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Old 01-07-2014, 03:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default IDEAL age to breed?

I'm so far away from ever breeding, but I've got a couple questions specifically regarding breeding age for females.

I know most people say 2 years at the earliest, assuming she's had her hips/elbows checked and bloodwork done and has been titled. But what is really generally the BEST age? My girl is 16 months and I really don't see her mature enough to breed this fall after we have her hips evaluated, unless she's about to grow up a LOT in the next few months (or is my dog weird for still being a bit immature at this point?). She could be titled within the year, I'm the only thing holding her back. So forgetting what's possible, what is "ideal?" The more I become immersed in the breed, the more it seems like 3 years would be a better goal to avoid immature bitches? Or am I just completely missing something? You can call me an idiot if you like, I AM pretty new to all this :-P
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Since I want my females titled they have generally been in the 3-3.5 year old age group. Nike was just shy of three when she had her first litter. Vala was 3.5. Deja was 4 and that litter was the easiest whelping I have ever been through. Younger bitches usually are more fertile and whelp more easily, but, as with Deja, that is not always the case. I would not want a bitch bred for the first time past 5 and even that would be pushing it.
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would say 3 years +/--.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Alright. So I'm not crazy.

I've had people asking when I plan on breeding her..."She's already had one heat, she's ready!" Um. No. She's nowhere near ready. IF I ever breed her. A huge IF. She's a great dog and would contribute some awesome pups to the breed with the right sire, but I'm not sure my family will be ready for the responsibility even if she is. Can't I just enjoy my dog?
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Certainly you can just enjoy your puppy. It is refreshing to hear someone considering the responsibility of breeding before the fact.

Arwen and Jenna were 4 years
Babs was almost 3 when she had the puppies.
I had on that had a litter at 2.

Definitely no problems with them being 3 or 4 years for a first litter. You do not want to go much farther than that, though, if you are going to breed.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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What kind of titling/training are you planning on doing with her? Has her structure been evaluated? Lots of important things to look at besides getting hips x-rayed.

I'm not trying to be rude, but your lack of dedication in training is not an excuse or a way to say "well she could have a title so therefore she's breedworthy." And I'm not even a title snob, I'd be cool with you getting some AKC titles on her just to prove she's worth something. Sorry...too many times people think they have more than they really do because they haven't really been out there to see what else is there. You need to be able to compare your GSD to other GSDs and the only way to do that is to trial or train with others. You'll see what she excels in and you'll see her faults, then you'll have a clearer picture of "she would contribute some awesome pups to the breed."

I mean...if you won't dedicate yourself to training your dog, what would convince me that you're dedicated to finding the correct mate and then dedicated to the pups you've produced? How are you supposed to find out what your dog truly has without training/trialing?
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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People who breed titled bitches (Schh3) do not ask questions on forums. If you want to breed, just breed, there is no law against it.
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martemchik View Post
What kind of titling/training are you planning on doing with her? Has her structure been evaluated? Lots of important things to look at besides getting hips x-rayed.

I'm not trying to be rude, but your lack of dedication in training is not an excuse or a way to say "well she could have a title so therefore she's breedworthy." And I'm not even a title snob, I'd be cool with you getting some AKC titles on her just to prove she's worth something. Sorry...too many times people think they have more than they really do because they haven't really been out there to see what else is there. You need to be able to compare your GSD to other GSDs and the only way to do that is to trial or train with others. You'll see what she excels in and you'll see her faults, then you'll have a clearer picture of "she would contribute some awesome pups to the breed."

I mean...if you won't dedicate yourself to training your dog, what would convince me that you're dedicated to finding the correct mate and then dedicated to the pups you've produced? How are you supposed to find out what your dog truly has without training/trialing?
That's kinda my whole point here...my family is at a weird crossroads this year, and I currently don't have the time to dedicate to training and titling, I am the first to admit that as much as it sucks. But next year I might, if things go well the next few months (fingers crossed, we freaking need a break!), and I am just trying to get my mental ducks in a row for all possibilities. I've just had a lot of people making me feel lately like I'm weird or wrong for not rushing through things and breeding her ASAP and I was looking for a bit of affirmation that my line of thinking wasn't the crazy one. As for my dog? Eventually I want an IPO title for her, the biggest disadvantage to us is that the closest training club is over an hour away. She's a natural tracker with a high enough drive I am starting to think I'm not going to be able to train her the way she needs and craves (both her parents were retired dual purpose K9). Her physical properties aren't perfect (a bit leggy) but overall she's a nicely rounded dog. This isn't from me, this is from training partners and a couple breeders I've been in contact with recently.

Trust me, I WANT to put in the effort, and hopefully soon I can. I'm planning for the day I can, anyway, I've been on an information binge the last couple months, since we started taking our training beyond the basics. I may never choose to breed her, who knows? I certainly don't right now. So far she's been a wonderful companion and enlightening learning experience, and I'd be happy if that's all she ever was, I'm just trying to figure out all of our *possible* future moves because I'm a compulsive planner.
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Packen View Post
People who breed titled bitches (Schh3) do not ask questions on forums. If you want to breed, just breed, there is no law against it.
This forum is called "Thinking about becoming a breeder?" Thinking about it, considering it, learning about it. Knowledge is not inherent, asking questions is the only way to learn things like this. Yes, I could and probably will discuss it with breeders I know personally. But, tell me, what's wrong with taking advantage of the larger sample population and ease of communication the internet provides?
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havery View Post
Can't I just enjoy my dog?
Sure, why would you feel pressured to breed her?
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