Dog breeding probably began shortly after the domestication of the dog, somewhere between 10,000 and 35,000 years ago. Man first made use of dogs for hunting and killing other animals before he domesticated them, and having realized their usefulness, he no doubt began to breed them selectively from the best stock. An instinct may be strengthened or weakened by selective breeding and as time went on this shaped dogs for particular tasks, including guarding, rescuing, sledge-pulling, firearm hunting, or simple human companionship. Today, most pedigree dogs are bred to Kennel Club rather than working standards. Breeding your own dog can be a very rewarding experience, but should not be undertaken lightly; many breeds have inherited problems and it is wrong to embark on breeding pedigree dogs without an understanding of these. If you set out to breed for financial profit, it is unlikely that you’ll succeed. Veterinary bills, feeding bills and the sheer amount of time and commitment involved should all be taken into consideration.
Breeding should not be undertaken without the advice of an expert. Most pets should be neutered.
- Wait until the bitch is fully mature, usually after she has reached twelve months of age.
- Arrange booster vaccinations for your bitch before she is due to conceive and worm her a week before mating.
- If your bitch has mated too soon, or with the wrong male, she can be injected within 24-48 hours after mating to prevent conception.
Pregnancy lasts about 63 days in a bitch, and like the expectant human mother, your dog will need careful feeding and monitoring. Make sure that a well-balanced diet is provided. Smaller, more frequent meals are needed during late pregnancy. Regular, short periods of exercise should be encouraged. Your vet will give you all the advice you need.
- You should contact the vet, as well as the breeder of your own dog, for help in finding a suitable mating partner.
- Make sure that the prospective parents are registered with the Kennel Club if planning to produce pedigree pups.
- If using a stud dog, ensure that it is experienced enough for the bitch (an expert will give you advice on this).
- Read up on your breed and familiarize yourself with any difficulties likely to occur. Is there a history of whelping problems in the breed, for example?
- Inherited problems can be very complex, so it is essential that you seek expert advice. Medical problems can occur when two carriers of genetic diseases breed, and only an expert can assess and prevent potential problems.