Are you a German Shepherd owner and would love to breed your dog? This guide will take you through all you need to know about breeding and caring for your German Shepherd and their offspring.
German Shepherds are popular for their smartness, loyalty, and strength—making them one of the most sought-after dog breeds. Breeding is a smart way to replicate great qualities in offspring. However, the process must be done correctly to ensure the health of both the parent dogs and the offspring is not compromised.
Breeding involves three major steps—finding a suitable partner for your dog, the breeding process, and post-breeding care. Read on for full details!
What do I need to breed my German Shepherd?
Breeding your German Shepherd sounds like a great idea, and the benefits from a successful breeding process may be plenteous. However, successful breeding does not just happen by wishful desires; it requires knowledge, commitment, and responsibility as a dog owner. You need adequate planning, good financial standing, and time commitment to make breeding happen.
As a dog owner looking to breed your German Shepherd, you must be ready to spend as much time as needed on the processes involved in breeding your dog to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Your time commitment begins with sourcing the right information and planning for the breeding process; it also involves being available to care for your dog and its offspring after breeding.
Whatever is not well-planned is likely to fail. Breeding your German Shepherd requires weeks and months of organization and planning. Planning includes:
- Learning about the process to figure out what works.
- Getting more accustomed to the German Shepherd breed.
- Outlining the possible difficulties that may be encountered and how to combat them.
One of the challenges you may encounter while breeding your German Shepherd is several failed attempts; in this case, seek the help of a professional and keep trying. A potential risk that adequate planning helps you dispel is the risk of infections and disease transfer—health screening is part of planning.
Health and genetic screening
Another thing you need to do is to take testing and screening for health issues seriously. Although your goal may be to pass down desired traits from your German Shepherd to their offspring, if proper health and genetic screening are not done, you may transfer health or genetic conditions to the offspring.
These tests or screenings should be done for both dogs and by a qualified professional or veterinarian. Hip and elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, and bowel diseases should be tested.
You should consider the costs involved when planning to breed your German Shepherd. The processes involved in breeding and caring for your dog are expensive, and sitting down to weigh your options before you begin would save you from getting stuck once the process commences.
Some of the costs required for successful breeding are the cost of feeding, as dogs need adequate nutrients for the breeding process, and the costs of caring for a dog on heat, as the heat period is essential in determining successful breeding.
More money would have to be spent if your dog requires artificial insemination. There are also costs for caring for your dog and offspring during pregnancy and after birth.
How do I find the right mate for my German Shepherd?
Both dogs involved in breeding must be compatible for the offspring to have desired traits. Finding a suitable mate for your dog may be taxing, but this process must be done right. Your dog’s breeding mate can also influence the breeding results. If your dog has a clean health bill, but the chosen mate has one genetic defect or health condition, it may be transferred to their offspring, affecting your breeding results.
It is important to note breeding does not only happen physically; it is also possible to use scientific methods like artificial insemination to aid breeding. However, this method should not diminish your resolve toward finding a compatible breeding partner for your dog, as genetic defects can still be passed to offspring with this method.
Some tips to help you find a perfect mate for your German Shepherd are the following:
- Bear the purpose of breeding in mind. The reason why you are looking to breed your dog should influence your choice of a mating partner for your dog. If you are breeding your dog to highlight certain genes like height, your dog’s mate should also be tall, as a short mate may likely produce short offspring.
- Ensure that there are no health or behavioral concerns. As we have established, dogs with health concerns or certain behavioral issues like aggression, impulse-control disorder, or any abnormality should not be considered mating partners for your dog, no matter how enticing the offer may be. This is because these traits can affect the quality of the offspring produced.
- You can find several partner options online as there are several dog breeding websites; look out for those within your location. A great idea is to consider friends or close relatives who are dog owners.
- Once you find a potential mating partner, ensure they have veterinary clearance, showing they are qualified to mate. One such process to ensure this is a swab certificate: look through all documents until you are satisfied.
- Do not agree to meet with any dog owner who thinks running tests to determine the dog’s health status is not important, no matter how healthy the said dog may look.
How to prepare for the breeding process
Preparing for breeding can be daunting, especially if you are breeding your German Shepherd for the first time. You may need guidance and advice from a breeding expert or a veterinarian. These experts know what steps to take and things to avoid jeopardizing your breeding results.
You and your breeder can then plan to ensure the parent dogs and offspring are comfortable and healthy even after breeding.
The following steps, along with your breeder’s advice, would help you prepare adequately for the breeding process:
- Educate yourself about German Shepherds and how breeding works for them. The things to look out for are the appropriate age, the best breeding methods, and the right breeding partner.
- Ensure the breeding environment and the aftercare is well suited for your German Shepherd
- Provide quality meals with high nutrient content.
- Gather all the necessary supplies before breeding commences– disinfectant, gloves, towels, thermometer, and blankets. You should also have your vet’s contact details handy.
- Look at the vet records for both parent dogs. Breeding should not take place if any party is unhealthy
- Work with your veterinarian or breeding expert to determine when your German Shepherd is most fertile, so breeding can occur in that period.
- Schedule an appointment with your vet doctor to determine your dog’s health post-breeding and ensure breeding was successful.
Post breeding care
The period after successful breeding is sensitive; this period leads to the birth of puppies. Hence, whatever happens in this period will determine the health and status of your dog and the puppies to be born. All of the care you gave to your dog before and during breeding should not cease at this time, as your dog still requires adequate nutrition, rest, and care to support the growth of their offspring.
If you have done your breeding plans adequately, then caring for the puppies your dog births should be one of these plans. Puppies need the best care to help them develop and grow adequately. The first few weeks after birth should ensure that they gain weight and strength as needed, and they are kept away from other dogs and animals until they have been vaccinated.
Puppies must be taught how to socialize and interact with other dogs and humans as early as they are three weeks old; late socialization may have effects on the puppies later on. Socializing with these puppies includes caring for and grooming them, feeding them with bottles to complement their usual feeding, and taking them out to explore their environment and meet new people.
German Shepherds are popular for their strength, agility, and smartness. Breeding a German Shepherd is a smart decision based on their qualities; however, successful breeding requires time, commitment, and proper planning.
Start your planning by researching German Shepherds and how the breeding process works with them—you can discuss this with a qualified breeder.
One key thing to note about breeding your German Shepherd is ensuring your dog and its breeding partner are healthy.
If you feel overwhelmed by the breeding process, adoption is a great alternative. You can adopt a puppy you love without going through the stress of breeding; adoption also helps move puppies from shelters to homes where they can be loved.