The first thing to consider when breeding your dog is to ask yourself.
why you are doing so. These are some of the common reasons heard in a veterinary clinic:
It is a purebred and I want to make some money - Don’t hold your breath on this one. So often the cost far our weighs the profit in dog breeding. A typical week at an emergency veterinary clinic will involve at least one C-section. These are not strictly for small breeds.
Another draw back to the moneymaking scheme is stud fees. A good quality, AKC registered sire can draw fees of $300 and up. This may not sound like a great deal of money when you are counting on ten or twelve puppies from a large dog. Consider for a moment if your dog only has one puppy or gives birth to twelve still-born puppies.
I want my children to learn the facts of life – Most dogs give birth during the calm periods in a house. This means middle of the night and nine times out of ten, owners never see the actual birth. Think past the cute stage of having newborn puppies, and on to where you are going to place them once they are weaned. Also think of how a child is going to react to losing a puppy they have learned to love. Children are much better off learning the facts of life from a parent or a book than watching a dog.
It is a purebred – There are millions of purebred dogs in the world. Thousands of them end up being put to death at animal shelters across the nation every week. Every purebred dog should not be bred. Breeding should occur between the best quality animals for the betterment of the breed.
If breeding is still a desire, there are simple things to remember. A female is referred to as a bitch and a male is a dog or a sire.
A typical female dog comes into heat once every six months. It is highly discouraged to breed a dog during its first heat cycle. This is because the dog has not completely matured itself. Breeding too early can cause developmental problems in the bitch. Growth is stopped, needed calcium and nutrients is transferred to the puppies.
The actual heat cycle itself can be a frustrating thing for owners. It starts out with the female having a clear type of discharge. Then the vulva starts to swell and bleeding commences. Optimal breeding time is ten to fourteen days after the first sign of color (blood) although male dogs won’t care what day in the cycle it is. Make sure the dogs are kept separate during this time. Many injuries to dogs are seen because the male wouldn’t take no for an answer.
A female will show a willingness to be bred by “flagging” for an owner. This means she will raise her tail and move it to the side when the area right above her tail is scratched.
Once she has shown a willingness to be bred, it is time to place the two dogs together. When this is done, do not just throw them in the back yard together. It is preferable for someone to hold the head of the female while the actual breeding is taking place. Many males have been permanently scarred, by a female who took a sudden change of heart.
The actual act of breeding can take anywhere from ten to forty-five minutes. This is because a male dog’s physiology is not the same as that of a man. Dogs do not ejaculate; they seep through an engorged penis. The female’s vagina causes a tight ring around the penis and any attempt to stop the breeding at this point can damage both animals.
Once the male has entered, he will slowly move so that both front paws are on the same side of the female. One hind leg will come up and over the back of the female and they will be standing tail to tail. This is considered the tie.
Eventually, the penis will shrink back to its normal size, the tie is broken and both dogs will walk away. When this occurs, once again separate the two dogs. For optimal breeding results, repeat the process every other day until the female will no longer accept the male.
Write the first and last dates of breeding on a calendar. Normal gestation time for dogs is sixty-three days. This can be from either breeding. If a dog goes over sixty-five days, have her checked by your veterinarian.
There is one important thing to remember when breeding dogs. Keep the female up! A single female can be bred by a dozen males, have a dozen puppies with each having a different father. The best thing to do is keep the female crated, letting out only to walk on a leash or supervised in a fenced yard. She should never leave your site while outside though. Many neighborhood Romeos have no qualms about digging or climbing a fence.