by Gray Rollins
Choosing to breed your dog is a big decision and it's natural to feel a little uneasy about the process. These dog breeding tips will help things go smoothly and help you enjoy the entire process.
One of the most important steps is choosing the right mate for your dog. The mate you choose should possess the qualities you want to see carried on in the puppies. Both male and female should be healthy and possess no genetic faults that could jeopardize the health of the puppies.
You also want to make sure the female is very healthy so that her pregnancy and birth are easier. You'll want to support her prior to breeding with excellent nutrition and supplements. Of course she should always have excellent nutrition, but a boost will help her energy and help her stay healthy during her pregnancy.
Good record keeping on both the male and female can help increase your breeding success, but it is especially important with the female. You should keep a history folder on your female which records important dates such as when you first see signs of the bitch going into heat, any changes in behavior, and any medical issues.
You should also have a good working relationship with your veterinarian who can be a very helpful resource throughout the breeding process, during the pregnancy, during labor and of course once the pups are born.
Male dogs have less reproductive problems than female dogs but they can be more difficult to correct. Anatomical defects, low sperm, and infection of the reproductive organs are the most common problems to watch for in a male dog.
Hypothyroidism, arthritis of the spine, and Brucellosis should also be checked for in males that show no interest in breeding.
With the female, the main reason for failed breeding is wrong timing. Because of the length of time a female is in heat, without hormone tests it can be difficult to tell when the "right" time really is. Your vet has a variety of ways to test hormone levels to try to narrow down the best breading time, but at the end of the day it still really is hit and miss.
Female dogs usually go into heat every 6 months starting at around the age of one year. It's important to allow your female to become full-grown and developed before you decide to breed her as she is more likely to have a pregnancy with fewer complications. In some of the larger breeds this doesn't occur until the age of 2.
At around 10 to 12 days after going into heat the bitch will be ready to stand and hold. You start to count the days at the first signs of blood discharge. Each dog is different so you'll need to get to know your dog, how she acts, changes in temperament, and the amount of discharge because day one might actually be day three. You'll know your timing is right by the willingness of the bitch. When the bitch is ready the discharge will often change from a dark red to more of a tan color so you can watch for this signal as well. Try to place the bitch and stud together several days and several times throughout the heat period up to about the tenth day.
If you want to be safe then put the bitch and the stud together early and try and try again. It's better than being late because you'll have to wait another 6 months.
If impregnation occurs your vet will be able to tell around the 22nd day after breeding. Now's the time to start calling those parents to be, congratulating them, and letting them know their new bundle of joy will arrive in a couple of months.
The act of breeding is rather a natural one that requires little intervention from you other than placing the male and female in a safe and secure environment together. If the time is right you will be the proud owner of a beautiful litter of pups in no time at all. If the timing is wrong you'll need to wait for the female to go into heat again in about 6 months.
These breeding tips should help you find success in breeding your dog.
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