiffs, Labradors, and Lhasa Apsos are the most popular breeds in most households. It is essential to know because you need real pet lovers to buy the puppies you breed.
- Take into consideration your chemistry, relationship, and bond with the dog you would like to breed. Both of your personalities should be in sync throughout the breeding process, especially during difficult and challenging moments.
- Know your market and do plenty of research on how big the market is in your area. Take note of the demand for the dog you wish to breed and how much is the usual going rate for each breed.
- Look for mentors and build a good relationship with them. It is always a good idea to seek advice from legitimate breeders who have been doing this for a long time. It is best to do this before even deciding which breed of dog to choose.
- Purchase dogs with the best possible lineage and history. Ask plenty of questions like their parental history, genetics, health, and behavior issues. It is best to get your dog from a reputable and respectable breeder rather than a puppy mill. Legitimate breeders do this because they love and care for these animals, while the latter does it to make a couple of bucks.
- Look for a good veterinarian and get some advice on housing, grooming, and canine health in general. Choose one that specializes in certain breeds. Always work with a veterinarian and an experienced and skilled breeder for the best results. Dogs breed better when they are happy and healthy.
- Attend pet seminars and shows because it is a great way to immerse yourself in the community. It is also the best way to learn and observe dog breeds and improve your dog’s line.
- Be involved in all the stages; be it whelping and C-sections. Ask your veterinarian or a skilled breeder to let you watch or participate in these processes first hand.
- Learn how to market your business. Start by using all social media platforms because they are free.
- Make sure that each puppy goes to the right home. Get to know every single buyer. It is best to treat them as part of your family because even though your puppies have gone to their new homes, you might want to check up on them now and then to make sure that they are well-taken care of.
How to Care for Pregnant Dogs
Before these moms-to-be get pregnant, you need to make sure that they are healthy and in excellent physical conditions. They should at least be two years old. Additionally, they need to get a pre-pregnancy exam before any breeding happens. Make sure that vaccinations are all up to date to avoid any potential health issues while being pregnant.
Before their heat cycle, make sure that their diet consists of the right amount of protein and fat to keep her at an ideal weight. Being overweight and underweight can inhibit breeding success.
In the first few weeks of pregnancy, increase the food gradually to 15 to 25 percent by whelping time. Lack of food can compromise their immune system and her puppies’.
If they do not get enough nourishment, their and the puppies’ condition will quickly decline. By the end of the pregnancy, it is natural for the mother’s appetite to lessen. Smaller but frequent meals are ideal for getting her the nourishment she needs.
The most important part of dog breeding is ensuring that all puppies go to the right home. Nigerian Dog breeding may be tiring, stressful, demanding, worrying, but rewarding at the same time. Ensure you follow all the steps accordingly to ensure you get the best results and not stress your dog during the process. Your pup’s health and well-being should always be a priority. Always seek advice from professionals if you are starting. Prepare everything you need to minimize mistakes in the future.
Remember that you have to be completely straightforward with the buyers about your dog’s personality and characteristics. If you mislead them, the puppy could be returned or sold to a different owner. Also, if you have any misgivings or doubts about whether the new owner is not a good fit, you can always refuse to sell to protect your pups.