This is not an exact science and can vary from one
dog to another but following some procedures and guidelines will
give you a good idea when your bitch is ready to mate.
We also are now a member of a new dog breeding forum which we look at every day so please feel free to join yourself and ask any questions. Dog breeding forum
First and foremost your bitch should be in good shape, fit and carrying no extra weight. It is also important to have various health checks carried out before breeding. As a responsible breeder you do not want to continue a line that has hereditary diseases such as Hip Dysplasia and Progressive Retinal Atrophy.
If your bitch has had a couple of seasons you will be aware of her cycle and have a good idea when she should be due to come into season. Around this time you need to keep a close eye on her and write down the first day that she shows colour. There are several ways to check for bleeding - it can be done visually directly examining the vulva - you can use a tissue to lightly dab and look for colour (this is best done just after urinating) or in our case we place a light coloured cover on her bed and examine for marking each morning. Its a good idea to get into a routine with your chosen method a month to five weeks before you expect her to come into season to be sure to catch the first day.
By now you will hopefully have your stud dog chosen and its a good idea to let the owner know that at some point in the next 10 days you will be bringing your bitch along for mating. In our case it is important that you do contact us so we can keep Oscar free from mating any other dam to improve the chances of conception.
You should keep checking the colour daily as the bleeding will become heavier then start to fade after 9 or 10 days. When this happens you need to watch for her standing and moving her tail to the side as this shows she is preparing for a mount. This will be evident when touching her back above her hind legs and during any inspection of her vulva.
It is possible (but not common) for a bitch to be ready for mating as soon as six days into a season which can be confusing as the colouration process may be identical to that of a normal season with no clearing evident at that time but if she is standing and holding her tail to the side then its a good idea to take her to the stud straight away. At the end of the day if you bring your bitch to us and she wont stand she can always be brought back again the next day as its no trouble to us at all. To add a little more of our experience - our oldest bitch on her last season kept trying to encourage Oscar by turning and standing for him from the 5th day and continued to do so for two weeks! There's has been plenty of documented cases of bitches being caught as late as 17, 18 or even 19 days! As mentioned earlier this is not an exact science and mistakes can be made and mating times missed.
If your bitch is a maiden you also need to be aware that she may not show positive signs of being ready to mate i.e her tail may only move slightly to the side at the time when the colouration has cleared. If you are still unsure you can carry out an internal examination with a surgical gloved well lubricated little finger. Gently inserting your finger into her vagina and carefully feeling around. If the area feels loose and soft then she is ready if its tight then she may not be. It is possible for the area to be tight and the bitch showing positive tail turning which only happens mostly with maidens. If this is the case then do let us or your stud dog owner know as there are measures that can be taken to help the mating along.
When all said and done your bitch will be ready
when she is ready and if it means a few trips to the stud then so be
it. Its a small price to pay for the rewarding experience of
breeding a successful healthy litter.
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