How old is too old to breed a Pembroke female in excellant health? She has never had puppies.
Thanks in advance.
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Please don't breed your dog. There will be many comments to come, but please, don't breed her.
Ideally first litter is around 2 or 3, last litter around 5 and definitely no later than 6 years.
If you are breeding, I hope that you:
1) Have had eyes and hips checked, and did testing for relevant genetic diseases. You should also know your dog's family history for things like cancer, IVDD, and thyroid problems.
2) Have had your dog evaluated by objective third parties to ensure that she has extremely sound conformation (not just that she personally never limps or is sore, but that her structure is desirable to pass on to future generations) and breed type.
3) Have ensured that your dog has an excellent temperament appropriate for her breed.
4) Know that you will be able to care for any and all resulting pups for life if something goes wrong and you can't place them, OR if you place them and the owner for any reason can't keep one of the pups.
5) That you have a knowledgeable vet, and the wherewithal to deal with a midnight c-section and hand-raising the pups; Corgis are not always free whelpers or great milk producers, though they are better than quite a few breeds.
6) That you have the time to socialize all the puppies extensively before they leave and are able to temperament test puppies so that you can match them with their homes.
7) That you are emotionally prepared that you might lose the bitch and the whole litter; things don't always go well.
8) That you are able to find a suitable stud dog who accentuates the bitch's fine points and compensates for any minor weaknesses, and whose owner is also committed to 1-7 above.
9) That there is a genuine need in your area for more Corgi puppies; in some areas of the country a lot of Corgis end up in rescue, in others they are rare and demand is high.
I see from your profile that you are a biologist, so I am making a basic assumption that you have some understanding of genetics and what is involved in breeding, and have a reason other than "I think my dog is so sweet" to get into breeding. It is a huge undertaking, so if you are going into it with your eyes wide open I would say check with a vet, and check with Corgi breeders in your area to see what they recommend, and check with your bitch's breeder to see what kind of whelping success and at what age lies in that family tree. Based on your profile, if you are talking about the dog listed, I think the window is rapidly closing.
Best of luck in your decision. We need more responsible breeders of dogs and fewer bad breeders.
By the way, there are quite a few people who will tell you that you should not breed unless your dog is a work or show champion. I don't really believe that as I think it has contributed to a terrible narrowing of the gene pools of many purebred dogs. Nature dictates that all healthy successful animals will most likely reproduce. Our insistence on breeding only the best one or two from an already narrow pool of litters has had a deleterious effect on many breeds.
HOWEVER, all purebred dogs are already closely related to other dogs of their breed, and so owners need to be very very careful when they breed to avoid health disasters, in much the way cousins who marry should get genetic counseling and make an informed decision before having children.
And of course we have an ethical responsibility to ensure to the best of our ability that all domestic animals we help bring into this world have the best chance possible of living relatively pain-free, fulfilling lives. Hence the list above.
I think personally that people use the "they should all be champions" as shorthand because there are very few people who don't compete in dog sports who go through all the steps for breeding responsibly. That does not make it impossible, you just rarely see it and so it is easy to just dump all backyard breeders into the "bad breeder" category.
Your last paragraph sums up my thoughts on the matter. The likelihood for a hobby breeder to go through all the necessary health testing and thorough investigation in finding a suitable dam/sire to complement their dog, and then on top of that NOT be involved in showing or working with their dogs is really low. I'll go ahead and make a bold statement, and say that all the irresponsible BYBs are those who have "pets" and think they should have a litter anyway, throwing caution to the wind.
My Border Collie pup's dam is not currently involved in herding. She was confirmed and worked on sheep long before the breeding took place, as all BCs who will breed must be, but her owner has her hands full with a working Labrador (hunting) and a working Malinois (explosives detection at an airport). But she took no half-measures in getting this litter ready. Both parents were diligently tested for anything and everything known to afflict the breed, and the sire is truly a lovely match. Sadly, she's a rare gem in a field of hobby breeders who usually have no idea what they're getting themselves (and their dogs) into.
Why do you want to breed her?
Why, I guess is the question? We loved her so much we always assumed we would breed her and enjoy some of her pups. But we never made it happen, so we thought it might be time if we were going to do it. I see that the general consensus is not to breed her, and I can't argue with the reasoning. We had no idea. Thanks for the advice. (By the way, the powers and reach of the internet and the ability to find information will never cease to amaze me. I was also working on a corgi article for my blog, so it's all great info). Thank you Corgi forum.
You are a very level-headed person and I think the best route, should you want a little corgi-pal for her in the future, is to ask reputable breeders for a dog whose temperament matches closely to the one you clicked with so well in your own dog. That way you can find a second companion, and not run the numerous risks that accompany breeding and whelping!
I agree with the statements that Beth said above. Also wanted to add that corgis have a very high rate of dystocia (meaning they can't give birth without help). So before you even consider breeding, please make sure you have at least $1200 laying around because if she needs a c-section it could easily cost you that much, if not more, not to mention the fact that you may end up with no surviving puppies and/or you may end up having to bottle feed the puppies yourself. Just make sure to do your research first, talk with reputable breeders (and also make sure your breeder has ok'd that you even breed your dog, many won't allow their dogs to be bred and her AKC registration won't pass to the puppies), and really look at what breeding your dog is about and make sure you can actually make that commitment. Working at a vet hospital we see VERY VERY frequently dogs coming in for c-section and 9 times out of 10 it is an emergency so costs are much higher and most of the time you may or may not end up with any puppies or the puppies end up dying after only a day or two.
Noooo. Please don't breed her!
I agree with the people who say not to breed her. But let me give you my reason why.
My Scout is spayed, so never could be bred anyway, but I still could not do it. She has the best personality, happy all the time, the best dog I could ask for.
I would never want to chance a risky pregnancy and the thought of losing her due to complications. I would feel incredibly guilty and would regret it the rest of my life. She is 7 - 8 ish. So at that age even if she had never been spayed, I would not even consider it.
Hope you make the right decision for your dog. And if the reason for breeding is wanting another corgi with her temperament, I'm positive a breeder would work with you on getting a puppy from their litter that is similar personality.
Please get her spayed. My BIL has had two male Corgis that were never neutered. One got out when roomate left the front door open and was hit by a car. No doubt Maverick might have been more of a home buddy if he had been fixed. Angus is his current Corgi and not neutered. Angus has a joint defect and the vet said do not breed him. My BIL never has but why risk it and health issues related to intact animals. Maybe a macho thing since my husband and I had a male Corgi and got him fixed. License fees are so much cheaper with fixed animals too.