Responsible Breeding Part Two

Hey dog lovers, today I will be continuing the breeding series as it is an upcoming thing to do and I want all dogs used to be treated fairly.


After all necessary health checks, genetic screenings, and selected the perfect mate for your female. 

It is an excellent idea to work out a contract with the owner of the stud dog before breeding takes place. The agreement concerning stud fees should be in writing and clearly state all obligations and circumstances. The contract should be signed by all parties to the transaction, and each signer should receive a copy.

The stud fee is set by the stud dog’s owner. The mode of payment may differ. The stud owner may request a cash fee, “pick of the litter,” one or more puppies from the resulting litter, etc. The collection of the stud fee is the stud owner’s responsibility. The contract may state that the owner of the sire is not obligated to sign an AKC litter registration application until the stud fee has been paid. Keep in mind that the AKC cannot settle disputes between individuals in regards to contracts and breeding arrangements.



Both parents need long-term care; regular veterinary care, screening for genetic problems, pre-breeding tests, and regular exercise and good nutrition..

The age at which dogs reach sexual maturity depends to a large extent on their breed. Small breeds tend to mature faster than large breeds. On average, however, males become fertile after six months of age and reach full sexual maturity by 12 to 15 months. Healthy stud dogs may remain sexually active and fertile to old age. Adult males are able to mate at any time. 

The females cycle is divided into four periods.

  • Proestrus: The female attracts males, has a bloody vaginal discharge, and her vulva is swollen. Proestrus lasts approximately nine days; the female, however, will not allow breeding at this time.
  • Estrus: This period lasts approximately nine days, the female will accept the male and is fertile. Ovulation usually occurs in the first 48 hours; however, this can vary greatly.
  • Diestrus: Lasting 60 to 90 days, diestrus is the period when the reproductive tract is under the control of the hormone progesterone. 
  • Anestrus: No sexual activity takes place. Anestrus lasts between three and four months.


Responsible breeders generally do not breed a female at the first heat to avoid imposing the stress of pregnancy and lactation on a young, growing animal.

During breeding, the male mounts the female from the rear and clasps her midsection with his front legs. Rapid pelvic thrusts follow until penetration and ejaculation take place. 


Artificial insemination is a relatively simple procedure that can be used when natural breeding is impractical. The AKC accepts registration of a litter mated by artificial insemination using fresh semen, fresh extended semen, and frozen semen, provided the proper procedures are followed. Registration of these litters requires DNA certification


Canine gestation lasts approximately 63 days. Signs of pregnancy include an increase in appetite, weight, and nipple size. However, a bitch with false pregnancy may also show these signs. A veterinarian can usually confirm a pregnancy through abdominal palpitation at 28 days or by using ultrasound or X-rays.


A female in good condition should continue into pregnancy with the same caloric intake that she had during adult maintenance. Her food intake should be increased only as her body weight increases, beginning about the last five weeks before whelping. Daily food intake should be increased gradually, so that at the time of whelping she may be eating 35 to 50 percent more than usual. 


An ideal whelping environment is warm, dry, quiet, draft-free, and away from all other dogs when possible. Confinement and whelping location of your bitch is relative to her breed and size. A good whelping box is roomy and has low sides so you can easily reach in. Flooring should have grip for puppies.


Suggested Whelping Supplies:

  • Item
  • Usage
  • Newspaper
  • Bedding for female and puppies; line whelping box before, during, and after whelping
  • Bath Mats
  • Bedding for bitch and puppies after whelping
  • Clean Towels
  • Clean puppies during whelping
  • Paper Towels
  • Clean up the whelping area
  • Thermostat
  • Check bitch’s temperature prior to whelping
  • Un-waxed dental floss
  • Tying puppies’ umbilical cords
  • Heating Pad
  • Keep puppies warm. 
  • Scissors
  • Cut puppies’ umbilical cords or the placenta
  • Iodine
  • After umbilical cord is cut 


A few days before the female is ready to give birth, she may stop eating and start building a “nest” where she plans to have her puppies — if introduced properly, this should be in the whelping box you have prepared for her.

Approximately 24 hours after her temperature drops, she can be expected to enter the first stage of labor when the cervix dilates and opens the birth canal for the passage of puppies. At this time, she will pant, strain, and appear restless. This stage of labor is followed by actual abdominal straining and production of the puppies and placentas.

“Hounds follow those who feed them.”
Otto von Bismarck

Check out next weeks post on Part three of breeding.


As we approach the fall season remember to check out Scarves for Paws to get your scarf to help sheltered dogs.


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