Breed young while stronger, or older with titles?

Discussion in 'The Breeding Ground' started by Kilter, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Kilter

    Kilter New Member

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    For girls that is....

    Had that chat today again while helping with a litter. The tossup is do you title your girls then breed when older (5-6) or breed closer to 2 years of age when they're not as likely to have as many performance titles, but likely better at reproduction? Thoughts?
     
  2. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Theres got to be some sort of happy medium is my thoughts. Why not breed at three or four with more titles than a two year old but younger than a six year old?

    Personally, Ive met a few females that I would have bought a puppy out of, if the sire was titled or doing actual work. A few female drug dogs come to mind specifically. Health testing and doing real work matter more to me than titles though.
     
  3. Kilter

    Kilter New Member

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    So far what I'm planning (for now anyway) is to breed young, mainly to get something else on the ground since I just have the one girlie. Doing an outcross and then perhaps more of a linebreeding, with access (ok likely keeping a pup each time) and see how they mature, then deciding if I want to breed again or spay if I'm happy with what I have. If not, I'd have a better idea of what she'll produce and she'll have had time for some titles and working too. Seeing too many awesome girls that are older and not having any litters at all for my liking.
     
  4. Julee

    Julee UNSTOPPABLE

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    If I were to breed, I'd shoot for a first litter somewhere between 3-4 years. I feel 2 is too early for most breeds, but that's me.
     
  5. Keechak

    Keechak Aussie Obssessed

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    I wont be breeding Lark until after her third birthday.
     
  6. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    While you are probably not going to be achieving the pinnacle in any particular activity (barring a truly standout dog and the dedication of an excepionally large amount of resources) there is no reason a 3, even 2-year-old dog can't have some worthwhile titles, tests, and/or work experience under their belt already.

    And what do you mean by young? If you're talking sub-2 there wouldn't even be official hip rad done yet.

    I frankly don't see the hurry other than not going past what is safe for the bitch having a first or subsequent litter. Mira will be 4 for her litter, and that time has given us the opportunity to see how she really is maturing physically and explore her personality and working instincts in order to identify her best match...as well as earn titles get health tests done and all that.
     
  7. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    I don't like to breed too young for the simple reason that even with health clearances that genetic issues (unless ruled out by DNA testing if available) often don't appear before 4-5 + yrs. Also depends on the breed and what is the recommended age.
     
  8. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    If I breed someday, I plan on having the first litter out of a bitch at around 3-5 years old. Old enough to give me a better idea of who she is and how she works, medical issues, temperament testing, titles, etc - but young enough she could still have a couple litters if she's worthy of it.
     
  9. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Its not unreasonable to expect titles before breeding.

    Three to four is a healthy start, Backups mom was five before her first and only breeding. Starting around 5-6 is pretty typical for malinois in work, it seems.
     
  10. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    I would probably shoot for around 3 as a good age for a litter. That said, both my bitches were bred at 4. Tully, because I hadn't originally been planning to breed her, I decided to do so sometime after she was 3, and I had to do the various tests, etc, to get ready. Tess I always knew I would breed, but I had trouble finding the right stud. And the male I ultimately used was younger than ideal when I used him, but I just didn't want to wait any longer, since she was already 4, and I was able to clear the time in her competition schedule and arrange time off work for myself.
     
  11. Kilter

    Kilter New Member

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    It would be after I get her official ofa hip and elbow results back and she comes into season, which at the earliest would be 2 and a bit. I would wait, but the stud dog will be ten by then assuming his clearances are all good to go as well. They should both have some conformation points and some other titles and legs by then.

    If he was younger, I'd wait a bit, but already having people suggest I get him checked for swimmers.

    I will work it from there, if the pups are really nice and I'm happy I may wait, who knows. I'd like to see the pups grow up a bit then decide where to go next.
     
  12. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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    I think I'd be getting the boy collected and frozen if I was absolutely set on the male and give the bitch a little longer to get titles and testing in order. I wouldn't be pushing to breed a just 2 year old.

    Smudge's sire was 11 when bred. Older doesn't mean they'll necessarily have issues with sperm count.
     
  13. DobeLove

    DobeLove New Member

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    I agree with seeing about getting the male collected.

    All of our dogs have been about 4 when bred for the first time. In my opinion if they need to be bred before 4 or 5 so they can produce a little with less chance of complications they shouldn't be bred. I think waiting that long shows they have a better chance of not developing major health problems.
     
  14. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    You wouldn't be wrong either way, in my opinion.

    If the timing is right for you, then do the breeding whenever you're ready. You said yourself you'll have the OFA's and testing done, so there is no real reason to wait. If two dogs will match well, and take you where you want to go, they will still match well after they are titled.

    This is the dilemma of owning bitches and wanting to breed and show and do performance. Bitches can't compete in performance events while in season, so thats two months off a year, plus what if the first breeding doesn't take? Thats an additional month and a half that the bitch is out of competition until you find out she isn't pregnant. Finishing an older bitch can be a testament to how well the lines hold up with age. I know people like to see those titles, but.. meh. I can see both sides, and I know how tough it is to schedule shows with intact bitches. As soon as you think you're in the clear and you enter, BAM, she comes in season, or blows coat.
     
  15. Dog Dances Studio

    Dog Dances Studio New Member

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    My girl was 7 when she had her first and only litter. I waited for a certain test to be available in the breed. Depends on the dog and the longevity of the line. My dog comes from a family where late teens is the norm.
     
  16. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    The answer to me is "it depends." Personally I don't give a flying fart about titles in most venues but I do care a lot about health testing and raising when I have the best chance to do it right. You wouldn't believe how long this can take sometimes. My goals/values may or may not be your values however and if titles before everything to you is more important or nearly required to place pups in good homes than I would consider it. Otherwise - I'd go for the breeding before 3 years. In most cases it's easier on the bitch to bounce back to show shape and whelp out that first litter by that point.

    There will always be time for titles but there are finite windows within the life of a bitch for a litter and in most cases maintaining the contact for that stud match.
     
  17. Kilter

    Kilter New Member

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    I talked to the vet (who is a breeder and does performance herself) and she said go for it. As nice as it is to have all the titles 'done' before breeding, she feels it's better to have a natural breeding vs. frozen down the road. I can still train and work her around motherhood.

    As much as I'd love homes that are picky about titles, I'm also hearing from a lot of experienced breeders that they prefer to just place what they don't keep in pet homes, where it's an only dog and spoiled on the couch, vs. some of the performance/show homes where the owner's drama and complaints/questions drive them nutty and the gossip mills run overtime. I can totally understand already without having a litter on the ground just from some inquiries I've had and things I've seen. I'd still love some show/performance homes each time around, don't get me wrong....
     
  18. Maliraptor

    Maliraptor Bite me.

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    There is a lot of truth in that. Pet homes are WONDERFUL. They will keep with a pup through thick and thin. In my sport, at least, dogs get bounced to another home all the time because they were not quite what the owner was looking for. Sad but true. I myself will send a dog on to the Police Department if he's not quite what I'm looking for, but I always figure a job trumps it all.
     
  19. frostfell

    frostfell Kung Pow Fish

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    I say breed any time health clearances are done. IF a dog has the brains and structure to title, they can title any old time. If a bitch can finish her CH at 2, she can sure as hell finish it at 5. If you breed her young and she fails to finish at 5, she never had it in her in the first place! And if you breed at 2, and finish afterwards, who cares? Shes the same dog as if you had done it in the reverse.
     
  20. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    But then you bred a dog that didn't have it in them... no?

    I honestly don't care that much but I worry that it's a relative cop-out for most dogs to claim inability to title before breeding.

    Sloan has been barely trialed (due to time and money), compared to those who campaign, with a brand spanking new handler and she has entry level titles and is ready to trial in mid level categories in agility, obedience, and schutzhund. She's also a world invitee for two dock diving organizations, she's been tested at barn hunts, has her CGC, has dappled in k9NW, and many other extra funs to evaluate her. That said, she's under 3 and all of this was accomplished before 2.5.

    Some dogs mature later (Backups line is notorious for waiting until 2-3 to "normalize"), some handlers struggle, but far too often it begs the question: if you can't put anything on the dog before two years old how is it you've really tested (put their drive, social stability, structure, and brain to the test in a more challenging setting than the back yard or a training field) the dog for breed worthiness? If this can be answered reasonably then, to each their own.

    ETA: I should add, I don't think every dog needs to be out there and titled before 3 nor is it a slight at any dogs that wait. My question was specifically if you don't test the dog out and about before you breed how are you evaluating their breed worthiness without a personal bias and the realization that the stress of shows, etc, tend to teach us more about our dogs than a training field.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013

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