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Dog Breeding Articles by Pepperarden Cockers

When to breed from your dog
Added on 24/07/2008 at 21:21:21

Minimum Age
The Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999 states a bitch must be 1 year old at the time of mating which in my opinion and that of many, a year old bitch is still not fully grown and breeding at this age is best not wilfully practised. We have never bred from a bitch that is under two years old which gives the bitch plenty of time to grow and mature.

Breeding with male dogs is not restricted by age due to there being no physical stain and sires can produce litters from quite a young age but again waiting until the dog is at least a year old is a good idea. A young inexperienced dog may have more tendency to play than mate which can be frustrating for a breeder and itís unfair to expect anything else.

Maximum Age
It is not against the law to intentionally breed from a bitch over 8 years old but the Kennel Club will not register a litter that is produced by a bitch over 8 years old at the time of whelping unless the bitch has;
a) Had at least one previous registered litter.
b) Written consent has been applied for and given by the Kennel Club
c) Veterinary approval of the bitch to be bred from has been given.

Furthermore for ongoing breeding the kennel club will only register 6 litters from one bitch and The Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999 states a bitch must only have 1 litter in a 12 month period.

Worming A Pregnant Bitch
Added on 02/08/2008 at 20:43:18

It is important to worm a pregnant bitch especially for roundworm as they can be passed directly to the pups during gestation. Tapeworms and Roundworms are usually treated for when worming under normal circumstances and Drontal Plus can be used safely with pregnant bitches simply taking care to make sure the dosage is correct (slightly less will be OK but not over dosage) Just make sure you read the usage information that comes in the packaging.

Personally I use the Panacur liquid which needs giving to the bitch (in her food is easiest) from around day forty of her gestation until 2 days after whelping. Panacur can also be used for worming the pups when the time comes (after weaning) at 2-3 weeks, 5 weeks and 7 weeks old.

The links Iíve added will take you directly to the Petmeds website page for the Panacur treatment you need.

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.

Things to look for in a stud dog
Added on 22/08/2008 at 18:55:18

Most important when choosing a stud dog for your bitch is the lineage to ensure you don't inbreed as this can be very risky and is not in the best interest of the line or breed.

This maybe disagreed with by some show breeders but it has been proven that such inbreeding can be responsible for genetic health problems.

It is also important to choose a stud dog that will complement your own and perhaps even fix any deviations from breed standard. Personally if your dog is the right size for the breed i would avoid breeding with a substantially bigger dog.

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.

Thinking of using your dog for stud
Added on 19/11/2008 at 03:10:38

We often hear from owners who have used our stud dogs or purchased puppies from us that the help and advice we provided pre-mating, during gestation, homing the pups or during the early stages of rearing a pup was fundamental in making their breeding/owning experience smooth and worry free.
For an inexperienced breeder, having someone at the end of the phone to aid and advise is not only important for their peace of mind but for the welfare of the dog in question and the continued health of any particular breed.

The questions you ask are relevant but not as essential as say; why do you want to breed from your dog? and do you have the experience and knowledge to aid an owner with the bitch sired throughout gestation and whelping should they need it? Do you know what happens during normal mating and what can go wrong?

Finding out the information you ask for is relatively simple by spending some time reading corresponding articles on sites such as the kennel club. Rather than giving the answers here and with the assumption you have not bred before i would encourage you to read such articles as they will present other considerations and a broader view on the subject.

You are already on the right track by asking questions and not just going ahead with it so feed yourself with as much knowledge as you can.

breeding age
Added on 19/11/2008 at 03:36:37

Please see the post at the top of this page for the answer to the above question

Considerations before studding your dog
Added on 19/11/2008 at 04:02:02

Please see "Thinking of using your dog for stud" above to answer your question.

Late Kennel Club registration of a dog
Added on 19/11/2008 at 04:15:28

At a guess here the document you have is the one given to you by the breeder of your dog when you purchased him?

If that's the case its not too late as all you will be doing is registering a change of ownership. Currently the dog will still be registered in the breeder's name from when he/she/they registered the litter. The document will need to be signed by the breeder to register change of ownership but its likely that would have been done when they gave you the papers.

There is no rule or law to say your dog has to be KC registered to use as a stud but no responsible breeder would use a dog with no idea of family history as you have no idea how closely related they are which could result in inbreeding and health problems.

You will need to check that there are no breeding restrictions imposed on the dog before you use him for stud and this will be on your documentation.

Healthy Diet
Added on 05/12/2008 at 14:26:46

I would almost certainly say her hunger will be due to the low protein food. Protein is far more filling as it takes longer to digest than carbohydrates and low protein foods. Low protein food usually is used for older dogs or less active dogs to help maintain a healthy weight and feeding yours this food will not calm her down and if it did it would because she was weak from lack of nutrition. A dogs diet should only be adjusted for health reasons or to maintain a healthy weight.

We have Working Cocker spaniels which are incredibly hyper active but 2hrs walking off the lead a day keeps them exercised enough to be calm and restful in the home but still will get excited and hyper again if the wellies go on or the gun comes out.

The best way to help calm her down is by giving her more exercise than she is already getting. I'm not saying you don't regularly exercise her enough under normal circumstances she just may need more than other GSDs.