The general advice is that they should meet the “breed standard” meaning if they are a good representative of the breed with no physical problems, it may be worth considering breeding from them.
Health Tests and Breeding Advice
Most breeds have some health concerns and genetically-linked conditions, so the next step is to check your bitch for these, before starting to chose the sire!
The Kennel Club’s website will give you advice for your particular breed and on which conditions you should have your bitch screened for.
The main tests are:
Eyes – some breeds should be screened for particular eye defects by a Veterinary Opthalmologist. We can give you the contact details of our local Opthalmologists and you must remember to take your Kennel Club registration document.
Hips and Elbows – hip and elbow displasia are still major problems in some breeds and all dogs and bitches of these breeds should be x-rayed. The radiographs are sent to the British Veterinary Association for assessment by an independent panel of experts. Your dog will need sedation in order that the x-rays can be taken safely and be of good quality. Contact the surgery for further information.
Genetic Tests – some gene tests can now be carried out for certain breeds on blood samples or mouth swabs.
Once you know about your bitch’s health status, it is time to look at her potential husbands. The pedigree should “match”, for example, not be too closely related and selected to strengthen the bitch’s weaker points, whilst taking into consideration the weaknesses in the dog! For instance, a bitch with “average” hip scores, should not be mated to a dog with poor hips as you are more likely to produce puppies with hip displasia. Details of the tests done on the parents will be recorded on the Kennel Club registration documents of puppies from that mating.
Contact the owner of the sire in advance of your bitch coming into season. She (or he) may want to see a copy of your bitch’s pedigree and will ask you about the reasons for breeding from her. Think about the distance you need to travel and that you may have to repeat the journey on several occasions to get a successful mating. Most bitches are fertile and will accept the dog’s attentions on days 10-12 of their season, but some do not ovulate at this “typical” time and may be fertile before (from day 8) or after (day 14-20), so using the Premate test to pinpoint her fertile period may be very worthwhile. Ask us for details.
We can scan bitches for pregnancy at day 28-30.
The Assured Breeder Scheme – registration on this scheme gives potential purchasers of your puppies the confidence that you have thought carefully about the merits of breeding healthy and happy puppies.