What is to old ?

Genetics, breeding, birth defects, diseases, etc. (No litter listings)

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What is to old ?

Postby GRIFF MAN » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:56 am

I read on some website a breeder had a litter due from a 9yr old bitch, this was her 7th litter.

Got me to think. What's to old to breed ? and how many litters is enough out of one bitch ?

I've never gone past 7yo and 4 litters but I hunt and would rather hunt with a dog than sit in a whelping pen with one in the fall of the year...


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Re: What is to old ?

Postby JTracyII » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:05 am

Kind of surprised no one has had an opinion or thought on the matter. Thought I would bump this to see if it got overlooked, perhaps.
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Re: What is to old ?

Postby hicntry » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:45 pm

I have been waiting for others to voice some opinions. Since it isn't happening, I will give my opinions. If you have no other dogs to breed and the sole purpose is to produce pups, you are going to breed the females until nothing is left. Another reason is that the person has no breeding plan as to what he wants to accomplish. He is going to breed the same female over and over again. Personally, I have been on both sides of the fence. When I first started, I bred the first females a lot. When I developed a breeding plan, I kept pups out of every litter. After I had a plan, I wanted to see what the offspring were capable of producing. The subsequent offspring will tell you a lot more of what you are breeding than breeding the same female ever will. In other words, a real breeder should not be concerned at all about how many litters or how many years a bitch is viable.....if they have a breeding plan they have moved on after a litter ot two.
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Re: What is to old ?

Postby KJ » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:29 am

This has been discussed a few times, further down the topic list.

On one hand, you have the puppy producers that simply breeder early and often for financial reasons. Obviously, no one will support that.

There are some people that also think it is "cruel" to breed on back-to-back heats, past 6 years old, etc. I don't think that is right, either.

Bitches have fewer whelping problems if they are bred early, and periodically. Breeding a bitch for the first time at 7 is asking for trouble, but breeding a 9 year old bitch that is used to having pups and is in good health and physical condition can work out fine.

A very successful GWP breeder in our breeding alliance has bred his past few bitches for 6 or 7 heat cycles in a row, and he has produced loads of great hunting dogs, UT prize Is, and VCs. IMO, if the bitch is a great producer, then breed her.

I have done a few back-to-back litters over the years without problems, and have bred a few bitches right around their 9th birthday. But I also weed through 5-7 dogs before finding my next breeding bitch, so when I find a really good one, I want their gene's passed on. From a statistics standpoint, I want to keep my gene pool average as high as possible, so I would rather breed the BEST dogs more often, instead of breeding a mix of dogs that are a notch down. Let the great dogs dominate the gene pool. And many will argue a bitch is healthiest when she is pregnant. If you do breed a bitch often, I do think feeding a very high quality diet is important.

I think hcntry's points are valid about always looking forward and that mentality should be a good baseline. Some are not for using frozen semon for similar reasons, believing that if they were such a great producer, there should be a son available to use. I disagree. I think great producers are wherever and whenever you find them, and they should contribute heavily to the gene pool - of course, within reason. Some breeds have smaller gene pools and you also want to avoid popular sire syndrome. You don't want to back yourself into a corner, genetically. But I still think you are best to breed the best bitch more often, instead of breeding a lesser bitch part of the time.
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