Planning to breed a German Shepherd and not sure when and how to breed.
German Shepherd is the 2nd most popular dog breed in the USA and it is there for solid reasons. They are quite intelligent dogs who do well both as companion and guard dogs. Being highly intelligent and easy to train, they often participate in and win Dog shows.
Here is a complete guide on what you can look for about breeding of German Shepherd.
When to breed a German Shepherd?
Now that you have decided you want to mate your male or female dog and have litters, let us understand what is the right age for both male and female German shepherd dogs for breeding.
Whether male or female, you should ideally not breed your German Shepherd dog till 2 years. This is when they reach the right maturity level for breeding.
For male dog
One should not consider breeding the male stud before two years. This is to ensure they reach the right maturity age and the recommended health tests can be done to ensure healthy litters.
For female dog
Typically female GSD would be ready to breed after her 2nd heat cycle. Though it is advised to wait until 2 years. This will make sure that GSD is mentally and physically strong to have babies.
You can take the advice of experienced breeders and the opinion of the vet to see that she has become of the right age.
Effects of breeding a younger than recommended GSD
2 years is the right age of maturity for both male and female GSD. Apart from reaching the right maturity levels it also helps to conduct the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) testing and x-rays testing to check for hip and elbow dyspepsia.
This is the most prone disease for a German Shepherd. It is important to check for the genetic traits for both below as well.
- Degenerative joint disease
- Degenerative myelopathy
Health testing helps in producing litter who are healthy.
If you breed a GSD female earlier than two years, she may not be physically ready and this may have negative effects like stillbirths or serious issues during whelping as her muscles may not be large or strong enough.
Effects of breeding older than recommended GSD
Male GSD should not be bred after 10 years as the quality of sperm starts deteriorating. After 8 years, you might want to check with the vet and test the same.
Female GSDs should not be bred after 8 years. As with aging, the quality of eggs would deteriorate. It would be harder for her to keep up with the full term of pregnancy.
She should also not be bred continuously without breaking for a season. This may have negative effects on both her and the litter.
Tips to breed German Shepherd
Let us look at the few tips that you can follow for breeding your male or female GSD.
- Check if your German shepherd is at the right age to breed and get her tested by the vet for her health and genetics.
- Look for the right mating partner for your dog that has healthy genes. Look for quality and experienced breeders for the same.
- Collect all the lineage information of him/her, especially focusing on the physical traits that you are aiming for. As genes of male and female dogs would be passed on and there would be a better chance for you to have your specific type of litter.
- A breeder may also want to physically examine your dog to make your they both have healthy offspring.
- Discuss the contract and fees associated. Sometimes breeders may be interested in the number of litters.
- Think, plan and check the contract for a failed pregnancy.
- Decide early where the breeding would happen.
Type of German Shepherd dog breed
German Shepherd Breed based on what they are bred for
The German shepherd is characterized by what he would be bred for. There are two distinct types based on body type.
– German Shepherd Show line Dog breed
Show line GSD has a sloping body. They are typically calmer and relatively larger than working GSDs. They are bred to participate in dog shows.
– German Shepherd working line Dog breed
German Shepherds were bred to be working dogs. They are most typically used as Police or military dog. GSD was originally bred to be used as a shepherd dog to drive and protect the flock from predators. Working GSD is relatively smaller and has more energy.
Types of German shepherd Breed based on color
German shepherds are also characterized based on the color coat they have.
– Saddle Back German Shepherd
They are the most common German Shepherd. They are predominantly red or tan with black color on the back which looks like a saddle.
– Solid color German Shepherd
They are rare and mostly found in Black or White color. Some mistakenly believe Black GSD to be special dogs though the only difference is in the color.
As only 10% of GSD are solid black, their price is quite high sometimes double or triple of average.
– Agouti German Shepherd
This type of GSD has multi colors on the full body instead of resembling a saddle. This is due to the dominant genes.
– Panda German Shepherd
This is also a rare type of GSD which has a white abdomen and legs but has black or tan color on the rest of the body.
It takes roughly 9 weeks i.e. 63 days for babies to come out post-pregnancy for a German Shepherd.
Typically it ranges from 5 to 8 litters but may vary from 1 to 15 litters at a time.
You should breed your German Shepherd dog after 2 years whether it is male or female.
About German Shepherd
German Shepherd is the second most popular dog in the USA and the most popular Shepherd dog on this list. They are medium to large size dogs originally bred in Germany as herding dogs for flocking the animals.
They became popular as working dogs across the world for their strength, intelligence, trainability, and obedience.
German Shepherd dog requires early socialization. They are energetic and easily trainable for the task. Being curious, courageous, and loyal, they excel as watchdogs and are popular as police or military dog.
German Shepherds are not for folks who are allergic to dogs. They shed a lot and are sometimes also called “German Shedders”. They can grow to a size of 24 to 26 inches and weigh approximately 75 to 95 pounds. The average life span of the German Shepherd is 10 to 14 years.
References and further reading:
- Know about other Shepherd dogs – https://yourdogsworld.com/b/shepherd-dog/