What Is Breeding?
A process by which an animal or plant reproduces their offspring through external aid. Dog breeding in specific is thus reproduction of puppies from the existing dog and her bitch.
Breeding can thus be a very fascinating process, where one can get series of healthy puppies and thus increase the family. When the breeding is planned and due care is taken of both the dog and the bitch before and after the breeding process, it results in fantabulous offspring.
However, for this entire process to fall correctly and give desired results, one has to be an expert in dog breeding or else needs to visit a veterinarian. One needs to do lots of research before starting a process of breeding to carry on a responsible breeding process.
Things To Keep In Mind Before Deciding On Breeding
Following are the point one need to keep in mind before even thinking about breeding process:
Firstly, decide upon the offspring of puppies you wish to have and decide your stud or bitch respectively. If you are willing to breed your stud, decide upon the desired type of bitch and vice versa.
Once you make up your choices, determine the genetics of both your stud and the bitch in laboratory. Various dogs have blood history of few disorders which can be genetically passed to their offspring. Avoid such breeding partner.
Characteristics of both your stud and bitch should complementary to each other and not way opposite.
- It is very necessary to invest your time in knowing the fertile time of the bitch well in advance and thus carry on the process rightly on time.
- Before deciding upon breeding, one should be aware that you need to spend lots of your time and resources not only for the breeding to happen but also for the puppies post their arrival into this world.
- Give your pet (A stud or a dam) all the vaccinations require before entering the breeding phase. This is even more important for a dam because she is the one who will be carrying the puppies and feeding them post their birth. The antibodies present in the vaccination will protect the little ones when it will pass through dam’s milk.
- If your dog has some diseases like maloclussions, dyslapsia, disc breakage etc. get your dog treated with it first before letting t breed. This disease might pass on to puppies and even they might get dislocation issues, eyes problem, allergies on skin etc.
- Be sure that you have put your dog on the program of disinfectants against worms. This shall protect your dog against various diseases pertaining due to worms and even the puppies from the same after birth.
- Get a semen examination of your stud so that its capacity to produce offspring is known well in advance. Various other tests are also mandatory to perform of both stud and dam to rule out the fact that any one of them has any contagious disease which can be passed on to the opposite dog.
Checking Dogs Age For Breeding
The very major question one should keep in mind is how old does a dog have to be to breed? Well, this is forms a major role in success of the bitch is able to conceive with puppies. It is equally important to know the age of both the partners chosen for breeding to avoid errors of breeding.
- Breeding age is also known as puberty, an age which is most fertile for a bitch to conceive with puppies and a stud to perform best.
- Certain genetic tests, (which we discussed in above paragraphs) can be carried on only when the dog enters into 2 years of its life. There are certain regulations of OFA where in a dog would not be considered for X-ray of hip dysplasia or grading until it reaches this age.
- However, the breeding age of a bitch and a stud varies slightly. Let us look into details of each one of them individually
Breeding Age Of A Bitch/ Dam:
- On an average, a bitch’s enters breeding age when it is 6 months old. In some bitches it can also be little delayed up to 9 months of age.
- Estrus cycle, also known as heat cycle is that fertile period of a dam starts after 9 months and it comes at a regular interval of about 11 months after first estrus cycle.
- A dam is considered to be sexually mature after it witnesses 3-4 cycles of heat.
- Once, she is about 24 months old, a dam is considered to be perfectly ready for breeding.
- A stud will only copulate a dam when she is in her estrus cycle or in her heat period.
Breeding Age Of A Stud:
- Your stud is best ready to start its family journey when it is 5 months old. This age stretches till 12 months and is best for the breeding.
- This age group varies with regards to one species to another slightly.
- The sperm count may decline with the age and hence consult your vet for the details about maximum age till which your stud can breed.
It is still advisable to consult the doctor before planning a breeding for your dogs. It is better to follow a vet’s advice than to do all the calculation by oneself. It is not necessary that once the dog reaches its puberty they are physically ready for breeding or mating, always wait till your vet gives you green signal on examining both studs and dams overall health.
The Breeding Process
It is necessary to know when your dam gets into her heat mode to start the breeding process. There is no specific timing to this phenomenon as other living organism, hence one need to keep a look at the dam’s genital area. The genital area undergoes certain changes when a dam is in her heat cycle. Following are the signs that your dam is in heat:
- The prime most sign that your dam is in heat is her swollen vulva. Vulva is the reproductory organ of the dam.
- The vulva might also start bleeding several days before or during the heat period.
- The vulva will swell to the degree that the stud is able to penetrate more easily and hence carry on the breeding process with ease.
- When she starts the process of ovulation, she spreads a unique odor, which attracts the studs of the vicinity towards her.
- A dam starts licking herself very prominently when she is in her breeding period.
So now when she would be in her heat phase, she will allow the stud to mount over her and mate her. However, if she is not in her heat cycle, she will snap over the stud and will not allow him to come even close by. Once the dam conceives she can give birth to puppies within 57 days or so.
Precautions Post Breeding
Once you are done with the crucial and time taking process of breeding your dog you need to follow various precautions henceforth.
- Once the breeding is done, you need to get your dam checked up to know whether she has conceived or not. This can be done through ultrasonic tests also which examines the puppies inside her.
- From the time you get to know that the dam is successfully pregnant with puppies, it is time to give her a healthy diet.
- You can give her a diet rich in calcium and also other vitamin supplements.
- It is necessary to give her clean water to drink and other fluids.
- The bedding area where the stud sleeps should be cleaned daily and should be kept free from pests.
- Similar to human body, a dam’s body also witnesses various physical changes during pregnancy. You might see its mammary glands increase in size and during the end of her pregnancy the glands will have its milk.
- Due to various changes in dam’s body especially during last few weeks, she will need supplements of nutrition. Feed her best food fit as per her species, you can even consult your doctor for the same.
Gearing Yourself For Delivery
- The prime most things you can do to gear up yourself for your dam’s delivery is to prepare a ‘delivery box’ for her. This is her bed where she can settle down with ease in her most uncomfortable days (when she is nearing her labor).
- You can make this box which should be longer in breadth and width than her body. This will help her stay in very comfortably and she would not pose uncomfort to her puppies too.
- Place various paper or plastic sheets over the box and make a dense base out of it. Keep this box clean to avoid any infections.
- Taking her to a doctor and having an X-ray test performed on her will give you exact information on various important things like: -The size of the puppies, -The estimated date for labor, – Whether normal delivery possible or surgery has to be performed.
- Once, the puppies are born, they are needed to kept warm and nursed properly. Also, take them to vet to keep track on their health.
Types Of Breeding
Two major types of breeding which are famous in today’s era are:
1. Artificial Breeding
Artificial breeding is a process by which the dam is able to conceive without sexually mating a stud. This process has to be done clinically and is done through various methods. Artificial insemination can be done because of various reasons few of which can be as follows:
- It is sometimes difficult to arrange for a stud if you do not have it. In that case if you still wish to do the breeding and have left no stone unturned to find out a mating partner for your dam.
- In case of the dogs that have passed their breeding age, artificial insemination can be a boon.
- Several studs have lower interest towards mating and do not breed naturally; this might be because of low levels of hormones within them.
- Rare species that have studs in the distant location can also use artificial insemination process to get litters.
- Artificial insemination is also favorable when cross-breeding is desired.
Process Of Artificial Breeding
- Once the dam is in right phase i.e. in her heat phase she is taken to a clinic where artificial insemination can be performed on her.
- Dam is allowed to stand on the table in a position that her vagina is little broadened up and then the semen is ejaculated into her with the help of a pipette.
- This task is done in a very skillful manner as the process is very delicate. The reason of the same is the long vaginal area of the dam.
2. Cross breeding
When the breeding is done between the two different breed of dog, the resulting puppy is called cross-breed dog and the process is known as ‘Cross breeding’.
The process remains same as the normal breeding; however it is preferred because of various advantages.
- When two different breeds of dogs are breeded, the resulting offspring will have unique looks.
- The cross- breed offspring can also become main or pure breed in future.
- It is observed that the cross-breed pets are healthier than a pure breed.
Social responsibility and Ethics
There should be various ethical practices which should be followed after all of the above steps of breeding are fulfilled.
- It is not ethical to sell off the puppies immediately after their birth. Let them grow to an age where they do not need the warmth of their mother and her nursing.
- Do not sell of the puppies through any vendor, agent or shopkeepers. Be socially responsible and find out a suitable owner for the puppies who shall be merciful towards the puppies and treat them with utter love and care.
- Vaccinate the puppies also on time to avoid the puppies from suffering from disease at a young age.