Well, Topper is going under the knife tomorrow morning. I am a little sad about it...she is a WONDERFUL dog - smart and friendly. She's beautiful too, although that is somewhat less important than other factors.
When we bred her mother Kinsey, my main hope was that we would get a nice brindle girl. And we did! Topper is a lovely girl. But we have decided not to breed her.
I know that no dog is perfect... but it has become evident that there are too many reproductive problems with the females in this family. Kinsey had to have a C-section to have her puppies - although thanks to careful monitoring we were alerted to that fact long before either Kinsey or her puppies were in any distress, so everyone survived just fine. Later Kinsey had an open pyometra which was successfully treated, but then after she recovered from that we had her spayed.
Since then, Topper's grandmother, aunt and a couple of other female relatives have had pyometra, and some of them died. Although any intact female can develop a uterine infection, it is actually not that common and most intact bitches live their whole lives without any problems. But it seems to be more common than the norm with this family. A LOT more common. And pyometra can be a killer.
So although Topper herself has never had pyo, she is getting spayed in the morning. I am a little sad that we won't be breeding her... but I will be relieved that I won't have to worry about her developing a dangerous infection.
This is what responsible breeders do - we try to only breed the very best dogs that we can. Getting titles and championships, and getting health clearances is only part (although a very important part) of the puzzle. You also have to do some detective work to see what problems there are in the pedigree - and there will always be something. It might be something "fixable" by carefully selecting future mates. Or it might be something so catastrophic that the only solution is to scrap your entire breeding program. This is somewhere in between - important enough to decide to never breed Topper.
But the males in the bloodline produce daughters that do NOT have these problems, which is why we got Dakota. She is the daughter of Topper's brother Keeper. I don't want to make it sound like we got Dakota just to breed her... we got her because it was time for us to start the next generation and we needed to have a puppy in training. Besides, it is too early to tell if she will be worthy of being bred. It all depends on how she grows up, if she passes all the health tests, etc. etc. etc.
But we are hopeful!
And in the meantime, send good thoughts for Topper. She's gonna need a LOT of TLC in the next few days! Poor baby...