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Breeding

Poodle Breeding

Poodle newborn puppy
Overview

Breeding Poodles is not to be taken lightly. Whether you plan to have 1 litter or you wish to begin a breeding program, there is much to know.

Breeding your Poodle is perfectly fine if you following the proper guidelines to ensure the health of the dam and the potential litter...

and you breed for the right reasons & with respect to the responsibility you will have to the Poodle bloodline. After all, if no one bred Poodles, we would not have this amazing dog breed!

Let's begin by discussing some of the most important elements of breeding Poodles and answering some of the most commonly asked questions. 
Mixing Breeds

First a note about mixing breeds. While “designer dogs” or “hybrid dogs” are trendy at the moment, one must remember that breeding together 2 dogs of different breeds, and producing mixes such as the popular “Maltipoo” is technically just having a mixed dog. The official term for a puppy of mixed breeds is a crossbreed or mongrel. Many hear these words and feel that they are unbecoming word; however it is simply the facts. There is no such official breed as a Maltipoo, an Affenpoo or a Bassetoodle. 

When certain mixed dogs are paired together, there is an ongoing and increasing trend to give them cute sounding names, often confusing some people into thinking they are official dog breeds. These are not official dog breeds and when given these names, they are “portmanteau words” (words that are simply made up).

When one wants to begin breeding Poodles, it is in the best interest of the Poodle breed to breed 2 purebred Poodles. This is what keeps the purebred bloodlines “alive”. A devoted Poodle breeder has many goals, one of the most important being: To breed for the betterment of the breed. This involves carefully pairing genetically sound purebreds to produce purebred Poodle puppies.

Mixing Poodle Types

The tiny Toy, the medium sized Miniature and large Standard Poodles are all one dog breed: the Poodle. They are categorized into toy, miniature and standard based on size. Technically, a Toy Poodle can be bred with a Standard Poodle. However, this is not recommended. Typically, a reputable breeder will concentrate on one type. In this way, you can become familiar with the bloodlines and genetics of the Poodles and be able to properly pair dogs for the purpose of producing healthy, quality puppies. Improving the bloodline should be the ultimate goal.
Are you Prepared?

One must be fully prepared before breeding. There are many elements involved, including:

Finances - Breeding involves many veterinarian bills. The pregnancy may have complications. A cesarean section may need to be performed. You will need extra food, milk supplement, vaccinations, veterinarian checkups and more.

Time - Those newborn puppies need to have a careful eye on them around the clock. Hypoglycemia is just one of the many health issues that can suddenly strike a newborn puppy, especially when breeding toy Poodles.

Emotional strength? Even the best breeders in the world experience loss. Even with years of experience, there may be a puppy or puppies who do not make it. If all goes well, how will you feel when the puppies go to their new homes?

Most reputable breeders do so for the love of the breed, not to make money. As any top breeder will tell you, breeding is not a huge money maker. The majority of sale of a puppy goes right back into the breeding program.

Safely Breeding

A female can become pregnant as soon as she enters her first heat. This can be as young as 6 months old. However, a female should be at least 2 years old before she is bred. 

If you are planning on breeding more than once, there are 2 theories regarding what is best for the female Poodle. Some veterinarians suggest breeding 2 times in a row, then giving a rest and the other method is to breed every other heat cycle. It is of utmost importance to never breed a Poodle without first having her examined to ensure that she is completely recovered from a previous pregnancy and is fully healthy to carry another litter.

If a female must have a C-section, it is often in the best interest of the Poodle to be retired from breeding. 

It is best if the female is larger than the male. This is particularly important with toy Poodles. With the average weight of a toy being 6-9 lbs. (2.72-4.08 kg), a good example would be a 9-10 pound female paired with a 5-6 pound male. This gives the female a better chance to carry well and deliver naturally, as she will have larger width and the smaller male will complement the sizing, producing puppies within the toy Poodle weight range.

While some females will have their heat cycles slow down or stop as they grow older, many will enter heat for their entire lives. When breeding, it is highly recommended to stop breeding a female at the age of 5 or 6 years. Having too many litters puts extreme stress on a female Poodle and is very unhealthy. When a female is “retired” from breeding, she should be spayed to prevent any accidental breedings.
Ensuring Health

It is very important to be fully aware of genetic health issues, not only in dam and sire, but in both of their parents as well, since health issues can skip a generation. Breeding requires a lot more than simply pairing 2 Poodles together. Potential dam and sire should be evaluated for temperament and conformation to the breed standard. One’s goal should be that pairing of dogs will produce the highest quality puppies possible. Careful, planned pairing must be done. It is recommended to have the following tests done on both dam and sire:

CERF – For inherited eye disease

v VD( von Willebrand's Disease) For this blood clotting disease

OFA- Hip and elbow dysplasia

SA (Sebaceous adenitis) - For this inherited skin disease. This test must be done every 2 years on adult dogs

The OptiGen prcd-PRA test - A DNA-based test that helps you avoid one form of Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). PRA refers to a group of diseases that cause the retina of the eye to degenerate slowly over time.

Brucellosis test for females – a canine disease, transmitted during mating, that will cause sterility.

If you are aware of any other genetic health issues, that dog should not be bred

Knowing When a Female is Ready

The optimal time to pair Poodles is 11 days after the female's heat cycle begins; though can range from day 7 to day 14 and in rare cases, even beyond that. Most breeders pair the dogs every other day, for 1 week. This allows the sire to recoup and allow the sperm count to come back up. The male’s sperm will stay “alive” in the female for 7-10 days. In most cases, 3-4 parings will assure a successful breeding. Most females will signal the male by flagging them, this is the process of when she will raise her tail and put her hind quarters into the male’s face. This signals that a female is ready and it is time to mate.

Ties

It is important to never separate tied dogs and this can cause injury to them. Most ties last for 10-20 minutes. In some cases, dogs may become “stuck” and it is an old wives’ tale to separate them using ice. Given time, the male will relax and the will separate naturally. However, if stuck, it is suggested to gently hold the female or to have the pairs dogs in a small kennel or crate so that she is not dragged around, which can also cause injury.
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