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Discussion Starter #1
I know this has come up on various threads, but I thought it would be good to have one thread where it's discussd. For anyone who doesn't know, back to back breeding is when you breed a bitch one season after another, without a break in between.

So... What does everyone think? What are the points against and in favour for back to back breeding?
 

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I'm against back to back breeding. If you have to breed then I think at the very least you want to allow at least one unbred season between breedings. To have puppies takes a lot out of a dog, even if it doesn't seem that way.
I think a dog that whelps often (every season) will produce weaker puppies.
 

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I think there might be good reasons to do it.

What if a bitch is not bred until quite late in life. Our Gracy was not bred until she was 6 yrs old. We only bred her once (because it was too hard on her) but if we had bred her again, we would have had to do it back to back because of her age.

Some bitches only cycle every 10-12 months. How much time is not enough between breedings?

Some bitches cycle really often. My Sabrina cycles every 20 weeks like clock work. If you look at her breeding history, you will see that she whelped a litter January 2006 and December 2006. What you don't see is that she cycled in between.

Some bitches are just machines. My Sabrina was a fat pig by the time her puppies left at 8 weeks. We had to put her on a diet. People could not believe that she had whelped a litter. Why would a breeder not breed a bitch like this back to back?

My issue is more this. A Poodle is a pet. It is not a uterus on legs to make a breeder money. There are other things to do with a bitch than breed her. I want to see that a breeder is doing some kind of training, showing, therapy on top of breeding.
 

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I don't know anything about breeding dogs but I've had a litter myself (I have 5 kids) and it takes a lot out of your body to give birth and recover. You lose vitamins through pregnancy and nursing your child so I would think it would just be nice to give the bitch a break to recover before putting her through it again. The older you get as a human the harder on your body it becomes. Also the more kids you have the harder it becomes. While it might not hurt the dog to breed her back to back, I don't see the point in it.
 

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I don't know anything about breeding dogs but I've had a litter myself (I have 5 kids) and it takes a lot out of your body to give birth and recover. You lose vitamins through pregnancy and nursing your child so I would think it would just be nice to give the bitch a break to recover before putting her through it again. The older you get as a human the harder on your body it becomes. Also the more kids you have the harder it becomes. While it might not hurt the dog to breed her back to back, I don't see the point in it.
Tell that to this family.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/18_Kids_and_Counting
 

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Also, litter size has an impact. Bitches who whelp and raise 12 puppies have a bit more stress than those with small litters. I have known many a bitch who had a small/medium size litter who were back in full form by their next season. When you have a superb bitch who you might start breeding later in life, you only have a few chances.
 

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My issues with back to back breeding is what do you NEED another litter from that bitch so soon?

If you breed your dog you should have a goal in mind for that litter and as a breeder you should use that breeding to gain a puppy that will continue that line. If you get sub par puppies from that breeding I would not breed the dog again. If you get an excellent litter I would keep more then one puppy, not breed another entire litter.

The only way I would be for a back to back breeding would be if the litter was small (1-3 pups).
 

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My issues with back to back breeding is what do you NEED another litter from that bitch so soon?

If you breed your dog you should have a goal in mind for that litter and as a breeder you should use that breeding to gain a puppy that will continue that line. If you get sub par puppies from that breeding I would not breed the dog again. If you get an excellent litter I would keep more then one puppy, not breed another entire litter.

The only way I would be for a back to back breeding would be if the litter was small (1-3 pups).
Sometimes a combination doesn't work the way you had hoped and you go to another stud dog.

I kept a boy from my 1st litter and grew him out to age 8 months or so. He wasn't what I was hoping for so I placed him and bred again to a different stud dog.

Keeping more than one show puppy in coat is almost impossible. First it takes a lot of grooming time. Second, the puppies play and tear at each other's hair.
 

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I do not agree with back to back breedings unless there is a good reason for it, as mentioned here- not being particularly happy with a puppy from the previous breeding.And then, only if the dog is young (2 or 3 years old). But back to back to back??? YIKES!! That is horrible. I also do not agree with breeding a female before the age of two. From everything I have ever read, a dogs skeleton is not finished growing until then, so because a female CAN produce puppies does not mean she SHOULD. She needs to put her energy into her own growth and development, not nurturing the lives of her unborn offspring.
 

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Another problem i have with it is if this is her first litter, then how do you reallyl know how well the puppies turned out if they are only about 6 months old? I dont think it allows enough time to really evaluate how the first litter did.
 

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I don't have a problem with back to back breedings so long as they aren't done over and over again and done with a reason. For example if the stud dog is for some reason going to be unavailable and you reeeeaaallllyyyy wanted to use that one dog with this one bitch then I think it's ok. I don't allow a bitch to be bred more than twice in her life anyway and my dogs typicaly are only in heat every 9-12mo so maybe that has something to do with my opinion. I would probably take a dim view on a breeding program that bred a poor dog every heat for several years. I have only done one set of back to back and it was a case of the stud dog was leaving to go back to scotland and we had been planning the breeding for quite some time. He was supposed to be here in the states for two years but was invited to crufts so his scottish owners wanted him back for that show. Thus the back to back breeding, plus we only got a single puppy out of the first litter (different stud).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I don't have a problem with back to back breedings so long as they aren't done over and over again and done with a reason.
Agreed. I think occasional back to back breeding (with solid reasoning) is fair. But if I see a pattern of breeding back to back (or worse, back to back to back) with every bitch the breeder has then I think it's a big red flag. Having had two PWD litters (both very small for PWDs, one only 3 and one only 4) I can see how much it can take out of the bitch. Constantly breeding at every cycle seems unneccessary, unless your sole goal is to churn out puppies and make money.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I decided to do some research on back to back breeding based on the claim that repro vets say it's healthier for the bitch, and came across an article in a few places. Below is an excerpt. What does everyone think of this (bolding from me)?

"What is "overbreeding?' In the wild, most canids can only reproduce once a year. Most domestic dogs can have two litters a year. When we first became dog breeders, it was
almost a religious belief that no female dog should be bred more than once a year. We were told that it was important to "rest" the uterus between litters. Today, however, thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, we know that an empty uterus is actually damaged by the elevated progesterone levels that occur in each heat cycle, whether the dog is pregnant or not. Veterinary reproduction specialists recommend that dogs be bred on their second or third heat cycle, that we do more back-to-back breedings, and that we spay the dogs at around age 6.

The "overbreeding" argument also treats reproduction as something that female dogs wouldn't do if they had a choice. Dogs aren't people—female dogs actually want to be bred when they're in heat, and, with few exceptions, enjoy raising their puppies. It's not an unwelcome event for
dogs."

http://www.ukcdogs.com/WebSite.nsf/Articles/LegislativeUpdate06012009
 

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Veterinary reproduction specialists recommend that dogs be bred on their second or third heat cycle, that we do more back-to-back breedings, and that we spay the dogs at around age 6.
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The problem with this philosophy is that it does not take into consideration breed specific issues.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a severe problem with MVD. It is recommended that breeders wait until after age 5 to breed dogs with clear hearts

With Poodles, we can not test for Addisons, Epilepsy, Bloat and really even SA. Only time will tell us if a breeding dog or its siblings are affected. Many, many people in the Poodle community advocate for waiting to breed.

In my 1st litter, I bred to a 3 yr old stud dog. That dog died a year later at age 4 of Bloat. My own Sabrina bloated at age 8. While heart broken, I was glad that I had waited until age 4+ to breed (she was 5.5 when she had her last litter) and that I had not bred her daughter who was almost age 3. It meant that I could nip a problem in the bud with relatively few generations affected. If I had bred my bitches starting on the 2nd or 3rd heat, I could have had 4 generations of dogs on the ground.

There are very good reasons to some times breed early or back to back. However, it seems like the breeders most willing to jump on this bandwagon are those who are already breeding sub standard dogs.
 

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I think it depends on the bitch the size of her litters and the situation . Such as age.
Some Vets reccomend breeding them back to back. Say it is healthier for the bitch.. I dunno. personally I think that it per case by case
 

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I think if a bitch cycles only once per year then it might be more acceptable, but if she follows the norm, has her first heat at about nine months of age, then every six months after that, she needs a rest in between to allow her body to heal and have time to be herself. Call me old fashioned, but it makes me wonder if the people who practice this method had a thirteen year old daughter, would they feel it was okay for her to be pregnant every nine months. Just because she CAN get pregnant doesn't mean she SHOULD! A lot of gynaecologists will tell you that the younger a human female is when she bears children, the safer and easier the pregnancies are (20 years old as oppsed to 45).
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Just because she CAN get pregnant doesn't mean she SHOULD! A lot of gynaecologists will tell you that the younger a human female is when she bears children, the safer and easier the pregnancies are (20 years old as oppsed to 45).
Agreed. I think it's one thing to look at it from a gynaecological perspective, but you also have to look at it from other perspectives. Sure it may be healthier from a purely physical standpoint, but it doesn't take into account specific breed health issues, general dog overpopulation and the capacity of the breeder to properly socialize all the litters they produce. Comparing our domesticated dogs to wild dogs is besides the point. We domesticated them, therefore we control their reproduction!
 

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I have a real issue when breeders keep female pups out of every litter born in their program, but they keep on breeding their Mothers back to back to back. When do they let this poor thing retire and bring her daughters into the breeding program??

I agree completely Cdnjenga. We domesticated them and are responsible for their well being, so, like I said, would we approve if it was our daughters bodies???
 
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