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Discussion Starter #1
There is a breeder in Washington state that has many concerning breeding habits, one that has bothered me as of late is the age of their main sire. He turned 11 a few months ago and they continue to breed him. They’ve stated he has been “retiring soon” for the last 4 years, yet continue to use him for 5+ litters a year. At what what point is going past retirement age dangerous? Are there any affects that old sperm will have on future puppies and litters (other than litter size)? I believe they have switched to using AI and have been doing that for the past few years so I'm not as concerned about the "ability" to mate but more the quality of the offspring due to old age. Also to add, I know the Washington state law requires dogs to retire by age 8, but I am wondering about quality of sperm at this point because they are already aware they are breaking the law. Since the law does say retirement by 8 years old, who holds breeders accountable to that?
 

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the party's crashing us
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There is no danger whatsoever of breeding an older male. In fact, it's preferable...you know he lived that long.
I seriously doubt there's a law on the books about age of breeding dogs. Especially males.
Please remember...dogs don't go through menopause. They are not humans.
 

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Breeding older male dogs isn’t inherently dangerous or risky. Sometimes there is a decline in sperm quality/quantity, but that is not always a given either.
On another note, for many dog breeds, 11 is not that old.
As far as affecting litter quality or health, I would be more concerned about the reproductive fitness of the female.

Edit: I'm surprised there's a law for people with more than 10 intact breeding animals about maximum/minimum age regardless of sex. Not to mention their minimum age is still lower than any reputable breeder is breeding and their maximum age (8??) is still the prime of life of many dogs.
 

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Huh. Well, News to me. That is simply ridiculous. There is zero risk or danger to the dog or the puppies by breeding a male dog over the age of eight. Same could be said about females : they do not go through menopause. Their natural lifespan includes reproduction up until age of death.
MANY breeders PREFER an older male because he has proven his longevity.
What does this law have to say about using frozen semen...the dog is dead and gone!
 

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Kate
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What precisely is your concern about an older dog being used and "quality of sperm"?

You think dogs are like people and older studs might produce puppies with autism and ADHD? :)

Little tip - people with older studs get the sperm tested for the breeders if there is an AI. And then surgical AI, the sperm is tested on the spot. Only concern with an older dog is that they might be infertile and getting close to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My worry is that this breeder has had problems with unusually small litters and my thought is that is connected. This dog is OLD, he is not a spry 11 year old. Ethically it just doesn’t seem right to me, especially since the law forbids it.

I totally agree that the fitness of the female is a big factor. It's a shame to see young females impregnated when they're just puppies themselves, which this breeder does and continues to do (which is why i'm just always now suspicious of their actions).

I also wanted to add that this is the part where it talks about the ages, it’s not fun to have to read through a whole RCW.

(e) Provide veterinary care without delay when necessary. A dog may not be bred if a veterinarian determines that the animal is unfit for breeding purposes. Only dogs between the ages of twelve months and eight years of age may be used for breeding. Animals requiring euthanasia must be euthanized only by a licensed veterinarian.
 

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Small litters are rarely the fault of the sire. In one breeding he will "contribute" 250 million to one billion sperm....only about 6 or 7 need to make it. Small litters are way more likely to be a timing issue, inbreeding depression, or a problem with the female.
 
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My worry is that this breeder has had problems with unusually small litters and my thought is that is connected. This dog is OLD, he is not a spry 11 year old. Ethically it just doesn’t seem right to me, especially since the law forbids it.

I totally agree that the fitness of the female is a big factor. It's a shame to see young females impregnated when they're just puppies themselves, which this breeder does and continues to do (which is why i'm just always now suspicious of their actions).

I also wanted to add that this is the part where it talks about the ages, it’s not fun to have to read through a whole RCW.

(e) Provide veterinary care without delay when necessary. A dog may not be bred if a veterinarian determines that the animal is unfit for breeding purposes. Only dogs between the ages of twelve months and eight years of age may be used for breeding. Animals requiring euthanasia must be euthanized only by a licensed veterinarian.
I would say males are responsible for litter size in very FEW cases. Unless the sperm is morphologically poor or numbers are basically abysmal, the size of the litter is almost entirely dependent on the bitch. That can be due to a variety of things: genetics, nutrition, etc.

Anyway, it sounds like using an older male is the least of this breeder's problems.
 

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Kate
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(e) Provide veterinary care without delay when necessary. A dog may not be bred if a veterinarian determines that the animal is unfit for breeding purposes. Only dogs between the ages of twelve months and eight years of age may be used for breeding. Animals requiring euthanasia must be euthanized only by a licensed veterinarian.
You are having a hissy fit about an old dog being used for breeding....

And no problems about breeding dogs prior to 24 months when a breeder can get full clearances?????

That's a problem.

ALSO. :)

Most vets heavily push people to neuter/spay dogs across the board as soon as possible. One vet I was standing by waiting for a thyroid test to be run and she was there recommending neutering dogs at 4 months (which is GROSS).

Vets are not all reproductive specialists! That's the first thing to keep in mind.

Laws on the books are written by idiots who have no clue what is reputable or important when breeding.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
And no problems about breeding dogs prior to 24 months when a breeder can get full clearances?????
If you see my message above I have huge issues with breeding before 24 months, which is why this breeder is on my radar to begin with. This breeder has also been discussed on this forum in the past for shady unethical breeding practices and that is why I am curious if this is one of them.
 

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Kate
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This breeder has also been discussed on this forum in the past for shady unethical breeding practices and that is why I am curious if this is one of them.
It isn't.

Male dogs can breed all their lives + many people keep frozen semen long after their deaths.

There are many dogs out there who have been dead for many years who still are used from time to time.
 

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While it is a good question, and the law is misleading in implying that there is something inherently wrong with breeding animals (especially males) over the age of 8, I would say this is probably the least shady things this breeder is doing, even if the sperm quality is reduced.

Sometimes things like this can hurt reputable breeders, so it's always good to ask, but breeding an older male is not a sign of a poor breeder.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow you guys are fast and it’s hard to keep up! Haha I'm genuinely curious and appreciate your responses. I'm just suspicious of everything they do now and didn't know whether this was a problem or not. I do have an issue with breeders breeding before 2 years old and final clearances, but I didn't mention that in this post because I already know that's and issue and disagree with the "timeline" in the law. I just wanted to know specifically about the older age range. Everything you all are saying makes sense and I appreciate the insight! I agree this issue is the least of their problems and rest assured that I do have a much bigger issue with the young female dogs being bred without clearances and before they're 2 years old.
 

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Wow you guys are fast and it’s hard to keep up! Haha I'm genuinely curious and appreciate your responses. I'm just suspicious of everything they do now and didn't know whether this was a problem or not. I do have an issue with breeders breeding before 2 years old and final clearances, but I didn't mention that in this post because I already know that's and issue and disagree with the "timeline" in the law. I just wanted to know specifically about the older age range. Everything you all are saying makes sense and I appreciate the insight! I agree this issue is the least of their problems and rest assured that I do have a much bigger issue with the young female dogs being bred without clearances and before they're 2 years old.
It's a good question! And better to have answered than have people going around thinking every breeder breeding an older male dog is unethical. It's why laws regarding breeding frustrate me sometimes, because while the intentions are usually good, they're not written by reproductive specialists and in the end it does more harm than good to the breeders doing it the right way.
 

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The statue is to reduce puppy mills. Read this section carefully. It could be if you breed less than ?? litters they do not qualify for any of these limits. Do they have a USDA license? What is required in WA for this?

(4) This section does not apply to the following:
(a) A publicly operated animal control facility or animal shelter;
(b) A private, charitable not-for-profit humane society or animal adoption organization;
(c) A veterinary facility;
(d) A retail pet store;
(e) A research institution;
(f) A boarding facility; or
(g) A grooming facility.
(5) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to a commercial dog breeder licensed, before January 1, 2010, by the United States department of agriculture pursuant to the federal animal welfare act (Title 7 U.S.C. Sec. 2131 et seq.).
Does this exemption apply to this breeder in anyway? I didn't see what the requirements were for a commercial breeder with less dogs than the stated.

Regardless... if you are concerned enough to research all this or the age of the stud dog, why not just move on? More than one breeder in WA.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Do they have a USDA license? What is required in WA for this?
I am unsure if they hold any licensing.

Regardless... if you are concerned enough to research all this or the age of the stud dog, why not just move on? More than one breeder in WA.
They do have have more than 10 sexually intact dogs over the age of 6 months in their breeding program, so I assume that it does apply to them. However my purpose of asking wasn't to judge whether the breeder is good or not (because they clearly are not) but just to learn more about breeding old males.
 

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I bred to a dog when he was 11. He didn't pass away until he was almost 14. I would say if you are uncomfortable with it, go with another breeder. Personally, I'd have no issue (aside from potential fertility decline so inherent issues in shipping) in breeding to an older dog again.
 

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This is a perfect example of a law written by legislatures with no basis in science. There is absolutely no reason to retire a male at 8 years of age, and I actually prefer to breed to dogs that are 7-10 yrs, or even older. I would love to know what their logic was or who crafted the law, but the answer would probably be very disappointing.
 
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