How to Breed Your Female Dog Successfully
Do you know how to breed your female dog? A female dog will have her first heat cycle from 4 months of age up to the second year, depending on her size, but she should not be bred until her second or third estrus. After that first cycle she will come into heat about every six months, but it can vary from 4 to 12 months.
When is she ready?
If you have been watching your dog carefully you will know when she is ready to be bred. (Finish any genetic screening that your dog breed might need, and make sure that the male is available before you need him.)The “spotting” that she has been doing around the house will first turn clear, and then might stop altogether. That is when your dog will stand and allow a male to mount and breed her.
Some breeders recommend having vaginal smears completed before breeding so that you will be aware of the best breeding date. Others have vaginal swabs done both before heat and during the first few days of her heat cycle. The most accurate way of determining her best breeding date would be a progesterone assay. You can have this test done by your local 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.
How often should the male breed her?
If you are using frozen sperm (artificial insemination), knowing the time of ovulation is important, but if a male is available this is not really necessary. The sperm will last inside her for about 5-7 days so if you breed her as soon as she is willing to stand, then breed her again every two or three days until she is no longer willing to allow the male to mount, all of her eggs will be fertilized. Healthy sperm will be present inside her when she ovulates (and the eggs are too immature to be penetrated), when the eggs are ripe, and even later when the eggs are dying.
What should I do during the breeding?
Stay with your dogs during breeding. My Siberian Huskies always knew what to do and never required any interference. When dealing with some breeds, though, you will need to support the female or even lift the male up into place. The male will mount the female and the bulbis glandis will swell so that he is “tied” to the female for about twenty minutes (it may be as short as two minutes or as long as half an hour). He will usually swing a back leg over and will stand, tied with the female in a tail-to-tail position.
Do not separate your female from the male at this point. Do not yell at them, throw water on them, pour ice on them, or try any of the other crude methods I have heard about over the years. Let nature take its course and it will all be over quickly. Stay close and keep the female from rolling around and damaging the male, but do not try to separate them.
What about after their breeding?
After the dogs have bred successfully it is a good idea to walk the female around but, if she stops to urinate, do not allow it for at least 20 minutes. This may not be necessary, as by that time most of the sperm is up inside the female.
Try it again in two or three days.
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If you do everything correctly, puppies will come along about 58-63 days after your female has been bred. Breeding a female dog, though, can be a real gamble. If you have a breed like the English Bulldog, and think you will make money breeding her since her purchase price was so high, you may end up paying for a C-section and may even end up losing your dog when she dies in labor. Some breeds produce puppies more easily but, after the genetic screening costs (for problems like hip dysplasia), the medications for worms or any other illness, the vaccinations, and the increased food bills, you may end up losing money. Unless your female has something to contribute to the breed, and you are ready to find homes for all of the puppies, she should be spayed. You do not need to breed every female dog.
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