Do you breed dogs already? Or you are a Chihuahua owner who wants to know about breeding-related obligations?
No matter what the ‘why’ behind your interest might be, you will find in this article answers to many questions on breeding Chihuahuas.
Before we continue, you should know that breeding is a serious process and a time-demanding practice that comes with countless investments and strong ethics.
If you are just thinking about getting a Chihuahua, you should know that you should avoid puppy mills, and find a reputable breeder first.
A reputable breeder isn’t the same as a responsible breeder, so if you could find ‘two in one’ that would be the best: a reputable breeder with strong responsible practice.
This is the only way to know that you are getting a healthy and strong puppy, especially if you are thinking about getting a teacup Chihuahua.
Small size dogs are highly popular and breeders will often, unfortunately, try to make as much money from their female Chihuahua as possible, which may result in countless health issues, not only in the bitch but in the puppies as well.
Do you know how many times can you breed a Chihuahua without putting the dog at risk?
Ethical breeders would say that a Chihuahua should be mated between 2 to 3 times in their lifetime.
Sounds too little? Well, this is what ethnical breeding is. Ethical breeders will also tell you that only a Chihuahuas should be bred 2 to 3 times in their lifetime, while the pregnancies should be spaced out by at least 18 months at a minimum.
Anything beyond this puts dogs in pain, real-life suffering, and countless health-related issues.
Some breeders, dog experts, and veterinarians believe that any breeding beyond this can result in psychological implications for dogs.
Female Chihuahuas may become pregnant once they reach puberty. This is commonly around 6 months of age, although some dogs may enter puberty a little bit earlier.
It’s common for Chihuahuas and other toy breeds to reach sexual maturity anytime between 4 and 7 months.
Due to ethical reasons, dog owners aren’t encouraged to breed their dogs until the second estrous (also known as heat) cycle.
Bear in mind that Chihuahuas may become pregnant during their first heat cycle, so make sure that you do detailed research on dog breeding before you start breeding.
Opposite to humans, dogs are only fertile during the heat cycle. This is why it’s important to monitor dogs closely for signs of heat if you want to breed your Chihuahua.
Now let’s see why ethical breeders won’t breed Chihuahuas more than 2 to 3 times in their lifetime.
Reasons To Not Breed Chihuahuas More Regularly
As mentioned above, ethical breeders will refuse to breed Chihuahuas more than 2 to 3 times during their lifetime.
Reasons behind this decision will always vary, but we will present to you the most common reasons.
It is common for Chihuahuas to undergo a C-section. This is something that is mostly seen in young Chihuahuas who might have bigger puppies.
Putting any living being under an unlimited number of this procedure is not only fair but is also dangerous.
Some of the most common risks of C-sections are listed below.
- Stress. It’s not uncommon for Chihuahuas to become extra stressed or aggressive after a C-section. Multipe C-sections may have a negative impact on the female’s mental health.
- Medical issues. Whenever a dog is exposed to anaesthetic there is some risk of blood clotting. Another common risk is an infection of the wound post-surgery.
- Risk of injury and death. C-sections carry a risk of the mother or puppies being injured.
2. It Takes Time To Heal
Pregnancy and nursing of puppies are very demanding, no matter how small or big the mother dog might be.
Both pregnancy and nursing are taunting both physically and emotionally and the mother dog needs some time to recover between breeding. Plus, if she had a C-section she will need more time to recover.
Every C-section comes with certain scars that need time to heal. The bitch will also need to re-grow parts of the uterus and get muscle tone back.
All in all, too frequent breeding will take a toll on your dog’s body.
Again: experts recommend breeding Chihuahuas once every year and a half, and no more than 2 to 3 times in her lifetime.
3. There Are Rules
You are probably familiar with large dog organizations and associations that are responsible for keeping dogs healthy and recognizable, right?
This is why organizations, such as AKC are so relevant and well-known across the globe, and not only across the States.
Organizations like AKC are responsible for making sure that certain standards on the breed are followed. No puppy can be registered through AKC if certain standards aren’t met.
For example, The Kennel Club in the UK will easily refuse to register Chihuahua puppies that have been born within 12 months of a previous litter.
That being said, it should be obvious that certain regulations are strictly followed, especially when it comes to global pedigree associations.
All in all, these associations will refuse to recognize puppies from frequent litters. This is one of the most effective ways to protect the dog, keep females healthy, and prevent puppy mills.
Some organizations will also have other guidelines and refuse to register puppies who came from a mother that is younger than one year or has already delivered 2 litters via a C-section.
As you may see, breeding is a serious process that requires certain expertise, dedication, and extreme care and devotion.
How Old Does A Female Chihuahua Have To Be To Breed?
As mentioned earlier, female Chihuahuas can become sexually mature between the ages of 6 to 9 months. However, that doesn’t mean that you should engage your Chihuahua in the breeding process.
In fact, ethical breeders strongly advise that no Chihuahua should be exposed to the breeding practice until they are 2 and a half years old. Also, no Chihuahua should be included in any breeding practice.
The main reason why breeders might suggest the earliest age to start breeding is that they believe that the Chihuahua will go through a few heat cycles first.
What about males? Male Chihuahuas tend to become sexually mature by the time they turn 15 months of age. However, they will start producing sperm earlier, as young as 6 months old.
How To Know When Your Chihuahua Is Ready To Breed
The heat cycle in Chihuahuas usually happens every six months. Smaller size dogs tend to experience heat cycles up to three times per year.
To know for sure if a dog is in a heat cycle, you should check the vulva. In practice, this means that you should search for swelling and discoloration of the vulva or external genitalia.
These are common signs that your dog is going into heat. You may also notice unusual behavior in females, as they may seem more interested in male dogs.
Another common sign is for females to lick their genitalia frequently. It is also normal to notice a discharge from the dog’s vagina, as the heat cycle progresses.
This discharge should be thick, bloody, and turn into yellow color as the cycle continues. When this yellow color appears it’s a sign of fertility in a Chihuahua.
This fertility window is usually short and commonly can last between 10 to 15 days once the vaginal discharge appears. This is the period when Chihuahua is most likely to get pregnant.
Signs Of Pregnancy In The Chihuahua
Once the breeding happened, it’s important to monitor the dog to see if the breeding was successful.
Once you notice pregnancy symptoms in your Chihuahua you should be ready to enter the phase when you get to provide special care for your Chihuahua.
Did you know that pregnancy in Chihuahua will commonly last for 63 days? Pregnancy should never last under 54 days or more than 72 days.
The most common symptom of pregnancy in Chihuahua is weight gain. This should be seen after the first couple of weeks.
In the first 3 to 4 weeks you can expect to witness ‘morning sickness. It is also common for the dog to be more tired during this phase and for the dog to lose interest in food.
Around 20-30 days of the pregnancy, you may notice a larger abdomen and nipples. During this period, an occasional lactation may occur.
At around 4 weeks of the pregnancy, your veterinarian will show you the fetuses via ultrasound.
During the pregnancy phase, it’s important to have your veterinarian included in every step.
The veterinarian is the only person who can follow the dog’s conditions properly and make sure that both the mother and the puppies are healthy.
Once Chihuahua enters the 25th day of pregnancy, the puppies should reach the size of walnuts. This is also the time when your veterinarian may conduct a manual exam.
At 4 and 5 weeks, vaginal discharge may be more clear, which can last until the pregnancy is completed.
Between 45 and 60 days, pregnancy may be confirmed via radiograph. Again, this can be done only by a professional a.k.a your veterinarian.
When your Chihuahua reaches the final two weeks of pregnancy, you may be able to visualize the movement of the unborn puppies.
Can Chihuahua Experience Some Complications During the Pregnancy?
Yes, just like humans dogs can experience some complications during the pregnancy phase.
It’s no secret that no matter how great of a dog owner you might be, your dog may still experience some health-related disturbance at any point in life.
Some of the most common pregnancy-related complications in Chihuahuas is low blood glucose.
Low blood glucose (sugar), occurs in pregnancy when a hormone shift occurs.
As a result, a decrease in appetite may occur.
If you notice any of the following symptoms, your dog may be experiencing low blood glucose:
- Pale gums
- Muscle spasms
- Excessive panting
It’s common for many dogs to require puppy food during pregnancy. Why? Puppy food is packed with nutrients that are needed to sustain a pregnancy.
If you notice any of the listed symptoms above, make sure that seek veterinarian care.
In general, if you believe that your Chihuahua may suffer from any condition, make sure that you contact your veterinarian.
Signs Of Labor In A Pregnant Chihuahua
When pregnant, Chihuahua will experience a temperature drop. To know when this occurs you need to check the dog’s temperature.
During the final week of pregnancy, you should check your dog’s temperature twice a day.
If your dog’s temperature drops to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, it is a clear indicator that labor will begin in the next 12-24 hours.
Another indicator that your Chihuahua is close to delivery is when your Chihuahua starts organizing blankets in her new space. This is a sign of nesting and preparation for labor.
If you notice your Chihuahua moving blankets to a new location, don’t be too surprised, because this isn’t too uncommon for Chihuahuas to experience when delivery time is near.
If this happens it’s important not to move blankets, let the dog organize them.
If you notice a loss of appetite in your Chihuahua during this period, you should know that this is a normal occurrence.
Once you’re sure that your Chihuahua is ready to begin having puppies, there are steps that you need to take to make sure that your Chihuahua has a comfortable delivery.
Make sure that your first step is to make a safe corner for your Chihuahua. The key factor here is to create a space where your dog will feel secure and safe.
To create a cozy place, breeders often choose to use a whelping box which is often made of a small wooden or cardboard box with low sides.
The main goal of these sides is to be low enough so that a dog may look over them and set so low that you can easily reach out if help is needed. The box should always be aligned with absorbable material.
As a general rule, bottom layer newspapers are often the first choice, while the top breeders choose to use towels or blankets.
It’s important to form plenty of layers, so they may easily be removed when they become soiled.
When you should prepare the box? It’s recommended to create the delivery area at least two weeks before the delivery date. Why so early? You don’t want to stress the dog in any way.
Dogs love familiar spaces and their routine. If you place a pregnant dog in a new and strange area, it can be too overwhelming and can put the dog under additional stress.
When you prepare the delivery area ahead you will in fact allow your dog to explore it.
This way your Chihuahua will get used to a new area and won’t feel any holding back when the delivery finally arrives.
If your Chihuahua decides to sleep in the delivery area before the delivery time, let her.
It’s also important to gently introduce the delivery area to your Chihuahua, without forcing it.
Once the delivery area is prepared in the best way possible, it’s time for the next stage. It is time to start monitoring your Chihuahua for signs of labor.
How Many Puppies Will My Chihuahua Have?
Chihuahuas in general have a litter of 1 to 3 puppies. It is not uncommon for the first litter to be the largest one.
The first letter may often have up to 5 or even 6 puppies, but this will depend on the dog’s age at the time of breeding.
Younger Chihuahuas will usually have smaller litters, while more mature Chihuahuas may have a larger litter.