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Is the bitch ready for mating

j c from Fife asked...

my bitch had a litter of 5 in feb this year, she is a gsd, when should i think about another litter from her. She is very fit and healthy.

How often should you breed from a bitch?
Added on 18/08/2008 at 19:07:27

The frequency of a dogs season can vary from 6 month intervals to 2 years or more and in some cases only one season can occur in a dog's lifetime.
The alpha female and male in a pack of wild wolves would breed every season throughout their lifetime and is critical to the survival of their pack however in the domestic dog this is not necessary and considered bad breeding practise when a season interval is less than twelve months.

We personally have always let a season pass without mating regardless of the interval duration and in some cases if a birth has been difficult (anything other than natural) we have bred only once from that bitch. This does not mean more frequent breeding is morally unethical just our preferred method.

Rules set out by the Kennel Club are set to stop 'over-breeding' of KC registered dogs and if such rules are not met the progeny will not be accepted for registration.

The following are conditions that must be met for acceptance or a litter's registration with the Kennel Club;

A bitch must be over 12 months old at the time of mating and under 8 years of age at the time of whelping.
A bitch must not have more than one litter in any 12 month period.
A bitch must not have previously had more than 5 litters (6 litter registrations being the maximum)

There are exceptions with the maximum age for breeding under certain circumstances. If a bitch has had at least one KC registered litter and with written consent from the Kennel Club a bitch over 8 may have the litter accepted for registration. This would usually be granted where a bitch is considered to excellent breeding stock most likely a champion.

j s from Nottinghamshire asked...

Can you tell me at what time during her season is it best to mate a bitch. I wish to put my dog to stud and there seems to be differant idea's regarding the best time for the bitch to be ready.

How to tell when a bitch is ready for mating
Added on 13/09/2008 at 18:34:22

As you stated in your question there are differing opinions on when a bitch is ready for mating and this is largely down to what experiences a breeder has had with their own dogs.

If i had not researched this and was giving an answer to my experience with all my dogs over the years i would say to you a bitch is ready for mating on the 11th day after first showing colour through to the 14th as all my bitches have been successfully mated during this period.

I have read one article describing an instance when a bitch had shown signs of been ready on day 4 and was successfully mated! And at the other end an instance of a successful day 18 mating.

With this said there is no absolute certainty on what day from first showing colour a bitch will be ovulating so you need to look for the signs.

This is what we tell owners looking to use our stud to get their timing right and to date has been 100% successful;

-From day 1 of first showing colour, follow the bitch outside every morning and after relieving herself use a white tissue or similar and dab her vulva and note the colour. When she begins ovulating the colour will become clear or light brownish red in colour.

-Also at this point when the colour changes the discharge will smell a bit like rotting meat (nasty but that's what attracts the dog) if you are brave enough to have a sniff!

-The most prominent sign a bitch is ready is positive tail movement and standing when a hand is rubbed along her back over her hind quarters, the tail will move to the side and up-over however some dog especially maidens may not show much movement. If at all possible this is best shown if you can put you bitch on a lead in the company of any dog she may show signs of standing and tail movement.
In our experience a bitch will not stand if she is not ready and above all other signs this is your best answer to 'is the bitch ready?' as this nature at work.

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