What Is The Best Age To Breed A Female Dog?

Medically Reviewed

At what age do female dogs become ready for mating? And is there an "optimal" age for breeding? This article focuses on these questions, as well as other related aspects to breeding your dog.

best age to breed female dog

Are you wondering whether you should or shouldn’t breed your dog?

And if you do – what age is appropriate? When to breed a dog?

After all, breeding dogs has been a passion of many during the centuries and responsible actions that those breeders conducted left us proper steps that you need to follow if you want to breed your dog.

Whatever you decide in the end, it’s important to be familiar with the basic facts when it comes to dog breeding. Appropriate age is one of these facts, so read on to discover the best age to breed a dog.

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If you have a female dog you have an important decision to make – if you should breed your dog or not. This is a rather complex issue and there are a lot of things to consider before you decide. So today, we’re focusing on the female dog and her maturity when it comes to breeding. Still not sure when can you breed a dog? Let’s elaborate.

So, first of all, let’s explain a couple of things regarding the dog’s estrous cycle and her maturity process.

When Do Female Dogs Reach Sexual Maturity?

In general, female dogs reach puberty or sexual maturity around the age of six months. However, this can vary a lot, depending on the breed and dog. Some dogs, usually the smaller breeds, can have their first heat cycle as early as four months of age. On the other hand, large and giant breeds can take up to two years before they reach sexual maturity.

When Can A Dog Get Pregnant?

Well, the answer to this question overlaps with the previous one. Female dogs can get pregnant as soon as they go in their first heat cycle, which occurs around the age of six months or older, depending on the dog breed and your dog’s overall health condition.

However, it’s important to distinguish sexual maturity from physical maturity. Sexual maturity comes before physical maturity and shouldn’t be taken as a sign that the dog is ready for breeding. But more about that later!

How Often Do Female Dogs Come Into Heat?

This usually happens twice a year, but it can also vary a lot from dog to dog. For some females, three or four heat cycles in a year can be completely normal. In addition, initially, the cycles can be very irregular, with the time between each cycle different every time. It can take some female dogs up to two years until their cycle becomes regular.

In general, smaller breeds cycle more regularly than what larger breeds do. Some small breeds cycle three or four times per year, while the largest breeds (Great Danes, St Bernard’s, etc.) usually cycle every twelve months. Some dogs can even go up to 18 months between the cycles.


Female dogs reach sexual maturity from the age of only 4 months to the age of 2 years depending on their breed and size. Heat cycle usually happens twice to four times a year.

What Signs Indicate An Oestrous Cycle?

The most visible sign of your female dog being in heat is vaginal bleeding. The amount of bloody discharge varies between dogs, with some shedding a tiny amount, while others have heavy bleeding. However, it can take a couple of days before this becomes noticeable. Vulvar swelling is therefore the first sign that the heat cycle has begun, alongside the increased attention to her rear end – usually manifested through licking herself.

From the beginning of the cycle, the females will be attractive to male dogs, but they won’t be interested or allow mating until 7-10 days later. As the cycles approaches its end, they bleed less and become more receptive to male dogs.

Another possible sign is small quantities of urine passed more frequently. As the the urine contains both pheromones and hormones, it can be a sign to interested males that the female will be receptive soon. Pheromones are unique chemicals which are secreted by animals, to allow them to communicate with each other. So, when can a female dog get pregnant? She can become pregnant until the end of the cycle. Read on to understand the heat cycle better and to learn how often it happens and when.


Signs that clearly indicate the beginning of a heat (estrous) cycle are: bloody discharge, vulvar swelling, licking in the area as well as the increased interest of male dogs.

How Long Does An Oestrous Cycle Last? (Stages of The “Heat” Cycle)

The cycle usually lasts two to three weeks, but this too can vary. Noticing the signs we just mentioned above will indicate the start of the cycle. The cycle is over when the bloody discharge ceases and the vulva returns to its normal size.

The perfect mating time depends on the stage of your female dog’s “heat” cycle, that’s why it’s important to know the cycle phases your dog is going through.

The stages of the oestrous cycle can roughly be presented the following way:

  • 1. Proestrus – This phase usually lasts from 8 to 10 days in healthy female dogs. The vulva begins to swell and the dog starts producing a bloody discharge. The amount of discharge is different for every dog. Female dogs show no interest in males, rejecting any advances and may even be aggressive towards them.
  • 2. Estrus – This stage also usually lasts from 8 to 10 days. The vulva becomes less swollen and the color of the vaginal discharge lightens, varying between clear, pink or slightly brown. The eggs are released from the ovaries, a process is known as ovulation, and the female dog becomes ready to accept a male.
  • 3. Diestrus – In this stage, the female dog rejects the male dog’s advances and the bloody discharge stops. This phase lasts between 60- 90 days, or around 63 days if the dog is pregnant. False pregnancy can also occur occasionally during diestrus, characterized by the dog increasing in weight, having mammary gland development and showing mothering instincts- even though it is not pregnant! In this phase, the hormone progesterone controls the reproductive tract whether or not the female dog is pregnant.
  • 4. Anestrus – This phase lasts between three and four months, and is a transition phase between cycles where no sexual activity occurs. The uterus is being “repaired” after the previous active phases.


A heat cycle usually lasts for two or three weeks. It is in the Estrus phase when your dog is fertile and when she should be bred.

How Do You Know When To Mate Your Dog?

This can be rather tricky, as ovulation can occur both early and late during the cycle. In general, most females will be receptive around the eleventh day, when the discharge isn’t as bloody and the female is looking for a mate and receptive to male dogs.

There are two tests that your vet can perform, if you want to determine when the best time to mate your dog is.

  • Vaginal smear test. A simple examination of vaginal cells, in order to detect changes in cell appearance and numbers. It’s not an invasive test and it’s pretty reliable when it comes to predicting ovulation.
  • Serum progesterone test. This test measures the progesterone levels in the blood. It has become very popular because of its accuracy in predicting successful times for matings, especially for females with a history of unsuccessful mating.

Signs That It’s Time To Breed

If you notice any of the following signs, your female dog is most likely ready to be bred:

  • General flirty behavior
  • Pushing up rear end when you pet her on the back
  • Tail held high and flagging
  • Color change in vaginal discharge, from red to pinkish, clear or brown
  • Frequently presenting her vulva


Usually, the mating is recommended on the eleventh day of the heat cycle. Your female dog will show interest in male dogs and have a rather flirty behavior.

Having presented all these facts, let’s get to the question that brought you here:

When Can You Breed A Female Dog?

A female dog shouldn’t be bred before she goes through her second or third cycle. As explained, the time between the cycles can be very different from dog to dog. However, it’s very rare that she goes through her third cycle before she’s one year old.

As a rule, females shouldn’t be bred before that.

People often ask how old does a dog have to be to have puppies. This may vary from breed to breed, but the thing that you should always have on your mind is – responsibility. Each pet owner is responsible for his or her dog’s health and happiness. Although most dogs are ‘ready’ to have puppies between 6 and 12 months it doesn’t mean that it should happen, or it’s the best decision.

When it comes to male dogs, they begin producing sperm when they’re approximately 6 months old, but they’re not sexually mature until somewhere between 12 and 15 months of age.

What Is The Best Breeding Age?

Even though both female and male dogs generally reach puberty at the age of 6 months, it doesn’t mean they’re mature or ready for breeding. In other words, just because she can doesn’t mean she should. It’s very important for the female dog to be fully matured before breeding, as early breeding can lead to physical problems, behavioral problems or increased risks for the mum and pups during pregnancy. Give your dog a chance to “grow up”.

Another reason why you should wait until your dog is fully mature is so that you know what genetic predispositions or inherited disorders your dog carries. A common example of a potential health problem is hip dysplasia, which sometimes doesn’t become apparent until the dog is completely mature but may be passed onto the dog’s offspring.

When you’re breeding your dog you want to improve the chances of the puppies being healthy as much as you can, right? And this is impossible to do before a certain age, as you can’t complete some of the basic breeding related health screenings until the dog is physically mature.

Some dog breeds have an increased risk of passing specific diseases and congenital problems onto their puppies. The Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) has established recommended protocols for breed-specific health screenings. The health screen could include a physical examination, x-rays, a DNA mouth swab or blood tests in order to check for certain diseases and conditions. These screenings may also include checking for sexually transmitted diseases which may be passed during mating. Simply put – screenings check for problems that might affect other dogs if the mating were to happen. This is why an ordinary vet check isn’t enough when you want to determine if your dog is healthy for breeding. When it comes to how old do dogs have to be to breed, you need to think about many factors. The first and most important factor is the dog’s breed. The age in which to breed a dog, whether female or male, always depends on the breed of the dog.

But, how old does a female dog have to be to breed?

It’s difficult to determine an “optimal” age for breeding, but it’s vital that the dog is completely mature before it occurs. The physical maturity is usually around 24 months of age, but this can vary from dog to dog. That being said, how old should a dog be to breed? Well, it really depends on the breed. So as soon as you notice the signs of sexual maturity, talk to your vet in order to better understand how old should a female dog be to breed. Of course, they shouldn’t be “too mature” either. Female dogs shouldn’t be bred when they’re older, as the breeding and whelping process can be very tiring and take a physical toll on older dogs.

Here’s a list of most popular dog breeds and the respective recommended age before which you shouldn’t consider breeding your female dog. You can use this list as a guide on the best time to breed a dog. Just bear in mind that responsible breeders will wait for the bitch to be at least 18 months to breed her.

Breed Recommended breeding age
Australian Shepherd 18 – 24 months
Beagle 18 – 24 months
Boxer 24 months
Chihuahua 24 – 30 months
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 24 months
Dachshund 14 – 18 months
Doberman Pinscher 24 months
German Shepherd 24 months
Golden Retriever 18 – 24 months
Great Dane 24 months
French Bulldog 24 months
Labrador Retriever 18 – 24 months
Maltese 18 – 24 months
Miniature Schnauzer 18 – 24 months
Poodle 24 months
Pug 18 months
Rottweiler 24 months
Siberian Husky 24 – 30 months
Yorkshire Terrier 12 – 18 months


Ideally, female dogs should be bred after they finish their second or third heat cycle. This is usually around 24 months of age.

When To Stop Breeding a Female Dog?

As much as knowing when is a good age to start breeding your dog, knowing when you should stop breeding a female dog is also crucial in order to ensure your dog will remain healthy.

Most vets will agree that healthy female dogs can stop breeding when they reach the age of 8 years. However, other factors can also affect the recommended age to retire from breeding. In some cases, breeding a dog after the age of 5 can be considered as risky. Different health conditions, your dog’s breed or size, are all factors that need to be evaluated before determining whether your dog can continue breeding or not.

In any case, you should always consult your vet when thinking of breeding a dog older than 5 years old because after that age the probability of health complications occurring during pregnancy are higher.


Female dogs shouldn’t be bred after they reach the age of 8 years. However, some breeds and dogs that suffer from certain health conditions shouldn’t be bred after they are 5 years old.

What Is The Oldest Age A Dog Can Have Puppies?

As mentioned, female dogs don’t go into menopause, and they could practically have puppies forever. However, that’s not something that you want your dog to go through for two reasons.

The first one is that as dog’s age, their eggs’ quality and endurance deteriorates which can result in an unhealthy litter of puppies. Due to genetic regression that occurs with age, older dogs are more likely to pass genetic mutations and potential health issues to the newborns.

On the other hand, pregnancy, whelping and feeding puppies is quite an exhausting process for a dog that is in its senior years. Instead of slowing down with physical activities, as nature would normally dictate, you would impose your dog to have an entire period of draining her energy for processes that aren’t meant for this stage of their lives.

How Many Times Can You Breed a Female Dog?

So far, we have understood that a female dog shouldn’t mate before her third heat cycle or after reaching the age of 5-8 years. But how often can you breed your dog? It is known that a female dog, depending on her breed, can have on average two pregnancies each year. But having consecutive pregnancies can harm your dog’s overall health and can potentially cause some health problems.

That’s why it is important to know how to balance the breeding with your dog’s health. Usually, leaving at least a year and a half between each pregnancy will be enough for your dog to recover and have another successful pregnancy.


Consecutive pregnancies are not recommendable. Therefore, the most optimal number of pregnancies a female dog can carry healthily is two or three in her lifetime.

Is Breeding Safe and Healthy For Your Female Dog?

A lot of female dog owners have doubts if they should breed or spay their dogs. If you’re a professional breeder, you might not want to enter deeply into this question, but the truth is that every dog owner should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages breeding might bring.

Spaying your dog helps prevent some deadly diseases, such as uterine cancer, ovarian cancer or pyometra (infection of the uterus) and significantly reduces the risk of mammary cancer (if your dog is spayed before it’s the third season). However, spaying your dog can make your dog more prone to other health issues such as an increased risk of developing urinary incontinence.

Generally, it is thought that an un-spayed or entire female dog will have more balanced hormone levels, higher energy levels and less chance of developing obesity when compared to a spayed dog. Often after a female dog is spayed her change in hormone levels can cause her to put on weight. However, this can often be easily managed with changes to her diet and exercise.

After a female dog is spayed, the veterinarian will often advise that the dog’s weight is closely monitored and the diet adjusted to a lower calorie one if necessary.

Pregnancy is always a tricky state for a female, so you can never know for certain if it will be safe or not. You should also be prepared and ready to aid your dog during whelping and provide everything that’s needed if something goes wrong, because in the end, giving birth can be a difficult task for some female dogs too.

If your dog is spayed or entire, it is equally important to make sure your dog is healthy in all stages of her lifespan. Regular check-ups at the vets is a must and will allow your dog to live a long and happy life.


If a female dog has overall good health, breeding and whelping are usually considered safe.


If you decide to breed your female dog, it’s important to be aware of all the facts mentioned above. Waiting for your dog to be completely physically and sexually mature is crucial when it comes to breeding your dog, both for health and psychological reasons.

Even though dogs can reach sexual maturity as early as six months of age, their full physical maturity comes some time after. Therefore, it’s recommended to wait until the dog has been through at least three heat cycles before she’s ready for breeding. Even though the cycles vary from dog to dog, they’re usually considered fully ready after the age of two.

Finally, it’s very important to understand that every dog is different and should be treated that way. Some dogs reach maturity earlier than others, so you have to know when your dog is completely mature and act accordingly.

Don’t forget to consult with your vet as well, as he might notice signs of mating maturity or immaturity that you might not pay attention to. Your vet can carry out a full physical examination on your dog and discuss possible pre-breeding health screens to ensure your dog and her future pups will be the healthiest they possibly can be!

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  • Ronald Bailey

    I rescued a Cocker spaniel breeding bitch , from a very responsible breeder , who I had known quite a number of years , weeks previous to getting Lexie , my partner and I had lost 2 dogs , who were twelve , but they had terminal ailments , so were prepared for the inevitable , as sad as it was . Lexie came into our lives , 7 years of age , an ex breeding Cocker spaniel , she was amazing , such a light in our lives , after 2 had gone out . On the 28 th of August , at 5 o clock in the morning , she awoke with her usual yowel , I saw to her needs , she was sick , probably from eating grass , she continued in pain , rushed her to the vets , she was not seen until 9 o clock , he diagnosed pancreatitis , gave her an injection , told us to see how she was in 24 hrs , she calmed down a little , as the day went on she was still suffering , phoned the vet , who said if she is not right by tomorrow bring her in , not knowing what to do , we finished up at the emergency vet , 12 o clock at night only to be told she was dying , we were devastated.
    The question we are asking is , could she have been saved , if she had been hospitalised straight away , treated as an emergency , upsetting the vets busy schedule , were we at fault hoping for the best outcome . We had had her 2 marvelous years , she was 9 .Thank you

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Dear Ronald,

      First of all, we are very sad to hear what happened to Lexie. Unfortunately, sometimes even hospitalising your dog straight away doesn’t prevent these things from happening. You might have postponed the inevitable, but probably nothing bigger would have happened.

      Barking Royalty team

  • Jose

    Hey,I have an American exotic bully and I just want to know at what age is recommended to be able to breed him.

  • Debbie Gwilliam

    Hi, I have two female golden retrievers, both non spayed. One is 12 the other is turning 4. The older one has never fallen pregnant. The two girls ‘mount’ each other when they are in season. We have just tried to place the younger one with a male dog and she growled and lowered herself to the ground around him but when we brought her home, she continued to enthusiastically ‘mount’ the other female dog. Not sure what I should do?

  • Roger Duffin

    The suitable breeding age of a bitch will vary significantly from breed to breed and with the fitness of the bitch concerned. Streamlined dogs such as lurchers and greyhounds generally whelp fairly easily, the relatively fine head and body passing through the birth canal and difficulties are unusual. With a working dog there is little point breeding before the bitch is 5 or so years old so that one has a good idea of it’s strengths, and the shortcomings to be addressed with the choice of a compatible sire. If the dog is fit and exercised vigorously regularly I’d have no hesitation in breeding at 7 years though I wouldn’t plan a first litter after that. If the bitch has been bred from successfully though my experience is that it is safe to have subsequent litters at 9 or 10 years. Litter sizes may be smaller with older bitches. With heavier set dogs, labradors, GSDs and the bull breeds etc, whilst I don’t have direct experience of these, my inclination would be to knock a few years off the above.

  • Levi

    My dog is 11 months old. Am I allowed to breed it?

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Levi,

      That is too early for a dog to be bred.

  • Ellen Buttler

    My cava cockapoo is 10 months old but has already had one bout of acute pancreatitis and two bouts of chronic pancreatitis. She is now on a low fat prescription diet. is it safe to breed her when she has matured …thinking of her health and that of her puppies- is pancreatitis heredity please? Thank you

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Ellen,

      Although pancreatitis is more often a idiopathic disease, meaning that there is no single causation, it might be also hereditary in dogs. However, since she’s still very young it would be the best to wait until she’s at least 24 months years old before thinking of breeding her. When she reaches age of 2 years, bring her to a check up at the vets to see if she’s healthy enough to endure pregnancy and whelping.

  • Alex


  • Viktoh

    My female dog is 19 months and on her second heat cycle. Is it safe for me to breed her now?What are the consequences of breeding her now.

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      If your vet has stated that your dog is in good health and shape, there should be no consequences of breeding her now. It is good to wait for the second or third heat cycle to breed a female dog, but if she’s healthy and strong, breeding on the second cycle shouldn’t be an issue. Talk to your vet to be 100% sure she’s ready and good luck!

  • Shaina

    What is the certain age of a male Min Pin ready for breeding??

  • Dominic

    Hi I have a healthy 6 year old female German Shepherd..She has never been bred..I would like to breed her for the first time when she is 7 years old…is this dangerous for my female shepard..thanks

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Dominic,

      7 years is usually considered as a old age for dogs to be bred (especially because she’s female). It is not advisable to breed a dog in this age because of potential complications that might occur during pregnancy and labor.

  • BECKY A white

    Hi my dog is 6 she is a pitbull I was wondering if I could breed her for the frist time.

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hi! Usually the pregnancy is much easier for a female dog when bred for the first time at an earlier age. Six years isn’t considered as a recommendable age for a first-time mom, however, you should check with your vet in order to know precisely whether you should breed your dog or not.

  • Dipanwita mitra

    My pomerian is of 6 yrs …can she give birth first properly in her ages ? She id alright in health

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team


      That age is usually considered as not recommendable for first time mothers. However, consult your vet first.

  • Jocelyn

    Hi. My dog has had 4 litters. She is in season again and is very healthy and fit. She swims most of her days and I am unsure if she should have another litter of puppies or not. She is also an excellent mother and I am sure she enjoys pregnancy. She is a Jack Russel and has turned 7. The father of her last 2 litters was a Toy Poodle. Thank you.

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Jocelyn,

      It is generally not recommended for female dogs to have frequent litters and back to back pregnancies. Also, she’s not in her “prime” years any longer, so pregnancies will only get riskier now. The whelping might also be too harsh for her now. Consult your vet just in case, but he will likely tell you not to mate her anymore. Female dogs should usually stop mating after they reach the age of 5.

  • Laura Kearney

    When is it suitable for my dog 2 have her first litter. She is half shis tzu and half terrier. She is one year old and on her 2nd heat cycle

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      It is a good time to start considering breeding. Next heat cycle should be more than fine for her to mate, however, check with your vet if your dog is completely healthy and ready for pregnancy.

  • Bonnie

    How many days or weeks is a female dog pregnant 

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Bonnie,

      Canine gestation usually lasts from 58 to 68 days.

  • Daniel

    We have a Female Goldendoodle that turns 1 in June. She had her first heat in April this past month. We are thinking of breeding her with a mini/toy poodle down the road. If she has her second heat 6 months later and her 3rd heat next year in April, she will be 21 months old for her 3rd heat. Should we breed her at 21 months on her 3rd heat? Or should we wait till she is 27 months on her 4th heat?

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Daniel,
      It should be fine to breed her on her 3rd heat as well, however do all the necessary check-ups at the vets in order to make sure she’s ready for breeding.

  • Cresthel

    Hi, my dog now is 4 years old and still didnt try breeding, It is safe If I still breed her to male dogs?

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team


      If your dog is healthy (your vet has to confirm that your dog is ready to breed), there is no reason that mating her with a male dog would be considered as unsafe.

  • Charles Tom's

    What is the best age for a female shar pei

  • Joy robertshaw

    What is the recommended breeding age for Anatolian/Great Pyrenees

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Joy!

      Recommended age you should breed your Great Pyrenee at is around the age of 2 years. These dogs grow into adults when they’re 1 year old, but they only mature when they reach 24 months of age.

      Hope that helps!

  • Paul Cawthra

    Can u breed English bulldog (female) at 1 year old

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Paul,
      the recommended age for breeding English Bulldogs is around 2 years.

  • Rhoda Gillen

    I have a 17 month old female boxer. She just came into her second heat. I’ve had two other female boxers over the past twenty years and I’ve breed each one twice and then had them spayed. I’ve always been told that the female boxer can be breed on her second heat. I’ve always breed my females for the first time on their second heat My female is healthy and active. Do you wait until the female is two years old or do can you breed on the second heat?

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Rhoda!

      General rule is to wait for her to have 2 years of age. However, breeding on second heat is considered to be safe too. Waiting for the third heat would definitely mean that she’s completely ready and fully grown to breed.

      However, consult your vet before making your final decision.

  • Paul

    How old can a Chow Chow be to still breed

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Paul,

      Usually vets recommend to stop breeding female dogs after they reach the age of 6 years. However, the precise age depends on your dog’s health conditions and previous breeding and whelping history.

  • Lohith

    I have a pomerian and her age was 16 months should i breed her

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Lohith!

      The best recommended age for female dogs is usually around 2 years. The same is true for your Pomeranian.

      However, consult your vet before deciding to breed her.

  • Jami

    I have an 8 month old Shorkie female and would love to have a litter from her once she is old enough. Will 2 years be okay to breed or should I give her an extra year? 

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Jami!

      Usually two years are enough. You will have to have her checked by your vet before deciding anything, however, so your vet might even suggest waiting another year or another heat cycle.

  • Lokesh Kumar Agarwal

    I have 12 months old female American bully. Is she ready to breed ?

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Lokesh,

      Your dog is still too young to breed. Consult your vet on the best age for your dog to breed.

  • Cheryl

    I have a male Maltese 2 years old a female Maltese 8 months old. I’m worried about her first heat and getting pregnant. Is there anything I can look for to know when I need to separate them for the time she is in heat?

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hi Cheryl!

      You should keep your dogs separated for the entire length of your pup’s heat (which can last up to 3 weeks, but in your case it will probably be shorter than that). You will have to do all the activities separately. You shouldn’t play or walk them together, but rather each one at a time. Another option is to keep your male dog in a boarding center until your female Maltese goes out of heat.

  • Sarah

    I have a two y/o staffy/pitbull. (more staffy than pitbull) she is a beautiful dog but very immature….is it normal for a female to go on heat and never roam…except for her male owner? And would this be a sign that she isn’t ready to mate yet? Lol. I really want to mate her and give her 1 litter before i do the op…but She never leaves him and cries and sleeps when he isn’t around and when shes on heat she just sleeps and is miserable 🙁 but when hes around she wont leave him alone. Im just whether this is even possible now.? Any information would be good

  • Aj

    I have a ten month bullie could I breed her

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team


      That’s a very early age to breed a dog. No vet will recommend breeding your dog so early.

  • Hailey

    I have a 1 year and 6 month old golden retriever/lab and I was wondering if I could breed her?

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hi Hailey,

      The minimal recommended age for breeding a female is 2 years. Check further details with your veterinarian.

  • Tina.

    I have a part Yorkie part poodle 10 years old male! Wanting to breed him with another of same breed. Is it going to be alright or even possible for this to be successful? We are wanting so badly for one of our baby offspring!

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Tina,

      Although it might be quite unlikely, your dog could still mate and produce litter. It would be wise to check him for potential health issues before mating him. If your dog is not completely healthy, the offspring might not develop adequately and could suffer from some illnesses or health conditions.

      Check more about mating a male dog here.

  • Sheri Holman

    I have been given an opportunity to get a French bulldog around two years old from a breeder.  But this dog has already had two litters and they will breed her again.  I’m afraid that’s too many litters for her so quick?  They are offering her after the next litter for free??

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Sheri,

      I have to admit that I personally wouldn’t trust breeders that decide to breed their female dogs with a back-to-back method. Although the pup might be healthy despite the number of pregnancies that occurred too early, too many pregnancies in such an early age definitely put a dog under risk of a lot of health related issues.

      Reconsider the offer, and if you would really want to take her home, bring her to the vet before deciding if you’ll adopt her or not.


  • Dana

    Our Boston Terrier is 4yrs old, never been bred – tried last year, but the stud was not tall enough. I’m concerned about breeding our girl having a first litter at 4 yrs old. Can you give advice on this? I would appreciate it.

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team


      Your dog should be in good age to mate.

      Just make sure you consult your vet and provide her with the high-quality food so that she gets all the nutrients she needs. Pregnancy and whelping can drain your pup’s energy and potentially destabilize her immune system, which is why it is crucial to have her nutrition under complete control. Consult your vet on what you should do, rule out any potential health issues, and start preparing for the mating couple of months before your pup’s next heat cycle.

  • Tymber

    I have a 1 year old female Doberman that just came into heat and I was wondering if it is okay to breed her at this age thanks?

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Ideally, you should wait that she reaches the age of at least 2 years in order to breed her.

  • Curt

    My intact 7 year old rhodesian ridgeback has never been used as stud. He is in perfect health and has never had any health concerns . A couple I recently met asked about using him as stud to breed their 15 month old female. Wondering what your thoughts are on the possibility of such…concerns if any. Thanks.

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Considering that your dog has never been used as a stud before, you should go through a series of tests in order to determine if your dog is a good candidate for mating or not.
      Read more here about breeding a male dog. Hope that helps!

  • Megan

    Hi I have a 7 month female beagle that just went into heat. My male beagle is fully grown and has been trying to mate with her. Could this hurt her?

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      It probably wouldn’t be a good idea to breed them now. Although it might not hurt her, your female beagle is not fully grown yet, which could lead to potential complications in pregnancy and in litter. It would be wise to keep them separated while her heat still lasts.

  • Christopher

    Hi I’m Chris. My female dog is an Pomeranian mixed with chihuahua. She is 1 years old. Can she breed at that age?

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Chris!
      If your dog is about to get her second heat cycle, than you can consider breeding her. However, consult your vet on this.

  • Brian

    Hi, I have a 13 month old female Alapaha Blue Blood bulldog and My American bully male has mated with her, what should I do? Is she at a safe age to have the puppy’s? This is not her first heat it is her second heat by the way. Thanks Brian 

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Brian!

      Mating can be quite a complex process. So if your dog mated just once, it doesn’t have to mean she is necessarily pregnant. However, if she’s a healthy dog, she shouldn’t have any health problems in her pregnancy. Your vet will provide you with the best answers and tell you what to do in order to make your dog’s pregnancy much easier.

      Good luck!

  • Fola

    Hi,I plan on getting a 2 month old Lhasa Apso this week and I’ll like to know when it’s appropriate for her to mate later when she’s grown 

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team


      Each breed is different and each dog is different so there’s not a precise age we can give you. A second heat or age of at least two years is usually an indicator that a female dog is ready to mate. In any case, having your vet’s opinion is fundamental in order to decide when to breed your pup.

  • Brooke

    Hello! I have a small, Pomeranian, foxterrier, jack Russell mix. She is 5 turning 6 in May. She just had her cycle about two weeks ago and we are looking to breed her with our friends shih tzu. Who is about two, so we predict her next cycle will be in June or July  and I was wondering if breeding her would be okay. 

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey! Usually female dogs shouldn’t be bred after they turn 6. So, if your dog is healthy the pregnancy shouldn’t be a big problem for her. However, when mixing breeds, it is uncertain how the litter will be, which can cause some unpredictable issues during pregnancy. So, our advice will always be to check with your vet and then decide what to do. The factors influencing your decision should also be whether it’s your dog’s first pregnancy, the stud’s size and your dog’s overall health condition.

  • Renjith

    My Pomeranian is 2 year old. Any problem for her first breeding?

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Have your dog checked at the vet before deciding to breed your dog. However, two years should be a perfect age to start thinking about mating your dog.

  • Mimpi Ghosh

    How many times can we breed our female dog in her total life ?

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      The optimal number of pregnancies a female dog can carry healthily is two or three in her lifetime.


    What age i should bred German short haired pointer she came in heat and age is 15 months

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      When a dog gets into her second heat is a good time to start thinking about breeding.

  • Bev Stevens

    I have a 6 year old rottweiler bitch, she is in excellent condition very fit and is a working dog.
    Is 6 too old for her to have her 1st litter?

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Usually, 6 years old is considered as a risky age to breed your female dog for the first time. However, double check with your vet.

  • Tony

    I have a German Shepherd and she just turned 11 I have never had her bred because she is my baby and just didn’t want to do it now I know she is getting older and I really want a pup from her she is super healthy and you would think she was 2 yrs old if u saw her would it be safe to breed her just one time

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      It is quite risky to have your 11 year old dog bred at that age. Usually female dogs shouldn’t be bred after they are 6. Your dog might not accept mating as good as a younger dog, and pregnancy and whelping might also be very hard for her. Unfortunately, we wouldn’t recommend mating her.

  • Zakeeyia Alston

    What age should I breed my yorkie that is a year and 10 months?

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      You can start thinking about mating your Yorkie. Check with your vet if the next heat cycle would be a good option for your pup. Good luck!

  • Andrew

    I have female husky she only had one heat cycle at what age can she have puppies 

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Wait until the second cycle and then consult your vet on the perfect time for your dog to be bred.

  • Zoe

    I have a german shepherd mix that I rescued about a month ago and she was pregnant when we got her. She is approximately 8-9 months old but her age wasn’t given from a vet, just from a friend. We have taken her to the vet and they verified that she is pregnant. Are there any risks that we need to be aware of?

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      That being a very young age for a dog to be pregnant, you would have to be aware of some risks. First of all, you will have to make sure your dog is completely ready for whelping. Maybe you should consider a cesarean section if your dog is still not fully developed. This way you would avoid an overly exhausting whelping for your young dog. Another risk that might occur is that the litter might not be completely healthy. You should make sure that your dog gets the best care during the pregnancy and ensure she gets good care after it too.

  • Sharon

    Is 19 months old to early to breed a Labrador 

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      The best thing to do is wait at least 24 months before breeding a dog. However, if your dog has had two heat cycles she might be ready to mate. In any case, consult your vet before deciding anything.

  • Savannah cruz

    I have 8-9 month female pit and my moms pit hoped on her which he’s like a year or older .. what should I do ? I feel like she’s to young I’m scared for her .. 

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      If your pit was in the estrus phase of her heat cycle, you should consult your vet and check if she’s pregnant. If it happened while your dog was in other heat cycle phases, the probability of your dog getting pregnant is really low.

  • Stacey

    How old should my female chihuahua be before I let her have a litter

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Stacey!

      A chihuahua should be at least 2 years old in order to breed. Ideally, you should wait until your chihuahua reaches the age of 3 in order to be completely sure your dog is fully grown.

  • Giovani

    At what age can I breed my female exotic bully she turn a year 12/26/18 her heat came 9/11/18

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hello Giovani!

      Wait at least until your dog’s second cycle. Your dog has to be both sexually and physically mature in order to breed. The age below which is not recommended to breed female dogs is around 24 months.

  • Ankit yadav

    What is the right time to mate a female pitbull for breeding

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      It is recommended to wait until your female Pitbull reaches the age of 24 months before breeding her.

  • Myka

    Hi i would like to know when the oldest age for female dogs to breed is

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Myka!

      Unless your vet thinks your female dog is healthy enough to handle another pregnancy, it is better not to mate her after the age of 6.

  • David

    Will breeding a dog make it mature faster?

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey David!

      Not at all. Physical maturity has to be reached naturally. Premature breeding can actually be dangerous to a pup’s health and cause future health issues for both the mating dog and its litter.

  • Rose

    I have a boxer female she just finished her first heat. She is 11 months old. At what age can I breed her

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hello Rose!

      It is advisable to wait until the second or even third heat cycle. That means that the safest way to breed your female dog is to wait until she is about 24 months old.

  • Ellen kane

    A 7 month old Rottweiler is a puppy and will nog be mature enough to breed until at least 2 yes old!

  • Nischal pradha

    My dog is already crossed 7 times with original speech but one time with another dog..
    Is any problem creats or speech only will born?

  • Brian Ward

    I have a female Golden Retriever she will be 2 years old in December.

    She is AKC registered and would like to breed her for one litter.

    Looking for a stud Golden Retriever that is AKC registered as well.

    I live in Hilliard Ohio would prefer someone close if possible to breed.

  • jamie

    my fenale british bull dog is in her second season and she is 14 month old can i breed her by ai thanks .

  • harry

    my rottweiler female on heat and it has age 7 months ..it is time for breed or not .. plz answer me .. i am very in stress

  • Peggy Crane

    My PARSON is 9 & I had not planned to breed her any longer & been a breeder for over 20 yrs. She is healthy & the end of my lines. I am considering it & she is healthy & fit. She has had 4 litters over time & produced many AKC champions in many venues. Just cautious.