Canine Reproduction A female dog should be healthy before breeding and should not be bred until at least 2 years of age. At least one heat cycle should pass before breeding. It is recommended that the female and male dog should be free of parasites and properly vaccinated before breeding. If the dogs in question have hereditary traits that are undesirable, the dogs should not be bred because these bad traits will continue to be passed on. If the owner wishes to have their dog tested for Brucella Canis, it is advised not to wait to the last minute to do the test. It may take 1-2 weeks to get results back. The female dog reaches puberty at about 6-12 months of age. They usually have 2 cycles a year unless manipulated by overbreeding which is not recommended. This is very unhealthy for the dog and the puppies of this female.
The female will only accept the male during a period of 3-19 days. This period fluctuates between dogs. We find that the most common reason for a breeding to fail is inappropriate timing or not allowing the dogs to mate enough and limit their breeding to one try. Just because the female and the male “tie” does not mean that it is a successful breeding. If this was the case, having children would not be as difficult for some.
A normal pregnancy usually lasts an average of 58-63 days. Puppies can sometimes be palpated at approximately 25-30 days after breeding. After 45-48 days, an x-ray will reveal the skeletons of the puppies. During the pregnancy, any medications must be okayed by a veterinarian first for the health of the puppies. It is also important to know that the mother could be eating for herself as well as 1-15 other puppies depending on the breed. That is why it is important to feed a very good food that is well balanced. It is recommended to establish a doctor/patient relationship with a veterinarian before the breeding.