Q:

How old does a dog have to be before it can breed?

A:

Quick Answer

A female dog is bred for the first time during her second heat cycle or after, provided that she is no older than 12 years of age. A male dog is ready to breed by about 15 months of age.

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How old does a dog have to be before it can breed?
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Full Answer

Female dogs typically begin their first heat cycles at 6 to 8 months of age. For their health, females are not bred during their first heat cycles. Male dogs begin producing sperm at approximately 6 months of age, but they are not sexually mature until between the ages of 12 and 15 months. Female dogs older than 12 years are not used for breeding due to the physical toll that breeding and whelping take.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    At what age should I start breeding my dog?

    A:

    Veterinarians and reputable breeders recommend waiting until a female dog is at least 1 to 2 years old and fully matured before breeding her. Male dogs can produce sperm by 6 or 7 months of age, but do not have optimal sperm quality until about 18 months old.

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  • Q:

    How do male dogs act when a female dog is in heat?

    A:

    When a female dog is in heat, an intact and sexually mature male dog in the area can act anxious and aggressive towards other male dogs. He loses interest in anything except mating. A neutered male dog usually acts normally around a female dog in heat.

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  • Q:

    What are the signs that a female dog is in heat?

    A:

    Behavioral changes such as becoming clingy, overly affectionate, grumpy or more distant than normal are all signs a female dog is in heat. While this is broadly true of most female dogs, some show no behavioral changes while in heat.

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  • Q:

    When can you breed a dog?

    A:

    Although female dogs start going into heat at the age of 6 months, they should not be bred until their second season, which is usually six months later. Males reach sexual maturity sometime between the ages of 12 to 15 months and can breed anytime. However, small breeds usually reach maturity earlier than large breeds.

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