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Thinking about breeding from your Bitch?

Discussion in 'Dog Breeding' started by petforum, Jul 5, 2008.


  1. petforum

    petforum Administrator
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    vee89 likes this.
  2. baillieswells

    baillieswells PetForums Junior

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    This is an article I wrote for the East Anglia Border Terrier Club's website. (long)

    Thinking of Breeding from your Dog?

    If you have to ask your self this question then the answer is almost certainly “DON’T”.

    The main reason to breed a litter is if you are into showing and want to establish your own line. If you just want to have a puppy to keep your present bitch company why not just buy another puppy? The idea that it is good for a bitch to have a litter is just an old wife’s tale.

    If you are really considering breeding from your favourite bitch here are a few of the hurdles which need to be overcome. First, is your bitch good enough to breed from; is she a good example of the breed and doesn’t have any obvious faults like a bad mouth? Next you have to decide on the stud dog. It is not a good idea to go to the dog down the road. One should choose a dog which complements the good points of your bitch and doesn’t have any of the faults. If you are really determined then consult the breeder of your bitch or go to a few Border Terrier shows. It may be that the stud dog you choose lives many miles away, which will involve a long journey. Do you know how to decide when the bitch is ready to mate? If not, this may involve a fruitless journey or several return journeys. Also is the owner of the stud dog willing to service your bitch? One should arrange this several months before hand. Border Terriers are not always easy to mate. Even a well tried stud dog may fail to mate, or be put off by an uncooperative bitch, particularly a maiden bitch. What if the bitch comes into season unexpectedly, upsetting holiday plans, or the puppies would be born at an inconvenient time. Remember from time of mating until the puppies go to their new homes is seventeen weeks.

    Once you have mated your bitch, you have to look after her for the nine weeks of her pregnancy. It can be quite traumatic waiting to see whether she is pregnant. When the time comes for her to give birth, do you understand the signs of labour and what to expect? Border Terriers have a nasty habit of whelping in the middle of the night. If something goes wrong, or a caesarean operation is necessary, do you have a vet who you can trust? Once the puppies are born, you will have to keep an eye on both them and the bitch. Some bitches will reject their puppies; others may not produce enough milk. If the worst should happen and the bitch die in labour, and it does happen, then you will have several weeks of hand rearing the offspring. Weaning starts at about three weeks, at which time the puppies become very messy, and a litter of puppies between five weeks and eight weeks running around loose is a real handful. At eight weeks, you will have presumably chosen the puppy you are going to keep, you will then have to find homes for the remainder of the litter. Do you have prospective owners, and if so are they ready to take a puppy at this time? To keep several puppies over eight weeks old, because you haven’t found homes for them, is not recommended.

    To all this one has to consider the costs involved, such as the stud fee, any veterinary fees, such as for an ultra scan, and particularly if a caesarean operation should prove necessary. Weaning food for the puppies followed by puppy food, extra food for the bitch, extra heating to keep the room warm enough. The list goes on and on.

    Bitches do not always conceive, or may reabsorb the foetuses, so no puppies, or the puppies may not survive. And remember pregnancy and labour are not without dangers to the bitch.

    If after all this you still decide to breed from your bitch, then read as much as you can beforehand. There is a good chapter in Anne Roslin -William’s book ‘The Border Terrier’, and there are many books just devoted to breeding
     
  3. MY-PK Bobby

    MY-PK Bobby PetForums Junior

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    Hi, I would just like to say that above all you should be concerned about the stud dog's health. Every breed has it's problem you should focus on but there is one general issue that should concern all breeds and that's Herpes - especially if you decide to breed with a popular stud dog that has been bred with many different bitches. My friends bitch died of Herpes after giving birth. None of the puppies survived. She had autopsy done that proved the cause of death as Herpes. The thing to know is that you can prevent this by vaccinating your bitch before mating her. There is a particular vaccination scheme for this you should check with your vet. Usually the male dog doesn't even have to have any symptoms of Herpes and could be just carrier.
     
  4. petko

    petko PetForums Newbie

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    If you plan to breed from your bitch then make sure that she is fit before you start. Any on-going problems should be cleared up, especially ear or skin infections that may transmit to the puppies. If in doubt, then check with your vet who will also be able to advise you on vaccination policy. It would be unwise to mate your bitch under two years of age or before the third heat.

    You will also need to determine the best time to mate your bitch. A basic knowledge of the bitch's oestrus cycle is vital for this. There are four distinct phases to the cycle:
     
  5. kdifran92

    kdifran92 PetForums Newbie

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    What company is a good place to purchase in home ovulation test kits for your dog? I would preferably like to get either the urine, salivia, or vaginal smear tests.
     
  6. Tanya1989

    Tanya1989 PetForums VIP

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    They are not reliable. Only blood progesterone tests are accurate
     
  7. dexter

    dexter PetForums VIP

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    I've successfully used the vaginal test after previously failing to get my bitch in whelp. The results of the test indicated she wasn't ready to be mated until her 19th day(where as i thought she was ready on 11th and 13 th day) and she went on to have 5 pups.
     
  8. shazalhasa

    shazalhasa PetForums VIP

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    Going from another post on another thread, I was shocked to read that a vet had supposedly given the advice to not only breed a bitch who was at risk of pyometra but then to breed her back to back because she'd only given birth to one dead puppy :confused1:

    Surely this can't be right.
     
  9. Tanya1989

    Tanya1989 PetForums VIP

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    Wrote this the other day for a poster on here, thought I should add it on to here for others who can't be bothered to search:

    Be very wary that "letting her have a litter of pups" could ruin her forever, assuming that she lives through it all. I do not been to sound all doom and gloom about it all, but its only fair that you do not go into it blindly. Here are points to consider before choosing to breed your bitch:
    • Is she health tested to Breed Clubs standard: the breed club are often much stricter than the KC regarding Health testing for eg: our breed club states that Leos should be health tested for Hips, elbows and eyes (certain scores are also relevant) whereas, the KCABS says we only must do hips and eyes, elbows are choice, despite it being a known problem within the breed.
    • Is she of perfectly sound temperament: this means to all people (which I would hope, but isn't always the case) and all dogs. It is fair to say that some breeds naturally don't like other dogs as it has been built in to them, for eg Shar peis, staffies, akitas etc, but the cocker does not have this built in, so if she ever shows aggression to other dogs sshe doesn't fit the bill, so to speak.
    • Is she shown or worked to gather herself a reputation (a good one) within the breed? With a breed like cockers that are being bred left, right and centre, it is important that further overbreeding does not continue. I'm sorry this sounds blunt, but to me, unless a dog has something to offer the breed as a whole, they should not be bred from. I hate the term "pet breeding" that seems to come along with the phrase: it doesn't matter what she looks like as long as she resembles the breed, the pups will only go to pet homes. :mad: In which case, why not adopt from a rescue kennel? Rather than breeding a litter of pups and just adding to the population? Just because "s/he is a pet" doesn't mean there is any reason why s/he shouldn't be well bred.
    • Can you honestly say that you know the ins and outs of her 5 generation pedigree? You MUST know at least the first 4 generations including health problems, slight flaws in the temperament that may not have been "made public knowledge" slight health problems (and major ones). Do you know of any conformation flaws in the lines that need to be eradicated from the breed as a whole. For instance in my lines we have a weak front end, although my lad shows no signs of this, it is present in his ancestors. There for when a bitch comes to use him, it is my responsibility to make sure that her lines do not have a weak front (despite her having a strong one). The same could be said for my bitch, I HAVE to know her lines inside, out in order to choose the most appropriate stud. Then I have to learn the studs lines inside out.
    • Have you got a waiting list of at least twice the amount of the average litter size? What many breeders have experienced is the people who go on a waiting list is that up to half regularly drop out at the last minute due to change in circumstances, wrong sex/ colour of puppy etc. It is not been heard of to be stuck with 7 puppies at 16 week old who all need complete innoculations, thorough socialising, LOTS of food, time apart to prevent separation anxiety, training etc. The older a puppy gets, the harder to sell, so you can be your bottom dollar, the ones you are stuck with at 17 weeks old are the ones who'll stay with you forever.
    • Its also important to remember that the pups you breed could come back to you at any time if the owners circumstances change, if the pup develops a health problem, if (heaven forbid) has a temperament issue. Have you the space to take back the puppies, and the knowledge of how to correct the training issues, finances to pay for health treatment?
    • Are you financially able to bring up a litter successfully. You need to be able to hand over £2000 at the drop of a hat, PLUS your stud fee. I always recommend at least £3000, that if necessary, I could get in cash without skrimping and scraping, borrowing of family for the need of an emergency c section. Many vets nowadays will not perform a c section (emergency or not) without cash upfront, and will just put the bitch to sleep and allow the pups to die inside. Also, just worth a mention to anyone else reading this the PDSA will not do a c section, but just euthanise.
    • Are you in the type of employment that you could take 9 consecutive weeks off to raise the pups? Many people forget about this bit, but at least for a week before expected delivery you need to be with the bitch constantly, you are housebound for most of the 9 weeks, could you cope with this? You are awake (if breeding responsibly) for 4 weeks at 22 hours a day, can you cope with the physical demands. As most people on here will agree: nothing can prepare you for how tired you will be. It is a tired like no one can imagine. You have constant headaches from stress and lack of sleep, can you cope with this?
    • Are you emotionally prepared for losing your bitch? Yes, it does happen and yes it happens frequently. Quite often on forums, breed forums, yahoo groups etc for a foster mum, due to the death of a bitch. I ahve lost a bitch myself and I can honestly say I've never felt so much grief and guilt in my life as what I felt when she died. If I hadn't been so selfish as to want a puppy from her she'd still be here. After she died I resented the puppies. I couldn't keep one as it was too painful to have the constant reminder of what I'D done. So not only did I lose my bitch, I lost the puppy I would have kept also.
    • Can you cope with a litter of dead puppies? On average 1.5 puppies die from each litter bred, so the chances are extremely high that you could lose at least one puppy if not the whole litter. One here a member, also a first time dog breeder lost 2 puppies, the first two born were born dead, just a week ago. A couple of months ago a rottie bitch lost her only puppy after a difficult pregnancy. The bitch was distraught and so was her owner. She then suffered a terrible infection of the womb as the puppy had been dead inside her.
    • Can you imagine leaving the room for 30sec to pick up the post, answer the door etc and coming back to a room full of dead puppies where the mother has killed them all, accidentally or on purpose, it happens, all too often. :frown: Then there are problems like having to hand raise a litter because mum has rejected them, or you were lucky enough to see her killing the puppies and you managed to rescue a couple before the inevitable happened. Could you cope with having to take them form mum, who is also distraught about what happened and lock them in a room with yourself and mum outside the room whilst she is screaming in panic because you took her babies away, despite her rejecting them.
    • Can you see yourself living in a dump for 8 weeks why you have 8 puppies demanding food constantly, barking at 3am in a high pitched yap, upsetting all your neighbours whilst you are doing all the poo cleaning, all the feed cleaning, your washer is constantly on washing bedding for the pups and your clothing which is covered in tiddle and sh!t all the time. Do you have a garden which the puppies will be able to go on ie grass? Chippings, bark etc are a no no unless you have one human per pup to guard against eating the chippings, bark etc
    What people fail to realise that breeding a litter is not for the faint of heart, and is in no way a quick way to make money (I'm not suggesting this is the case with you but all too often it is mentioned, so i thought I'd clear things up for others). It is a very time consuming, expensive way of keeping a pup behind. It is heart breaking thing to do and you really do have to have nerves of steel to do it. You face a huge risk of your bitch dying in just the mating of her, never mind the actual whelping, a long a difficult pregnancy where you are having to force feed her as she has decided she can't carry puppies and eat at the same time. You also risk her character changing. I have lost count of the number of times I have been bitten by a whelping bitch, feeding bitch who is guarding her babies. The trauma for me, getting bitten was unbelievable, despite me knowing in the back of my mind it could happen. But when all said and done, my baby bit me! :eek:.
    These are a few things to consider. There is also a thread, that I started a few weeks back titles: Steps to take BEFORE mating your bitch. Like I said, I am not being all doom and gloom, but it is only fair on you don't get led into breeding blindly. However, if you have read this and done all the necessary things before choosing to breed, health tests, a few judges going over her etc and then still decide to breed then we WILL be here to help answer all your questions.
     
    Irimina and CaoineagWhippets like this.
  10. d0gcarer

    d0gcarer PetForums Newbie

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    This clip was shown to me by someone who works in a rescue center.

    YouTube - ‪Dog Pounds Ireland - Five Days‬‏

    Whilst there are many good breeders you have to be sure the puppies should go to good homes and not be another rescue dog.

    Also I've been told that no responsible breeder will let one person have 2 puppies from the same litter as they may compete to be the alpha.

    Has anyone bought 2 litter mates and how did it work out?
     
  11. Mistyweather

    Mistyweather PetForums Member

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    Yes, my mother got two westie boys from the same litter. One very quickly became dominant and I always felt that the other was sad. When I got married and had a house of my own, I took this dog to live with us but he was always a bit reserved.
     
  12. Tanya1989

    Tanya1989 PetForums VIP

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  13. pamela7777

    pamela7777 PetForums Newbie

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    At what age can you start breeding puppies from your dog?
     
  14. troublestrouble

    troublestrouble PetForums Senior

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    i just wanted to say that as i am sat on the sofa with a glass of new years wine and my two darling girls i am really glad i DIDN'T breed from Trouble in order to get Stark.
    i originally came on here looking for advice as i made my decision whether to breed Trouble or not and got lots of good advice and guidance, i did a fair bit of research and talked to lots of people in the flesh and my main reasons for doing it-having another pup, fear of how Trouble would react to another pup being brought into the home and having the experience-were soon concentrated into buying a new puppy to complete my beautiful family without hurting Trouble, risking her life or causing her distress and she has excepted Stark as her own. So thank you to all the people on here, now I have to get through the op to neuter Trouble which will probably be the most distressing bit for me.

    awww they have just properly cuddled up to each other, Stark is lying on Trouble. have a pic from christmas as my thanks to you all (not specifically this thread, just wanted somewhere to say this which might help others making the same decision i had to make.
     

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  15. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    Age shouldn't be your first question, conformation, health tests, temperament should be the first things you look into, lots of time to research this and see how a pup develops on and matures. There's no set rules, however, the KC won't register litters from a bitch that's mated under the age of 12 months, nor over 8 years at the time of whelping. :)

    Sometimes the hardest decision is not to breed, I was all set to take a litter from Indie, had her hips scored, elbows graded, bva eye test, pra test and then stood back, and realised it wasn't the right thing to do for her, so had her spayed. I still feel slightly sad there's no little Indie's running around, but I'm very glad I've got her, and she's as healthy as possible :)
     
  16. troublestrouble

    troublestrouble PetForums Senior

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    that is just it, but more than anything im glad iv got my two girls and they are happy and healthy and over the moon they have each other. what a lovely end to 2011 Stark has given me
     
  17. Doguiesrus

    Doguiesrus PetForums Senior

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    I bought dog and bitch dogues from same litter and they are fab together, 3 year old now. Can imagine two of same sex could be a problem x
     
  18. TillyBunny

    TillyBunny PetForums Newbie

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    Hi i need some help, this is a question rather than an answer, i'm thinking of breeding from my japanese spitz bitch, the male i want to use is a jack russell, don't worry i probably wouldn't be selling any pups so they would all have a good home with me.

    do you think the bitch could handle the jack russell's pups???

    Thanks
     
  19. kate24

    kate24 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, im thinking of breeding my kc reg bitch cairn terrier with my kc reg dog cairn terrier. would i be able to kc reg their puppies??
     
  20. bubble59

    bubble59 PetForums Newbie

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    Can someone advise me please? I mated my bitch 3 weeks ago and the stud, who I also own, has just mated her again, tied etc, even though the signs of her heat are well and truly gone. I have never seen this before :confused:
     
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