Have you decided to breed your bitch? Before breeding your lovely female dog make sure you and your bitch are fully ready. Study first the pros and cons of your female dog bringing a new life, it’s very important to know if your bitch is ready to be pregnant, the effect of it on her body, the proper breeding process, the things you need to do before, during, and after breeding, and the most important your readiness to take care and be responsible for the new life that will come after successfully breeding your bitch.
Note: Before breeding your bitch make sure you do the following:
- Consult your trusted veterinarian to make sure your female dog is healthy.
- Have her take a DNA test for any genetic diseases the breed is affected by.
- Study and prepare all things needed for successful breeding and healthy pregnancy.
- Making sure all the puppies will have a home to live forever. (Be responsible owner)
When is the Right Time to Breed a Dog?
A dog heat cycle usually starts around 4 to 10 months of age that usually lasts between 2-4 weeks. Most of the small breeds tend to go into heat earlier than the large breeds that can be start up to 2 years old. After the first heat cycle, your dog will come into heat about twice a year or every 6 months, but it can vary from 4 to 12 months.
The first heat cycle will unlikely allow successful breeding, therefore the standard practice is to wait until the second or third heat cycle before breeding your dog.
How to Know if My Dog is Ready for Mating
When your dog is ready for mating her vaginal discharge may change from bloody to clear or brownish, she will also move her tail up or side and will stand and allow a male dog to mount and breed her.
The following are some test to know the best breeding date of your dog:
Vaginal Smears – an analysis for accurately determining the estrous phase in dogs. The objective is to obtain a sample of epithelial cells from the vagina. Others have vaginal swabs done both before the heat and during the first few days of her heat cycle.
Progesterone Test – is the most accurate method for timing breeding date. In this test done that will be done by your trusted veterinarian your dog will have her blood sample taken every one or two days and when the level of progesterone peaks she will be ovulating and should be bred.
Some bitch even they are in heat they won’t allow the male dog to mount them, there is a variety of reason some are your female dog doesn’t know what to do, the size and weight of the male dog are not appropriate for her, or she suffered a traumatic experience with other dogs that might have developed fears and insecurities. If this happens we recommend consulting your vet for proper advice.
“How to Breed My Female Dog Successfully?”
Things You Need to Learn and Do Before Breeding
1. Prepare Yourself for Breeding
Breeding is not that just simple it’s full of things you need to learn, expensive, and responsibility. You should not breed your bitch if you just want to see a new life but have no intention of taking responsibility, make sure before breeding you already have a plan on how to take care of your litters when they born. Finding their forever home if you are not planning to have them all before they are born is a very advisable idea for them not to end up in the shelter.
It’s also very important to have a stable income to support your dog’s vet and food expenses, a lot of dogs and puppies surrender at the shelter because of the incapability of the owner to support their needs, don’t add up to those problems!
2. Pre-Breeding Health Checks
It’s very important to consult your veterinarian about your bitch health condition, its very important for the soon to be dog parent to have a good health condition to produce healthy offspring.
Regular veterinary care, screening for genetic problems, regular exercise, and good nutrition is a must for all dogs of all ages, but if you want to breed your bitch one month before breeding she should have a thorough pre-breeding physical examination by your trusted veterinarian.
The following are some pre-breeding health checks:
- Consulting your vet – Your vet will conduct a pre-breeding health check depending on your dog’s breed and health history/condition.
- Physical Examination – This is the first step in pre-breeding health checks, during this exam your lovely dog will be checked by your vet from head to toe.
- Auscultation (listening to the heart and lungs)
- Checking of dental and oral health
- Checking the eyes for glaucoma, lens changes, cataracts, or other genetic issues
- Examining the fur and skin
- Testing the range of motion in the joints
- A vaginal exam to check for vaginal abnormalities
- Vaginal cytology to look at the cells in the vagina
- Checking your dog’s weight to determine their body condition – Your dog must be in her ideal weight before breeding, it’s hard to conceive and carry a pregnancy if your dog is underweight, if this is the case of your dog your vet will have to make a plan to make her gain weight in a healthy way before you start breeding her. If your dog is overweight she should lose weight before breeding, Hydrotherapy and proper diet is the best way for your dog to lose weight.
- Blood Test – it’s very important for dogs to have their blood test, blood work can reveal a lot about a dog’s health. Through a blood test, your vet can see any abnormality that will indicate illness. Addressing any health problem before breeding your dog will prevent pregnancy complications and producing offspring with the inherent disease.
- Vaccination Status – Your dog vaccination must be up to date before breeding with this you can prevent unwanted health problems like Rabies, Canine Coronavirus, Distemper, Parainfluenza, and more to occur before and during pregnancy.
3. Find a Suitable Mate
Finding a compatible (weight and height) and healthy mate for your bitch is very important to produce healthy puppies. In selecting a breeding partner for your bitch keep in mind these 2 important factors:
- Temperament – is commonly a hereditary trait (passing on of traits from parents to their offspring) in dogs. Temperament can be influenced by other external factors but choosing a breed with the specific traits will play an important part to produce the best dog temperament you might want to have.
- Health – In breeding your goal should be to produce healthy dogs. However, like human dogs are subject to many hereditary defects that can be minor or some are very fatal, to produce healthy puppies make sure to choose a mate that will fill each other deficiency.
Note: Its very important to mate dogs that complement one another.
4. Don’t force
In the standard practice or in general, breeders do not breed a bitch at the first heat to avoid imposing the stress of pregnancy and lactation on a young, growing dog, they wait until the second or third heat cycle before breeding your dog.
Things You Need to Learn and Do During Breeding
1. Stay calm
When you see a male dog mounting your bitch don’t scream, worried, or act so panic it is a natural process and your dog will find its way to be comfortable and safe.
Stay with your dogs calmly so they will feel safe and secure. During the breeding process, the male dog mounts the female dog from the back part and grasp her midsection or back legs with his front legs. Rapid pelvic thrusts follow until penetration and ejaculation take place. After the pelvic thrusts stop, the male dog and bitch will not separate for 10 to 30 minutes it called knot or tie.
The tie is the result of a swollen section of the penis called the bulbus glandis, this erectile tissue structure on the penis swell up to lock (tie) the male’s penis inside the female.
Do not separate your female dog from the male dog at this point. Do not do anything like yelling at them, throw water on them, pour salt on them. Tieing or locking in mating dogs is normal don’t worry or try to separate them (they will be hurt) because they will be separated after a while.
2. How Often Should the Male Breed a Bitch?
When your dog is in her heat and willing to mate you can breed her every two or three days after her first bred until she is no longer willing to allow the male to mount her.
Things You Need to Learn and Do after Breeding
After you have bred successfully your bitch you can try it again in two or three days until she no longer wants to be mounted by a male dog. If everything goes well, puppies will come along about 58-68 days after your female has been bred.
Although it is very important for every puppies and dog to have a healthy and nutritious regular meal, make sure to serve an extra healthier meal after breeding your dog because there is now a possibility of pregnancy in your bitch.
Note: If you will change your regular dog food to a new one make sure to do it slowly and with the guidance of your trusted vet to make sure your dog will not be shocked by the sudden changes especially if she is expecting a puppy.
To know all about your dog pregnancy read our next article “How to Know If My Dog is Pregnant?” it includes 🐾Signs of Pregnancy in Dogs, 🐾How to Take Care a Pregnant Dog, 🐾 Signs of Labor in Dog, 🐾Things You Need to Prepare for Birthing Dog, 🐾How to Take Care a Dog After Giving Birth, and lots more.