Puppies are cute. From their snuggly puppy smell to their wobbly walk, they’re a bundle of joy. But many have labeled the last year as the pandemic puppy boom. Every man and their dog, literally, are breeding. It’s truly puppy heaven.
But, is this a good thing? People are beginning to question the obsession with dog breeding and the intentions behind it. What are the things you should be doing if you are interested in breeding your dog? And, when do dogs go into heat and can start carrying puppies? What questions should you be asking a dog breeder if you’re thinking of buying a puppy? The answer to all those questions is below, so take five minutes to have a read and make your own decision about dog breeding.
When Do Dogs Go into Heat?
Heat is like the dog version of being highly fertile. Bitches, female dogs, go into heat every six to eight months, and each heat lasts for around three weeks. Dog owners arm themselves with puppy pads and prepare for phantom pregnancies.
Heat is a crucial factor to consider when shopping around for a new puppy because the mom shouldn’t be used for breeding on her first heat. A bitch will come into heat anywhere between six months to 24 months of age, in extreme cases. But, most female dogs come into heat at around 12 months old, on average, which is still a young age.
Dogs continue to grow and develop until around 18 months old. Experts recommend that breeding is safe to commence after 12 months and after one season has completed. Any earlier than that and the bitches’ body may not be mature enough to cope with the pregnancy.
What Happens If a Dog Is Bread to Early?
There are so many things that can go wrong if a dog is bred too early. The first thing to consider is the health of the puppies and whether they would survive the pregnancy. As mentioned above, the dog’s body may not be developed enough to cope with the stress and the pressure of pregnancy.
Much like it is for humans, pregnancy is completely draining for a dog. Their body is working to support multiple unborn puppies. If the puppies do survive the pregnancy, they may have complications because of it. From traumatic births to underweight puppies with health complications, there are a lot of things that go wrong.
A bitch will then have to contend with knowing what to do. If a dog falls pregnant early, it may not have the natural mother instincts that older dogs develop. Therefore, breeders may find themselves hand-rearing the puppies.
What’s The Obsession with Dog Breeding?
Why is everyone dipping their toes into the dog breeding waters? Money. There’s no other way of saying it. Breeders are not doing it because they want to see people add a fluffy puppy to their family. They’re not doing it because they want their dog to experience pregnancy.
Dogs are not like humans. They would happily go their whole lives without knowing what pregnancy is like. Over the last 12 months, there has been a big pandemic puppy boom, with millions of people around the world breeding their dogs for money. And, it is easy money. For the stud, one mating session can make hundreds of dollars. For the bitch, one pregnancy can make thousands of dollars. It’s easy to see why people are interested.
Although there many negatives to breeding a bitch too early, there are positives if it is done right. A responsible breeder should first learn about any inherited health conditions. If their dog, or the dog they’re planning to mate with, has any inherited health conditions at all, they shouldn’t breed. It is not safe or responsible. They should also take their time to learn about dog pregnancies and how to care for a pregnant dog.
From reduced exercise to specific diets, a female dog needs just as much support and care as a human would. They should also learn how to care for puppies and what to do during the birthing process. From knowing what to do if a puppy is stuck to understanding what to do if the mom doesn’t stimulate the puppy, a breeder needs to be highly educated to ensure the safety of both the mom and the pups.
Questions You Should Be Asking
If you’re on the hunt for a puppy and want the perfect addition to your family, there are some questions you need to ask. The first is about the medical history of both the bitch and the stud. You might also like to ask what their temperament is like. Although a dog’s temperament is often not inherited, it’s nice to know.
You also need to know the age of the mother and whether they’ve had their first season or if they have had any puppies previously. Those are the three key questions you should be asking. It’s then good to get an idea of the environment and the lifestyle that the bitch has. Are they in a comfortable home, or are they kenneled outside? If kenneled, has this always been the way, and is it a comfortable kennel?
You can ask for pictures and videos to confirm. A top tip is to ask for a video rather than a picture. A picture can be copied and pasted from the internet, but a video is harder to falsify.
Finding The Perfect Puppy
Take your time to find your perfect puppy and ask the right questions. Because there is such a puppy boom at the moment, you won’t be short of options. Don’t go for the first puppy that you see. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
You will know when you have found a reputable breeder because they will have all the information regarding medical history and family bloodline ready to give you. You may also like to consider rescuing a puppy. Although they are few and far between because they are always the first to get snapped up at shelters, there are some puppies out there desperate for a family to call their own.
Now you know why people are obsessed with puppy breeding and what to look out for if you are on the hunt for your pup. A puppy will bring you endless happiness and joy; just make sure it’s the right puppy for you.