“The Tufts-AKC Canine Whelping Pilot Program offers an extremely valuable didactic and immersive canine breeding experience to increase those skills for which students will likely be involved in. The goals of this selective program are to (1) encourage students to develop a quality relationship with a breeder active in a breed community, (2) gain hands-on breeding and/or whelping experience, (3) understand the specific health needs of bitches and puppies in collaboration with both veterinarians and breeders, and (4) learn about career options in canine theriogenology. Selected students will be paired with an American Kennel Club (AKC) mentor planning to whelp a litter of healthy puppies in the next six months. Breeding management education, pre-whelping training, lectures, and seminars with breeders will be provided to the students to shape their interests in this program. We anticipate hosting a few breeder and handler roundtable discussions as well as field trips to sites supporting canine genetics and purpose-bred dogs. With their AKC mentor, students are expected to participate at veterinary appointments and during the delivery of veterinary services, as students’ schedules allow. The option to follow up with the litter following the birth may be available as well. Students’ transportation costs will be covered by a stipend donated by local AKC clubs. This is a pilot program and student feedback on their experience will be required.
When you receive your assignment, you will also receive a list of other second year students selected who will become members of a private Facebook resource group with all participating mentors and faculty. Two students will be paired together with each mentor and should make arrangements for your visits collectively.
Course Learning Objectives:
At the end of this selective, learners will be able to:
Understand the value of conducting breeding soundness exams and reproductive health evaluations
Identify factors for selecting a stud in a breeding program
Familiarize yourself with gestational changes, stages of labor and post-partum priorities
Recognize potential whelping complications and solutions
Practice communication skills with veterinarians, breeder clients, and peers