When should I make an attempt of breeding my bitch? This is the question that strikes the mind of every female dog owner once the puppy grows up. To successfully breed your bitch, you should know answers to some questions before you put her in the company of male dogs. Like humans, dogs too have the best age for reproduction. Breeding too early or too late can be harmful for the health of your bitch. So it is a good idea to consult a vet about the best age to breed a female dog.
According to experts, the minimum age for breeding for bitches is two years. You should not try to breed your bitch before she has turned 2 years of age. However, this is not a hard and fast rule for breeding age as different dog breeds become mature enough for breeding at different age. As a dog owner, it is difficult for you to find out if your bitch has become sexually mature for breeding. But it is a fact that bitches become sexually mature before they attain physical maturity.
In dogs, puberty occurs at the age of 6 months. But for different dogs, this age may be anywhere between 6 months to 1 year. Referred to as heat cycle, bitches enter into heat or oestrus when they are believed to be ready for mating. In general, bitches belonging to small dog breeds enter their first heat cycle much earlier than bitches belonging to large dog breeds. This gives you an idea of best age to breed a female dog depending upon the breed of your dog.
Once your bitch has reached puberty or sexual maturity, she would enter her heat cycle every six months. It is found that there is irregularity in these cycles just like women. There is no need to be unduly worried about this fact as it is a normal phenomenon and most bitches find their regular cycles after some time. It may take anywhere between 6 months to 18 months for your bitch to develop regular heat cycle.
In the end, it is a common practice among breeders to let two heat cycles of a bitch pass before they try to breed her. You too can follow this practice and go for breeding of your bitch when she enters her 3rd heat cycle. This is of course if she is perfectly healthy and there are no issues with her.