As a breeder of working dogs, your bitch is your future. Her ability to conceive and produce a litter will ensure the future of your breeding program. This makes it vital that you choose your breeding bitch carefully.

Here are some suggestions on how to choose a good breeding bitch.

1. Examine her pedigree and look for evidence of working titles in her parents and grandparents. Speak to her breeder and ask them if their lines have good working ability. Many bitches who do well in the show ring may not be good workers.

2. Check her mother and grandmother’s breeding history. Maternal ability is thought to be hereditary in dogs. If a bitch’s dam and grand-dam were good breeders, whelped easily and successfully raised their litters, it’s a good indicator that your bitch will also be a good mom.

3. Your bitch should be tested for genetic diseases. If there is evidence of a problem, such as mild hip dysplasia, but her other characteristics are exemplary, she may still be useful for breeding. If you are a novice to breeding, make sure you ask for advice from those who are experienced with your breed. You will also need to take care and choose the right stud dog whose characteristics will complement your bitch.

4. A healthy bitch will have a healthy litter. She should be in good body condition, and be free from internal and external parasites. Check for contagious diseases that may affect her breeding ability, such as Canine Brucellosis, and make sure she is up to date with her vaccinations well before you plan to mate her.

In Summary – Breeding a litter of puppies is physically harder on the bitch than on the stud dog. If you prepare her for pregnancy well before she will come on heat, you will help her cope with it, and increase her chances of successfully raising a litter of pups.