Many people are interested in breeding their dogs for a variety of reasons. Of course, it’s natural to want to have an offspring of your dog. However, breeding dogs cannot be done with limited knowledge. This is actually a topic that needs to be understood before you go forward.
One of the most important questions is, when can dogs start breeding? It is important to note that dogs must only be bred once they have reached full sexual maturity. This is essential for both the male and female dog. There are a number of other factors to take into account as well. We will go into more detail in this article.
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Breed and Size of the Dog
A dog, whether male or female, must be fully sexually matured when you start breeding it. Now, you may be wondering how you could possibly be able to tell. Generally, dogs mature completely when they are a little less than one-year-old.
Furthermore, the breed of the dog also has a part in determining when they have matured sexually.
As a rule of thumb, smaller breeds usually mature earlier than larger breeds do. In fact, many smaller breeds can start mating at 6 months old. However, larger breeds should generally mate when they have reached at least 18 months.
The Sex of the Dog
Another factor to keep in mind the sex of your dog. If it’s a male dog, the age of 6-12 months is usually okay to start breeding.
Whereas, females sexually mature later and should be bred after they are 18 months old. Plus, the female dogs’ fertile age requires some more insight. This is because they lose their fertility after a certain age. But if you breed a female dog too early, she may get weak and suffer from health complications.
These are simply estimated figures, so responsible breeders use some more knowledge before they go ahead and breed their dogs.
The Health of the Dog
The breeding time and fertility of a dog also depend on its health. Sometimes, your dog may be suffering from an infection. An infection in the reproductive tract, or a sexually transmitted disease, are both possible scenarios that can deter their ability to successfully mate and breed.
Other possible health complications that directly impact fertility could be a tumor in the ovary of the female or the testes of a male. Furthermore, treatments can also sometimes make your dog infertile.
Thus, it is important to keep a check on your dogs health and take it to the vet for regular checkups.
Yet, the reasons could even be unknown. Sometimes other factors like weight, genetic makeup, diet, or an unknown health condition could also cause infertility.
When is too early to breed your dog?
t is crucial for breeders to not be too impatient when it comes to breeding. It is always better to wait for safer mating and healthier outcomes.
Some male dogs are ready for breeding as early as 5 months old. Whereas other dogs may take up to 2 years to be ready.
The more complicated biological process is that of the female dog. And as she is the one responsible for giving birth, you need to pay close attention to when you breed her.
Female dogs generally mature by the time they are 9-10 months old. As mentioned earlier, smaller breeds can sexually mature even earlier. The female dogs’ sexual maturity is determined when she first goes into heat. Hence, the readiness of her body to reproduce as well as her fertility are both dependent on her heat cycle.
But, this does not mean your female dog is ready for mating when she goes into heat for the first time. Keep in mind, this can happen as early as when she is 4 months old. For bigger breeds, it could naturally take her at least 2 years.
Regardless, her first heat cycle is usually ignored by responsible and knowledgeable breeders. It does not allow for a successful reproduction mostly. The common practice is to breed a female dog on her second or even third heat cycle.
How often do female dogs go into heat and what are the signs?
Usually, female dogs go into heat twice a year, and it varies from dog to dog. You will be able to tell that the dog is in heat, if you look for some indications.
One physical sign is vulvar swelling. Another more important indication is vaginal bleeding, which could be heavy or minimal. Once the heat period has started, the female dog will become receptive after around 7-10 days. One way to tell that she is in her receptive period is that the discharge will change from being thick and bloody, to thin and watery.
We hope this guide was informational and helpful for you to understand when dogs can breed. Remember to keep your dogs’ health and safety first and always get the required knowledge before you go ahead.