The decision to take a litter of pups off your bitch is an exciting one but should not be entered into lightly. There are many many things to consider and many preparations to be made before and we have compiled a checklist below:
- Have I got the time to devote to rearing a litter of puppies until they are ready for their new homes (at least 8 weeks of age)?
- Am I knowledgable enough to advise prospective new owners about the various aspect of rearing their puppies. Including: feeding, socialisation, healthcare and training?
- Can I afford to pay for the recommended health tests for the bitch prior to breeding her and where neccessary, her litter? A list of the recommended health tests for individual breeds can be foundhere
- Do I know enough to help the bitch during whelping if neccesary?
- Can I afford to pay for a Caeserean if the bitch gets into difficulty?
- Could I cope with a very large litter (10 or more puppies)?
- Do I have sufficient knowledge to rear the litter correctly, including worming, vaccination, socialisation?
- Will I be able to find good homes for all the puppies?
- Am I in a position to take back or re-home any puppies if neccesary?
If you are not able to answer YES to all the above questions, we would strongly advise not breeding a litter from your bitch and to get her speyed to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
If you do decide that taking a litter from your bitch is the right decision, there are a number of further considerations before breeding:
- The dog should be transferred into your own name if this has not already been done
- Ensure your dog is microchipped
- Obtain a kennel name (If you are going to KC register the pups - recommended)
- Check that no breeding endorsement has been placed on your dog
- Ensure that your dog is healthy and has a suitable (good) temperament to whelp a litter
- Carry out all relevant (breed specific) health tests - hip scores, eye tests, DNA tests etc.
- Ensure that the relevant tests have been carried out on the prospective stud dog
These are just a few pointers for owners considering breeding from their bitch but there is much more information on the breeding page of The Kennel Club Website
We have also put together a printable sheet for owners with information on pregnancy and whelping and of course we are always at the end of the phone!
Information on pregnancy & whelping >
If you have any concerns at all please call to speak to one of our vets or book an appointment for your pet.