Is My Friend's Lab Too Old To Have First Litter?

Discussion in 'The Breeding Ground' started by Logen Ninefingers, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. Logen Ninefingers

    Logen Ninefingers New Member

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    My friend wants to breed his labrador, Meg. She's 6 years old, almost 7. Perfectly healthy, but never had a litter before.

    I've searched Google, of course, but the answers vary. Do you guys think she's too old to be having her first litter?
     
  2. Julee

    Julee UNSTOPPABLE

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    Has she been health tested? Titled in anything? What makes her breed worthy?
     
  3. Logen Ninefingers

    Logen Ninefingers New Member

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    I'm not aware of the specifics, as it's not my dog. Looking out for a friend and wanting to give him the best advice. I believe she's been tested, but the other two questions I'm not certain about.
     
  4. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    As Google has shown you, it's not a simple yes or no question. For some dogs seven is fine for a first litter, for some dogs it would be putting her life at risk to breed her now. Your friend should take the dog to a good reproductive vet (not just a regular vet) and have her evaluated to decide if it is safe or not.
     
  5. Cardiparty

    Cardiparty New Member

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    Here is my take on this and this is my best advice...

    First off, any time a bitch whelps puppies there's a significant chance that something will go wrong. It may not be something that will cost your bitch her life, but it could be. So, if he's willing to risk her life in order to get some puppies out of her, that's a decision that only he can make. Every breeder has to make that choice, although there are different things you can do to prepare for worst case scenarios, but that isn't this thread.

    Secondly, the older a bitch is, the harder whelping is on their body. There's a much higher chance of uterine inertia and she very well could end up having a C section at her age. Did I mention how darned expensive a c-section is?

    Even if you do everything right, you can still end up with dead puppies and a dead bitch under the best case scenario and this definitely isn't a best case scenario.

    I don't know what you've read, but typically it's best for bitches to have the first litter before their four.

    Just make sure your friend does some reasearch...find out how much c-sections cost in your area. Learn about tools that can help an older bitch. Take her to a repro vet and have her evaluated before the breeding to make sure she doesn't have any infections anywhere.

    Just be prepared.

    If you're going to breed a bitch that old, then make sure you at least do it right is all I'm saying. Spare no expense. Take care of your girl.
     
  6. MicksMom

    MicksMom Active Member

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    Great advice all around, Cardiparty. As to the bolded part- doing it right includes proving she is worthy to be bred by competing somehow with her (breed ring, performance events like hunt test, obedience, etc). Although, there are some dogs that have been bred that don't compete or have any titles, but have amazing pedigrees. Sparing no expense means getting all the health clearance possible for the particular breed. For Labs that would include at least hips, elbows, heart, eyes, and Exercise Induced Collapse.

    ETA- Sorry if I sound like I'm on a high horse. There's nothing like a great Lab. Unfortunately, the good ones are becoming few and far between thanks to people who thing just because they have a purebred Lab they should breed it. Sad to say, it's the same way with a lot of breeds. :mad:
     
  7. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Nope, she's not too old to start breeding. I would follow up with a reproduction vet for more personalized info.
     
  8. Logen Ninefingers

    Logen Ninefingers New Member

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    Thanks everyone. I think the general consensus here is to get her checked out by a reproductive vet before anything, so I'll relay that information to my buddy.
     
  9. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    My advice would be to ask my friend to do their own research... If they aren't even doing that I'd have grave concerns about them breeding their dog to be honest, so I'd therefore be trying to explain all the reasons they SHOULDN'T be breeding her.

    As a responsible friend.
     
  10. MicksMom

    MicksMom Active Member

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    NOT JUST A REPRO VET! She needs health testing/clearances done, too. That includes at least hips, elbows, heart, eyes, and Exercise Induced Collapse. These aren't things that the average vet can do. Xrays for hips & elbows have to positioned just right, then sent into to either the OFA or PennHip for evaluation/grading. Heart tests are done by a canine cardiologists, etc. Your friend, not you, needs to do more research into what is involved in PROPERLY breeding his dog. It really sounds to me like this is a case of "I have a purebred Lab. Let's breed her". There are too many Labs out there with health issues (some major) because of people who think like that (not to mention the aggressive or overly shy ones). Please, do the breed a favor and convince your friend to at least do more research.
     
  11. Logen Ninefingers

    Logen Ninefingers New Member

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    Presumptuous post.

    My friend is doing research, too. I merely offered to assist him.
     
  12. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I am doing research on my own breeding and additionally have asked others to ask around for better educated and often less bias options.

    Don't sweat it. Start with a reproduction vet. They'll steer you, or rather your friend, in the right direction.
     
  13. Logen Ninefingers

    Logen Ninefingers New Member

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    Thanks. That's exactly what I've told him. Appreciate (almost) everyone's advice!
     
  14. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    I have been a breeder for a few years, having said that I don't breed very often or to fill puppy orders.

    I am one of those people that stresses over breeding and do a tremendous about mount of research all the time.

    A litter is planned years in advance first by locating the perfect stud dog for my bitch.

    Dr. Hutchinson DVM is consider to be one of the leading authorities on breeding, research for any articles he has written or books.

    http://www.northviewvet.com/robhutchison.html

    Another excellent source is Breeding Better Dogs, tons of excellent information on this site.

    http://breedingbetterdogs.com/

    It is my understanding that it is recommended that maiden bitches should be bred for the first time between 3-5 yrs to lower the risk to her and the pups.

    I absolutely agree that all breeding dogs must be tested for the various inherited diseases and conditions that plague each and every breed.

    Breeding can be riddled with a bunch of heartache and more work than you can imagine to raise healthy well adjusted, socialized puppies.

    A person has to be prepared to take at least a couple of weeks off from work, 1 week for sure just to be on whelping watch. A second week to ensure that momma and pups are ok. Once you get them past that stage, things often go ok but not always. Worst case, you have to be prepared to loose wages (and not **** off a boss) for 2-3 wks.

    My last litter (last fall) cost me over $6,000 and I was happy to come close to breaking even when I found the pups new wonderful homes. I also only bred to keep a puppy for myself first and foremost.

    Why so much money to produce that litter?

    $500.00 in health clearances that a regular vet can't do.

    $500.00 for pre-breeding vet checks and progesterone testing on my girl.

    $1000.00 Stud fee.

    $500.00 for loss of wages while I took my girl almost $600 miles each way to be bred.

    $700.00 for fuel, hotel and meals

    $200.00 ultrasounds and xrays to confirm pregnancy and number of puppies (2 ultrasounds, 1 x-ray)

    $200.00 for whelping supplies.

    $1300.00 for C-section

    $100.00 extra a month in food for my lactating bitch (her food demands increases 3-4 x's or more (depending on her milk supply and the number of pups) while nursing.

    $200 + for food once the pups started eating

    $300.00 for an emerg vet visit with one puppy.

    $400.00 for vet check and first vac's.

    $300.00 + for microchipping puppies.

    I have my own business that I work from home, therefore no boss to **** off, but I did reduce my work load for the week prior to whelping and for the pups first 3 weeks. So that did cost me and I have not included that in the list. But add another $1000.00 :)


    I have a small breed (jrts) expect some of the expenses to be greatly higher with a larger breed.

    It is also very difficult to find great homes (or homes period) for the pups or get a reasonable price for them (price depends on demand and what the breeder has invested into the litter). EVERYONE says they want a puppy when you are preparing to breed or have a litter coming. Many people are dropped from my list for various reasons. Others back out because the timing isn't right for them, money isn't there, they don't have time for a puppy at that time or they really were not serious in the first place.
    Finding great homes can be hard if there are a lot of puppies available in the breeders area esp if they are very cheap. That isn't the case for me, my dogs have a very good reputation and yet it is still hard to find the perfect homes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  15. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    As a lab owner--This ^ X100
     

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