Pregnancies of a large breed dog such as the Black and Tan Coonhound are typically much easier than toy breeds that have very small pelvises. However, whether it is a large breed or small breed, no female dog should be bred before the age of two. This is to ensure that the female's pelvis has had a chance to fully develop. When planning to breed, owners must first take their female Black and Tan Coonhound to be examined and tested by a veterinarian. These tests cannot be performed until approximately two years of age. Another bonus of waiting is being able to determine the female's heat cycle. In general, this will come every six to seven months. Gauging a cycle helps owners better prepare for when the actual breeding time comes.
Responsible breeders prep their females for pregnancy not only with a vet's exam but by making sure they are properly fed with a good balance of quality nutrition. All vaccinations should be current and there should be a stable home environment where the pregnancy will not be an added stress and vice versa. For those with little knowledge, it is a good idea to have someone on hand that has previously worked with breeding Black and Tan Coonhounds. It is not uncommon for it to take several tries before a female becomes pregnant. Once the pregnancy is underway, owners can expect an eight week gestation period.
During this time, prenatal care is crucial. While a pregnant Coonhound female should still be allowed to take part in regular daily activities, strenuous activities should be disallowed. A normal diet should be followed for the first four to five weeks. From the last few weeks on, a female will need more calories to support herself, her puppies and subsequent milk production. The veterinarian will also likely want to examine the female in the last week or two of pregnancy. He or she will likely give details on signs of labor and complications. It is also an appropriate time to prepare an out of the way place for the mother to birth her new pups.
On the whole, the breeding of Black and Tan Coonhounds is a task best left to professionals with the proper knowledge and experience. As most professionals know, breeding is about improving the standard rather than mating for mere chance. It involves knowledge on everything from researching bloodlines to understanding the endocrine system of dogs. All too often, owners are unschooled on the mating cycles and habits of their dog resulting in unplanned pregnancies. Owners who do not plan to breed their Black and Tan Coonhound should opt to neuter or spay their dog at approximately 6 months of age. Though it is normally uneventful, pregnancy is still a medical situation that needs be watched closely.