Figuring out when to breed a dog is a little trickier for females than males, and takes a bit of preparation. The average age that a female first goes into heat is around one year old, but the first heat can occur as early as six months or as late as eighteen months. The average pregnancy for dogs lasts about 65 days.
- Dogs can be bred at any time of year when they're in heat. The average fertile period of a female heat cycle is nine days. Male dogs don't have a heat cycle; they can breed at any time.
- The ideal time for a dog to have her first litter of puppies is around two years old. This is when she is mentally and physically ready to breed. Male dogs should also be about two before breeding, as this is when they are likely to get any certifications needed.
- Although female dogs can go into heat and have litters one to four times a year, it's not a good idea to breed dogs this frequently. Every other year is a better spacing for litters. Breeding your dog more often than that can lead to weaker puppies and is hard on the mom, as well. Male dogs can mate much more frequently, the only problem might be a decrease in sperm production from breeding too many days in a row.
When planning to breed your dog, you should make sure all of her shots and vaccinations are up to date beforehand. You should also be diligent about making sure she has her medications, if she requires any. Pregnant dogs eat much more food, so be prepared. Make sure to keep a pregnant dog as healthy as possible for the safety and happiness of the dog and her puppies.