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Categories: Breeding

Q. Why does my female have problems having puppies?
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?

A. 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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