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Leerburg Dog Training Q&A Archive Breeding & Whelping Puppies Q&A

Breeding & Whelping Puppies Q&A

Breeding & Whelping Puppies Q&A

Photo by Doug Loving

I try and answer every question I receive on dog training. I may often come across a little on the blunt side, (some may call it brash). That is because I consider myself an advocate for dogs and not dog handlers. I am an advocate for common sense dog training and not the latest fad that appears on the horizon. Good dog training is not rocket science. It's common sense.

Leerburg's DVD on Whelping Puppies - 1 hr and 45 minutes

  1. Can you tell me how long it takes for my female to have puppies after she is bred?

  2. Can you tell me what I can do to improve my my stud dogs performance?

  3. Should we buy a male to go along with our female pup to start our breeding program?

  4. How much should I increase the amount of food for my pregnant bitch?

  5. What are ‘pink registration papers’ for a German shepherd?

  6. When should we neuter our working dog?

  7. My bitch just had 16 pups. My vet advises to cull, (kill), 6 of them. Should I do this?

  8. How can I tell when my bitch is through having puppies?

  9. I have a pup w/ bad hips. Should I take another from the same breeder?

  10. Will you explain line - breeding?

  11. My female occasionally develops a temp a couple days after birth. What can I do for this?

  12. Can you give me some info about using progesterone blood levels to determine when to breed a female?

  13. Why does my female have problems having puppies?

  14. I have a shepherd who isn’t letting the pup nurse. What should I do?

  15. I paid $150 for my German Shepherd. I need advise on breeding?

  16. My bitch killed her 4 pups after they were born. Should I breed her again?

  17. I have only had 2 litters and have questions on when to breed my bitch.

  18. My brood bitch has nine 3-week old pups and is losing her milk. What
    should I do?

  19. My female had a litter of 10 pups and ate most of them. What should I do?

  20. I bred my Rot bitch to a purebred Rot male. 2 weeks later I put her out with my GSD and he cross-mated her. Will she have both types of puppies?

  21. Some breeders advertise pink papers. What is this all about?

  22. My bitch is still spotting 6 weeks after having a litter. Should I take her to a vet?

  23. I bred my Rot 4 months ago. Now he wont work when there are bitches in season. What should I do?

  24. My imported bitch had a litter. She won’t accept them and I am sure she will kill them it they are left alone. What should I do?

  25. I have a 2-week old pup that isn’t gaining weight. I let her nurse by herself 3 times a day. What should I do?

  26. How do you raise your pups that make them so easy to house train? We have seen several of your dogs and they were all house trained in no time.

  27. I think my female is 4 weeks pregnant, but she has developed a discharge and won’t eat. What should I do?

  28. I bred my male to my bitch 3 times. How do I know if she is pregnant?

  29. My bitch comes in season every 3 or 4 months. We can not get her bred. What can we do?

  30. We have a litter of 12 pups one has a cleft pallet. Our vet recommends tube feeding. What do you think?

  31. One of my friends (a German) was responsible for checking the bloodlines of the East German Dogs. What is your opinion of the breed right now?

  32. Are there supplements that you would recommend giving a bitch that you want to breed or have bred?

  33. What was your opinion of the German Shepherd that was in Westminster last night (2-13-01)?

  34. My male dog jumps on my female but cannot seem to get her bred. What can I do?

  35. Is there a blood test for females who have been bred, to see if the bitch actually got pregnant?

  36. What do you think of Ferro and his son’s as far as breeding goes?

  37. I have a female that is 5 years old. She has had one litter of two puppies - done with an AI. We try and breed her every season but she never seems to get to the point of flagging the male and getting bred. Any ideas?

  38. I bought a GSD that is 1/2 German and 1/2 American bloodline. It seemed very confident at the kennel that I bought it from. When I got it home it became very shy. Do you think this is just an environmental issue?
  39. Three days ago we had a litter. We have a small one that is having a difficult time. What can we do?

  40. My female Shih Tzu will not let my 2 year old male breed her. What can I do?

  41. Should I breed my black and tan GSD to a White male GSD?

  42. I want to breed my 2 year old male. The female is not yet in season. When we put them together she is not friendly. What can we do?

  43. I would like to buy a puppy from you but I want one from the best litter. I need one that can get a Sch 3. Are one of your current litters the right litter for me?

  44. I have a 120 pound GSD and am looking for a female to breed my dog to. Would you be interested in breeding one of your bitches to my male?

  45. My Rot bitch had pups 48 hours ago. I have heard that their tails need to be cropped. I want to do it myself. Can you tell me what to do?
  46. I found a new born puppy in my yard. I brought it in the house, and I have been bottle feeding the pup every hour. Is this correct?

  47. I am trying to bottle feed a pup. After it eats milk comes out it's nose. Will tube feeding stop this?

  48. I have a very nice male Rott, but he doesn't have papers. I would like to breed him. What do you think? I am sure he will produce nice temperaments in his puppies.

  49. What is the difference between a dominant male alpha puppy and a high drive alpha male puppy?
  50. I have a 4 week old puppy that is not sucking milk very well. It is getting
    smaller than the littermates and acting weak. What can I do?

  51. We had our 6 month old female pit bull wear a diaper when she was in season so our male would not breed her. This morning he got the diaper off and bred her. What should we do?

  52. I have a 10 year old female who has not come into heat for the past year. Is there a shot I can give her to make her come into heat?

  53. My Dobe had pups in April - now it’s the end of July and she has lost her coat. I took her to the Vet and they Dipped her twice and now it's getting worse. My 3 year old son loves this dog. What should I do?

  54. My female Rott was bred by her son by accident. Can I sell the pups?

  55. I am considering buying a dog half pekingnese and half Chihuahua. The breeder said she kept it because it caught her eye. It lives in a shed with other dogs and occasionally comes in the house. Should I buy this dog?

  56. My dog had puppies about 3 weeks ago and has been nursing them fine until recently. I think her nipples are too scratched and irritated now. Is there a home remedy I can use to soothe her so she will nurse them again?

  57. My female just had a C-Section and killed her puppies. Do you think it was because of the C-Section?

  58. Our Blue Heeler, Sky, passed away 2 days after having her puppies. Do you have any information on how to care for these newborns?

  59. My wife and I have a littler of pups. In the beginning the mother cleaned up after them. Now they are starting to get weaned and she does not do this any longer. What can we do- when we come home from work the place is a mess.

  60. My Golden just had 12 pups. They are doing fine, but I was wondering if I should start supplementing and bottle feeding. What do you think?

  61. My Shitzu lost 2 of 4 pups. She does not seem to want to nurse. What can we do? We don't want to lose another puppy.

  62. How long after a female starts bleeding do you get her bred?

  63. How long is too long to wait for a dog to whelp before you should take her to a vet?

  64. Do you know when my 4 month old GSD will go into heat? Also, what would be the earliest I could breed her?

  65. My Lab whelped a litter in Oct and is now in season. My male does not seem to be interested though. Is this a normal season?

  66. My female Rott tied on her 11th day. It is now a week later and she is still flagging the male. Should I separate them or let them breed again?

  67. How long after whelping do you have to wait before breeding again?

  68. My male is having trouble breeding my female. She is flagging him but nothing is happening. Do you have any suggestions?

  69. We have a stray dog under our deck, and just discovered that she has 5 or 6 puppies. They look healthy, but I would like to move them all to a safer place in the yard. How can I do that?

  70. My Nephew's Rott just had 8 pups. She will not nurse them and she leaves the room. What can we do?

  71. My Chocolate Lab is due to have pups soon. I am not sure when I have to step in and bottle feed them. What should I do?

  72. My female will throw up food which the pup will eat. Why does she do that?

  73. My dog died leaving 5 pups that are 3 weeks old. I have another female with pups that is willing to nurse them. Are we doing her any herm by doing this?

  74. I want to breed my 9 month old female. What are the dangers of breeding at this age?

  75. Is it always necessary for the dogs to "lock up" to have a successful breeding?

  76. We have a 5 week old pup with a possible heart defect. Should we wait for him to die naturally or should we put him down? What would you do?

  77. My female GSD produced 9 puppies. 2 of those pups are reported to have Demodectic Mange. Would you stop breeding that female? Would you ever replace a pup with Demodectic Mange?

  78. We've had 3 dogs recently lose pups in utero the week before they were due to whelp. We were able to save one female, but lost the other 2. Have you heard of anything like this? Do you have any advice?

  79. How should we raise our single pup without littermates?

  80. My Chihuahua just had pups and is acting a little strange. She picks up 2 of the pups and tried to leave them under the couch. Do you have any thoughts on this?

  81. My Siberian Husky is 3 weeks pregnant and is showing brown discharge. Is she aborting?

  82. I have tried breeding 4 different females with no pups resulting. Do you have any suggestions?

  83. I am having problems getting a tie with my dogs. Do you have any suggestions?

  84. My bitch is coming into season and I'm wondering if I should breed her again after a horrible first experience? And if I do breed her again, what tips could you give me?

  85. My Boxer just had a litter of nine puppies. The mother chewed the head off of the runt when I left them alone together, do you have any information on this kind of behavior?

  86. My Great Dane has a dark reddish brown discharge at the end of her first period, is this normal? And how can I prevent pyo?

  87. I am wondering if what my bitch is going through right now is what is called 'phantom pregnancy'?

  88. I have a comment on one of you questions on breeding about calcium deficiency and how a mother behaves.

  89. Is it normal for a bitch to lose a lot of hair after breeding? Also, is it normal for a bitch to upchuck her food for her pups?

  90. I have a 3 day old orphaned Yorkie puppy. How large of a hole do I need on the nipple for your formula to get through?

  91. Is it necessary to use a teaser female when collecting semen for artificial insemination?

  92. How long should I wait after my dog is in heat to get her spayed?

  93. My dog's first litter was very successful. I've been trying to breed her again, but she keeps twitching and avoiding the tie. What should I do?

  94. How do you handle things with your other dogs while breeding?

  95. I want to artificially inseminate my dog, she started spotting on Thursday and I want to order the DVD with the supplies but I need some info on what to look for when she is ready. 

  96. It is probable that my dog is pregnant, but it has not been confirmed by a vet. At 65 days, I can feel movement in her belly. My question to you is if she isn't pregnant what is moving in her belly, gas??

  97. My dog just had puppies. She seems perfectly normal besides having constant diarrhea. Any suggestions on how to make it go away or what might be wrong?

  98. My pup has a small umbilical hernia. I am wondering if this is something that I should be concerned with if I decide to breed him?

  99. I am having many problems with my current litter. We now have only 2 pups left should I keep doing what I am doing?

  100. My litter is 7 weeks old and the cry when the defecate. Is this normal?

  101. My stud just bred with 2 different females, who are now both bleeding abnormally. Do you think they're ok or might there be some sort of STD?

  102. I am taking on a litter where the mother has had a tendency to kill her pups in the past and am wondering what are the best ways to go about things.

  103. I'm having some problems with a litter of pups. Do you have any advise?

  104. Where can I find the dyes used in your AI DVD?

  105. My GSD is blue and I am wondering would it be best for the working lines to not breed him even if he is titled and scores high on his hip x-rays? I don't want to breed him just because some people think blues are cool.

  106. My GSD pup has been diagnosed with Demodectic mange, I'm wondering if I should never breed her because of this.

  107. After breeding my female, she had a lot of dark drops of blood. Is this ok or normal?

  108. I have 2 week old litter with diarrhea. Is it was safe to feed a cc or 2 of  Pepto or plain Yogurt to them at this age?

  109. My dog just had puppies and now has mastitis, is it ok to continue to let the pups have her milk? Also, due to some bleeding, my vet recommended that I spay her, what are your thoughts?

  110. I wondered what size heating pad you would recommend for a 6 pup litter of Boxers?

  111. My dog is pregnant and not eating very well. Do you have any suggestions of what I can do to get her to eat?

  112. The breeder of our dog told us to give our bitch, Pet-tab Calcium 1 week before whelping her. The Vet says no. Who is right??

  113. I have breed my female twice with 2 different males, both resulting in some testicle problems in the males. I am reluctant to ever breed her again. Any thoughts or suggestions weather this might be from the father line or the mother line or just one of those things?

  114. Can I let my dogs  (male and female) live together in the same place and let the female decide when is the right time for breeding?

  115. I have also read conflicting info on pregnancy - increase bone (eclampsia) or increase more muscle meat? One last question - do you continue heart worm medicine while pregnant?

  116. I bred my female Rotti. On day 45 she started to have a dark greenish discharge. I took her to her vet and the next day she gave birth to 16 still born pups. You could see that it had started decaying inside her. What would make her go into labor and have all her puppies and them be dead?

  117. I purchased the "How to Artificially Inseminate your Dogs" DVD this week and I was wondering where I can purchase the stains needed to do vaginal smears?

  118. I have collected a sperm sample and am ready to give it a try. How are you supposed to keep the sperm fresh? Freezer or refridgerator?

  119. I would like to know how long after flagging to allow a dog to mate? How long do dogs stay fertile for?

  120. What is the best vitamin to give a pregnant GSD???

  121. One of a litter of 4 GSD pups has developed this hypomeylination issue. Can you tell me where this comes from? Do I fix both parents? Do I euthanize the effected pup?

  122. I have two miniature schnauzers that have both just whelped healthy litters.  I do not wish to continue breeding and would like to know when the best time to have them spayed.  Should I wait for their next heat cycle and proceed a month or two later, or can I have it done soon after the puppies are weaned?

  123. I feed my dogs raw and I have a bitch that is 45 days along. She would happily eat more than I give her. Do I need to feed her more? Will a time come to feed her just as much as she'll eat?

  124. I have an 8 month old female chihuahua that we tried to keep away from our male doxie because she was in heat. To make a long story short he ended up getting her. Is this going to make the puppies to large for her?

  125. Is discharge normal before the bitch comes into heat? And Have you ever seen a bitch come into heat only a couple months after the first one? That can't be normal?

  126. My Lhasa Apso seems she to have interest in her pups what so ever. I know she's producing milk it's just she doesn't want to nurse them. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  127. My dog just started exhibiting some behaviors, notably loud whining and whimpering that ends up being high-pitched barks at virtually anything that moves. She just came into her first heat over the weekend. Is this radical behavior change normal?

  128. My Boxer just had her first litter of pups and had a whopping 10 of them. She is not eating very much and I was wondering do we need to help supplement the pups with formula to help out.

  129. 9 weeks after the birth of an all dead litter, my bitch is still passing a mucus/blood discharge daily, perhaps the equivilant of one teaspoon. I do hope to mate her again, although she will be skipping a season. She usually comes into season every four months and bleeds for 21-25 days, I am told that this is not the norm. I would greatly appreciate if you can shed any light on this matter.

  130. I have a female rottweiler that is 9 months old and a male rottweiler that is just a little over a year old. They ended up mating on her 1st heat. If she is pregnant is this going to stop her growth? What should I do?

  131. We have three breeding females. Is there any way to keep them from having heat cycles at the same time?

  132. My only concern is if your bottle feeding recipe has enough iron in it. None of the ingredients contain iron except maybe the egg yolks. Do I need to add some liquid vitamin to this formula?

  133. We got a new stud dog earlier this year with a WONDERFUL pedigree and temperment, but he is completely clueless as a breeder. Do you have any advice?

  134. I was wondering if the "hot pants" that they sell for when the bitch is in heat really does help protect against an accidental breeding. They advertise it for both reasons, but I have my doubts.

  135. Our dad dog bred it's own pup. I didn't even know that they would, I thought they had a natural instinct not to breed it's own pup. Will this litter be ok or should we abort the babies?

  136. Has your formula been used on other types of animals? How would you feel about this being used on fawns and would the ingredients need to be used in a different ratio to supply the needs of this animal?

  137. With your experience how old is too old to breed a dog? Do you find anything wrong with breeding a dog that has a good temperment and conformation that is 8 yrs old? Have you ever bred a dog that was half blind?

  138. My male poodle tied with my rat terrier. She had her pants on and he managed to manuever aroud the tail hole. Is this potential litter now going to have poodle genes in it? Should I abort this litter today?

  139. After having puppies, my pug has not come into heat again. What do you think the problem is?

  140. Is it okay to put the heating pad under a plastic whelper helper type of whelping box?

  141. Some people have told me I can breed my female to 2 males during the same breeding cycle, is this correct?

  142. Our bitch had just one puppy and he’s now 6 days old and hasn’t gained even one ounce.  What do you think?

  143. I have some questions about our newborn lab puppies. Can you help?

  144. I have a female that is vicious and fearful, but I want to breed her because she’s really beautiful and my male is gorgeous. She also won’t let my male mount her, so I will probably need to do artificial insemination. I probably know your answer but do you think I should breed her?

  145. I want to breed my female, however the stud I would like to use has a large head, broad chest, large pups. My concern is she may not be able to handle giving birth to the pups. Is there a way to determine if the sire is too big for the female to handle the birth of the pups?

  146. My doberman bitch just had her vaccinations and is in heat. How soon can she be bred after receiving her vaccinations?

  147. We have seven 12 day old pups now and one seems to have an infected umbilicus.  It's reddened and crusty. It's the runt, he started whining yesterday. Any help is appreciated.

  148. My female seems to be sick after giving birth to five pups. I have an appointment with vet but am afraid it may not help. Any advice?

  149. My female had 3 pups a month ago. I left home for a couple hours the other day and when I came back one of the pups was dead. I’m not sure if my other puppies are safe, what should I do?

  150. When do you start figuring the 6 months for the next heat cycle? From the last time the female was bred or after she has had the litter?

  151. I have a question about Natural breeding, which I do a lot of, should you wipe the penis and/or vagina with anything before breeding to eliminate bacteria?

  152. I have a 6 year old female great dane and wanted to know if in your opinion she is too old to be bred. I was told thier pelvic area starts to close around age 6 and a c-section would probably be needed. What do you think?

  153. Is xraying a pregnant bitch the best way to confirm that she is pregnant and that everything is OK for delivery?

  154. I have german shepherd pups that are less than one week old. We don't see the dam nursing and I'm a bit worried. Should I force her to nurse the pups or tube feed? How often should she be nursing them?

  155. My GSD had a litter last weekend. Yesterday she started growling and snapping when the puppies would crawl towards her face. Do you have any idea why she would be doing this? What should we do?

  156. I have been breeding labrador retrievers for 9 years now and within the last year, nearly every litter that I have comes down with some sort of virus within the 2nd and 3rd week of  birth.  Any information will be helpful as I'm not getting anywhere with my vets and I have been to three different ones.

  157. My male  doesn’t know how to  mate with my female. How do I get him to mount her properly?

  158. I am currently fostering a liter of puppies for the humane society. They have a strange malformation of their front and back legs. I was wondering if you've ever seen this before and or have any ideas as to what it could be.

  159. I have a 3 year old German Rottweiler, who just had her first litter of pups.  She has wanted nothing to do with them from the time they were born. I am at a loss at what to do.

  160. Our boxers had puppies in an accidental breeding. We would like to keep one but are worried about adding a 3rd dog. Do you think the age differences will work?

  161. My dog killed 2 of her puppies, is the instinct to kill newborns an inherited trait?

  162. I would like to start a breeding and training kennel but wondered how I would go about that, since my house is not big enough for that. Can you give me some tips?

  163. My stud dog was diagnosed with anaplasmosis and while his semen count is high, the motility is very low. Do you have any experience with this?

  164. I have a 3 year female that just had her second litter. She killed 6 and would have killed them all if I had not have intervened. Why did she change? Is it even possible to breed this bitch again without the same terrible outcome?

  165. I was told that 3 years is too old to breed and if my dog does not start to mate around 2 years of age he would not be interested in mating. Is that true?

  166. I have a dog whos is acting strange with her pups. If I only let her with them to feed, how often does she need to feed them? Is this the best thing to do?

Read many more Q & A on Breeding Dogs and Whelping Puppies.

Question On Dog Breeding:

Can you tell me how long it takes for my female to have puppies after she is bred?

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

The normal gestation is 62 days, but there are extenuating circumstances. Semen can live in a female for up to 5 days after breeding. Which means that a female could get bred to a male and not get pregnant until 4 or 5 days after the breeding. If you ask a vet they will refer to their text books and tell you that the time can vary from 58 to 70 days after a breeding before a female whelps her litter.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

Can you tell me what I can do to improve my my stud dogs performance?

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

The smartest thing any breeder can do to improve his stud dogs potency is to switch his stud dog to an all natural diet. I cannot stress this enough. I will guarantee that commercial dog food does not supply the dietary supplements for an active stud dog.

Here are the things to add to your stud dogs diet:

  1. Raw Eggs
  2. Cod Liver Oil
  3. Powdered Kelp
  4. Powdered Alfalfa
  5. Flax Seed Oil - keep refrigerated
  6. Yogurt
  7. Whole Fish
  8. Green Leafy Vegetables
  9. Vitamin C
  10. Vitamin E
  11. Vitamin B
  12. Liver, Brains, Kidneys, Heart

I don’t know what most people charge for stud service or puppies, but my pups are $1500.00 to $2000.00. A breeder only needs to miss one litter of puppies, because his stud dog does not produce enough healthy sperm, to make the expense of an all natural diet sound pretty cheap.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

We have just purchased a German female pup, what I consider a good pedigree. However, we are just getting started. My husband works with the State Patrol, so he is naturally more interested in that type of training. Our biggest problem now is do we get a male pup too, train him and if he turns out good breed them? Or concentrate on our female then find a stud for her. I guess you can say we're you 20 some yrs. ago. We really want to do this. We just want to do it the right way and get started the right way. (By the way our female is sable). This IS NOT the first German Shepherd we've had. We're starting over with her. Any comments you have will be appreciated. We also have had several different opinions on whether the male is to be American or German. It’s quite apparent that we should have a German male. Thanks for making that clear.

Heath and Melissa

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

Here are the things to consider (from my perspective and experience):

  1. A breeding program is based on bitches - not stud dogs. People new to this business often misunderstand how important this is. The strength of my breeding program is not based on the fact that I have great stud dogs (which I do have). It’s based on my foster home program and the fact that I have more nice bitches than any breeder I know.

  2. Is your bitch a German bloodline bitch? If not, then don't worry about her being your foundation brood bitch unless you goal is to only breed pets.

  3. Do not try and raise 2 pups at the same time. I have written about this on my web site. It’s strongly discouraged. The pups do not get the kind of attention they need and the end result is ALWAYS POOR.

  4. Buying a male pup with the hope of it becoming a stud dog is always a big gamble. Any male can breed but very few males are stud dogs. A stud has to be able to constantly produce pups that are similar in temperament and type with multiple bitches. My opinion on what is acceptable for breeding and yours is probably different, but still I always recommend people start by going to a local proven outside stud. Do not ship your bitch the first time she is bred. It almost never works. The stress of shipping seems to result in too many problems and too few litters.

  5. Here is some advise you can take to the bank, DO NOT LISTEN TO ANYONE WHO IS TELLING YOU TO BUY AMERICAN BLOODLINES. These people do not understand temperament, drive and working ability. You will never find a person with good working dogs offer this advice.

  6. You can buy stud service to males that you could never dream of owning, the same can not be said for a bitch. When you do breed, keep females. The only reason to keep a male is for your husband to work with.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

How much should I increase the amount of food I feed my pregnant bitch?

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

A bitch needs to be fed a good quality food. Grocery stores do not sell good quality food. If you are serious about the health of your bitch and her pups stick with an all natural raw diet or PREMIUM kibble.

The first 4 weeks of pregnancy does not require any additional food. After the 4th week the bitch should be given 30% to 50% more food. It’s not necessary to give additional vitamins if you are feeding quality food. During the last few weeks of pregnancy we will feed our females additional ground muscle meat and organ meat. This is the one time we let our dogs be "picky" and eat what they want (i.e. extra eggs, liver or cottage cheese according to what they seem to crave)

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Question On Dog Breeding:

Hi Ed,

I was wondering if you would explain the term Pink Paper's to me. I have heard several meanings from different people. I guess this is a dumb question, but I would like to know what is the significance and importance of having a Pink Papered dog?


ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

For me personally "pink papers" have no importance. This is a breed or show rating. It means that both parents have been "koer Classed level ONE" (breed surveyed). A dog gets koer classed by going before a judge who watches him run around a ring to view his (or her) movement, the judge measures and weighs the dog and then watches the dog do very very limited handler protection.

In my opinion the weakness to the breed survey program is the temperament test is minimal. While the requirements are very specific and detailed for the physical characteristics of the dog, they are marginal for the temperament and working ability of the dog.

In Germany, if one of the parents of a litter is not breed surveyed the puppies from the litter can not get pink papers.

I am a firm believer that it is far more difficult to breed a dog with good temperament and strong working drive than it is to breed a show dog. The proof of this statement is the lack of good working dogs Vs the number of show dogs. If breeding strong working characteristics was an easy thing to accomplish we would see many more strong working dogs in this country.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

My GSD is approximatly 9 months old. He used to be a little hyper, very active, sometimes aggressive and showed signs of being very protective. Our vet recommended we have him fixed. Everything I read told me the same thing. I thought it was the best thing to do.

Now, I'm not so sure. He seems to have changed. He lets friends of ours put their hands in his mouth, he lets other people correct him, he cowers very easily, like we beat him. I am worried that he will not be protective of my house or me. I don't want him to be afraid of my friends, I don't want him acting like they are family. What can I do? I wish I hadn't had him fixed!! What changes can I expect when I have my female spayed?


ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

If people are concerned about a dog that is too aggressive then they should definitely have it neutered at an early age. This is sound advise. Your e-mail is testimonial to the dramatic effect that this can have on the personality of the dog.

I also feel that the vast majority of animals are not breed quality and should never be bred. Nothing urks me more than to hear people say that they "just want to have one litter for their kids" - or worse yet "for their dog." There is only one reason to have a litter and that is to improve the breed.

The question of when to neuter a dog can be effected by what the goal is of the person who owns the dog. If it’s to be a police service dog or a personal protection dog I do not recommend neutering the dog until it is 18 to 24 months old. The dog needs its hormones to mature and develop. If neutering is delayed until this age the dog can be neutered and it will have "NO EFFECT" on its working ability or protection work. A personal friend had one of the toughest police service dogs I have ever seen, this dog was a monorchid (born with one testicle that never descended). It was neutered at 24 months of age and worked a full life in a major city. He had many many apprehensions with bites.

If a dog is neutered at 6 to 12 months it is going to have a dramatic effect on the personality of the dog. My experience is that these dogs will never do protection work.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

Mr. Frawley,

I have a wonderful German Shepherd bitch with excellent working lines (both parents from Germany). She is 2 1/2 yrs. old, has OFAed good, has been bred to a Czech/German male and has just whelped a litter. I have to say at this time, I purchased your whelping tape and it definitely came in handy. "Hella" had 17 puppies,16 survived (one had been dead for a while I suspect, and one had to be rescued). We are new to this region of the states, and our "new" vet is recommending I "cull" her litter down to 10 although the pups are all fat and healthy. She believes that no matter how hard I try to tube feed them, they will "tax" the other pups, and they in turn will not get enough milk. Is this true? Do I really have to pick 6 puppies to be destroyed? By the way, Hella is eating a premium dog food, a whole chicken (minus the skin and bones) and a prenatal vitamin every day. I'm not sure if what the vet is telling me is correct, and I'm reluctant to just "pick" 6 pups to go! Since you have always provided good, solid information on subjects I have needed advice on, I thought I'd ask you before I spoke to the vet again, which will be on Monday (I'm still tube feeding goats milk as of now).

If you have the time, I sure would appreciate a reply, as time, as they say "is of the essence."

Thank you for your time

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

Teresa, this is a terrible situation to be in. In over 150 litters, I have never had that many puppies from one female. I can not tell you what to do in this matter but I can tell you a few things to think about to help you make up your own mind.

If you choose to try and save them all, the first thing that is important is to make sure that all of the pups get colostrum. The mother will give this over the first day or two before her normal milk comes in. I tell my kennel people that help whelp litters that colostrum is "liquid gold." Get as much in the pups as possible.

The first thing to try is to get a surrogate mother, even from another breed. See if you can find another bitch (ask the local vets) that will take these 6 puppies. This is not an easy task. Even if you find another female, adding 6 strange pups is very ticklish. Sit with the 2nd bitch for a long long time to make sure she doesn't kill the new pups or abandon them.

The problem with tubing puppies is that if this is their only source of nourishment, they will lose their sucking instinct (at least that is what I have found). To do a good job of tubing requires a "GRAM SCALE" like I show in my video Whelping Puppies, (which you already have.) You need to identify the pups you are working with and chart their weight. I will weigh a pup 3 times a day. It is impossible to notice a 30 gram increase (or worse a 30 gram loss in weight).

Initially I am inclined to buy premixed milk from the vet that is specifically designed for puppies, rather than goats milk. These come in small containers and cost about $2.50 each. I save the mixed formula (goats milk, cottage cheese, vanilla yogurt and boiled eggs that I show how to make in the tape) until the pups are about 19 to 20 days old. I will start supplementing a large litter earlier than a normal litter of 5 or 6 pups. When you supplement, do it 3 to 4 times a day. You will know how much to feed by putting food down and seeing if it’s all eaten quickly or if there is some left after 10 minutes.

It’s difficult to determine how much to tube. With German Shepherds you can watch the weight gain of pups not being tubed - you will not be able to match this gain with tubing - but you can get a feel. I will often start with 10 to 20 CC. If you do it too much the pup will throw up or get diarrhea. If you are tubing a pup and it all of a sudden seems to become ill, (lacks spunk and is lethargic), watch its weight. If it drops 20 grams between feeds then it may have diarrhea. I will give these pups 3 cc. of Keopectate and back off of one feeding to let their stomach settle. In the second week the pups should be able to handle 30 cc per feeding.

A normal sized pup is about 450 grams to 500 grams. We just raised one that had a strong sucking instinct that was under 200 grams. That was the smallest I have ever done.

Probably the most important thing that you can do it to rotate pups on this bitch day and night for the first 20 days, (this will turn into 20 days from hell). If you do decide to tube, make sure that these pups are also rotated through with the others. It’s always better if you can maintain some form of a sucking instinct if at all possible.

Be careful to give the bitch enough to eat without overfeeding and causing her to get loose stools. You can get her sick by trying to be too nice to her. Remember to keep her water bucket absolutely sterile and full of fresh water. Get her plenty of exercise. These first 3 or 4 days, take her temperature every morning. Watch for signs of a fever. It helps to get her out for a quick walk 2 times a day every day. This helps her pass any garbage that is left in her that could start to get infected and cause problems. Many times people feel that they should leave the bitch alone the day after whelping. This is wrong. Get her up and going.

I can tell you how I currently treat very small pups. I will initially tube a pup once or twice. Then we will put it on the mother 10 to 15 times a day and make sure the other pups allow it to suck. If its going to live, it must live on its own. If it dies with this kind of care then there is something wrong that we had no control over. If a small pup lives and is in a large litter, then I will assist it with tubing in the second week (in addition to putting it on mom) because the other pups just muscle it out of the way. I will take this pup and get it on the goats milk formula sooner than I would normally do it to get added weight. I do this at the same time I am leaving it on mom.

This information is designed to help you make up your own mind on what needs to be done. If you start to tube a pup and do it for a couple of days you are usually in for the long haul. Once you have raised puppies from birth to 3 weeks by tubing you will have second thoughts about doing it again.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

How can I tell when my bitch is through having puppies?

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

The only 100% sure way to determine if a bitch has had her last pup is to take her to the vet and have an x-ray. I have never done this in over 150 litters.

As a breeder gains experience you will be able to feel your bitches uterus and know if there is a puppy left inside or not, (at least be reasonably certain that there are none left). But another way that I like is to keep a stethoscope on hand. They are not expensive. Some are less than $30.00. Listen to the heart rate of the puppies before the bitch whelps. She must be kept calm and quiet when you are doing this. The puppies heart rate is much faster than the mothers. Place the scope on the belly between the hips of the mother.

As your bitch goes through the whelping process you can monitor the remaining pups by their heart beat. I doubt that you will be able to tell how many are left but if there are live pups you should be able to hear them inside the mother. Its important to keep on top of this and do your monitoring right after the bitch has a puppy. Don't wait for 2 hours and then wonder if there are any left inside and listen then. By that time the remaining pup may be stuck in the birth canal and dead. You would think that the bitch was through when in fact she still has a pup left inside her. It's also important to listen on both sides of the females belly (towards the outside). A bitch has 2 horns to her uterus. Both horns contain pups. If one horn is empty and the other still has pups and the bitch is laying with the empty side up and that s the side you listen to you may not hear heart beats. I just had this happen - when the bitch laid on one side you could not hear anything, when you listened to the other side you could hear heart beats.

By continuing to monitor for heart beats right after the birth of every pup, it is unlikely that you will miss a puppy. Now this does not mean that a large pup will not get stuck in the canal and die, but at least you will know that its in there. I let my shepherds go 2 to 2 1/2 hours before I give them a shot of oxitosin. For a 65 pound shepherd I will give 1 1/2 cc in the back leg muscle up near the tail.

The bottom line is that listening for a heart beat and oxytosin are not the final solution to determining if there are still pups left in you female. But they are tools that may help.

I used to recommend that a female should go to the vet if it had gone 2 hours without having a puppy. Over the years I have given a lot of females ""C-Section ions" after 3 or 4 hours that probably did not need them. I no longer do this. If a bitch is not in distress, if she is calm and quiet I will let her go overnight before I get concerned.

I can remember one female 4 or 5 years ago that I had taken to the vet for x-rays at about 55 days of pregnancy. We shot an x-ray and I was told that there were 3 pups. Well, after the first pup was born I waited 4 hours and took her in for a "C-SECTION." We cut her open and there were NO MORE PUPS. The vet said that what he thought were pups were probably stools. NOT A GOOD THING TO HAPPEN!! That was when I quit rushing in for "C-SECTIONS." Since then I have not had one “C-Section” and I have not had a problem. I have even had a couple of females whose last pup was born before midnight and then not had another pup until after 7 AM - and they were born alive.

Over the years I have become a fan of the saying "MOTHER NATURE KNOWS BEST." Use your common sense. If the bitch looks fine, she is probably OK. If she is restless and stresses, if she is constantly cramping for a long period of time and you can not see or feel anything (wash your hands or wear sterile glove for the exam) then consider a visit to the vet.

If you would like to learn how to whelp a litter I have done an excellent video called Whelping Puppies.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

I have a 16 month old female GSD (Chelsey). At 5 months it was discovered that she had hip dysplasia, but had not yet developed arthritis. So, she had corrective surgery (triple pelvic osteotomy on both hips). The breeder had a warranty on her hips, but the remedy is to give me another puppy (it isn't necessary for me to return Chelsey). I am interested in having another GSD, but I am unsure whether I should accept this free one from this breeder. Chelsey does have a good pedigree and this particular breeder shows many of his dogs. In addition, he has been breeding for over ten years and hasn't had many dogs with hip dysplasia. However, I am still skeptical. Would you advise me to accept this free puppy from him or should I pay the money and go with a more widely recognized breeder (such as yourself)? If I end up with another puppy with hip dysplasia I would not be able to give the puppy back because I would be too attached to it, so I would again be forced to pay over $2,000 for the corrective surgery.

There are two obedience problems that I am having with her. I have taken her to both a beginner and an intermediate training class and I work with her on a daily basis. The first problem is with heeling. She will not heel in the proper position. She always heels slightly in front of me. This doesn't present a severe problem when I am walking her on a leash, unless I want to make a 90 degree turn to the left, (then I end up stepping on her). However, I would like to eventually train her to do off lead heeling and I do not want to begin that until she is heeling in the proper position on lead. How can I get her to heel in the proper position?

The second problem is actually more of a behavioral problem. She is very timid. However, she has gotten better then she was in the past. When a stranger (or even someone that she has had infrequent contact with) approaches her, she barks at them with her hair raised, looking like she's going to kill them. When they come closer to her she runs away and cowers. I am afraid that she will become a fear biter. I know that I am not supposed to comfort her because that will reinforce the behavior. However, I do not know what the appropriate response is from me when she does this.

Thank you very much for your time.

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

In my opinion, you should not take another dog from this breeder. Not because of the bad hips but because of the poor temperament. In our breed, (GSD's), bad hips are going to happen. I assume that the breeder only breeds dogs with OFA ratings. Assuming this is the case, that’s about all we can ask.

The situation with the poor temperament comes from the American show bloodlines. When you say that the breeder shows dogs, I assume (maybe incorrectly) that this is a show breeder. What you describe in temperament is what is going to happen in a majority of American bloodline GSD's. They have bred good temperament out of the lines.

The training question about heeling is also another issue. You need to look at my video on Basic Dog Obedience. I discuss these problems in this tape (and a lot more). There is more information in this tape than there is in a 10 week training course. Read about it on my web site. The bottom line is that formal heeling is not used for a normal walk. This is unfair to the dog. When we walk with our dogs I expect them to walk without pulling on the leash - not heel in a competition heeling position by my left side. Sounds like you may be expecting too much. Walks are one thing, competition heeling is another thing.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

Can you explain a 3-3 line-breeding on Grief?

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

There are two terms used by breeders to signify a particular dog appears in both the fathers and the mothers pedigree. Line-breeding and inbreeding.

When a dog is line-bred 3-3 on a dog (for example Grief), this means that Grief appears in the pedigree of the father and the mother of that particular dog. To get a 3-3 line breeding, you count the father as "1," the grandfather as "2" and the great grandfather as number "3." So a 3-3 line breeding to Grief means that Grief is the great grandfather on the sires side and the mothers side of a dogs pedigree.

Inbreeding means that a father is bred to a daughter or a brother is bred to a sister. Inbreeding should only be attempted by the most experienced breeders. I tried it once and made the wrong decision on breeding partners.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

My female occasionally develops a temperature a couple days after birth. What can I do for this?

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

I have this same problem occasionally, until I was reminded that it is important to get your bitches up and moving after they have had babies. Take them for several short walks each day. It only needs to be a couple of hundred yards. This is enough to get their system working to help expel any afterbirth that is still inside. I always give the bitch a shot of "pit" after the last pup. This combined with the walks have really helped me. I used to think that they were so tired out and concerned about being away from their babies that they needed to be left alone with their pups. I was 100% wrong.

In fact, if your bitch seems like she is getting close to the day she will whelp, I always get them out and take them for walks. Often a nice long walk is enough to trigger the female to go into labor. Then as she progresses through the birthing process and seems to come to an impasse (where she still has puppies but it has been awhile since her last pup) I will get them out of the box and take them out in the front yard, they won't stay long but often times I can gently massage their belly and that combined with the walking helps the next pup come. Don't take your eyes off of her. You may think she is pooping and in fact it’s another baby that is dropped in the yard.

I used to think the solution to these temperatures was antibiotics. The fact is that if we can be proactive and eliminate the cause of the fever before it happens then everyone is a winner.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

I have a two year old female German shepherd. The first time I did a breeding she did not get pregnant, I had a vaginal smear done on her, that said to breed any day. I also had a sperm count done on the male, even though he has thrown puppies before. I just bred her again, this time I bred her everyday for five days. I also had two smears done, the first one saying in two days, the second one done after breeding her on what would of been the second day it read the same. They still did not pin point when her time was.They did not draw blood but took it from her heat. My question is what is going on? What are the chances that she can't have puppies? Also is there anyway to tell if she is pregnant other then waiting 4 weeks? Also why didn't she get pregnant the first time?

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

You did the right thing this second breeding - nothing is laid in cement on this but most bitches are bred on the 10th through the 13th day of their season. The best thing to do is to breed the bitch every day that she will breed. The thing that you have going for you is that the bitch seems to have stood and got bred naturally. This means she was receptive to the male.

The best indication (in my opinion) of the right time to breed is when the male has an interest to do it and when the female will allow it. Everything else is only and educated guess from humans (who often don't know what’s going on).

Not a lot of people in this country (none that I am aware of) have the experience breeding German Shepherds) that I do. It's approaching 180 litters over 20 years. You can believe me when I say that this is a very difficult hobby. The difficulty in dealing with bitches like this is really the main reason I will not breed my stud dogs to outside bitches. It's too time consuming. More than half the time the female gets here and the time is not right or the female is environmental problems and is traumatized by being away from her family and home and will not breed.

For bitches like this the solution is artificial insemination. But you need to be sure of the cycle. Slide help, the males nose helps but they say (and I have not had much luck with) progesterone testing. I will say the test kits that are sold DO NOT WORK. These people can talk until they are blue in the face and it’s a crock of bull. For the average small breeder - they do not work.

From the sound of it you will have puppies this time. If you do not then your female probably has some type of problem. At that point I would have her checked by a vert. Check her thyroid levels (if they are off she will not have puppies) check to see if she has some kind of a vaginal infection. There are several other things you vet can discuss with you about this.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

I have a question that isn't on your whelping puppy tape. I have a Bitch German Shepherd that isn’t letting the puppy nurse. I tried putting the puppy on a Rott, but the Rott tried to bite the head off. The bitch Rott hates the other dog, though. I want to save the pup but how? We got a tube for tube feeding. I'm going to take the pup and the mom to a vet tomorrow. But what should I do? She isn't a good mother at all. This was her first puppy. Should I get her spade, and keep her as a pet? Me and this dog have a good partnership.


ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

You should not breed this dog again. There is something missing in a dogs head that will not nurse her own puppy. So spay the bitch.

Depending on how old the pup is, you can try tube feeding it. Pups need colostrum from their own mother which comes in the first 48 hours. make the mother lay there while you hold the pup and let it suck. If you have to muzzle her, do it, but the pup should be kept in a box with a heating pad at 90 degrees. Put the pup on the mom 9 or 10 times a day.

The important thing is to sit and hold the pup so it will suck. If you can't get this done it’s going to die.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

I was wondering how you get all these dogs. My GSD is an American Bred. From what I have read you do not particularly like that breed but Tonka is beautiful; he's not quite two, he still has about eight months to go, anyway I paid $150.00 for him and would like to breed him, but I can't seem to find the right female for him. Tonka is a very smart dog, it doesn't take him long to pick up on things. It's very hard to keep him focused because he's always looking for a new adventure. Some people say he looks mean well if you look into his eyes he does but he isn't mean. I just need to know how to breed him, how to tell a good female from a bad female, and how to do dog shows, (if he can handle them.)

Thanks for your help,

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

I can give you some very good advise, your dog is not breeding quality. If you are sincerely interested in this breed you will not allow him to breed. You have a pet and nothing more. There are enough pets in this world. If you don't believe me go down to your local dog pound and look at the dogs that they have to put to sleep.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

My friend is a New York City Narcotics Detective. He wanted me me to ask you a breeding question. He recently bred his bitch. She had four puppies and when she finished delivering them she destroyed them. Should he breed this bitch again? What causes this to happen?

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

There is something screwy in the bitch’s mind that makes her do this, or he made a big mistake in where he allowed her to have the pups. They need to be in a place they feel 100% secure in. It must be quiet and warm. It had to have been in a secure whelping box.

If it was noisy and she did not feel comfortable with the location it would have made her nervous.

If he did everything right and she did this then her mind is screwed and she should not be bred.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

I have a question that you may be able to answer for me. I have an outstanding, proven GSD, imported from the Czech Republic. She is three and a half, and has had one litter of outstanding puppies.

I am trying to breed her to another outstanding, proven GSD, imported from Germany, that belongs to our Police Department here. He has sired one great litter of puppies, and is seven years old.

The big question that I have is when do I breed them? She seemed to start coming into heat a couple of weeks ago. That's when my neutered male started paying attention to her and trying to mount her.

That is when we started getting the two desired partners together about every other day. The bitch started bleeding eight days ago. Two days ago they "tied" for approximately 25 minutes.

Yesterday he showed no interest in her at all, as a matter of fact he ignored her. She is discharging a pale pink, almost clear fluid now. What makes me wonder about this is the fact that she was so aggressive towards him that I soft muzzled her, to keep her from injuring him.

This will be my third litter, and I guess this one means quite a bit to me. I went through a lot of trouble to get the department's approval, and will test and raise one of the puppies (If I have any worthy), following the RCMP Puppy Program Guidelines. I would take any advice, criticism, or anything else you have for me.


ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

You should have been taking her to an experienced vet to do slides. Normally bitches are bred on the 11th day, normally inexperienced handlers miss the first 3 days of a dog bleeding because the bitches clean themselves up so well. They need to be checked the first thing in the morning with a kleenex for any signs of blood to determine the first day.

The best test when to breed is the stud dog I bred 2 females last week and only took one tie. You have to believe the male.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

Java's pups are 3 weeks old and it seems to me that she is losing her milk. Pups are crying. We forced her to lay down a couple times last night but after a couple of minutes she doesn’t want to feed them anymore. What should we do? Ella boiled some milk last night and gave them a little. We don't want to screw up anything. Please help if you can. I thought that I knew more about it than I really do.

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

Clip the pups toe nails - they may be too sharp and many bitches will not like being poked. It may also be that she is sick of their teeth biting her nipples.

Make sure the bitch is getting plenty of good food. I often increase the amount of food she is getting. I will also offer her cans of chicken boulion or beef bullion. The more liquids she drinks the more milk she will make

There has to be a reason why she is drying up. You need to figure this out. I assume you have increased her food as the litter grows. Go to Wal Mart and buy turkey burger (its not expensive) and give her an additional pound of that along with her normal feeding every day.

You have to be a a little aware of the fact that too much food will cause loose stool.

Do not feed puppies cows milk - cows milk will give the pup the diarrhea.

I have an excellent article on a puppy formula that produces 11 calories per CC of formula. It's easy to make. - I have started 3 week old puppies on this. I also make sure that the pups have water down so the option is there for them to try and drink. Many breeders screw up and don't offer water soon enough. If you touch their snout to the water some will figure out how to drink. Do the same for the formula.

I have started supplementing litters as early as 3 weeks. These were usually big litters and they needed more food than the mother could supply.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

Mr. Frawley.

I ran across your web site when I was researching information on shepherds.

I have a male shepherd who is a few years old, he's a big baby, and loveable as hell. He's registered. My female shepherd was orphaned, we don't really know too much about her background.

She (Sadie) looks identical to our male, except smaller of course. She inadvertently became pregnant from our male, we were not planning on this breeding, but decided to go ahead with letting her have the litter anyway.

I had Sadie about 3-4 years, she's always been real skittish, distant from most people, except she seems to trust women. She does not want to have anything to do with children and has snarled at a few who have approached her. She loves me to death and trusts me totally, and I'm not sure how this bonding occurred so naturally, but it did.

Anyway, our two Shepherds, male and female, and my 6 year old West Highland Terrier (whom I've bred twice) always "ran the yard" together. Every now and then my Westie and Sadie butted heads, but I didn't think too much of it.

About 2 weeks prior to Sadie's whelping, I came home late one night only to have my neighbor lady come out pre-warn me that Sadie killed my Westie; I guess she tore into her quite viciously for about a half-hour and from what the neighbor had said, it appeared she was trying to "eat" her. She was afraid to enter my fenced yard to brake it up.

I was heartbroken--mainly because I had my Westie for such a long time and loved her dearly, but also because I had bonded with Sadie in the last few years and I knew Sadie loves me and trusts only me.

My first gut reaction was to have Sadie put to sleep, but I knew I would have to wait until she had her pups. The reason I began to research the internet was because after she had the pups (litter of 10), I found out that she was eating the pups. She has 4 healthy pups left that she seems to be half-ass caring for. They're 3 weeks old now. Someone told me that they heard of dogs eating their young if they were undesirable or not healthy, or if the female felt that they could not feed all of them.

I never heard of such a thing, but wondered if it didn't have something to do with the fact that she killed my Westie and got a taste of her blood. Can you help me understand this? Is this normal or is she just a killer? I still may have her put down afterwards, but I'm feeling guilty about that also. We have a neighborhood of young children and that worries me too.


ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:


This is a disturbing situation.

I wonder if the female killing the sheltie had anything to do with killing her babies. It could be maternal aggression but the pups were not born and I don't know the time frame between the killing and the litter.

Females can kill their babies for several reasons.

1- If a female does not have a safe quiet secluded den they can get nervous and kill their babies. When that happens the problem is with the owner not providing what the dog perceives is a safe place to have babies.

2- A female can also kill her pups if too many people are coming into the whelping area when the litter if first born. Some can get nervous and kill the pups. This is also more of an owner problem than a dog problem.

3- There is also the possibility of the female being mentally unstable.

The issue of the sheltie being killed could very easily be a rank-pack structure problem. I don't know the temperament of this dog or the sheltie. But "female on female" aggression is a common problem. Female dog fights are the most vicious.

I will guarantee you that this dog had gave off signals that there were problems on the horizon - you just missed those signals.

We never leave adult females together when we are gone unless we 110% know there is no sign of potential problems. And we always error on the side of safety. Doing otherwise asks for problems, but then you found this out.

You would have been better advised to use dog crates and keep these dogs separated.

You would have been better advised to establish pack structure and control the environment that your dogs are allowed to live it.

The fact is you allowed an accidental breeding. You were not paying attention. Then you allowed your female to kill the other female - you were not paying attention. The moral of this story is to educate yourself to pack structure and then change the way you live with the dog.

Ed Frawley

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Question On Dog Breeding:

My Rottweiler bitch came on heat 24 days ago.

On the 11th and 13th day I mated her to a wonderful pure breed rottweiler male. The problem is that two weeks after, (that is on the 24th day which was last night), I thought that her season was over, and I let her out in with my other dogs.

Unfortunately, my german shepherd cross mated with her. Please help me out. Will my female have puppies for both males or just for the Rottweiler considering that the german shepherd mated her on her 24th day of her season. (NB: I am accurate about when she started her heat cycle. I checked it three times a day before she started so there could be no mistake about when she started).

Is she still fertile on her 24th day considering that she has been mated two weeks before. If it is possible for her to have both type of puppies, will they be born together considering the two weeks difference in mating? how will I be able to distinguish which is pure breed or not?

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

This is a hard one.

I have heard of bitches seasons going this long and then getting them bred, but usually they will not breed earlier in the season. They normally only breed when they are fertile.

The odds are this bitch will have ALL rots or ALL hal breeds. It would be impossible for a bitch to have puppies that are a result of breeding's that were 2 weeks apart. That simply can not happen.

So count your days and see when this litter is born. The normal time for a litter is 57 to 72 days - with the most common being 62 days. So if the bitch whelps 62 days after breeding the Rot then they are rots. If it’s 62 days after the shepherd the will be shepherd-rot puppies.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

Mr. Frawley I have several of your training videos and I must say that I have gained so much from them. I think that even though I am new to the sport I am ready to look into a puppy that I can develop into a competition dog.

The biggest problem that I run into though is there are many breeders that say that SV papers represent the best way to get a good puppy prospect, others say that the papers don't mean squat. I have heard that they are sent to Germany and just stamped there and that's all that there is to it. I called your kennels and was told that your pups are only AKC registered not "Pink Papered." Please help me. I am so interested in your stock.

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

This pink paper thing has been around since the beginning of time. It's a non- issue as far as I am concerned.

In Germany dogs whose parents have both been Koer Classes get pink papers. It makes not difference if both parents could never be working dogs or could never produce a personal protection dog much less a police service dog. They still get koerd and they still get pink papered.

If you are interested in show dogs then this is an issue you need to consider. If you are interested in working dogs it's a joke. Dogs from Belgium, Holland, USA or Chech can not get pink papers because the breed organizations in these countries do not use that system so they don't have pink papers. Yet every one of these countries has produced some great working dogs.(mostly from old German working bloodlines)

So if a breeders goal is produce show dogs under the German System they can talk "pink papers" but if they are talking working lines then they are new to the game and are pulling at straws to find ways to sell their dogs.

Another question I get asked is about the "VA" and "V" ratings before dogs names in a pedigree. The "V" rating means the dog is a German show champion. When a conformation show takes place in Germany the judge will pick all the dogs who he feels that fall into the top category and give them a "V" show rating. They must only get this rating one time to display it on their pedigree. The top dog in that show gets a "V1" the second place dog is "V2" etc.

Every year the Germans have their Sieger show. This is the largest conformation breed show of the year. The dog that wins this show is called the Sieger. He receives a show rating of "VA1" There can be as many as 12 VA dogs at the Sieger show. So all of these dogs can have "VA" before their name. The sieger show is the only place a dog may obtain a "VA" rating for his pedigree.

If people are interested in purchasing a working dog and see "VA" titles in the pedigrees of the parents, this should throw up a red flag. "VA" dogs are not working dogs, there has not been a "VA" dog in the past 25 years that is known to produce working dogs.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

My Bitch had a litter of 10 puppies' 6 weeks ago. She was in labor for quite some time and delivery took over 12 hours. She was very exhausted and was running a moderate temperature for the first couple of days after the liter was born.

When the pups were 3 days old I discovered that mom didn't have much milk. I immediately began feeding all 10 puppies and took her to the vet to get a progesterone shot. This helped a little bit, but she never had very much milk. I gave the puppies 100% of their feedings, but Mom still let them suck several times a day for the first 4 weeks. After that she no longer wanted them to suck.

My puppies are now 6 weeks old and I have noticed that my bitch has started bleeding, it is very dark in color and more like a clot than like the bleeding from a heat. Is this because there was no rigorous sucking from the pups and her uterus did not contract enough, or is this something that I should be taking her to the vet for?

Thank You,

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

This discharge has nothing to do with puppies sucking. I would have given the bitch an oxytocin shot and not a progesterone shot to get the milk flowing. I am also not sure that I would breed this bitch again, but then you have probably come to the same conclusion if you did as much bottle feeling or tubing as you must have. Monitor your bitches temp. Make sure the discharge does not have a foul smell. If the bitch develops a temp a vet should see her.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

I have male rot that has been mated the first time for 4 months ago. Most of the females around are in their period now and he is a real pain in training. First pass in the bite work he's really domestic and frustrated, can take a bite here and there. Can see and can't hear, and takes himself totally out, and he has good condition. The second pass after a break he's calmer and are back in function. Shall I go on as usual or pull him down with more obedience training?

Kind Regards,

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

This is a drive issue and also an obedience issue.

The females distract the dog - this goes with breeding. Now he must learn to mind when females are in season.

Take cotton swabs and keep wiping the blood whenever you can from the females when they are in season. Keep them in a zip lock bag in your freezer. When you do obedience training. Lay them on the floor and allow him to smell them - then make him work with a prong collar - he MUST do obedience around bitches.

When he is going to breed a bitch - always put the prong on and do obedience before you allow him to breed. The reward for good work is breeding. They learn very quickly. This is better than hot dog training.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

Have you got experience with a bitch rejecting her pup? My Hungarian import (Double Doc v d Teufelsbruk) bitch came to me pregnant and I had the singleton pup delivered by c-section. The mother is extremely dog aggressive, and now wants to eat this newborn. She will tolerate nursing her if I hold the mothers head down, and force her to nurse. If left unattended, the mother will kill the baby I am sure.


Can you give me resources for bottle feeding (I have tube fed and bottled litters, but am uncomfortable with the prevalence or rumored prevalence of cataracts in bottle fed youngsters)?


ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

Get the bottle-feeding information from your vet. They have the formula that you will need to use, but this is a tremendous amount of work. Force the bitch to allow the pups to feed before you go to bottle-feeding. Do it as many as 10 times a day for several days if you have to.

If the bitch does kill her pup, I would recommend not bred this bitch again. There is something seriously wrong with a bitch that does not accept her own pups (even if they are taken "C" section). A bitch that does this has a serious mental problem.

I have bred over 230 litters of dogs and do not tolerate bitches that are not good mothers. Sorry if this is not what you wanted to hear but I have a lot of experience in this field and know what I am talking about. If you want to build a breeding program it must start with good bitches. If you start with something less than that, you are only kidding yourself and your customers.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

I have a litter of ten puppies that was born two weeks ago today. Nine of them are doing great. The tenth one is confusing me. She appears healthy. Her coat looks good, she appears to be nursing fine (without the other puppies). The other pups push her away when they want to eat. I have not seen any sign of the milk coming back up after she has nursed. She does not have cleft palate. The problem she is not gaining weight as quickly as the others. They are all gaining 1 1/2 - 3 oz per day-she is gaining every day but it is an average of .4-.6 oz per day. I have just started weighing her two times per day and I am letting her nurse by herself three times a day and I am sitting with them to make sure she is feeding-hopefully this helps. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?

Thank you,

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

You are doing everything you should be doing. There may be a medical problem that you have no idea about. This falls under the category of doing everything you can, but then nature takes its course.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

Hi Ed,

I talked to Randy and we decided to drop you a line. Both puppies are doing great, already showing great drive and intensity for their work. I have been tracking Willow and she is a natural!! Great ball drive and already out at the end of the leash like a little Tasmanian devil when she watches bite work.

On another note, could you briefly describe how you set up your litters? She was so easy to housebreak and everyone who has gotten a puppy from you has said the same. I am expecting a litter in July and would love to set them up so my puppy buyers could experience this. I bred my SchH 1 bitch to Joan Harris's male (Isar vom Leerburg SchH 3). Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

I am really picky on a clean kennel. I go overboard to try and keep it clean, so the pups never really learn to be dirty. From the day they come out of the whelping box they go into a whelping room with newspapers. I put the newspapers on the floor in one counter, and the other corner I put blankets down for them to lay on. They naturally go to the paper after a day or so.

Then when they go outside they go on flats for 1 week, the flooring is a plastic floor with holes (it's for pig farmers don’t ask me where, I bought it too long ago). These flats have their own dog houses with straw, so again the pups are never in their own waste it falls through the flats.

After a week they are then on the ground and the dog houses always has fresh straw so they naturally sleep in a clean environment and learn to do their business either on paper or at least not where they sleep.

I hope this helps.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

Hi Ed,

I am concerned about one of my breeding females. She was in heat the first of last month and the stud dog wasn't able to tie except for one time. This is a 4 yr old maiden bitch. After two weeks went by this bitch attacked my other bitches pups killing two of them. She has been with this other bitches pups (last yr and this yr) before without a problem. I had just went in the house to get the phone. When I returned two were dead. I know how stupid this was to let her be with the other bitch. The pups were 8 weeks. I fell guilty like hell and learned a valuable lesson with the price of two pups. I usually allowed a playtime with the dogs and pups and like I said never had a problem. Then after about 4 weeks this bitch who had killed the pups starting becoming listless and off food. It wasn't until a couple of days ago that I noticed a vaginal discharge. It isn't clear either but blood tinged and off white. It does have a slight odor, but it is not terrible. There isn't a fever. She has lost weight and looks bad. I am sure it is an infection of some kind just concerned about Pyometra. Now my question is this: Have you ever had a pregnant bitch with Pyometra? I am calling the vet in the morning but I am concerned about this vet going crazy on tests. I am treating her with Fluids 350ml BID and Complexion 250mg TID until I get her to the vet. She won't eat anything except a little hamburger and rice. She is not drinking like crazy or going to the bathroom anymore than usual. And there is no vomiting or diarrhea. Please let me know what you think. I am planning to have this bitch spayed.

Although I am more concerned with the bitches health than the pups. The pups will also be sold as Pets with limited reg and spayed. But I am willing to spay this bitch pregnant or not if it is what I need to do!


ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

Take the dog to the vet. You already screwed up once by allowing a female to be with another bitch's litter. If you continue with your current course of action with this bitch she could die. Trying to find the answers to this kind of a medical problem by asking questions on the internet is gambling with your dog's life!

It's your call.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

How do I tell if my bitch is preg? Have had her to the vet, he say's he does not think she is, but could be just to early too tell. They mated the 10th, 15th and 18th of April 2000. The male is only 6 months, so we were surprised to say the least the mating took place. The Vet also said that it is possible she could be carrying only 1 to 2 pups, that would not be so easy to detect. We have noticed sluggishness and seems to us her ribs are spreading. How can we tell, other than with time? I don't want to over feed her, but if she is possible. I want to increase her food.

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

I don't know what you are doing breeding a 6 month old male. That's crazy - I am not sure the AKC will register dogs from a breeding this young. In my opinion they should not.

Doing what you have done gives good reputable breeders a bad name.

Gestation is 62 days.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

Ed, I wanted to ask you a question about bitches that cycle short I Imported a Czech bitch and she had been breed on 9/17/00 it did not take. two days ago she started a cycle, I have seen this once before and that bitch never produced any pups. The bitch is four and had not produced before, I'm very alarmed by the four-month cycle, thanks for any input you may have.

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

Have a vaginal culture done and see if she has any infections. If she doesn't have any - put her on cheque-drops (To stop her from going into season) for 6 months. Then when she goes off the drops breed her on the very next season. Bitches need to be out of season for a minimum of 3 months before they can ovulate. This is one way to be sure it was long enough.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

We just had a litter of 12 labs and have been looking up on the Internet about feeding one of them specifically. We came across your article and thought you might have some input.

One of the puppies was born w/a cleft palate. The veterinarian suggested tube feeding - 1 ml every three hours. Another veterinarian suggested that might not be enough - we called because we felt she wasn't gaining any weight and was even more listless than when she was born. We do not have a scale to weigh her, but estimated her weight at 4 oz - might be even smaller. We have upped the amount to 1 oz daily or 1-1/4 ml every two hours.

Do you have any suggestions or input?

Anything you can give us would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.


ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

Put this dog to sleep. In my opinion your vet did you a dis-service in recommending that you try and save this dog.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

Hi Ed

I'd like to talk an interesting issue. I think you are some of the best guys who has enough experience with breeding to give an opinion about this. One of my friends from LPSDHF-NW was one of responsible to check the GSD from the former DDR. His conclusion was very interesting: "the dogs were so corrupt as the system." He explained that the handlers had to know the famous "red book" instead of know about dogs.

Today we have a fever about this kind of bloodlines, mainly about Tchecoslovakian. I had the opportunity to watch the BSP in Darmstadt with G. Heumann (LPS training Director) and Werner Rapien (LPS instructor chief). Heumann went to the trial only to see the "Schutzdienst" and try to find some really good GSD to do Police work. He found 10 really good dogs in an entire 120 competitors. In his opinion this is not enough to "save" the breed. I haven't seen young GSD in NW. I had the opportunity to watch real police work in Hekilinghausen (Ruhr Valley) against Russian Mafia. There was a 7-year-old GSD bitch which are a PSP and RSH.

They considered their bitch one of the last good one. This bitch is really good. So, what do you think about this kind of bloodline (DDR)? NW consider the Bavarian bloodline a very good one, but they don't sell their good dogs. I saw many policeman from USA team with GSD with many kind of bone troubles. Many of them were changing to Mali. What do you think about this?

Well, it's midnight here. I have time to write so many "Bullshits" He! He! He! Please, try to analyze this and give some experience from yourself.

Best regards from ROQ

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

The Internet is interesting - it allows one to talk to people all over The world. I have some problems understanding what you are trying to say.

I do agree that most of the dogs at the Bundessieger are not breeding animals. This from a breeders standpoint. I was there in 1999 and puked. I do not agree with your German friends. They think it takes the German system to save the GSD world. They are wrong.

There are people like myself - who have bred 250 litters of working bloodline dogs in the past 25 years that are not trying to produce Bundessiger winners. I think people like myself will save this breed. I Do not breed for the Bundessiger, I do not breed for the SV, I breed for the integrity of working dogs. I breed to produce police service dogs and everything else is a byproduct.

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Hi Ed

My German friends also agree with you. They consider the German way to breed GSD a fake. Last year, I sent you some of the phases of the LPS breed temperament test. They are considered "crazy" by the SV.

Gunter Bonke (LPS breeding program chief) reinforce what you are trying to say. GSD will be save by breeders who are interested in create real working dogs, not Bundesieger. But, in his opinion there are only about 20 good breeders in German which isn't enough for him. He consider that a country like Germany needed , at least, 100 breeders with your standing point.

I do agree with their opinion about DDR dogs. And you?

Best regards. ROQ

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Question On Dog Breeding:

Are there supplements that you would recommend giving a bitch that you want to breed or have bred?

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

This should start with a good natural diet. Get your dog on god healthy food. If you have a question on what I mean by this - refer to the article I wrote on preparing your own dog food. I would also recommend giving your future brood bitch folic acid. It has been proven that folic acid can help prevent birth defects in humans. There has been some studies that it also helps in dogs. I would recommend contacts one of the homeopathic web sites and ordering it from them.

Once the dog has been bred I would recommend raspberry leaves as a supplement with their food. It is felt that this helps in the birthing process and milk production.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

What was your opinion of the German Shepherd that was in Westminster last night (2-13-01)?

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

The name of this dog was Champion Mt. Maple’s Bewitched at White Oak.

During the judging of the herding group, the announcer said that this bitch was found tied to a tree. In my humble opinion there was probably a very good reason for this! Give me a break, do you think that someone is going to take a really nice dog and tie it to a tree and leave it someplace? The people who left that dog knew exactly what they were unloading.

This animal was scared senseless, did anyone other than me see the fear in her eyes? My house cat has better nerves and temperament than that dog does. In fact my cat would have probably liked being in the ring.

In addition the dog is missing a molar, you could see the hole where the tooth should have been when the dog was gaiting.

Now I understand that the AKC allows animals to become champions when they have one missing tooth - but isn’t it a little stupid to allow a dog to represent the breed at Westminster with a missing tooth? On the other hand maybe that dog was the best the German Shepherd show people had to offer - that would not surprise me.

What I think is a shame is that every one of these GSD’s that are AKC breed champions (or AKC show dogs) are all looking for the exit door because they think the “boogie-man” is right behind them, while most of the hunting breeds and even many of the herding breeds have animals that look like they have stable temperaments and are comfortable in the ring. Could the problem be with the German Shepherd Dog Club of America and the crap dogs they propagate?

If anyone wants to know why these show dogs cannot be police service dogs or do sport Schutzhund work, they only need look into the eyes of that dog in the ring at Westminster last night.

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Question On Dog Breeding:


I have a breeding question. I have 2 German shepherds that I have bred one litter already. They are beautiful dogs with great Sc. lines and good hips. My question is about the male. The bitch is in season and I have been putting them together. He hops on and goes to town, but he never gets it in. This has gone on for days. I have attempted to help him but he shuts down if I get involved. Is it normal? Do some dogs just not breed some times? Or is he just bad at it? I appreciate your time and comments!

Maureen B

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

It takes a male dog 5 or 6 females to be considered a stud dog - this in fact could be 10 to 15 actual ties (breedings).

Many dogs have problems, many dogs have problems when the owners are near. I personally think sex drive in a stud dog is as important as working drive. I DO NOT like a dog that is sensitive about the handler being near or the handler trying to assist.

If fact if my stud dogs were like this I would not breed them. They would fall into the category of dogs that I call “PETS.”

There are time (many times) where I have to help the male hit the mark. This means holding the females tail out of the way, actually tilting her vulva up (by using my fingers when I stick my hand back between her legs) or physically grabbing the males penis and guiding him into the female. A small amount of KY jelly (the size of a dime on the lips of the vulva will often make the difference between a male having success and not getting the tie.

Be sure that you wash your hands really well before you do any of the above.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

Is there a blood test for a female who has been bred to see if the bitch is pregnant?

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

The best test is an Ultra-Sound. This can be done at 20 days, but at 45 days the vet can tell you the number of pups. my vet charges $45.00 for this. My advise is to find a vet who has an Ultra-Sound. It’s worth a hour or twos drive to verify that the bitch is pregnant.

Direction for test procedure:

  1. Collect blood in EDTA purple top tube.
  2. Spin blood - after putting in QBC Venous vet tube.
  3. Put in Idexx fibrinogen precipitator for 5 minutes.
  4. Spin blood again.
  5. Put in QBC auto reader after changing to dog fibrinogen option.

Fibrinogen test results:

Small to medium dogs:

Large breed dogs:

Have your vet draw blood between the 27th and 28th or 29th day.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

What do you think of V Fero vom Zeutener Himmelreich and his sons as far as breeding goes?

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

You will not find any Fero blood lines in my kennel. My personal opinion is that the Fero dogs are not breed worthy. Of course this is a personal opinion and this will be an unpopular opinion with all the people that own or breed Fero sons and grandsons.

People can say that Fero was bred to good and bad bitches. Not all of the puppies from these bad bitches are good enough to breed. This is a valid argument for most stud dogs. It is a bigger issue when you have a stud dog that is offered to outside bitches. I don’t breed my males to females I don’t own. In the case of Ferro it’s an excuse for so many crappy Ferro sons.

The fact is that Fero produces dogs with a lot of drive but he produces hectic drive. The Fero dogs that I have seen have a lot of nervous energy. They do not have a genetic full mouth grip and therefore will pass this hectic grip problem to puppies. A lot of the Fero dogs have fine bones and narrow heads. They also have weak nerves. Am I the only one who seems to see that dogs with fine heads and fine bones have weak nerves? I think not, Bernard Flinks mentioned this fact three weeks ago at a training seminar that I attended in New Mexico.

I am convinced that as time passes we will see that Fero is not a long term positive influence on the breed. He is certainly nothing compared to the old Busecker Schloss dogs that had great nerves and great grips. A number of years ago I bred one of my best females to a SchH 3 Fero son. I gave three of the puppies away for free. The litter was total garbage. This female (a Teikerhook bitch) went on to be bred 4 times to my stud dog (Otis - a Mink son) and produced some of the best dogs I have ever produced.

So when people say that I am all wet behind the ears and that I should look at all the competition dogs from Fero I will counter by saying that we are talking about breeding here and when was the last time we saw a top competition dog that was also a top stud dog. I cannot remember one in the past 25 years. From what I have seen top sport dogs don't produce dogs with the correct strength and drives.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

I have a female that is 5 years old. She has had one litter of two puppies - done with an AI. We try and breed her every season but she never seems to get to then point of flagging the male and getting bred. Any ideas?

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

This is exactly the same situation I have seen with more than one female from my kennel. The first thing that needs to be done is to verify that the bitch is healthy. This is something that takes a good vet. Part of the exam needs to be a blood test for thyroid. Low thyroid is one of the most common problems I have with dogs that have breeding problems.

My female continued to bleed for a very long time. For years I got nervous and thought I was missing the breeding. I tried to do additional AI’s (artificial inseminations) - she never got pregnant. Frustration finally took over and ended up leaving the male with her at night. I would separate them during the day and put them together at night. I ended up getting a breeding on the 22 day of the bitch starting to bleed. So patience paid off.

One thing I always seemed to notice with a lot of females that are difficult to breed is that they do not seem to swell up enough. I have gotten in the habit of washing my hands really really good and then putting a small dab ( the size of a dime) of KY jelly just inside the vagina. I do not try and get it too far into her - but the lubrication seems to be the trick to getting a lot of females bred. It has become a standard practice for me.

With me it turned out that I was getting too impatient. I finally made up my mind that as long as the bitch bled, I would continue to try . You know the ship has gone to sea when the female no longer bleeds and is no longer swollen. But just because the books and vets say to breed on the 12 and 13 day of bleeding does not mean that this is always the case. In a lot of case these rules do not hold true.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

Ed, I've been doing research about work line GS dogs. I am really impressed with the work that you've done and your time dedicated to GSD's/training. Hopefully you can answer a question of concern to me about my new german shepherd. I have recently acquired a 1 and a half year old shepherd from a mix of German and American working lines. The dog was to be used as a stud since it exemplified excellent physical lines and temperament as an alpha of it's litter. I ended up getting it neutered. The few times that I visited the kennel with a friend, the dog was very social with me (a stranger). The dog grew up with many other dogs, but was properly separated to prevent pack aggression. When I took the dog home he bonded with me, but seems to be very scared of everyone else... even the members of my family. He seems to run away when someone else tries to pet him as if he was scared or timid. This definitely does not seem to be the same outgoing, sociable dog that I first met. Do you think it's an environmental thing and that he'll grow out of it with increased socialization? Or do you believe, this will be his personality for good? Like I said, it did not seem at all timid when I first met him. I was told that a timid shepherd is not a good trait...thx ...ALF

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

I think you have found out why I tell people not to get involved with mixing American and German lines. Weak genes are weak genes and you are not going to change them.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

Hi there. I visited your site in search of help with my new pups... one is very small... They were just born on Friday and I can already see and tell this pup is not doing well...I got some milk replacer and started bottle feeding. He seems to eat off of his mom but is much smaller and the big ones muscle him out. We are trying to get him latched on without the others and as of this morning he looked eager to eat, but when I got home from work he looked terrible again. The older kids said that they helped him eat and he suckled for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. What do I do? It’s breaking my heart. If you can reply before tomorrow it would be much appreciated. I don’t think he will make it to the vet tomorrow.


ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

I have bred over 360 litter in 35 years.

If anything is going to save this pup it is going to be the mother’s milk. Put this pup on the mother 10 to 15 times per day – make sure it gets milk. There is no replacement for mothers’ milk. When you put the pup on the mother – you need to push the other pups away while this pups sucks.

The bottom line is that there is always the possibility that a pup has a medical problem that is impossible for us humans to figure out and nothing that we do will save the poor pup.

Good luck

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Question On Dog Breeding:

Hi; I am interested in using my male for stud service and we had a Bitch, but she snapped at him every time he would get near her. The first day she was awful. She would let him get just so close and when he was ready she would turn and snap and he would not do any thing else. I was wondering if it's my male that needs help or what. He is just 2 years old and it bothers me he did not breed her.

Thank you

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

It takes about 4 or 5 breedings for a dog to be considered a stud dog. There is a lot for them and you to learn. Some females will not allow a male to be near her until the day she is ready to breed. Other females will never allow a male near them - in my opinion these females have a screw loose in their head.

When a male will not breed a standing bitch it should be neutered. There is something wrong with a male that lacks sex drive. While this does not seem to be the issue with your male it is an issue with some. I have only seen it a few times and when I do I realize I am looking at a pet and not a breed dog.

If your bitch will not stand you need medical help from a vet who understands breeding (not all do). You need to get vaginal smears done every day. The vet will tell you when the female should be bred. I have articles on my web site about this. If the bitch will not stand then do an AI (artificial breeding - where the vet collects the male and inseminates the female). If the bitch has a litter and will not stand the next time she is to be bred - spay her.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

According to what I've read, you have whelped many litters of pups, so I ask you this question: What do you think would happen if I breed my beautiful tan and black female with a white male? Is it advisable? Or could some really strange things happen?

Thanks in advance,

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

The WHTE GSDs is really not a normal GSD. In my opinion it should be a breed onto itself called white shepherds. These animal has been selectively bred for one and only one reason - their color. This has resulted in the working drive having been bred out of the dogs.

Those who point to web site that advertise white GSD's as being Search and Rescue dogs or even claim that they can be sport dogs (I.E. schutzhund) are misleading and not truthful about the limitations of their breed.

The fact is just because someone takes their white dog to a S&R group does not mean their dog can do the work or even that the group is a reputable S&R group. I have written on my web site about "TRACKING THROUGH DRIVE" and pointed out that more than 50% of the S&R groups in this country should not be called S&R groups. They are simply well intentioned people who take their pets out and try to train. They don't understand the work nor do they have correct standards for the dogs they accept for training.

And as far as personal protection goes - well it doesn't happen. I would willingly let any white GSD owner send their dog on me (without any protective equipment on) from 100 yards distance. I will drive any white shepherd from the field.

So if you want a pet there is nothing wrong with this breed. If you want a working dog - look someplace else.

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Question On Dog Breeding:


I have a 2 year old Male Shepherd who I would like to breed to an older female. I believe she is 3. She will not come into heat until February. We have had both dogs checked out and all is ok. My problem came tonight. We brought the dogs together to "meet". Well at first she put her head down to the ground and my male was smelling her. Then she just started growling and barking at him. I put him back in his kennel and the owner of the female did the same. What can we do to get her used to him and the same for him so we can breed them when she comes into heat? This is the first time I have ever tried to breed a dog. Your advice is appreciated.

ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

You have two choices here.

1-You can just wait until the bitch is in season and ready to breed. Many bitches can be nasty to all males before they are ready to breed, but then when they reach this point in their season (usually somewhere between 7 to 13 days after they start to bleed) they will accept a male.

2- If you want you can start to get the two used to each other by taking them for walks – on leash together. This is only to familiarize them and you should not expect them to play together. Do not allow the male to have bad manners here.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

Hi, I have talked with your kennel a couple of times. I have a few questions to ask you on the puppies you have available. I am 90% sure I want a female, however, I’m worried that she may not meet the potential that I am after. I understand that I am responsible for a great deal of that, but some genetics are better than others. I am looking for a dog that can achieve not just SchH 3 but a fairly competitive SchH 3. I know a female can't compete with the males, but I have seen some females that I would be more than happy to own. So, with that in mind, do you feel that any of the puppies you have now will meet my requirements, or do you feel that I should wait until you produce a litter with stronger genetics? This is a big commitment, once I make my decision I can't go back. I appreciate you helping me in making my decision. Thank you very much for taking the time to work with me.


ANSWERs on Breeding Dogs:

What I think is that the difference in the dogs I see at the nationals and a great many of the dogs I breed is the handler - when you finally get to this level (of the dogs that I breed) it comes down to a handler believing in his dog and then accepting the fact that no dog is perfect and all of dog training is problem solving of one sort or another. I sell a lot of dogs that could be at the nationals and never get there because the handlers do not have the skill to train at that level or the handlers choose not to work hard enough to get their dogs to the nationals or the handlers do not live near a helper that is a national level helper. I always compare this to being a narcotics dog handler. I did this for 10 years. I tell people that a good drug dog is 75% handler and 25% dog. The issue is that the dog cannot be 23% it has to be 25%. But the best drug dog in the country is not going to find as much dope with a handler who is only at the 25% level.

So I cannot tell you that future breedings are going to be better genetics.

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Question On Dog Breeding:

I am looking for a good bitch to breed to my male GS. Do you ever use outside studs, after proper qualification, etc.? I am in Houston at the I-10 and Bunker Hill area. I have a one year old GS that is close to 120 lbs. and well trained, wonderful disposition, and very SMART. I just lost a 13 year old dog, from old age, and would like to find a good bitch of comparable standards to breed with him. Thanks for your time and consideration.


ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

I appreciate the offer but you do not understand the breed or the business very well.

A 120 pound GSD is not the standard. I compare it to a 600 pound quarterback in football. This breed was never meant to be that big. This dog will be un-coordinated as an adult and die young. People like myself breed based on bloodlines and there are no bloodlines that produced 120 pound dogs that are worth breeding.

My advise is to love your dog - you have a nice pet - not a breedable animal. Get him neutered and enjoy his company.

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Question On Dog Breeding:


My rotty just (48 hrs) had her first litter of 8 pups. I have read that it is unnecessary to have a vet. clip their tails. In other words, I would like to perform the procedure. Can you give me information on what I need to do?


Yes - take the litter to a vet. At least if you want them to live. If you have to ask directions on the internet, I don't think you should be trying this yourself.

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QUESTION on Male not Breeding Female:

I really admire what you do with your dogs. Your a great inspiration to anyone who loves this breed.

I have several German shepherds and have decided to breed a litter (all my dogs have passed their health screening; meet the breed standard; have the correct dispossession and drive; and have exceptional bloodlines).

My problem is that the two dogs I'm trying to breed are both, in lue of a better term, virgins. My female has been flagging our male for 2 days (days 7 and 8 of her cycle) but he's just not getting the job done. He humps but doesn't seem as excited as he should be.

Have you ever heard of an inexperience female flagging before she's at the peak of her cycle? Or does this sound like more of a problem with my male's drive?

Any suggestions on what I can do get a successful mating?



Yes this can happen. Have a Vet do a vaginal smear. I have an article that explains what to look for on the slides

A male has to be bred 5 or 6 times before he figures out what to do. I will sometimes put a tab (the size of a nickel) KY jelly on the females vulva – they when he does it her he slides right in.

You may have to have a Vet do an artificial breeding – that’s a last resort. We do them ALL THE TIME here I have a training DVD on how to do it. We are also going to be selling the AI kits – should be on the web site next week.

Sarah's Response 2 hours later:


It worked. we got a breeding thanks so much!!

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