How often, how many times, and until when?
  • ceziegcezieg
    Posts: 1050
    I noted from @*JackBurton* 's response in a puppy thread that he only planned on breeding his female one more time. This had me thinking, and it just hit me that it was never a topic that I'd ever discussed or overheard from the vets that I worked at.

    So for the breeders here: How often do you breed your females, and what's the shortest recommended time for the mother to take a break, recover, rest, and to be ready for another pregnancy? How many times overall should a female be birthing puppies? And lastly, what age is it recommended that a female be discontinued from breeding, or is it a total # of pregnancies that is capped?

    Pregnancy is rough on the female of any mammalian species, so I figure a rest is warranted. Don't females tend to lose a lot of muscle mass and exhibit hair loss from the heavy demands of growing puppies?
    Ren, Kai Ken (f, intact) 02-01-2012
    Kirin, Alaskan Noble Companion Dog (f, intact) 05-04-2015
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224
    How often do you breed your females, and what's the shortest recommended time for the mother to take a break, recover, rest, and to be ready for another pregnancy?
    >> We breed back-to-back for the first two litters, then wait at least one heat cycle (usually two), then do another round of back-to-back litters. We start breeding our females at third heat (second heat if they cycle every 12 months).

    How many times overall should a female be birthing puppies?
    >> We cap it at 4 litters, but it's really up to the individual dog. For some females whelping is very hard work (like Masha), but for others it is a breeze (Ayu, Kumi).

    And lastly, what age is it recommended that a female be discontinued from breeding, or is it a total # of pregnancies that is capped?
    >> As mentioned above, we cap at 4 litters. The age is somewhere around 6 years old. That way they have more than half of their life left not to be whelping litters.

    Don't females tend to lose a lot of muscle mass and exhibit hair loss from the heavy demands of growing puppies?
    >> I dunno about muscle, but for sure they lose a lot of weight and hair. But here is the thing, it's not the whelping that wears them out - it's the nursing! It takes a LOT of energy (fat reserves) to feed several 4+ week old puppies.
  • ceziegcezieg
    Posts: 1050
    @brada1878 Oh interesting! I never knew there were cycles of back-to-back litters. I'm assuming that takes a pretty intense diet to keep the mom healthy eh? Like a bulking bodybuilder in dog form lol.

    If you don't mind the asking, what litter is Ayu on? She's produced such awesome pups, I think any other person would have produced as many litters as possible :P jk of course. True, there is a high cholesterol count for mother's milk. I suppose it's only the underfed mothers that lose muscle once they've run low on fat reserves. Sad, but a good % of pregnant females I've assisted with had incredibly low fat %'s. This is Florida though, backyard breeder central for pits :\
    Ren, Kai Ken (f, intact) 02-01-2012
    Kirin, Alaskan Noble Companion Dog (f, intact) 05-04-2015
    Post edited by cezieg at 2013-05-22 23:27:41
  • rikumomrikumom
    Posts: 438
    @cezieg,
    I'm not a breeder, though I find the article to be fascinating. Size matters it seem

    How Long Will Your Dog Be with You? It Depends Heavily on This…
    http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2013/05/03/dog-lifespan.aspx

    Dr. Jeff Bergin on Responsible Dog Breeding Practices
    http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/04/05/how-a-newfoundland-pet-dog-reached-17-years.aspx
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224
    The most recent repro research say you should breed early and often. the old-hat research said you should space litters out by at least one heat cycle. Our number one focus is on the happiness of our dogs, so early retirement is important for us, that is why we follow a "hybrid" approach and breed early and often in the beginning, with a nice break, and then often for the next two.

    Ayu has had two litters. She started at her third heat and had two back-to-back litters. We gave her a cycle break, and she will be mated at her next heat.
  • PoetikDragonPoetikDragon
    Posts: 2875
    I asked for a letter of recommendation and research papers from my repro vet, Dr. Mary Sebzda, before deciding when to breed Bijo again. She is a canine reproduction specialist, the only one in Southern California that I know of. She has told me on multiple occasions that female dogs go through the same hormonal process each heat cycle regardless whether she conceives, and it is this process which is hardest on the bitch and her reproductive organs. Each heat cycle she has in her lifetime negatively impacts the bitch's health; pregnancy and nursing, as long as she is receiving proper nutrition and care, does not have a lasting impact by itself.

    In other words, skipping a heat does not help in recovery time at all, because she must still go through the hormonal process regardless if she gets pregnant. The recovery time is actually the anestrus period between heat cycles. Every time she cycles she has to recover again. A shortened anestrus is a very bad thing, and if you have a bitch who cycles too quickly, her body isn't giving her enough time to reset and get back to normal. She would have more heats in her lifetime than she should, which will end up having lasting effects. My vet strongly believes in treating short anestrus periods with hormones to delay the onset of the next heat, or even preventing the bitch from cycling completely until ready to breed. Unfortunately the medications available to do this are not very reliable or safe at this time.

    Anecdotally, @*JackBurton* once mentioned to me that he noticed Kaede's and Ayame's anestrus period gets longer by a month or two immediately after having a litter. Perhaps dogs are already designed to have a longer recovery time after pregnancy? I haven't heard of any official research about this, however.

    Also note, if you're going to breed a bitch X number of times in her life, if you breed every heat or two out of three heats, she will be having those litters at a younger age than if you always skipped a heat. Breeding her younger means her fertility will be better, her litter sizes larger and healther, and that she gets to retire sooner.
    「怪獣荘秋田犬」Kaiju Kennels Japanese Akita and Hokkaido, Claire Matthews
    http://www.facebook.com/PoetikDragon
    http://www.facebook.com/KaijuKennels
    http://www.kaijukennels.com
    Post edited by PoetikDragon at 2013-05-23 13:18:01
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 3663
    I'm not a breeder either, but also find it an interesting topic, and a lot of what I know only comes from more informed breeders I respect. I found the whole thing about how the back to back breedings can be better for the dog really interesting, and given the idea about "early retirement" it makes sense. I'd also read some stuff about how the "empty heats" are hard on a dog...

    Anyway, interesting topic, and shows how important it is to keep learning about animals and keep up to date, because "conventional wisdom" changes as we learn more.

    oh, Ayu! I have to admit I read that and though we need another Ayu puppy! But we probably don't really :)
    Lisa, Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akita), and Leo (Kai Ken)
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2013-05-23 15:28:40
  • jellyfishjellyfish
    Posts: 1081
    Good questions :)
  • *JackBurton**JackBurton*
    Posts: 1369
    Personally, I need to see breeding back to back being used on a larger scale before I become sold on it. I'm the type of person that needs to see how things play out before I adopting something.

    I am happy that PD took the time to research and consult her vet. IMO, new ideas come and go. I always feel a little better when people get a second opinion.

    For me, I see myself going three-four litters. Litter four would be the exception for me. I've noticed that more and more people are starting to look at their breeders breeding practices. From a club standpoint, I like the fact that our members don't over use their dogs. It's cool knowing that our members hold themselves to a higher standard.







    www.akita-inu.com
    www.Japanese-Akitas.com
    pedigrees.akita-inu.com
  • aykayk
    Posts: 1979
    One facet that shouldn't come into play but sometimes does depending on where you live is whether there are ordinances/restrictions about the frequency of litters.
  • *JackBurton**JackBurton*
    Posts: 1369
    Right LA County and LB has that:


    Hobby Breeder -- Dog Breeding License Required: Hobby Breeder is any person, except for someone having a valid Animal Facility license who, for pay or other compensation, breeds a female dog must obtain a Hobby Breeding permit in the amount set forth in Section 10.90.010. In order to prevent the over-breeding of animals, each permit authorizes the whelping of no more than one litter per female dog in any 12-month period and no more than one litter per domestic household in any 12-month period. (Los Angeles County Code Title 10, Sec. 10.20.045 and 10.90.010.)
    www.akita-inu.com
    www.Japanese-Akitas.com
    pedigrees.akita-inu.com
  • tjbart17tjbart17
    Posts: 4055
    @poeticdragon this is Bijo's third litter back to back right? Two born here and the last one in Japan. I've seen her previous owner post her litter there.

    I have no opinion but I respect Yamabushi's transperity and honesty when getting Mika. I trust Jen and Brad. It's also sad to think that Kumi won't bless anyone with puppies soon. :-( I love my little Mika Monster.
  • PoetikDragonPoetikDragon
    Posts: 2875
    @tjbart17 No, she wasn't bred on the heat prior to importing her. I am curious how you know her previous owner and if you have links to puppy photos? I only have her old show result pics, none of her pups.
    「怪獣荘秋田犬」Kaiju Kennels Japanese Akita and Hokkaido, Claire Matthews
    http://www.facebook.com/PoetikDragon
    http://www.facebook.com/KaijuKennels
    http://www.kaijukennels.com
    Post edited by PoetikDragon at 2013-05-25 02:53:07
  • tjbart17tjbart17
    Posts: 4055
    @poeticdragon you posted a pic of Bijo and her owner when she was coming over and right away I was like hey I know that dog and owner! I have a freaky memory like that. I can remember people from one post. Must've been on fb or a blog.

    Either way like I said I don't care how many times people breed. You are being up front about her having at least three litters already. I don't know her whole past. Just that one litter announcement, your pups, and that she's expecting again.
  • MirkaMMirkaM
    Posts: 1248
    In Finland you have to wait 10 months before you can breed female again. Still waiting official studies on positive impacts of back-to-back breeding before I can believe on it ;) . First litter when both female and male are officially health tested, usually I like to wait for the third heat. It also depends on the female, some mature earlier.
    Ife was four when she gave birth to her first litter and I was really scared what might happen. Almost everyone said that she was too old for first timer but the labour was really easy and quick.
    When talking rare breeds like kai is, I think two litters is enough for one female.
    Kai will lay down its life to protect its master.
    photo banneri_zpsc6e1d74e.jpg
    Kennel Gekkoo No: http://gekkoonoen.webs.com/index.htm
  • tjbart17tjbart17
    Posts: 4055
    @MirkaM interesting who regulates the 10 month rule?
  • MirkaMMirkaM
    Posts: 1248
    Finnish kennel club.
    Kai will lay down its life to protect its master.
    photo banneri_zpsc6e1d74e.jpg
    Kennel Gekkoo No: http://gekkoonoen.webs.com/index.htm
  • tjbart17tjbart17
    Posts: 4055
    Ahh yes that would've been the obvious answer ;-)
  • ceziegcezieg
    Posts: 1050
    Very awesome insight, thanks for all the responses @poeticdragon @brada1878 @*JackBurton* and @MirkaM! I never knew about county/city ordinances, but that's great that they have them. Although, besides very scrupulous breeders, I'm not sure how often that's followed. I know all three vet software that I've used never had any warnings or real record keeping of litters, besides just manual notes. I do wish vets had a more active part in canine welfare, like how teachers are obligated to report child abuse.

    @jellyfish :D

    @rikumom Awesome links thank you! I've been building up my beekeeping business, and as a result have so much backwriting/research to do. But I promise to peruse over those the minute I get a chance :)
    Ren, Kai Ken (f, intact) 02-01-2012
    Kirin, Alaskan Noble Companion Dog (f, intact) 05-04-2015
  • PoetikDragonPoetikDragon
    Posts: 2875
    @cezieg The problem with that is many vets are very anti-breeder... at least in my experience. Makes sense I guess, they see dogs and cats falling apart as results of bad breeding day in and day out in their practice. One I no longer go to was so innured to spay/neuter that she didn't even know how the estrus cycle works, ties, gestation, etc. She literally went into the other room and googled info and printed it out to give me. (Gee, thanks.)
    「怪獣荘秋田犬」Kaiju Kennels Japanese Akita and Hokkaido, Claire Matthews
    http://www.facebook.com/PoetikDragon
    http://www.facebook.com/KaijuKennels
    http://www.kaijukennels.com
    Post edited by PoetikDragon at 2013-05-26 01:48:24
  • tjbart17tjbart17
    Posts: 4055
    Ha ha. My vet almost cried when I spayed Mika. He definitely didn't want to. But then again I've known him for 28 years. You should move up here.
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 3663
    @cezieg The problem with that is many vets are very anti-breeder... at least in my experience. Makes sense I guess, they see dogs and cats falling apart as results of bad breeding day in and day out in their practice. One I no longer go to was so innured to spay/neuter that she didn't even know how the estrus cycle works, ties, gestation, etc. She literally went into the other room and googled info and printed it out to give me. (Gee, thanks.)


    Yeah, my agility trainer also breeds borzois. She said it is hard enough to find a vet who understands why her dogs are intact, and will work with her as a breeder, but add to the fact that she's a raw feeder and does low vaccinations, well, she said it's just about impossible to find one decent vet. She drives 60 miles each way to her vet, and that vet just sold out to VCA, so she's on the look out for a new vet. :(

    Lisa, Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akita), and Leo (Kai Ken)
  • tjbart17tjbart17
    Posts: 4055
    Ok everyone should move here and be with my vet. A kennel just asked for vaccinations and my vet wrote a health clearance denying the need for them. Totally had my back and well they are the vets office everyone wants to go to so the kennel listened. :-)
  • CrispyCrispy
    Posts: 1824
    In my professional life, I connot be publicly for or against the speuter arguement. It's unprofessional to show bias. I can educate, but never show preference.

    You'd think vets should be the same.

    That said, I've never had a hard time with vets and intact dogs. London was intact until 3, when I finally felt the pressure to do it (he was trying to break down the fence every time the Cane Corso up the street went into heat and the last thing I wanted were potentially blind, aggro, sassy CC x Malamute puppies roaming the earth).

    My vet was never the one that showed preference or pressured me... but I have met some people with a pretty rigid stance from rescue, of course, when I told them that I preferend not to neuter as long as I felt I could properly manage my dog(s) and their health was not jeopardized. They couldn't understand how I could be in rescue and have that opinion.

    Also... Thank you for this thread! Love reading it. :)
    Akiyama no Roushya || 秋山の狼室 || www.kishu-ken.org
    Post edited by Crispy at 2013-05-26 06:12:26
  • okironokiron
    Posts: 3431
    I actually don't mind preference if there is no pressure. Even more so when it's well thought out and not just a "because I'm a vet and I say so". I mean, I am paying for their expertise, it'd be nice to hear their opinion even if it doesn't agree with mine.
    -Rina
  • SangmortSangmort
    Posts: 5510
    My vets gave me hell for not getting the boys neutered. PIA.

    After 3 years [ ! ] they have finally let that & the raw feeding go. LOL ~
  • sjp051993sjp051993
    Posts: 1605
    I feel lucky in that the vets do not pressure me about my intact dogs, do not give me grief about giving basic vaccinations, and support my feeding methods. Of course it helps thaf they love my dogs and I have known the head vet for 25 years. They love talking to me about nutrition since they get so little of that in school. They even asked me 3 times if I was sure about neutering Hiro.
    Stacey living with Tora, Kazue, Ritsu and Kuma the Shiba
    www.suteishiikennels.com

    DSCF0686IMG_0940 - Version 2DSCF0714IMG_1151

    10443860_10202258803333634_2133731540_n
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 3663
    My vets are fine. They don't like the raw feeding, but we just agree to disagree. They suggested I stop vaccinating the older dogs about the same time I was going to bring it up (they noticed I had just not been doing it! ha!) They said they saw no reason to neuter Leo unless he was a PITA, which he was, so we did it. My agility trainer would love to go to my vets, but they haven't taken new patients for, I don't know, something like 7 years, so....

    There are down sides with them too--they're pretty old school, and don't even use computers at all, so I often have to present them with new findings on things (but if I find stuff, they'll go do further research on their own), and they still say things like "never take a puppy out anywhere til it's had all it's shots," etc, but I find a good balance in that I know I can talk to them, present my ideas which will be respected, and they'll talk about what they know from their many years of experience and education, and so it works pretty well for us. And they're cheap. I feel pretty lucky overall!
    Lisa, Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akita), and Leo (Kai Ken)

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