Breeding Management Records
Written by Connie Wardell, PCA Member Education Chair 2005-2006
It is both useful and essential that we as breeders, exhibitors, and owners of multiple dogs have good recording keeping. It keeps essential information at hand and easily obtainable for such purposes as easily keeping up-to-date on vaccination schedules, reminders of when it is time to have another CERF or OFA test done, and should you be called upon by the American Kennel Club for an inspection you will have the required information readily retrievable. The breeding management record portion can be useful as a reference in planning future breedings, keeping track of current ones, and also help if a reproductive history is ever needed as part of a veterinary reproductive assessment on one of your dogs or bitches. Additional bits of information such as dates and location of points earned will be useful. And some of the general information in the file will make filling out show entries more accurate and efficient.
To start off with, I keep an individual record on each individual dog. This includes all dogs owned or kept by me at any time. Puppies that were later sold as pets, retired and placed adults, leased bitches, dogs not owned by me but are living with me while I show them, etc. would all fall into this category. The records can be kept by any number of fashions, either in separate file folders, in a binder notebook, on the computer (although I would recommend hard copies periodically to protect from loosing all your records) etc.
The file starts with the basic information about the dog/bitch. Call name, registered name, AKC number (or litter registration number if puppy is not individually registered yet), microchip number, registered name and AKC number of sire and dam. DNA numbers, date of birth, color (as registered with AKC) , and sex.
Next I like to keep a health section which includes vaccination, which ones, date given and date next due (this makes checking at a glance easy), stools examinations (last date done), heartworm test (last date done), annual exam (last date done), CERF number and dates done, OFA patella exam and number and dates done, and anything else you might like to add on that particular individual. You could also use this section to keep track of heartworm preventative medications but I prefer to do that on my daily kitchen calendar.
Another section I find useful is a show/points earned list on the show exhibitors. Each time points are earned, enter the date, show name, judges name, and number of points earned. I also keep the armband and show ribbons (this could be useful if there were ever a mix-up in AKC records/judges books, and I HAVE had this happen before. The records will help you to rectify the situation when it happens to you). Keeping these records help keep tract of where your dog is in his progression towards earning a championship title.
An ownership record area is both useful and required by the American Kennel Club. You may need this information if you are ever inspected by the AKC. The American Kennel Club website has a downloadable form that I print up and attach to each dogs individual file and filled out appropriately. It includes amongst other information, name of person whom dog was obtained, date obtained, breed of dog obtained, final disposition of dog (died, sold, given away, and date), person and address dog was sold to, list of papers given to new owner, etc.
Another category of information I keep is a Breeding Record. This is another section of the AKC’s downloadable form. Make it easy on yourself and print some of these up and attach one to each dogs file. This record should be used for Dogs and Bitches, owned or leased by you. A record of each mating is kept, including the date of the mating, name and registration number of the dog/bitch yours was mated to, along with the person handling the mating and their address (I add the phone number as well). If the mating was an AI, include the vets name, vet clinic, address and phone number.
Besides for your own organization and convenience, and meeting AKC’s record-keeping requirements, a breeding record could serve useful if a veterinary reproductive history is ever required in order for a Breeding Soundness Evaluation (BSE). For these purposes a record can be made of every breeding: bitch, bitch age, dates of matings or artificial insemination, “inside ties” vs. “outside ties”, outcome, whelping dates, number of pups born, pups weaned. I also find useful to keep records on bitches seasons, dates of each season, notes on which days color, vulvular swelling, flagging, and winking occur. Also if progesterone testing was done, day number and results. This information can be useful in tracking patterns on bitches, anticipating and predicting future testing/mating/fertile periods, etc. I find whelping records useful too. Note date, day number from breeding(s) and hour labor starts, and track progression of labor and delivery, position of fetal births, afterbirth/placental deliveries, sexes, markings, weights of newborns, etc. This record then flows directly into the daily then weekly weight recordings (could also include feeding schedules), dew-claw removal, date eyes open, etc. on puppies, puppy vaccinations, microchip of puppies etc. There lies the beginning foundation of then each individual puppies own record/file. The information is not only useful at the time (following puppy weight progression, etc.) but I find myself referencing back to it with future litters when my memory doesn’t serve me well enough.
Well I hope sharing these ideas and information with you has served in some way, whether it is just getting you started or inspiring you to get your own records on your dogs more organized and completed, or even a small idea here or there you might want to add to your already well-functioning system. Some of you more experienced and very organized breeders probably have additional ideas that I haven’t touched on or mentioned that you have found to be extremely valuable and I hope you’ll drop me an email and share some of these with me as well.