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Thread: Breeding - What Age?

  1. #1
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    Question Breeding - What Age?

    I have female miniature Harlequin Poodle named Lilly and she turns one this year in August. I know that getting a dog desexed is probably the safest option, however i feel as though our pet, as a family member, like us should have the right to have a litter of pups. Not just because she has the right, but because we love her so much and want something to remember her by when she passes away. We will be getting her desexed after her litter, but i would LOVE to learn so that we can do this the safest way possible. Please help me by answering some of my questions:
    -What is a good age to let her breed?
    -What breeds are compatible for her
    -How often do dogs go on heat, and how long for?
    -How do i keep and what procedures do i need to keep the pups and mother healthy?

    Thanks, Caitlin

  2. #2
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    Good on you for doing your research before you make any decisions. Most people breed without considering the dog or what they are contributing to society, so it's nice to see something different!

    First, let me tell you that dogs don't "need" to have a litter. She will be none the wiser if she is desexed without having a litter. The right to have progeny is humanising dogs to make us feel better, but in truth they will not miss their boy/girl parts.

    Breeding is a serious undertaking and you should make sure your dog qualifies. Is she purebred and papered? Health-tested? Harlequin/parti is a breed fault in poodles, the same way blue is in a Staffordshire Terrier. Was the breeder you purchased her from reputable? Did they show her?

    If you are intending to have her as a pet only, and you don't have plans to show her or gain titles, I would advise against breeding.

    Now to answer the questions:

    Between 1 and 3 is the optimal breeding age. Any older than that and the risks increase significantly. Whelping is not a walk in the park; it can be costly if your dog needs a caesarian or she has complications. I can't tell you how many people I know who have had to rush their bitch to the vet in the middle of the night during whelping only to either lose half of the pups or rack up serious fees, or even both. Especially in a small dog like a miniature poodle, you are looking at rather serious risks and only a small number of pups being born anyway.

    You should never breed your dog with a different breed. This is called backyard breeding or deliberate crossbreeding. Take a look at your local pound. Most of those dogs come from crossbred litters, and are dumped because the end result is not what the puppy's owner was expecting. You don't know what you are getting when you mix breeds, and there is no way to health test them, either. Stick to your girl's breed.

    They come into heat approx. once every six to eight months, and they usually last 3 weeks or so.

    There are others who can answer the last question better than me, but I hope this helps some.


    like a rolling thunder chasing the wind...

  3. #3
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    (dog) should have the right to have a litter of pups.
    Not just because she has the right, but because we love her so much and want something to remember her by when she passes away.
    Does your dog have the right not to have a litter of pups?
    Do you understand that some bitches die having pups? Is it worth the risk of that plus all the extra health complications that can arise?
    A puppy is a live animal not a memento. If you want something to remember your dog after you've gone, a website and a photo book would be better options - in my opinion - than puppies.
    What are you going to do with the other puppies? There's usually a lot more than one.

    http://www.dogforum.com.au/general-d...you-breed.html

    If you still want to go ahead, you should ask your questions to your vet and the breeder you got your dog from.
    What is a responsible companion animal breeder? - RSPCA Australia knowledgebase
    You need to see a vet to get your dog and any potential mate health checked and compatibility tested (ie no nasty genetic combinations)
    5. Will be aware of any known inherited disorders for their particular breed and take active steps to reduce the incidence of that disorder in future offspring - the breeder screens breeding animals using available tests and avoids mating animals that are likely to produce sick offspring. They also avoid mating closely related animals.

  4. #4
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    As others have said a bitch does not need to have a litter particularly with the various risks involved.

    If you go ahead I think most breeders wait untill they are 2 years old. Poodles suffer from various inherited genetic diseases and you need to make sure neither she or the mate you choose are carriers of the genes that causes disorders like PRA which will cause a percentage of the pups to go blind. Poodles also can have hip dysplasia so you need to get your dog and the chosen mate xrayed and hip scored.

    You need to have some understanding of temperament of the male and also the conformation of both dogs. As someone said pups are not a momento and if you bring them into the world you need to make sure each has a loving home, they are free of inherited diseases and that you make sure you are willing to take them back if there is ever a problem down the track.

    I love my dogs too and I do them a favour and spare them from breeding and the pups from ending up who knows where. You say you know sterilising is the safest option - go with this thought if you love your dog. Be sure you arent tempted to breed for your own selfish reasons.

    Just think carefully about what you are doing and be prepared to do it with an open cheque book so everyone is healthy and safe and free from the risk of future problems.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 06-19-2011 at 11:36 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by billby_31 View Post
    I have female miniature Harlequin Poodle named Lilly and she turns one this year in August. I know that getting a dog desexed is probably the safest option, however i feel as though our pet, as a family member, like us should have the right to have a litter of pups. Not just because she has the right, but because we love her so much and want something to remember her by when she passes away. We will be getting her desexed after her litter, but i would LOVE to learn so that we can do this the safest way possible. Please help me by answering some of my questions:
    -What is a good age to let her breed?
    -What breeds are compatible for her
    -How often do dogs go on heat, and how long for?
    -How do i keep and what procedures do i need to keep the pups and mother healthy?

    Thanks, Caitlin
    If you know this (re: bolded bit) why ask any further questions?

    Your reasons for breeding are purely selfish. You want to breed with her so you have something to remember her by when she passes away?? That simply has to be the worst reason I have ever heard. She may not die till she is 15 years old or more and she is only 1 now. Her pups, if she has any could all be dead long before she does.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty;
    An optimist sees the glass as half full;
    A realist just finishes the damn thing and refills it.

  6. #6

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    I have to agree with Anne, you are doing it for selfish reasons only.

    We all would love our dogs to live longer than they do, but making them have puppies is not the way to go about it.

    My heart dog Brody is my everything. He is my living shadow, if anything were to happen to me I think he would need to be put to sleep, he would not cope living away from me.
    Now despite the great bond we have together and my desire to have another dog like him when he eventually passes, he is desexed.

    And that is a MALE, with no health risks involved in breeding.

    He is desexed mostly because he is too big.
    He is a Miniature Poodle, over 15 inches tall and ALL bone. Poodles are supposed to be elegant and refined, I would not feel comfortable breeding him and creating more heavy boned dogs when that is not truly what a Poodle should look like.

    I know I always look from a conformation point of view but I believe it is very important when dealing with purebreds... just a few generations of ignoring breed standards and poodles will no longer look like the poodles we know and love today.

    Being a harlequin color in Australia I can already tell you that your dog was most likely not bred to the breed standard.
    Breeders who breed these multi-colored poodles usually only do so because they sell easily because of their color, not because they fit the standard.

    You also have to remember that you have to breed your dog with ANOTHER dog... who is to say all of the puppies will not take after the other dog and not yours?
    It's a big gamble.

    Anyway, to answer your question... not before 2 years.

    You cannot have accurate hip and elbow scored done until 2 years of age.

    PRA testing however can be done at any time. PRA is Progressive Retinal Atrophy and is rampant in poodles and 100% testable. It causes the dog to go blind in the later stages of life (usually around age 4-5). Many people breed poodles without testing for this disease as the dogs are healthy and have sight at the time of mating, but infact they are ticking time bombs of genetic disease.

    Epilepsy, incontinence and bad temperaments (mostly being timid) are also becoming an increasing problem in the breed which is something you would have to look back at over multiple generations ot make sure it is not carried in the line as you cannot test to see if the dog carries the gene (yet).
    Last edited by Crested_Love; 06-20-2011 at 02:59 PM.

  7. #7
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    undesexed male dogs might not have any complications from birthing puppies but they do have health risks associated with keeping their testicles like cancer etc.

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