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View Full Version : can gestational surrogacy be used for making cheap purebred dogs?


code_grey
02-27-2010, 02:21 PM
if purebred dogs are expensive, I am guessing that one of the reasons for this might be the shortage of purebred females. So why not use gestational surrogacy to produce many litters from a single egg donor using low cost females without pedigree as surrogates?

Or is the real reason for the high prices that the breeder cartel is deliberately restricting production to levels far below what is achievable using regular breeding in order to keep high prices?

PapSett
02-27-2010, 02:34 PM
Do you have any idea how expensive it is to raise puppies correctly? The health testing of the parents, stud fees, cost of veterinary care for mother and puppies? That veterinary care doesn't get any cheaper because the surrogate is a mixed breed. Then, add to it the cost of the actual surrogacy... the puppies would not be any cheaper, and in fact, would probably end up costing MORE.

twhitt
02-27-2010, 02:36 PM
As for your second point, it depends on the breed. For certain cat breeds I've been looking into, the breeder will only sell animals once they have been spayed or neutered. This pretty strongly indicates that the breeders sometimes maintain high prices by limiting supply from a small number of stock animals. While this is far from universal, I'm pretty confident that it happens to at least some degree in most show-quality pure breeds.

ZipperJJ
02-27-2010, 02:37 PM
Puppy mills aren't just a bad thing because the puppies are poorly bred. They're also bad because the puppies are poorly cared for. Because there are too many, which is the issue PapSett laid out.

code_grey
02-27-2010, 02:45 PM
so it's a labor intensive process? Why not make it cheaper by using either less skilled employees with carefully designed division of labor or else just have it done in China?

So stud fees are high? Perhaps artificial fertilization or a similar procedure could increase the number of litters produced from the same amount of sperm?

PapSett
02-27-2010, 02:53 PM
You make this sound as if raising puppies is a commercial, factory-like effort. The GOOD breeders, the ones that are doing it right, DON'T hire help to care for the puppies, The bitch whelps in a cozy back bedroom and has the best of care from the people that love her.

I for one don't look at a puppy as a commodity, and I am happy to pay a little more for a well bred puppy that has been properly vetted and socialized its entire life.

I fully beloieve if you cannot afford to pay the purchase price for a puppy, you cannot afford its upkeep.

Scarlett67
02-27-2010, 03:18 PM
One of the last things this world needs is a means of cranking out MORE puppies, cheap or not. Terrible idea.

t-bonham@scc.net
02-27-2010, 06:30 PM
It's not economically viable for dogs, because they already produce litters of several puppies.

It IS USED for horses, where a mare normally produces a single foal per year. But if you capture the egg a high-quality mare produces each month, AI inseminate it, and implant it in a grade mare, you can produce several foals in the same year, all genetically from that mare.

It's also used sometimes for high-quality herd stock in cattle, too.

But the economic advantage is only there for animals that produce a single offspring per season. For animals like dogs, cats, pigs, etc., that already produce litters of young, it makes more sense to concentrate on seeing that all of the litter survives.

KarlGrenze
02-27-2010, 08:52 PM
if purebred dogs are expensive, I am guessing that one of the reasons for this might be the shortage of purebred females. So why not use gestational surrogacy to produce many litters from a single egg donor using low cost females without pedigree as surrogates?

Or is the real reason for the high prices that the breeder cartel is deliberately restricting production to levels far below what is achievable using regular breeding in order to keep high prices?

There is no natural shortage of purebred females or males. There IS somewhat of a shortage, artificially produced by the breeders themselves. Each breed has specific standards, and breeders try to produce dogs that most closely resemble those standards. But even then, with dog competitions and shows, many breeders only want their bitches to mate with the top winning studs. But even with this, there are plenty of animals born. Just not all of them get to reproduce.

This pretty strongly indicates that the breeders sometimes maintain high prices by limiting supply from a small number of stock animals.

Well, it happens that in each litter, most of the pups born have a "defect" or do not comply with all of the show-quality standards (at the time they're born). Those pups are deemed "not good enough to show/mate", and thus are fixed. Perfectly healthy, good dogs, but deemed "not good enough for the next generation".

So stud fees are high? Perhaps artificial fertilization or a similar procedure could increase the number of litters produced from the same amount of sperm?

HAH! That's already done (in dogs, horses, cattle, etc.). Sperm collection and artificial insemination are done by numerous vets, and there is a whole specialty (theriogenology) that deals with animal reproduction.

It IS USED for horses, where a mare normally produces a single foal per year. But if you capture the egg a high-quality mare produces each month, AI inseminate it, and implant it in a grade mare, you can produce several foals in the same year, all genetically from that mare.

It's also used sometimes for high-quality herd stock in cattle, too.

But the economic advantage is only there for animals that produce a single offspring per season. For animals like dogs, cats, pigs, etc., that already produce litters of young, it makes more sense to concentrate on seeing that all of the litter survives.

It is used in some breeds. Notably, thoroughbreds do not allow artificial insemination. I mean, it can be done, but the foal born is not allowed to register and get its nifty thoroughbred papers. I forget now if other horse breeds have similar limitations.

Artificial insemination is also used in cows and sows. It is easier to collect sperm from one male and distribute to multiple sows than to keep several males that only serve to mate. Plus again, if they're going for a certain phenotype, the top males' sperm is desired.

There is economic advantage in AI not just in single-bearing mammals, but in litter producers too.

And to repeat what others have said. Really, more purebred dogs in this world are not needed. It's not as if there is a real shortage of them and the world is doomed.

salinqmind
02-27-2010, 09:29 PM
Astonishing! The world is yearning for cheaper purebred dogs, so let's put Science to work on it! How much would such a thing cost, and what organization would do it? Humans are dying because they can't afford health care, and you expect a lucrative cheap dog business will be a good thing to start up now? Why? People are dropping their pets off at the SPCA because they feel they can't afford them, but a cheaper dog would be just the ticket? ... All I can add is, the newspaper is FULL of ads for purebred puppies for sale by people who live in trailer parks in Nowheresville and figure selling them for $200 or whatever a pop is a brilliant way to make beer and casino money. ...And, millions of unwanted animals are put to death in shelters (which are seriously hurting for money now), and a whole shitload of them are purebreds.

toodlepip
02-28-2010, 07:22 AM
The UK Kennel Club's guidelines for AI in dogs. (http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/1206)

There are many reasons for breeders requesting to use AI, some of which may be:

The applicant feels that the breed in the UK is in decline.
Wanting to re-introduce old or to introduce new lines.
The chosen stud dog has been exported.
To widen the gene pool in the UK.
Lack of bloodlines in the UK.
No suitable stud dog in UK.
To improve the health/conformation/type/temperament of a breed.
Breeder had lost their line semen stored from UK based male.
Chosen stud dog is deceased.


I've also seen AI done when a male dog won't perform, or when a bitch won't stand to be mated. In my very first placement as a vet student, a vet pulled me aside and asked "Are you any good at wanking dogs?" (My slightly stunned reply was "Uh, I'd prefer to watch.")

There's no shortage of purebred dogs of most breeds, but the rarer breeds are often working with a limited gene pool. AI is not a particularly cheap option, though, and mass production of purebred pups is done very effectively by puppy farms without resorting to AI.

You gan get a lot more offspring from a male animal by collecting semen for AI than by natural service, but it's not as if there's a lack of male animals. Farmers use AI for pigs, cattle and sheep mostly to choose a particular bloodline, and the same goes for horses.