If you own a good quality pedigree dog and have the desire to breed from them, you should think very carefully before going ahead. There are a lot of different factors to consider when it comes to mating and producing puppies, and one of the most important of these is if the country really needs more dogs of a certain breed, and if you will be able to easily find good, suitable homes for the subsequent puppies.
If you own one of the less common, rarer dog breeds, particularly those that are on The Kennel Club’s list of vulnerable native breeds like the Gordon setter or the Deerhound, demand for their pedigree pups is almost certain to be high, and by breeding your dog, you can help to ensure the continued survival of the breed itself. However, if your dog is not a particularly good quality pedigree, or there are hundreds of pups of the breed offered for sale each year, your decision should be reviewed more critically.
In this article, we will cover some of the basic essentials for successful mating once you have made the decision to breed from your dog. Read on to learn more.
Choosing the right sire or stud dog to father the litter is one of the most important choices you will have to make, as the genetic input from the sire makes up 50% of your eventual puppies! When searching for the right sire for your litter, you may have to go some distance or travel the sire in order to achieve mating, and it is vitally important to pick a good quality sire that is free from hereditary health problems, has a good temperament, and is generally the type of dog that you would wish to father your bitch’s litter!
You should not consider breeding from your bitch unless they are in optimum health, of the perfect age to carry a litter, and have an excellent temperament too. Even before you get as far as the physical meeting and mating of the two dogs, you should begin to support your bitch’s physical health and condition in order to ensure that she is in the best possible condition for mating and breeding.
This may mean talking to your vet about supplements that you can use to increase her chances of conception and boost her nutrition, and of course, keeping her fit and in perfect health!
Also, feeding a bitch prior to breeding should be tailored to boost her general condition, and your dog will eat a lot more when pregnant and nursing than she normally will!
Good breeding protocols include record keeping, which can help you to make projections on the likely arrival date of the litter, keep track of your bitch’s heat cycles, and pick the perfect time to enable mating.
It is a good idea to share this information with your vet as well, who should be involved in your breeding plans and provide support through conception, delivery and up until the pups are ready to be weaned and sold.
Mating your bitch to your chosen sire is by no means guaranteed to result in conception, even if you have planned carefully to mate your bitch at the peak of her fertility. However, the chances of failed matings can be reduced by working out your timings carefully, and your vet can once again help you to monitor your bitch’s fertility and work out the best time to mate her with the sire.
Most bitches of breeding age come into heat a couple of times a year, and so knowing when your bitch is likely to begin to enter the fertile stage is important, and is information that you will need to share with the owners of the sire in order to make your plans.
When your bitch is fertile and in season, picking the perfect time to mate with a couple of days leeway will help to reduce the chances of a failed mating. Generally, around 10-12 days into the heat cycle is the ideal time to mate, and so when you first notice that your bitch is in season, let the owners of the sire know, and begin the countdown to the right moment!
While planning your timings carefully will not guarantee conception first time, and on the other hand it is also very likely that your bitch can and will conceive at other stages of her heat cycle, waiting until the optimum time to give the best chances of conception can help you to achieve a successful mating first time, or within that specific heat cycle, without the need to wait once again for several months until your bitch’s next season to try again.