10 Best Dog Breeding Books Every Breeder Must Read!

When it comes to breeding, one thing that I always recommend is that you constantly learn as you build your kennel. In fact, even people with twenty years experience in breeding can learn as science is always teaching us something we never knew before.

It’s also good to line your bookshelves with some of the best breeding books out there. So today, we are going to go through our top 10 breeding books that every dog breeder should have on their shelves.

#1 Puppy Intensive Care: A Breeder’s Guide to Care of Newborn Puppies by Myra Savant-Harris

If there is one book that I would recommend that anyone interested in breeding get, it is this book by Myra Savant Harris.


One simple fact about breeding is that things can go wrong from puppies aspirating milk to fading puppies and it is often a fact that breeders will lose up to 15% of all the puppies they produce.

 This includes puppies that are stillborn as well as those that die in those first 8 weeks with their breeders. While the number is different for every breeder, with some having a high mortality rate due to breed and some having a lower mortality rate, even a mortality rate of 5% can mean a large number of puppies over a 10 year career span.

And that is where Puppy Intensive Care: A Breeder’s Guide to Care of Newborn Puppies comes into play. While it cannot save every puppy, breeders who have studied this book and used Myra Savant-Harris’s techniques see a lower mortality rates in their newborn puppies.

Why is this book so valuable? First, Savant-Harris is not only a dog breeder but also a registered nurse. Primarily, much of her experience as a nurse has been in labor and delivery as well as neonatal ICU.

As a breeder, Savant-Harris realized that many of the techniques they used to help babies thrive were perfect for helping puppies thrive. Not only did she think of the techniques in theory, she applied it to the care of her own newborn puppies and created techniques that have become as valuable to breeders as her many resources.

For anyone interested in breeding, and even for shelters or rescues who take in pregnant females, this is an excellent book that will take you through caring for a puppy in distress and how to help them thrive. It teaches you many things including:

Finally, this book also comes with a cd full of videos teaching you these techniques.

#2 Breeding a Litter: The Complete Book of Prenatal and Postnatal Care

The second book on our list is one that has quickly become a favorite for new and experienced breeders. It covers a vast range of topics and really takes you through not only the breeding aspect but also the care of both dam and puppies after they are born.

Another expert in her field, Beth J. Finder Harris has written over a 175 titles on breeding and is a breeder herself. She takes her practical knowledge of breeding and delivers it in a way that it will become the foundation of your breeding practices.

The book covers a range of topics including:

  • Selecting breeding stock
  • Puppy development
  • Neonatal Care
  • Postnatal Care
  • Puppy Care
  • Contracts

Finally, it really explores the responsibilities of a breeder and helps the reader to produce puppies that are sound both physically and emotionally.

#3 Canine Reproduction and Neonatology Spiral

This is a book that tends to be recommended by everyone from experienced breeders to kennel clubs to vets. If there is a book that you should have on your bookshelf, this is the one.

As far as breeding books go, this book is full of information. Written by Marthina L. Greer, DVM, JD., not only is she on the board of directors for the Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics, she is also on the board for the Society For Theriogenology. In addition, Dr. Greer has experience as both a vet and a breeder of Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

The book covers a wide range of topics including:

  • Selecting your breeding dogs
  • Preparing your dogs for breeding
  • Pregnancy and prenatal care
  • Whelping and whelping complications
  • Neonatal and puppy care
  • Postpartum care
  • Infertility and reproductive problems

A lot of the information looks at it from the side of a vet working with breeders and it is often used by vets in this manner. However, there is a large amount of information that makes it good for any new or experienced breeder to own.

#3 Successful Dog Breeding: The Complete Handbook of Canine Midwifery

Down to earth, funny, practical; these are all the different ways that this book has been described. But one thing that everyone agrees with on this book is that it is an excellent resource for new and experienced breeders. In fact, it is a wonderful read, even if you aren’t reading it for additional information.

Like many breeding books, this book was written by a vet and dog fancier, both of whom have experience with canine reproduction. The book covers everything you need to know about not only breeding but successful dog breeding.

Topics that the cover goes over are:

  • Planning to breed
  • Whelping
  • Pregnancy
  • Puppy Care

They also go over a large number of problems that dog breeders may be faced with and come up with solutions for them.

Finally, the book has an extensive appendices, which looks at a number of topics including breed idiosyncrasies.

#5 Management of Pregnant and Neonatal Dogs, Cats, and Exotic Pets

Although this book looks at a wide range of different animals and not just dogs, I do recommend it as a book to read. There is a lot of information that can be utilized regardless of animals you are breeding.

However, of the eighteen chapters in this book, eight of them cover dog breeding. The book is written by a veterinarian doctor who is a member of the Society For Theriogenology. Dr. Cheryl Lopate has extensive knowledge on canine reproduction, she also practices in reproductive medicine.

Her knowledge, as well as the expertise of the authors in the book, all of whom contribute articles to the book and are all, themselves, experts in their industry, offers readers an extensive guide to breeding.

For canines specifically, the book looks at how to manage a kennel as well as looking at the management of the bitch. It also goes over the reproductive physiology of a dog and her pregnancy. Furthermore, it looks at the care of puppies, how to resuscitate them and about management of puppies, including orphaned puppies.

A great part of the book is that it covers neonatal disorders and looks at both genetic counseling and congenital defects. All topics that a knowledgeable breeder should have. As you can see, this book is quite extensive and gives you a lot of in depth information to improve your breeding program.

#6 The Complete Book of Dog Breeding

While this is number six in my list, any new breeder couldstart with this book and have enough information to be successful with breeding. This was one of the first books that I ever purchased on breeding and I found it insightful and well laid out so it was easy to find information and understand.

Like many of the books in this list, it really does cover everything that you need to know…which is why it is known as the complete book. It starts off going over the responsibilities of a reputable breeder, not only to their dogs but also to the buyers of their puppies and the puppies themselves. It has a lot of helpful information to grow your business and to stand by the dogs you produce.

Once you get through the responsibilites, this book covers:

  • Choosing your breeding dogs, including looking at practical DNA use
  • Artificial insemination
  • Pregnancy
  • Stages of labor
  • Whelping and whelping complications; as well as assisting the dam or vet.
  • Puppy care from feeding to socialization
  • Lactation
  • And chapters on pedigrees, titles and registration.

Although there is a lot of information, it is delivered in an easy to follow format that everyone, new or experienced, would benefit from.

#7 The Book of the Bitch: A Complete Guide to Understanding and Caring for Bitches

While a lot of books look at breeding as a whole, this book looks at your breeding female and focuses on her health. While the book does go over breeding, whelping and everything involved with that, the primary focused is on the bitch.

The book looks at both understanding and caring for the bitch. It goes on to discuss problems that can occur with a bitch, including detailed advice on signs of sickness and which disease affect female dogs, especially intact female dogs.

While it was written in the 1980’s, the book has been updated several times and is still a great resource that is filled with well done illustrations and tables.

#8 The Dog Breeder’s Guide to Successful Breeding and Health Management

Another guide for dog breeders, this one is recommended by many kennel clubs as a must have resource for any breeder. Whether you are just starting out or have experience, there is always more you can learn and this book is a great place to start.

Like many breeding books, this book was written by a veterinarian who has ample experience with breeding. However, while some books can become a little too scientific, the Successful Breeding and Health Management book, written by Dr. Kustritz, is excellent for the lay person.

Not only does it cover breeding topics, it also looks at hte health of your breeding dogs starting with nutrition. While it may not seem like an important detail, the science of nutrition plays a huge part in litter size and overall health of your puppies.

Finally, one of the best part of this book is how it starts every chapter with a section on frequently asked questions, which it answers in that chapter. Then it ends the chapter with a test your knowledge section, which helps you retain what you’ve just read.

#9 Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds

Not exactly a breeding book, but it is definitely one that I recommend every person who wants to get involved in purebred dogs have. Whether it is to learn more about your breed, which I also recommend purchasing as many breed specific books as possible, or just because you are a fancier, this is definitely a great book to have.

This book goes over the breed standard for 175 purebred dog breeds. In addition, each breed has a host of other facts including:

  • Health Problems
  • Compatibility with Children
  • Energy Levels
  • Exercise Needs
  • Longevity
  • Care Requirements

It is a great source to help you decide what breeds you want to be involved in and possibly breed.

#10 Canine Reproduction and Whelping – A Dog Breeder’s Guide by Myra Savant-Harris

If you remember, we’ve already suggested a ​book by Myra Savant-Harris but if you are going to add to your library, then this other book from her is a must for your bookshelf. To recap, Myra Savant-Harris is both a long time breed and registered nurse. Her knowledge as both, as well as her interest in genetics, has led to her being one of the leading voices in breeding education.

This book only adds to a wealth of knowledge that you can glean from​ Puppy Intensive Care: A Breeder’s Guide to Care of Newborn Puppies and covers a broader wealth of information. Savant-Harris takes you through canine reproduction with both your dam and your stud dog.

Information that is covered in the book include:

  • Whether to Breed or Not
  • Understanding Canine Reproduction including a chapter on sperm and a chapter on vaginal cultures
  • Artificial Insemination
  • Hormones and the role they play
  • Aftercare for the dam after whelping
  • C-sections
  • Preparing the stud dog

As you can see, this book covers everything you need to know about breeding and gives you some insight into methods you can choose to use in your own breeding program.

 Bonus Books For Marketing


Okay, I know that I said we had 10 must have books for breeders, there are a few that I would like to recommend when it comes to marketing your kennel and litters. Although there are dozens of books out there for marketing, there are three that I recommend. These are:

#1 Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich: Create Winning Ads, Web Pages, Sales Letters and More

The second book that I would recommend is Advertising Headlines that Make you Rich. The reason…when you are breeding dogs, you are going to spend a lot of time creating ads for your puppies. 

If you are wondering why this is a must have book, stop. Advertising is a huge part of breeding. You have to advertise your puppies, your stud dogs and your kennel…even when you don’t have a litter on the ground.

And when you advertise, you are competing with tens of thousands of other ads for dogs and puppies. Let’s face it, there are a lot of litters every year and if you aren’t sure how to advertise properly, your puppies may be overlooked in a sea of other advertisements.

Again, this book is not geared toward breeders, but it is perfect for anyone who owns a business. The book takes you through the does and don’ts of advertising and creating that headline that will get you noticed.

If you plan to advertise, make sure you take the time to read this book.

Doggo Food, “The Real Yummy Treat for your Mighty Friend” or Meet Waffle: “The Fiercest Belgian Malinois”

How’s that for a tagline? The world of selling does not just end up in being able to show your products or services. Much more with showcasing your dogs.

You should learn how to effectively advertise your puppies before you can get good clients. And I mean by good clients, those buyers who are really interested in the specific breed of your dog regardless of the price, and not just some guy you keep on haggling, without appreciating your breeding efforts.

Advertising Master David Ogilvy in his book “Confessions of an Advertising Man” tackles his unconventional method of running an advertising agency which was and still the epitome of every company today, regardless of the industry.

Although this book is quite far from advertising your dog business, I guarantee that you’ll appreciate all the tips he gave especially in setting high standards in choosing clients and managing staff.

David Ogilvy greatly believes in the power of research, (this is the common fault of companies, many do not believe in research, be it a product, market, or consumer research). They all jumped into crafting stalwart tagline and design without acknowledging the weak points of the product or service.

I’m not saying that you have to have an advertising agency for breeding dogs, it’s optional. However, you can learn the effective ways used by the master himself.

Impulsive advertising may be temporarily successful yet, it will drown in history. His goal is to gain a lifelong impact if not being written in the books. Sounds impressive? You too can learn how he made it!

Breeding dogs is a great business and just like the rest, it requires patience and a lot of knowledge. You have to be careful and wise in managing your finances. Every dollar counts!

Don’t just settle for prospective buyer who know nothing about all the hard work. Invest a little more to find the clients highly suitable for you, and guarantee no regrets!

This book may not seem like the usual ones you read but it does have all the essential marketing information you need to become a successful marketer as a dog breeder. Yup, breeding dogs is a business, and just like any other business, you have to have an excellent marketing scheme. 

Well, this book may not talk specifically about marketing your dog business but it will walk you through the many techniques you can apply when selling your puppies online. 

If you notice, there’s a tough online competition in dog breeding, and the battle isn’t just about aesthetics. It’s quite an ocean of pictures and videos of dogs and kennels being sold, almost on a daily basis. You have to make sure you stand out.

Successful dog breeders focus on their audience, building a solid-rock relationship and the rest will just flow. You can achieve this when you got the right copywriting skills. In fact, sales copywriting is often overlooked by many dog breeders/owners, thinking that it’s just another waste of effort and resources.

However, in this book, Sean Vosler revealed 11 powerful methods that will bring out your marketing skill seamlessly. And that includes not having to do any hard-selling anymore!

Don’t just leave your buyers hanging by simply presenting the different dog breeds you own, and posting pictures and videos. Create a community where your audience feels needed, heard, and that somebody out there cares for their pets. 

Perhaps tag yourself as the dog owner who perfected dog breeding and tripled his profit in just 2 cycles. Very interesting isn’t it? Once you got their attention, find out what’s appealing to them, and look for ideas that will let them take necessary actions, and this is where you can subtly market your kennel and your dogs.

If you desire to become a master of this niche or business, you need to arm yourself with much information including updates about marketing and advertising especially those that will help you determine what works best in your breeding business and of course, the quickest way for the return on investment.

Happy breeding and happy reading!