What is the best age to breed a dog?

Many people choose to breed their dogs, either to have puppies to sell as a breeder or simply because they want more puppies to look after. However, there are certain ages that are preferable for breeding dogs (whether male or female) which should be adhered to, in order to prevent any unnecessary health conditions from occurring.

At what age can a female dog become pregnant?

Technically, a female dog will usually be able to get pregnant around 6 months into its lifespan. However, whilst they may be able to get pregnant at this age, it's recommended that breeders wait a little longer before attempting to get their dog pregnant as they ought to be fully grown first. It's recommended that you wait at least 18 months before breeding your female dog.

Should you breed your dog at a young age?

As previously stated, most breeders recommend waiting until your dog is at least 18 months old before breeding them. Puppies may be able to get pregnant at 6 months, but they usually aren't sexually mature until much later on and may be too small to safely get pregnant. Their puppies may be smaller and there is a higher risk of other complications occurring, such as stillbirths and other health issues. Bitches should have had between 2 and 4 heat cycles before attempting pregnancy.

Whilst the health risks are lower for breeding male dogs as puppies, they should not be used as a stud until they are at least two years old and grown to full size. Some dogs have genetic problems which may not show until they are 2, so it's worth waiting to check this first.

Should you breed senior dogs?

Whilst canine fertility doesn't disappear with age, older dogs may face more issues with breeding. Health naturally declines when dogs become seniors, meaning there is more of a risk of issues happening during pregnancy/birth. Older male dogs may struggle to mount and breed - many dogs develop things such as arthritis when they get older, which can make this painful. Female dogs may have smaller litters at an older age, and the risk of health complications to both puppies and bitch are elevated when they are seniors. Official recommendations are that female dogs shouldn't be bred after the age of 8, with the limit for male dogs being 12 years.

Canine fertility is a tricky issue, especially with knowing when to breed your dog. Responsible breeding and the health of your dog should be the most important thing - contact BreederTec today for more advice.

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