Dog Breeding - How often to breed?

Dog Breeding - How often to breed?

Detarmining the freqncy of breeding is a crucial factor deciding the health & survival of the both the offspring and the mother. Here are factor that the breeder must keep in mind before breeding -


  • A bitch should be atleast 18 months of age at the time of breeding or the season closest to the second birthday is a good one to start breeding. However in some breeds, one may need to wait one more season before beginning.
  • Ideally, a bitch should only be bred every other year and she should not be bred much before two years of age.
  • This time is very important as she is better prepared mentally for having puppies. Also the physical growth is complete and pregnancy won't endanger the health.
  • In breeds with are prone to Hip Dysplasia, it is advisable to wait for two years of age so that the parents can be certified; however if one has sent in xrays to OFA for preliminary evaluation and they came back as fine, many breeders consider it safe enough to then breed on the season closest to the second year, which can wind up being before the bitch is actually old enough to be certified. But the preliminary xrays must be examined by OFA, not by a local veterinarian. There are many dysplastic dogs out there that had vets look at their xrays and pronounce them "wonderful."
  • It's important keep the frequency of breeding low. This allows the bitch to rest and regain her strength. Otherwise, she will produce weaker puppies more likely to die.


  • All their certifications necessary must be available. For many breeds this means that they should be over two years old.
  • Since a dog can be bred at any time, unlike bitches, waiting for two years is not a problem, whereas a bitch often has a season just before two years of age and then has to wait until 2.5 or three which sometimes presents problems in trying to time her litters. But this does not apply to a stud dog, so he should definitely have all of his checks and certifications before being bred. Frequency is not generally a problem although some dogs have problems with sperm production if they breed once a day for several days. They need top-quality feeding and care if they are going to be bred often.

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