How old does my dog have to be before they can be bred? Please answer for both males and females.
Typically, males reach sexual maturity before females, meaning some males can sire a litter when they are six months old or less. Females take a little longer to mature. But the best answer to this question is to wait until both are fully mature so you can assess their physical traits and find the best mate to breed away from any faults. You should also wait for your dog to fully mature so that you can perform any necessary health checks on them to make sure that they won't pass on any heritable diseases or conditions.
Should all females be bred once?
No, this is a fallacy. A female dog does not need to be bred. And, if you don't plan on breeding your dog, early spaying can help reduce the occurrence of various forms of cancer.
Does breeding a female make her more docile?
No, breeding or raising puppies has no permanent effect on the female's temperament.
What do the terms line breeding, inbreeding, outcrossing mean?
The terms line breeding, inbreeding and outcrossing refer to different ways breeders plan breedings in order to produce quality puppies and breed out physical faults. For more information, please read the article "Planning a Breeding."
I have a male dog. How do I get people to breed their females to him?
This is a question many people have when they want to breed their males. Some people even call people up and ask them to breed their females to their dog because they have a nice dog. There are many factors that partake in the breeding process, so this is not a good choice in finding a lady mate for your stud. The best way to get your dog out there and recognized as a stud is advertisement. Knowledgeable people like to see health testing, titles, or even programs like the Performance Program or Incentive Fund. Make sure to list his health testing, show information, hunt information, pictures, pedigrees, programs, or any sort of information one would need or want in preparing breeding information. Basic places to advertise would be the UKC Breeder's List, newspapers, one of the three UKC publications and the UKC free classified section of the message boards. Some people even post articles at their local pet store.
Is it OK to do a brother/sister breeding?
It is generally not a good idea. A brother/sister breeding is considered inbreeding. While it can be used in some cases to solidify certain traits in the puppies, it also can reinforce faults that can be very hard to eliminate for generations.
When is a female too old to be bred? Male?
The watchword in this instance is condition, meaning the physical condition of the female. If an older female still has regular seasons and is in excellent physical condition, she may be able to withstand the rigors of carrying a litter and nursing the puppies. It would be wise to get the opinion of your veterinarian before such an undertaking.
Males can sire a litter as senior citizens and don't have to worry about things like nursing puppies. However, before breeding to a senior dog it would be wise to get him tested by your vet and getting his opinion.