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QUOTE 3/2/2010 4:55:58 PM
At what age is it appropraite and safe to breed a bullmastiff?

Posts: 261

QUOTE 3/4/2010 8:26:42 PM
I am sure you will get several different ideas, this is just my opinion.  I don't think it matters what breed or size the dog is, I choose to wait until a puppy is at least 2 years old.

Many breeders say wait until the second heat.  I do not go by how many heat cycles she has had because each dog is different, some will have a heat as often as every 4 months where others will not have a heat cycle any closer together than every 12 months.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: I did not mention you would need to have her health tested, as I am sure you are more familiar with what test would be needed/required for her breed than I would be......(my breed is Chihuahua)

Posts: 333

QUOTE 3/8/2010 10:24:09 PM
I agree 2 years is a good minimum, then they have had a chance to become fully grown before the stress of carrying a litter.  

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QUOTE 3/9/2010 9:20:25 PM
I would say that 2 years is a generic answer that about ruined me as far as breeding Boxers. I decided to do the so-called "Reputable thing" and wait until after my girls were 2 years old and heart/hip tested before breeding. The vast majority of breeders do neither test.

I have done this "waiting" business for about 5 years and overall I have had very poor sucess in getting my females bred. Since they typically have their first heat at 18 month.... have to wait..... so then their next heat is around 2.5 years, but I haven't had one get pregnant on their first time being bred in YEARS. So now I have the majority of my dogs that are 3.5-4.5 that have had ZERO or 1 litter.

While all my other friends are sucessfully breeding their females with out any testing done at 18 month. They then have subsequent litters year after year, as mine go barren.

Hips are not a significant problem in my breed to wait, they are ranked 86th from the top of all breeds. Heart can be tested as early as 12 months which I do. 

I frankly think waiting in some breeds is the wrong thing to do. Starting 2010, I am breeding any bitch that comes in season at 18 months or older and I think I am going to be much more sucessful in actually having pregnant dogs. We will see.

As far as maturity, I have seen girls that have their first litter at 4-5 years be TERRIBLE mothers, because they are not used to having or caring for puppies.

I have seen people have mothers with puppies BORN under a year old, with huge litter that raised them all beautifully.

Traditionally in the past, people with the very small breeds have started breeding them any time after 12 months. This whole "2 year" thing started with OFA hip test requirements being set at 2 years and people just projecting their values on to dogs.


Posts: 261

QUOTE 3/10/2010 11:58:51 AM
At least now you have a wider range of answers. My choice is still near the 2 year age (I raise the small breed).  I chose the 2 year age mark well before I ever knew a thing about any type of genetic testing.  That is an age that has worked well for me and my breed. That is not to say I haven't had determined couples get together younger than I wanted them to.....  Many breeders will bred every heat and as often as they come in heat, again, that is where you have the wonderful option of choosing because your pet has no choice in the matter, when they come in heat, they WILL bred!!


Posts: 333

QUOTE 3/10/2010 2:21:51 PM
but it is true that you are certainly not guaranteed a litter from every breeding. And my pug has silent heats so it is hard to catch her in her fertile time. I think for 1 thing you want to make sure your adult dog is in good condition before the stress of a litter, and gets good care during the gestation period and directly following.
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