Breeding dogs is a serious commitment which requires knowledge about genetics and health concerns and should not be entered into lightly. If you would like to breed your dog, whether it be male or female and do not have a lot of experience in the field, it is always best to enlist the help of a trained and reputable breeder who will help you through the process from mating to whelping (birthing).
Female dogs or bitches, can mate twice a year during their heat or estus cycle. The female dog swells and sheds blood much like a menstrual period for 5-15 days, after which she will accept a male. If breeding your female dog it is essential to keep track of dates and characteristics of your dog's cycle so you will know when she is ready to mate. When choosing a stud for your female dog to mate with, keep the breed standards in mind and it's ideal features. Breed standards include such characteristics as coat, color, size, temperament and are recognized by the American Kennel Club.
Once two dogs are chosen to partner, a breeder will guide them through the mating process, providing opportunity and assistance if necessary. Ideally, multiple matings should take place to increase the chance of insemination. However, dogs should not mate too many times in one day to prevent exhaustion. If your female dog is having trouble conceiving, consult a veterinarian who may refer her to a canine fertility specialist who could attempt to diagnosis the problem and perhaps correct it. If natural conception is not possible, artificial insemination for canines is now a viable option but also an expensive undertaking which does not guarantee a successful outcome.
After a successful mating, a female dog's gestation period is 9 weeks and a successful litter can contain anywhere from 2-8 puppies. Dog breeding is a serious medical task which can result in the death of a puppy or even the mother if proper precautions are not taken and certain knowledge not possessed. In addition to these concerns, please be sure each puppy has a good home for it to go to before mating your dog. Homeless dogs and cats are a serious problem in this country which results in thousands of needless deaths.
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