When you are considering breeding your English Cocker Spaniel, you need to keep some things in mind. Even if you have a female or a male, you need to have a check up and some tests done to ensure that there are no genetic issues that could be passed on to the puppies. This is considered extremely important and reputable breeders will have documents that prove the health of the parents. Before breeding your female, you need to know exactly what to expect. It takes preparation and some learning to know what you are about to experience.
Breeding The Female
After a good bill of health from the vet, you can start feeding the female the proper diet. She needs a special diet that will help her keep her strength and help the puppies develop and survive the birth. Without the proper diet and water supply, complications can result for both the mother and the puppies. You will need a quiet place for the mother to make her den. She needs to have a place away from noise and strangers. You are going to need a place that has electricity as well. You are going to keep a heat lamp on the puppies from time to time to keep them warm when the mother is gone for her own feeding and outside breaks.
If the mother cannot feed all her puppies, you are going to need to feed some with a small nursing bottle every few hours. This is just as a mother does with a child. Keep in mind, you cannot forget or do it later, it is extremely important that you do it on a schedule. As the puppies get older, you need to have them checked by a vet to ensure their health as well as the mother.
If there are complications during the birth, you need to know exactly what to do or have a vet on hand to help the mother. If the proper help is not given, puppies and mother could die. You will need to clean out the den after birth and the mother will clean the puppies although you may need to help with some of the cleaning.
The area should be secure so the puppies are confined. The mother will start to push the puppies away when she is weaning. This is when you need to have a soft puppy mush available for them to eat. You can start to introduce this yourself but it may take time for them to be interested.
Breeding The Male
Once the male is given a health guarantee by the vet, they can be used as a stud. The thing to remember when breeding a female and a male is their disposition and temperament. Puppies will take on traits of the parents and you need to breed for temperament, disposition, and health as well as color traits. You will need to introduce the male to the female and wait for them to do what comes naturally. Some males and females might need help. This is something to discuss with a vet.