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I have a 8 year old female she is slightly larger than average for a female but she is in good shape, she can play all day, loves to swim and of course herds our family around . She’s never been bred before but I’d like to have one litter from her and I’m just wondering if 8 is too old for a healthy German Shepherd ... she has times where she will play too hard or too long and she will get sore but I have her on joint supplements to help with some of that .. any input would be awesome because I’m torn I want a litter from her specifically because she’s an amazing dog but I don’t want to breed her if she’s too old for a litter. PS I’m not trying to do it for money or any other reason I love my dog and just want another dog with some of her in it ... also I’d love to have the experience ... my father did litters when he was younger so following in his foot steps feels like the right thing to do
 

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You obviously care very much about your dog. When we look at if a dog is a breeding candidate we tend to let our emotions and bias toward a dog influence it heavily. From an unbiased perspective, what qualities, other than exceptional companionship, does she offer to the breed? Does she have exceptional athleticism, exceptional conformation, exceptional breeding, etc., that you think would be a detriment to the breed if lost? Has she had medical tests to confirm she doesn't possess negative qualities that may pass on to her puppies?

For me, I am on the other side of the equation as far as age and have a puppy that is too young to breed. I have set very specific criteria/accomplishments for her that must be met before I consider her a breeding candidate. There are many people that breed dogs simply because they have them and an average dog tends to breed an average dog; unfortunately due to over population average dogs fill shelters. I think very highly of my dog and would like many more like her over the years, my wants may not be in the best interest of the her, her puppies, or the breed.
 

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any input would be awesome because I’m torn I want a litter from her specifically because she’s an amazing dog but I don’t want to breed her if she’s too old for a litter.
What bloodlines does she carry? She sounds like a great dog. Go back to the same breeder and get another or research her lines and get another from those lines.


I would not breed an eight year old maiden girl.

Sheilah
 

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Nope. Don't do it. We can never replace 'that one'. Having puppies is not fun for a bitch, it is painful and at her age, dangerous. Love her and keep her safe all rest of her life. Only the very best GSDs should be bred for the future generations.
 
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Do not breed her. She is too old for a first time litter, and while she sounds like a great pet, she does not offer much else to the breed from what you have said. She is over standard. That right there is a reason she really shouldn't be bred. You also mention joint issues, and that is largely genetic, so she will pass that on to the puppies.

Are you prepared for her to die to have one of her puppies? With her age, complications are likely. My golden retriever is 7 1/2 and slowing down tremendously now. I can't imagine asking her to have a litter at this age, especially since she has never had one before. It would be much too hard on her. Please do not breed her, for her sake and for yours.

I'm sorry to sound so negative; I really don't mean to be. You just need to be completely prepared for what may come if you decide to breed.
 

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Nope. Don't do it. We can never replace 'that one'. Having puppies is not fun for a bitch, it is painful and at her age, dangerous. Love her and keep her safe all rest of her life. Only the very best GSDs should be bred for the future generations.
Some of this is just not true. Having puppies IS fun for lots of bitches. Yes, there is some pain involved. But that is measured in hours, not days or weeks. Bitches generally love puppies, especially their own. They love to play with them. Even 8 year old bitches. BUT, eight years old is far too old to breed a bitch for the first time.

If she gets pregnant at all, far too many complications are much too likely to happen. It is similar to a woman having a first child at the age of sixty.

Also, if only the best GSDs are bred for future generations, then the gene pool will shrink to such a level that all the recessives that are out there will come out in the puppies, and soon the breed will be no more. Canines should meet minimum requirements for breeding, which happens to be different depending on what the dogs are bred to do. But seriously limiting the number of animals bred will not make for a healthy breed.
 

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Good call. You can bring your dog along to help when choosing your new puppy. It's a good idea to let your adult dog 'help' you raise puppy because they will let them know what is right and wrong in your household.
 

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Its frustrating to see misinformation in threads.
I would never go to a breeder who isnt breeding top bitches within the breed standard. The bitches dont need to be world champions, but they better be capable in temperament and conformation of the breed standard. The more often a breeder gets away from that, the closer we get to losing the breed. Only bybs and money grubbers breed any bitch.
No good breeder will allow you to bring a dog to see new puppies. For safety reasons. If they do, I'd walk the other way.
 

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@selzer, there is too much room for disagreement or confusion in your post. What is “best?” I’m sure you are not telling someone to breed a flawed dog or one that is not from decent lines. I am against breeding random pets, but if a dog excels or is special in terms of lineage or ability, then maybe. I know your dogs have very stable temperaments so you are making qualified judgments when you decide to breed. If you had a dog that had health problems or a bad temperament, nervy, or something else, you would not breed her. There is no danger of the breed dying out. There is a danger of poorly bred dogs ruining lines.
 

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@selzer, you wrote:

Also, if only the best GSDs are bred for future generations, then the gene pool will shrink to such a level that all the recessives that are out there will come out in the puppies, and soon the breed will be no more. Canines should meet minimum requirements for breeding, which happens to be different depending on what the dogs are bred to do. But seriously limiting the number of animals bred will not make for a healthy breed.

The gene pool of GSD's is not in any danger of shrinking. There are plenty of good, breed worthy GSD's out there that bring positive traits to the breed.

I do agree that Canines should meet the minimum requirements for breeding, which unfortunately is different for many breeders. According to the AKC the dog only has to be over 8 months for a female and have an AKC pedigree. I suppose a cute female with a pulse and a heat cycle could be interpreted to be the minimum breeding requirement? Certainly, that is what many GSD breeders believe, based on the dogs that I see.

How about both dogs having hip and elbow x rays certified by OFA, SV or Penn Hip before breeding as a start for a minimum. How about a conformation rating by an independent third party judge. For a minimum, how about an obedience, tracking, agility, or a nose work title? Something to show the breeder actually holds back and works with dogs from their breeding. An IPO title would be even better, but we all know that most GSD's are not capable of IPO. Also most breeders are not capable of putting the time and effort in the commitment of something like IPO. I understand what is involved in IPO and that is why I say for a minimum, an agility or OB title. Surely, that is not difficult to show a dog has some breed worthiness.

Fact of the matter, in my opinion the vast majority of dogs being bred are really not that breed worthy. Few offer any special qualities besides a nice color or structure. That is not enough. Some have a stable temperament and decent structure, that is nothing special and not really breed worthy. Then there are the exceptional dogs that have an outstanding temperament, drive, work ethic and excellent structure and conformation. Those are the dogs that should be bred.

If we start being more selective in the breeders we go to and the dogs we breed; the breed will benefit. Limiting the number of animals bred will absolutely make for a stronger and better breed.

JMO, FWIW
 

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Canines should meet minimum requirements for breeding, which happens to be different depending on what the dogs are bred to do.
??? Breeding for a singular purpose would seem counterproductive to maintaining versatility in the breed. (isn't that how the breed ended up with extremes in drive, conformation, pet only bloodlines etc.?)

IMHO minimum requirements for temperament, drive, work ethic etc. should be standards breeders strive for with or without the AKC mandating those requirements, and good breeders do just that. (AKC will never require breed surveys, working trials etc)

Also, if only the best GSDs are bred for future generations, then the gene pool will shrink to such a level that all the recessives that are out there will come out in the puppies, and soon the breed will be no more.
I don't believe there's a shortage of genetic diversity and good dogs in the breed but there is a shortage of breeders who are willing to invest the time and money it takes to prove a dogs genetic worth. What we have now is too many breeders who talk the talk but won't test to see if their dogs can walk the walk.
 

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Ditto what everyone else said...don't breed. 1)You missed your window. She's too old now. 2)Unless she comes from an impeccable lineage....actually it doesn't matter, she's too old.
 

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It does hurt bitches to have puppies. Then the needle puppy teeth biting their teats. I would not want Inga to suffer and feel pain like that, not for some selfish wish of mine for her to have puppies. As good and beautiful as she is. No, not worth it. She will always be a Fraulein.
 

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My girls are 8 and for whatever reason neither cares much for puppies anymore. Maybe our new puppy is the stinky kid or something, idk.

I saw an article on cloning dogs the other day, not sure if I can find it the though. It wasn’t anything special, just a fuzz piece. I believe there is a doc in South Korea who is doing this for the Hollywood types of something.
 

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Texas A&M University clones animals. Some people had a pet Brahma bull they really loved. When he was old and dying, they took cells and had him cloned at A&M and the cell was implanted in a cow. A Brahma calf resulted. When the people took the calf home and turned him out, he went right to the exact bull wallow where their first bull used to sleep, and the calf slept there too. True story.

Myself, I know that a special one can never be replaced by cloning. The genes may be the same, but thats not all there is to it. Although it would be interesting to raise a clone of myself, because I never had any children. I would sure would have that kids number.
 

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Texas A&M University clones animals. Some people had a pet Brahma bull they really loved. When he was old and dying, they took cells and had him cloned at A&M and the cell was implanted in a cow. A Brahma calf resulted. When the people took the calf home and turned him out, he went right to the exact bull wallow where their first bull used to sleep, and the calf slept there too. True story.

Myself, I know that a special one can never be replaced by cloning. The genes may be the same, but thats not all there is to it. Although it would be interesting to raise a clone of myself, because I never had any children. I would sure would have that kids number.
Cloning is still not perfected, the DNA is old and the telomeres have been worn away with time so when you clone the animal the DNA is still just as old as the original animal resulting in a short and sickly life for the poor clone.. check out the story of dolly the lamb.
 

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Well sure it worked for the old bull at Texas A&M. And he was on his last legs.
 
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