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, (tiny dogs come into heat early so the first heat can depend on the size and the breed), but although she can get pregnant that early 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.
Before Breeding Your Dog
- Make sure that have a home for any puppies that will be born. There are already too many puppies and adult dogs being killed at animal shelters, so you should not breed your dog just because she is nice or you want to show the kids the miracle of birth.
- If you are sure, take her in to your regular veterinarian for a health exam.
- Have her blood tested for any genetic diseases the breed is affected by.
- Have her hips or other potential problem joints x-rayed and certified.
- Contact the owner of the male dog so that he or she knows the approximate date you will be bringing your female dog.
Is My Dog Ready?
If you have been watching your dog carefully you will know when she is ready to be bred. 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.
If your female dog will not stand to be bred there are several possibilities. She may not even be in heat, but if you are sure she is the most likely problem is that she does not want to mate with the male. A female that does not want to mate with a male will need a little assistance.
If you have an experienced breeder working with you, they can show you the best way to restrain your dog. If you are not working with a breeder, be careful as it can be dangerous for you and for the dog.
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 (so that she does not collapse under the weight of the male) 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.
Stay close and keep the female from rolling around and damaging the male, but do not try to separate them. It will all be over soon enough.
What Should I Do After the Breeding?
After the dogs have bred successfully it is a good idea to walk the female around but, if she crouches to urinate, do not allow her to do so for at least 20 minutes. This may not be necessary, as by that time most of the sperm is up inside the female, but it is a good practice to follow.
Try it again in two or three days. Some breeders will keep your female dog during this time, but it is okay to take her home if you prefer to do so.
What Comes Next?
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, x-rays for 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.
Do you know how to breed your dog?
- How to Get a Dog to Produce More Milk for Her Puppies
If the breeding goes well but your dog whelps and does not have enough milk for her puppies, there are a few simple things to try.
This video will give you some idea on finding a breeder who keeps high quality males to cross with your female.