Years ago, almost all dogs who were not going to be bred were spayed or neutered at an early age. For that reason, it was only breeders that had to deal with heat cycles and puppy panties. However, that has changed in recent years as many studies have proven that it may be better to allow your dog to fully mature before having her spayed. As a result we are frequently asked how to handle a dog's first heat. Here are some considerations and products to help you survive your girls first heat.
The short answer - Find a breeding mentor to guide you through the testing, certifications, the actual mating and whelping process, and locating quality homes for the puppies.
The long answer - About once a week, some well meaning dog lover will post a picture of their adorable and beloved dog in an online forum and announce they intend to breed him/her but don't know where to start. Within minutes, they get negative comments from other breeders or "adopt don't shop" advocates advising them to pack up their dream of breeding their dog and throwing out acronyms like DNA, OFA and AI with no explanation. These comments come from a very good place as most reputable breeders and animal advocates hate nothing more than seeing post after post of sick dogs that result from poor breeding practices and so called "backyard breeders" who make no effort to improve the breed and are just looking for some quick cash. They also realize that breeding is a much more complicated and expensive endeavor than most people realize.
That being said, every breeder had to start somewhere and as an SPCA Board Member and supporter, I've come to realize that if breeders shame or shut down anyone else with an interest in breeding then we are almost guaranteeing what we're trying to prevent - that people will proceed without the information and resources they need. For that reason, I recommend that everyone considering breeding their dog seek out a qualified breeding mentor.
I'm happy to share my time and energy with those wanting to learn more about breeding or trying to start a breeding program involving Cavaliers or their hybrids. I had two mentors when I first started breeding and I view it as my responsibility to repay that kindness by helping others. I don't feel that others trying to learn more about these breeds are my competitors - I instead consider them my teammates in the effort to improve these breeds and guarantee healthier bloodlines.
If you happen to be the person who wants to breed your dog, please consider getting a breeding mentor to help you in this process. Be prepared to answer the following questions before reaching out to a potential mentor:
If the answer to any of these questions is no, you need to do your best to remedy that before attempting to breed your dog. If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then it's time to search for a mentor. Look for the following:
If your dog is too young but you are eager to learn more about breeding, take the time to do the following:
Breeding your dog can be a fun and exciting adventure but it's also a large responsibility and one that should be done only after research and guidance. You can learn more about breeding mentors on these pages:
AKC Breeding Mentor Article
How To Choose A Mentor
If we can help you on your journey to breed your dog, please don't hesitate to contact us at LierChonPoo@gmail.com.
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