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Breeding your dog

Dr. Mike,
I own a lab and she is now going on 14months old and just came into heat. She is registered and I was thinking of someday breeding her to another friends registered lab.

My concerns. She is a small lab, right no probably tipping the scale around 63-65lbs. My questions:
  1. When should you breed your dog. Afters 2 yrs?
  2. Should I be concerned with her small size. I don't want to jeopardize her well-being for the sake of breeding.
  3. How often do they come into heat and when do you pair them up with a male during the heat cycle? Thanks for your help,

    Zachary, thanks for the questions, let's discuss this breeding business. Most dogs come into heat twice a year and it lasts about 3 weeks. The first 7-9 days you'll often notice a bloody discharge, starting around 9-14 days the discharge goes away and you'll notice a very swollen vulva, this is a very fertile time in most dogs. Your vet can run some simple in-house tests and help you find the most fertile days but it's usually days 11-14 or so. I don't like to breed a dog before they are 2 years of age and have had their hips and eyes certified. Last year over 100,000 labs were registered so there are plenty of dogs around. If the hip and eye tests are OK and it looks like your breeding will IMPROVE the breed (not just make more labs) than go ahead. My answer to the majority of dog owners as to when they should breed their dog is "never." Yes, it's a fine dog, nice temperament, smart, etc., etc.... doesn't mean you should breed her. As far as her size goes, 65 pounds at 14 months doesn't strike me as too small. Good luck, breeding dogs is a big responsibility.

    Dr. Mike

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