There are various critical aspects to consider while breeding dogs, from preparation for breeding and mating through delivery and post-breeding care of the pups. It is critical to have a strategy in place and to follow best practices for each step of the breeding journey in order to assist protect the health and well-being of the dogs and pups.
To assist with this, we’ve created a few checklists for each step of the breeding process. These checklists may serve as a guideline to keep you organized and on top of the many duties involved in dog breeding. They address vital topics including health clearances, genetic testing, vaccines, record keeping, and basic puppy care.
It is crucial to emphasize, however, that these checklists are not a replacement for expert counsel and assistance. It’s always a good idea to talk with your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns, particularly about the health of your dogs and pups. Your veterinarian will have the most up-to-date and accurate information and can assist you in making educated choices regarding breeding and caring for your dogs.
- Health clearances
Prior to mating, both the male and female dogs should get health clearances for hereditary illnesses particular to their breed. Tests for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, heart problems, and other genetic illnesses may be included. By doing these tests, you can verify that the pups are not susceptible to certain illnesses.
- Genetic testing
Genetic testing may assist in identifying any genetic abnormalities that may be passed down to the pups. This might involve genetic testing for illnesses, coat color or pattern, and other characteristics. You can make educated breeding choices and limit the danger of passing on hereditary disorders to the pups by undertaking genetic testing.
Before breeding, both the male and female canines should be of breeding age and physically and psychologically mature. Before reproducing, female dogs should be at least two years old and have experienced at least one heat cycle, while males should be at least one year old. Breeding too soon or too late might put the dogs and pups at danger of health issues.
Both the male and female dogs’ temperaments should be evaluated to ensure they are fit for breeding. This involves assessing their temperament, friendliness, and trainability. Dogs with a scared or violent disposition should not be bred.
- Physical examination
A veterinarian should examine both male and female dogs to verify they are in excellent condition and suitable for breeding. Checking their weight, heart rate, temperature, and general physical state is part of this. It’s a good idea to have your veterinary surgeon do an ovulation test to establish the best time to mate your bitch, particularly if the male dog lives a long distance away.
- Avoid close inbreeding
The breeding of pups from two related canines is known as inbreeding. Inbreeding may have a negative impact on the health of these pups.
Both male and female dogs should have current vaccinations to protect themselves against avoidable infections. This includes distemper, parvovirus, and rabies immunizations.
- Record keeping
Detailed records of breeding, whelping, and any health concerns that develop throughout the breeding process are essential for monitoring the breeding program’s health and progress.
- Plan for the litter
Consider the amount of pups you intend to have before breeding, and have a plan in place for their care and placement. This entails locating the pups responsible and loving homes, as well as providing them with adequate care and socialization.
- Do market research
Investigate the breed’s market demand and the possible price of the pups. This will allow you to make more educated judgments regarding breeding and puppy pricing.
- Spay/neuter agreement
If you want to keep the pups as pets, you need have a spay/neuter agreement in place. This assures that the pups will not be utilized for breeding unless they have undergone thorough health and genetic screening.
- Preparing for delivery
It is important to establish a secure and pleasant environment for the female dog to give birth before the delivery. This may include a whelping box or other safe, secluded place. The whelping box should be spacious enough for the female to roam about in and furnished with comfortable bedding for the pups.
- Monitoring the female
Throughout the birth, keep a close eye on the female dog to verify that everything is going properly and to spot any possible difficulties. This involves documenting the number and length of contractions as well as the time between puppy births.
- Assisting with delivery
If required, help the mother dog deliver by clearing the pups’ airways and gently guiding them out of the birth canal. The amniotic sac is removed, and any fluid in the puppy’s airway is suctioned out.
- Puppy tracking
Keep track of the number of pups born and make certain that all puppies are delivered safely. This involves numbering the pups, noting their gender, and inspecting them for any abnormalities.
- Monitoring vital signs
Keep an eye on the pups’ vital signs, like as breathing and heart rate, to maintain their wellbeing. Puppies should be able to breathe on their own within a few seconds after birth and have a stable heart rate.
- Taking care of the pups
Provide good care for the pups, such as keeping them warm, feeding them, and cleaning them. This involves giving them a source of heat, such as a heating pad or light, and ensuring they have access to their mother’s milk.
- Monitoring the mother
Keep an eye on the mother’s health and make sure she’s healing well following the birth. This involves keeping an eye out for indications of bleeding, infection, or other problems.
- Keep records
Keep comprehensive notes of the birth, including the number of pups born, their gender, and their weight. These data will be essential in following the pups’ health and development.
- Veterinarian care
As required, provide veterinary treatment for the mother and pups, and ensure that both are up to date on vaccines and deworming. This involves arranging frequent veterinary check-ups and administering any required treatments.
- Puppy health check
Take the pups to a veterinarian for a comprehensive health check to ensure they are healthy and free of any genetic or congenital problems. This involves inspecting the pups for symptoms of disease or infection, as well as verifying that they are of a healthy weight and size.
Ensure that the pups’ vaccinations and deworming are up to date. This involves administering the pups’ initial round of immunizations and arranging follow-up vaccinations as indicated by the veterinarian.
- Socialization and Training
Provide adequate socialization and training to the pups to guarantee they grow up to be well-adjusted and well-behaved canines. This involves introducing the pups to new people, animals, and situations, as well as offering basic training like as obedience and toilet training.
Find responsible and loving homes for the pups, and give the new owners with necessary care instructions. This involves completing background checks on possible adopters and giving information about the breed as well as the traits, temperament, and health concerns of the pups.
Stay in contact with the new owners and provide any further assistance that is required. This involves addressing any questions or concerns the new owners may have, as well as offering guidance on puppy training and care.
- Spay/neuter agreement
Make sure the new owners understand and follow any spay/neuter agreements that were established when the pups were placed.
If applicable, register the pups with the relevant kennel club or organization. This is critical for future identification, breeding, and exhibiting of the pups.
Microchip the pups for identifying reasons. This is a permanent type of identification that may assist reconnect lost or stolen pups with their owners.