Our year and a half old puppy came in heat for the first time yesterday. How long will she be in heat and when is the best time to breed her. We had border collies before and they could be in heat up to 1 1/2 weeks. Should a cocker spaniel be bred on their first cycle or does it matter? If someone could help me with this I'd appreciate it.
Most responsible breeders will not breed a Cocker (or most any dog) until they are at least two years old because many genetically linked problems such as hip, eye and neurological problems can be tested for by then. You don't want to breed your dog if he or she is a carrier of known genetic problems because then you would be adding to those problems. That is how many puppies end up in shelters when families who can't afford to treat these problems or don't want to treat them put there dogs up for adoption. Please wait to breed your girl then find the best male you can find who has been health tested and CERF and OFA certified. There are many websites and books you can purcahse that tell about the problems that run in each breed and the tests that can be doen for them. Good luck to you. Donna
***Edited By: shinyblackpit on 1/13/2010 7:26:46 PM*** Reason: cannot link to kennels per forum rules
I would suggest contacting a cocker spaniel club. There is usually a ton of information about health testing, and breeding on them. alot of times, they can even direct you to a good lab for any DNA tests that can be performed. Cockers have so many health problem, including severe ear infections, skin and allergie problem. That is just off the top of my head. I am sure there are many tests that should be performed to see if a dog is even a consideration for breeding.
Once you find out how your dog is health wise, there are other things to consider before breeding. Why is she a canidate for breeding, and what are her pros and cons. Does she have any flaws according to breed standard. Are you ready for the expensive of a litter of pups, the vet bills, and god forbid any other expense if problems should arise. Every heat you dog goes through greaten the chance of pyrametra (sp?), which could kill her, and if bred to the wrong male brucalosis(sp?) which could kill her.
Seriously consider the down side of breeding. If everything goes perfect, yes puppies are alot of fun to raise. As a breeder, I love the smell of puppy breath. It is not without its problems though. I couldn't tell you what I have spent on health testing just to find out a dog is not breed able. Or pay for the stud fee, and all medical expesive to find out there are no puppies. Think about every aspect of breeding the dog, and raising the litter. Do alot of research, and then decide if it is right for you. You have time, she is young, and should not be considered until at 2yrs.
I am surprised that you got any of your past dogs bred with that thought. Cycles last 3-4 weeks. Most dogs are not even in standing heat (the point that they are fertile and will except a male) until day 12-15.
2 years of age is the earliest i would consider breeding. This is because most genetic defects have come out or can be tested for at 2 yrs. Testing them to ensure you are not passing on defects is most important.