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Hi Andy!

I think it's just great that you love your dog so much, as I love my dogs equally. They just enrich your life don't they? :D
Breeding though, is serious business. and not something to be taken lightly.
I have to say right ahead that wanting a pup from your pet is not a good reason to breed. I do understand your reasoning though. You have the perfect dog (for you), and you want 1) to prolong that expericence, 2) to give other people the opportunity to experience the same. I know it's a noble thought, but it isn't always that easy.
I'll try to sum up my points for you, and I'm not judging you. I think it is really good that you are looking for information before you make this decision, not many do. It just means that you're open to listening to what people have to say. Good for you and Cassie!

1) There is a HUGE overpopulation-problem in the US. There are literarily millions of dogs being put to sleep every year because there just aren't enough homes for them. Dogs just like yours and mine are actually dying. It's such a tragedy i don't even know where to start. A lot of that is due to people who are breeding dogs without having thought it through very well. So if you decide to breed, please ensure that you have homes for all the pups Cassie might have, and then som. And be sure to know that the puppy-buyers really know how much time and work a dog is before you sell them one. You have no idea how many "perfect puppy-buyers" surrender their pets to the local pound because they just did not know what they were getting themselves into. Talk to some people involved in rescues to find out how many puppies that were never sold that they have to find homes for.
Also, you have to be ready to take back any puppy at any time of their life. You brought them into this world, and you are responsible for them from then on. I know, it sounds really harsh, but I mean it. If all breeders (if you have a litter, you're a breeder) took back dogs that owner couldn't keep for whatever reaon, we wouldn't have such issues with overpopulation and dead dogs.

2) Although she might be the perfect pet for you, no dog is perfect. The hardest thing about breeding is having to take a long, hard look at your dog to discover it's flaws. Every dog has them, and they need to be identified, do you can breed away from them. That means you have to find a male for Cassie that strengthens her weaknesses, and where she strengthens his. Easier said than done. Seriously, it really is very hard.

You also have to do extensive research into her pedigree, find out her ancestors flaws (healthwise and temperamentwise). Her siblings. Her parents siblings. Etc, etc. Just think about it. What if some of Cassies offspring gets crippeling hip dysplasia, og horrible allergies. And then you find out that 4 of her siblings are suffering from the same. It would give you such heartache to know that all of that could have been preventable if you've only done your research, you know?
Not to mention the worrying and expenses it would cause the puppies owners, maybe they even have to put their pet to sleep because of unsound temperament or healthissues. Believe me, I know what it feels like. Unfortunately.
Researching a pedigree is the least to be expected. Even though Cassie herself is very healthy, she is a product of her ancestors and she could very well give bad genes to her offspring while not exhibiting problems herself.

3) Healthtesting. You have to do it. Test for genetic deseases like hip dysplasia (OFA or PennHip), check her elbows, her eyes, heart, thyroid. There is a desease STBs are prone to that is called L2-HGA (L2 hydroxyglutaric aciduria), which is determined by a simple DNA-test. Please do that, it has horrible symptomes like demensia, nervousness and ataxia. Even though Cassie does not have symptomes of the desease, she might carry the gene as is it inherited recessively.
Find you what healthissues the STB is prone to, and check for them. I'm sure you wouldn't be able to live with yourself if some of the puppies got life-threatening deseases that could have been prevented if you only checked for them.

4) Temperament-testing. Since BSL is popping up everywhere you look, temperament-testing the breedingstock is very important.
To see the real temperament of a dog it has to be put under some pressure. Pressure they do not normally experience to see how they handle these situations, and what choices the dog makes. You say that Cassie is protective. I have to say that that is not typical STB temperament. They have been bred for an exeptional love for people for hundreds of years, and are actually known to be bad protectors. You should really consider temperament-testing her before breding her. I'm not saying she's a bad dog or anything, I'm just saying she should have proper STB temperament if you chose to breed her.
A CGC or ATTS is easily obtained and although they don't really pressure your dog, it's the least one should demand of breedingstock.

5) Conformation/Working-titles. I have to bring this up even although you said you are not wanting to do either of these. I just want to shed some light onto why it is of such importance.
So I have to ask you, why did you chose a STB? is it because of their looks, their mentality, and their temperament? I'm sure it is. They are definitely an utterly charming breed, such little sweethearts! Just think about all the work, time, blood, sweat and tears that made this breed. There is a reason why it's such a distinctive breed. They were bred for ability, temperament and an exterior that matches those qualities. It's been hundreds of years of breeding true to type to give you that amazing dog you are lucky to share your life with. Why not honour that by making sure you are making more GOOD STBs? The only way to know if she is a great STB is to go out there and put her up against more good STBs and see how she does. If she doesn't measure up, it doesn't lower her value to you does it? No, it just means you probably shouldn't breed her.

6) You say you want to keep her lagacy going. Her offspring might be NOTHING like her. Just think about the differences within a litter! Just think of your siblings and you. Are you exactly like your parents? You have a better chance of getting an adult rescue-dog that recembles Cassie more than having a litter off her. And let's face it, you would never love a dog less just because it wasn't related to Cassie would you?
All dogs are special in their own way. I own the perfect pet, you own the perfect pet. I'm sure everyone on this board would argue they have the perfect pet. And if we were to breed them all, what would happen then? You see what i'm saying? It simply cannot be done! And I'm pretty sure you'd have trouble convincing anyone on this board that Cassie is more unique that any of our dogs. ;) Bottom line is, she is more unique to you. And enjoy her for it! It doesn't mean that you should breed her if you catch my drift?

7) Risks. So many things could go wrong, and worst case scenario you could lose your dog and her pups. I'd be devestated! Do you have money for a emergency C-section? Do you know what signs to look for if she has trouble during labour? If not, find out before you breed her. Not long ago I read on PBF of a woman who bred her conformation/agility/temperament-titled STB. She had eight pups, but only one lived after three weeks. Very traumatizing! And I have read far worse stories. Mummydogs dieing during labour and the owners having to bottlefeed pups every two hours for weeks and week only to see one pup after another fading away. I've applauded responible owners who were doing the work, and cried with them as the pups didn't make it. It's heartbreaking, and I wasn't even there.

Ofcourse none of these things guarantee perfect pups, it's always a gamble. You could also end up with a good litter not doing any of these things. But why chance it? You would per definition be a backyard breeder, and doG knows we have enough of those. Not to mention Cassie deserves better.
So my advice would be to get your girl spayed, so that she doesn't get pyometra or cancer or other ailments to her reproductive organs that actually kills dogs. Enjoy your sweet girl for as long as you are lucky enough to have her, and search long and hard for an equally great dog when you are ready for it. You have a better chance of getting what you want that way.
Be responsible, don't breed your dog unless you have proven her to be an exceptional specimen of the breed.
 
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