Dog Breeding Facts


Breeding dogs is a very complex subject. The information contained on this web page are based on my opinions and research, and from the experienced in being involved in showing and breeding dogs for some years. If you don't like what I have written, or you disagree with it, please feel free to surf other web pages on the internet.

How long is a bitch pregnant?

The average length of gestation is 63 days. However, the normal range is anywhere between 57 - 67 days.

How long is my bitch "in season"?

On average, a bitch in "in season" for 3 weeks. During this period she is usually fertile from day 8-15, but this can vary considerably. During the whole three weeks, the bitch must be kept separate from all males, unless you specifically want puppies. All breedings should be supervised.

Can a bitch get pregnant from one breeding?


Can a bitch get pregnant in her first season?


When can I spay my bitch?

Personally, I have had bitches spayed at 8 weeks.

Do I need to breed my bitch before I spay her?

No. Absolutely not. Anybody who recommends this is completely wrong. Breeding your bitch makes neither her a better dog, or you a better person. In fact, if you do the math on this, think about how many dogs there would be in this world if every single bitch was bred before she was spayed. Breeding a bitch unnecessarily is irresponsible at best.

My friends all want a dog like mine. Do you think I should breed her?

Frankly no. You should have a much better reason than this. Such a view is careless and irresponsible. Breeding dogs properly is an intensive and complex undertaking. One of the main reasons why there are so many dogs that have to be killed every year is because people think it's a good idea to have just one litter.

But that's not fair! My bitch is gorgeous. Every one says so. She has a fabulous temperament. I don't care that her body isn't perfect.

Frankly, that is entirely selfish. Every dog that is bred deserves to not just have fantastic temperament, but it also deserves to have a fabulous looking body. Many people forget this, and fail to realize that invariably the "conformation" of the pet puppy is so poor that invariably it ends up with some physical deformity, although most people don't realize this when they are young.

For instance, of particular note is the cross breeds that abound - look at the cross of the maltese and the poodle or bichon frise - the dogs invariably have terrible fronts leading to a life of being unable to move properly or freely. The larger breeds and cross breeds often end up with all sorts of malformations that become obvious as the dog gets over 6 months, including incorrectly proportioned heads, awful movement, and sway backs, to name just a few. While some humans might not care that the dogs have these purposeful faults, the dogs certainly pay for it.

The harsh reality is that if you are not concerned with how the dog looks, then that is entirely selfish and irresponsible. And that for some people, is a bitter pill to swallow.

So, have you neutered a dog that was not good enough to breed from?

Yes, absolutely. In fact, I have a wonderful boxer. Gorgeous temperament. At 8 months it was obvious that he was not good enough to breed from. I could not do the injustice to any puppies that had been done to him. His faults include: low croup, east-west front, low in pasterns, cow hocks. Additionally, I insist that any pup that is not going to prove its worth in the ring is neutered and not bred.

But I don't have the time or the money for the show ring?!

Then you certainly don't have the time or the money to breed correctly.

At what age is a male fertile?

It depends on the breed. As a general rule of thumb, the smaller the breed, the earlier it will be able to breed. Some are fertile before the age of 6 months.

When can I get my male neutered?

I have had males neutered at 8 weeks. I suggest that unless you are going to breed to improve the breed, you get your male neutered as early as possible.How do I find a bitch to stud my dog out to?

I would suggest you find yourself a breed mentor as a first point. Join your local dog club, and make sure you have all the facts first. Whatever you do, don't ever think that you can make money out of studding out your dog. Look, we all start off thinking that, but once we start investigating, we realize that it is very complex and difficult to do it well.

Although, anyone can breed dogs poorly. Really, it's up to you - your ethics, morals, and personally self-responsibility.

But you make it sound so hard. All I want to do is breed my dog!

Yes it is hard to do it properly. You've come to this page in the hope of findinganswers. Unfortunately, there are no short cuts to breeding properly. Although, you can save yourself a heap of time, and money, if you decide right from the start to do it properly.

And remember, even those of us who put our hearts and soul into this, and who work tirelessly for absolutely no financial gain, often find ourselves having to spay/neuter dogs and bitches that we had high hopes for.

Breeding dogs properly is truly a labour of love.

Question: My bitch has just started spotting, when should I breed her?

Frankly, if you are asking a question like this, it is a clear indication that you possess neither the knowledge or skills to breed. If you do breed at this point, ou are putting your bitch and puppies at an unacceptably high level of risk. It is irresponsible, and unethical.

Article submitted by: © Jane Johnson