When To Breed Your Dog

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American Bully Dog

When To Breed Your Dog

In a recent article, I talked about deciding to breed my dog, Atlas. Deciding to breed her, I got a lot of feedback from people. Not all of it good either. The biggest debate was when to breed your dog. What age should they be?

Well, this is where it started to get into a debate with a lot of people. However, I’m the research Queen, as some of you may have heard me say. I don’t make any decision lightly, especially when it comes to my baby. Atlas means the world to me. I’m not going to be that dog owner that only breeds her for money.

Some have even gone so far as to say that people will discard them when they’re done and it’s sad. Well, let me clear a few things up for you readers.

First, what age is best to start?

Second, why am I breeding my dog?

Third, am I cruel to make her breed?

Finally, how many times will she breed?

What Age Is Best To Breed Your Dog.

This was the biggest debate, ever. Every single person out there will tell you something different. Trust me, I looked at a lot of sources. Some, personal blogs. Other’s, vet recommendations. Finally, breeders that have been doing this a long time. Now I’ll admit, this is the first time I’ve ever decided to mate my dog on purpose.

Because I’ve made this decision, I needed to be educated. I made this decision many, many months ago. So it’s not like I woke up and said, “Hey, I want Atlas to have puppies!” No. This started in her first heat cycle. I made the decision I wanted a mini Atlas.

So, what age is best to breed your dog? Isn’t that the million dollar question? Here’s the straight answer. 1 year and up. Or, more appropriately, after their first heat cycle. Their first heat is not the time for your dog to get pregnant. Neither is the second in my opinion. This is where things get convoluted.

Many people claim the dog should be at least two years old. This isn’t accurate. It depends on the dog. Let’s think about this. In the wild, do you think that wolves are saying, “Babe, we need to wait until you’re 2 years old to breed.” Or Hyenas? No. The male dog knows when the female is ready and bam, they mate.

In asking everyone that breeds, 18 months to 2 years is the perfect age. The vet she sees said 18 months, this was during her first heat cycle. A vet in the valley said 2 years, but that vet doesn’t know Atlas and has never met her. Breeders that have been doing this for years start at 18 months for this breed. Depending on their size. She’s a pocket, so 18 months. XL’s, because big dogs are different, 2 years.

Waiting Too Long Is Actually Not Good For The Dog.

Here’s the thing, as dogs age, their cartilage starts to form into bone. Bone is hard and not pliable. Like ours. As we age, having kids is more difficult on our bodies. I’m not saying to have kids when you’re a kid. Please don’t. But, if I, a 40-year-old woman decided to have kids now, I most likely would have complications. Meaning, I would have a difficult pregnancy.

In terms of dog years, dog’s age differently than we do. The general rule is that they age 7 years to our 1, but that’s not solely accurate. In their earlier years, they age quickly. Then, as they get older, they age more slowly. Dogs of different size mature differently.

My small Chihuahua, too small to have babies, could have had them at 1 year of age. She had 3 heat cycles in her first year as a puppy. Now, every year she has 1. I didn’t choose to breed her because A: she’s too small and B: it could really hurt her, possibly kill her. Nope, not happening.

I’m not here to hurt my dogs. I’m here to be sure they’re happy and live very fulfilled lives. They’re pampered every day. They sleep with me every night, in my bed. All of them have blankets that I buy specially for them. Treats, toys, clothes. You name it, they have it.

Not all dogs should have puppies.

Why Am I Breeding Atlas Then?

I want a mini Atlas. I want her daughter, then her daughter’s daughter and so on. So, I decided to mate her with a male. One simple explanation. Many, many breeders strictly do it for money. They see a breed and they say, “I’m going to be rich!” Well, no, you aren’t, but okay. It’s a very time-consuming process, and there’s a lot of costs involved.

People don’t think about the costs. The stud fee. A hormone testing fee. Also, an AI fee if you choose that route. It’s better for Atlas to get an AI because of her breed. They’re prone to infections, so it cuts that down to just do an AI.

Once she’s pregnant, then there’s the Ultra Sound cost. If there’re problems with the birth, you need to get a C Section. This is why I chose 18 months, because there’re less chances of that happening. Once the puppies are born, more vet costs. It’s expensive to have dogs, I know this. I’m okay with this. Is it cruel to her?

Am I Cruel For Breeding Atlas?

No. Is it cruel for a woman to get pregnant and have kids? Well, yes, for the next 18 years of our lives. Maybe more like 25 years….. But then it’s a joy at the same time. Some days are good, others…..not so much.

I’m not torturing Atlas to have her get pregnant. The whole time during this process, I’ve thoroughly looked into what’s best for her. I would never put my love in jeopardy. If my vet had said, “She needs to be at least 2 years old.” I would have waited. Without a doubt. Well, she didn’t say that. She said, “Atlas will be fine on her third heat cycle, about 18 months.”

She even said to let her know her due date so they can be sure to have extra vets on hand that day in case something happens. They all love Atlas at her clinic and want the best for her. I do too.

Many people think that I’ll use her to just breed and when she’s done, I’ll discard her.

How Many Times Will I Breed Atlas?

I haven’t decided if I’ll want puppies after the first litter. I don’t know how her health will be after the first. If she has complications, I would never put her through it again. If she has a healthy birth and healthy pups, then I would probably have a second set.

However, it is NOT good to have more than 8 litters. I think that’s too many personally. But after 8, it can be hard on their health. I think that 4 litters would be just fine health-wise. But again, it depends on her first. If a woman has a very difficult pregnancy, we don’t go trying for more. Premature babies, health complications, bed rest. All these have factors on a decision to have another child.

Atlas is like family to me. So, if it’s not good for her, I won’t let her have another litter. Will I not love her anymore after puppies? Or discard her? No. Hell no. She’s the world to me. She’s a dog, but she’s the most special dog to me. I couldn’t imagine retiring her and selling her after. Ugh. She’s with me her entire life. Hopefully that’s years and years, but they only have a span of 10-12 years. Well, I’m shooting for 14. At least. One owner, one family. Us.

Final Thoughts On When To Breed Your Dog.

I know I went off subject a few times. I wanted to answer those questions out there that people have brought up. Yes, I did my research. She’s just fine to get pregnant at 18 months and next year she’ll have puppies if the AI is successful. No, I’m not giving her up after puppies, ever.

I won’t breed her to death. I’m not that person. Actually, I happen to love dogs. Unlike others, I’m being smart about it. Many people have female dogs that sit in a yard in heat. What happens? A male gets to her, they mate and next thing you know your dog is pregnant. You can’t sell mutts easily. They call it “rehoming”. So, you have a litter that you can’t get rid of. Where do they go? The pound.

What happens if I can’t sell her pups? I keep them. Yes, I would have a pack of Bullies and I’m okay with that! In fact, I would LOVE that! Yes, I’ll try to sell the puppies, obviously. But they won’t be mutts. This is a planned pregnancy. It’s different and they’ll be purebred Pocket Bullies.

If she has a healthy pregnancy and healthy delivery, then I may have 3 more. Depending on how everything goes. During, and after.

So, beat me up if you’d like with words. I’m okay with that. But, I’m bringing the world more Atlas’. Of course, attempting for better versions. Smarter, (if that’s even possible), sporty, fun-loving (not possible, she’s there already), family dogs (also not possible, she’s our fur baby). Bully features like a cute wrinkled nose. A nice stance for people that want to show them. Many traits that I’ve looked into and for. I want the best for Atlas. Always.

4 thoughts on “When To Breed Your Dog

  1. We’ve learned so much from this article we no to breed them when they are ready, not necessarily at the 18-month mark. This is great to know we’re getting a dog as well and want to know everything about them this is not our first rodeo with dogs and breeding them.
    We thank you for this wonderful article, we will be sure to keep reading your articles and get the facts because you get your resources from vet’s and other great resources.


    1. Hi Mathew and Deloris,

      Thanks so much for visiting my site. Yes, always when the dog is ready and not just when you want it to happen. I did learn from this experience that the female and male will let you know when she’s ready. The vet can do a hormone test to let you know when the female is ready for AI insertion. Then you would want to do the AI as soon as possible. I didn’t do a test since the vets wouldn’t do it earlier than 2 years unless I wanted to wait for a little over 24 hours for the results. Honestly, that would have been a waste of money. So, I waited for Atlas to flag the male, and for him to attempt to mount her. At the 7 day marker, he wasn’t quite ready, so we waited a day. Tried again, then he tried to mount her so we knew she was ready. Just to be sure, we did it twice during a 24 hour period. The second day, we knew she had ovulated since her blood had turned a slight brownish color and he was pretty excited when they were together.
      This was last night. Today, she’s not interested in a male Chihuahua we have at home (normally they hate each other, and the male only likes her every 6 months when she’s in heat, the one time they get along in 6 months). Good thing he’s too small to reach her. 🙂

      So, we’ll know in about 30 days if I was successful going the old fashioned route. The way nature intended.

      Thanks so much for reading! Happy Holidays!


  2. Hi Katrina,

    As a dog person myself, this was a nice read. Atlas is a beautiful dog. I can tell that you really love her and want the best for her. Any negative comments about dog breeding come from people seeing bad-breeders who don’t clearly care about the dog and misinformation about the subject.

    Thank you for this informative post,

    1. Shaun,

      Yes, Atlas means the world to me. I know that some people just don’t understand the breeding of dogs. Some think that the only way to get a dog is to adopt one from the shelters. Atlas is the first purebred dog I’ve ever purchased, I used to only go to shelters myself. But, I don’t look back and I don’t regret buying her. In fact, I’m kicking myself for not having a Bully before her. Such unique dogs and personalities. And so smart! I also know that if I wasn’t responsible about it, and I simply left her outside like some dog owners do when they’re in heat, they get pregnant from other random dogs that I wouldn’t have any control over and then I would have a mixed breed on my hands. I don’t want that. That’s what usually fills the pounds and shelters. So instead of contributing to the problem, I’m creating a dog that is a lovable, family oriented, smart dog that people will love like I do.

      Thanks for visiting and reading my article!


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