I recently decided that I would breed Atlas. Yes, I’m breeding my Bully Breed. This is something that I’ve put a lot of thought into. I’ve also put a lot of research into this subject, so I’m confident in my decision. I have friends that have urged me to wait. However, there are controversial debates online about the age. Many suggest I’m making the right decision.
A lot of research, planning and thinking should go into any purebred dog you’re going to breed. I’m not in this for the money, I’m in it because I want a mini Atlas. She is undeniably the only dog I’ve ever had in my life that I am this close to. I’ve loved all my dogs. All of them. But she’s special. I can’t describe in words how much she means to me. But take my word for it, she’s special.
So, when I say that I’ve put a lot of research into this subject, a lot of planning, what do I mean? It’s just a dog having pups. Well, yes and no. Several factors that I’ll get into:
1. Is the timing right? Her age?
2. What did I look for in a stud?
3. I want certain traits from the stud I chose.
4. What did I look for health-wise?
Is Her Age Okay For Breeding My Bully Breed?
This is the most controversial subject I’ve come across. I knew I wanted another Atlas in my life when she was only 3 months old. I made a decision to not spay her for that reason. Most of my other female dogs that I would never breed have been spayed. Except my tiny Chihuahua. She’s not spayed. But she doesn’t count. Her blood spots are barely noticeable at 2.5lbs.
The proper age to breed a female varies no matter where you look. I have a very close relationship with the Vet I take Atlas to. She’s been seeing the same Vet since she was just 8 weeks old. I’ve spoken with this Vet at length about my desire to breed Atlas from early on. The Vet used to breed English Bulldogs, so she had a lot of information on the subject. She informed me that Atlas would be ready in her third heat cycle. This is based on how they’re maturing and how their bones are developing. I brought Atlas to her during her second heat cycle, and she had stated that she was even ready then. However, it’s good to wait for the next and advisable.
Many people suggest to wait for the dog to be two years old. All dogs are different. Some suggest to only wait until they’re one. What I’ve come to find out is that their bones have everything to do with the timing.
Their Bone Structure, It Makes A Difference.
As dogs age, their cartridge turns to bone the same as ours. When children grow, it’s really bones that are reforming in place of cartridge. That’s why when children fall, they really do “bounce back”. Cartridge has a bouncy structure to it unlike bones that don’t bounce. They don’t give. They simply break.
What I’ve learned is that as dogs mature, their hips start to turn from cartridge to bone. Waiting until a dog is over a certain age is very dangerous and will more than likely result in a C-Section to give birth. However, at over 18 months when Atlas gives birth, her hips will have more give to them. This will up her chances of having a natural delivery versus requiring surgery.
Now, I will note – every single dog is different. I was quite persistent with the Vet I took Atlas to before making this decision. I’ve also put in very long hours of research into this to ensure that I’m making a sound decision. If you’ve read any of my previous articles, then you know I’m a research Queen. I never make a decision on a whim. I always put a lot of work into my decisions. Heck, I can’t even decide on new dishware and I’ve been looking for over a month! It took me 3 months to decide on a new stove. That should say something right there.
Each breed is different on when they’re ready. I will note, very large dogs should always be two years old before breeding. Because they have a larger body structure, it takes longer for their bones to be mature enough. Very small dogs mature faster and some can breed as early as 8-9 months. However, the Vet recommended always waiting until at least a year no matter the breed. With her Bulldogs, she always waited for two years because of health issues that arise with those breeds. Atlas is very healthy and she stated she has no known issues.
What Did I Look For In The Stud?
This is where my research took the longest. I’ve been looking into so many Bully Breeders out there. Most out of state though. When I got Atlas, I was advised to go out of state for her because of the lack of blood in Alaska. New blood. Many Bully Breeders will inbreed the dogs because they don’t have the means of getting new blood. Now, I have found some good breeders locally, so I was very happy.
I was seriously considering a Breeder out of Texas to have her pups with. I think I will still attempt that breeder with her next pups if I choose to have another litter. For now though, I found a healthy stud locally that I can ask questions. We met several times, very good people and very good-looking dogs. I must say, I met another stud that I’m very interested in as well, but that’s for another time.
The stud we chose to go with looks healthy. The thing with this breed is, I’ve met a lot that have skin issues. Yes, they’re prone to allergies. I’ve met some with deformities. I’ve met a lot with eye issues. These are things that I look at when I meet these dogs. If I pet one and their fur is very course and they have rashes all over, clearly I’m not thinking he’s a good-looking dog. Deformities is another thing I look for. Do his legs bow out? How healthy are their paws? His face? The eyes? The teeth? Is he active? So many things go into looking for a healthy dog.
Next – where did he come from?
Certain Traits Are Passed Down.
When I look at traits that are passed along, I can pretty much discern this with knowing where he came from. Like I mentioned above, I’ve been searching so many breeders outside of Alaska. When I saw the Pedigree of the dog I was considering, I already knew some names of his past. Looking at the dogs that these breeders are producing now, tells me a lot about how they breed.
Now, I will say, seeing some same lines as where Atlas came from was a little alarming to me. Wait? They share blood way down the line? Then I realized that most of the Bully Breeds came from the same couple of lines. There are only a few that were breeding these dogs to make them what they are today. The only line they share is with a sire way back. So long ago that there won’t be issues with the two coming together.
The stud I chose has had stockier pups in his past. I want this. He also has the shorter nose that’s slightly wrinkled. Another trait I’m looking for. He also has tricolor in his blood and so does Atlas. In everything I’ve looked at, and looked for, I found in this stud. I will say, this will be the first time I’ve ever bred a dog on purpose. So much of this was new to me. The last thing I want is to make a mistake or erroneous decision. So, days and countless hours have gone into my decision to mate her with this stud.
What Did I Look For Health-Wise?
I kind of mentioned this in a paragraph above. But I will reiterate. Physical deformities is a big miss for me. I was in a store about a year ago. My husband and I met a Bully that was small and very cute. Now, I look for little details that most people miss. Red rashes, skin lesions, eye color, etc.
My husband loved the dog and was very interested in where she came from. Noting that maybe that would be a good breeder to introduce Atlas to. Like I said, I’ve been planning this for a very long time. When he was mentioning this, I asked him if he didn’t see the dogs paws. “No, I didn’t. Why?” The dog had a claw that was sticking straight up through her paw.
She was also one of the most timid Bullies I’ve ever met. Her tail always tucked under, fearful of humans, Atlas etc. Now, I’m no expert by any means, so please don’t take me for one. However, I do know that timidness is an undesirable trait in this breed. Aggression is another big miss. These dogs are supposed to be very, happy-go-lucky. They love people and dogs both. A timid dog is not what I want. Nor do I want one that’s remotely aggressive. Atlas is neither and her pups should be the same.
I now know that in order for me to decide on any breeder or stud, I’ll need to meet them. Regardless of who I use, even out of state, I’ll need to fly down and meet them. Not only so I know how these people are, but what do their dogs really look like and act like, away from the camera.
Final Thoughts On Breeding My Bully Breed.
I was reading a very long online forum yesterday and into today. This forum was based on breeders of Bullies today. Most of it was negative talk about how breeders today are terrible. We don’t care about the dogs, only the money and so on. While I can’t call myself a breeder because I’ve yet to have a litter, it was a light bulb. Some went on to comment about how they get the health checked first. They have extensive tests done on their heart health and other things.
This is good that some go to these lengths. However, I think of my dogs like humans. A healthy person can fall anytime. Death can knock on our door any minute of any day, regardless of your health. Non-smokers develop lung cancer. Runners die of heart failure, etc. I only know this because I have a degree in nutrition science and had to study the human body for 5 years. Yes, it took me 5 years. I worked full time while getting my degree. I learned so much about the body and it’s complexities.
Dogs are no different. What I can do for Atlas is look at the overall health of the stud before deciding. Look at where he came from. Every sire and dam that made up his genetic coding. Some I was unable to find through searching. Most I found though. What I found was healthy lines, healthy genes and some very good-looking dogs. I stand by my decision to let Atlas have pups with this stud.
If I decide on future litters, I will put as much thought and research into the next time, as I did this time. I will say, by the time I was done looking into this, I could probably have written a full on essay about breeding dogs. Again, I’m not a Vet, and I’m not an expert. But I care deeply for my baby, Atlas, and I only want the best for her. It’s natural for dogs to have pups and I definitely want another little Atlas running around.
Meeting this breeder up here and seeing her little pack of Bullies, I want that. I can see myself having 4 or 5 running around with me everywhere I go. I’ll need more seat belts, that’s for sure. And lots of sweaters for them. But I’m okay with that! Such an amazing dog, I can’t see having any other kind of dog in my future.
With breeding your Bully Breed, what did you do? How did it go? What would you do differently next time?