When is the Ideal Age for First Time Dog Breeding and Pregnancy
Judging by what the experts, scientists and breeders say, it depends a whole lot on the physical and mental maturity of each bitch, which, fundamentally, is determined by the size of the breed; I've already mentioned that small or medium-sized bitches, after the first 6 months of life have almost entirely completed their growth, whereas the bigger or giant breeds can take, as a minimum, 1 year and sometimes 2 or 2 1/2 years in reaching complete growth. In any case is a pretty common practice to let the first heat proceed without pregnancy; after that, small and middle sized bitches can be crossed in the second heat, or what is the same approximately around 12 months of age, whereas biggermust wait until their third heat and maybe even until their fourth heat before they can get pregnant; therefore, you have to wait at least two years.
In some cases, for example with Bullmastiffs, St. Bernards, Terranovas, Masteens , etc. it is preferable to wait until two years and a half; the reason is the fact that they have only at this age reached a complete physical growth and since their litters are usually not less than six puppies (up to 12 or 14), obligating them to mate with the considerable weight of the fetuses during the last month of pregnancy and then suffer the logical physical wear that comes with taking care of the litter can have undesirable consequences at a muscularskeletal level. In fact, in many cases the so-called "Saddleback" has been observed as a consequence of a premature pregnancy in big sizedthat have been induced to pregnancy and an early age.
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