We recommend a responsible breeding program in the dog.
Puberty in dogs usually occurs at nine months of age with a range of 6 to 18 months. At about this age male dogs will start cocking their legs and bitches have their first season.
A bitch’s season lasts for about three weeks with bleeding from the vulva, reducing during the final week of the season. Conception is most likely to occur between the 9th to the 14th day into the season. A season usually occurs every six months throughout the dog’s life.
If you want to use your dog or bitch for breeding, he or she should be assessed for general health, temperament and screened for common inherited defects peculiar to that breed. Responsible breeding should encompass a careful selection of breeding stock to eliminate genetic problems and provide the puppies with a favourable environment. These should be the goals for breeders rather than financial gain. Bitches are not usually mated until their third season. Pregnancy lasts for about 63 days (+/- 5 days). An ultrasound scan will confirm pregnancy at three weeks. Litter size varies enormously with breed from 1 to 2 puppies in some breeds to 10 to 12 in others.
It is important to be fully informed about worming and diet in the pregnant bitch and about what to expect when she gives birth or whelps. We can be contacted 24 hours a day if you have any concerns or require advice.
We can provide an advisory leaflet on ‘The Responsible Breeding of the Bitch’ with further information on the subject. Speak to your vet.