Heat, Breeding and Puppies


New Member
My border collie, Khali, is in heat right now, and I'm planning on breeding her. I've got some candidates already, and I need some tips on breeding and giving birth.

Khali is almost 22 months old, and this would be the first time I breed her. I know that the first labour can be hard for the dog...so I need all the help I can get. For a weird reason, I haven't been there when my other dog has given birth (2 times)...so I don't know how I'll react. Just so you know, I'm not afraid of blood or gross stuff, and I need to know how can I help my dog if she is having problems. I just want to help her as much as I can, I wouldn't want to see her having trouble.

So yeah, give me tips and stuff, cause I really want it to be safe (the labour).

Also, any tips on the heat and the breeding itself, would be great.

Thanks in advance ^_^


Well-Known Member
This isn't really the focus of this list, so you'll have better luck asking around other places too...

Before you actually breed her, find an experienced breeder in your area who can be there in person to guide you through the whole process - two months go by very fast (yet so slow!) and you really need to be prepared.
Besides the breeder, make sure you know a vet who can be on call at any time... there is always the chance that something will go wrong and puppies and dam can all die - even if the necessary surgery is performed. I'm not familiar with BCs in terms of breeding, but I know many breeds are more susceptable to various complications.

As I'm sure you know, having a litter is always expensive and the price can easily sky-rocket to save a dog. Don't expect to make money by selling the pups... that's the wrong reason to breed and often doesn't work-out.

If Khali hasn't passed her health testing (hips, elbows, eyes, heart, skin - whatever is common in the breed and dogs should be clear of) yet, I'd wait til her next cycle and learn all you can in the mean time. I would expect to pay $200-500 on tests.... so many wonderful, healthy shelter dogs are put to sleep each week because there aren't enough homes - there is no sense purposely bringing more pups into the world without assuring they have the best chance of being genetically sound for health and temperament :)

Along those lines, remember that whatever life you bring into the world, you are responsible for them until the day they die - if a puppy-buyer ever needs to rehome a dog (whether because of work, divorce, landlord, or the dog becomes aggressive or is too fearful, or chews the carpet etc), you are responsible for taking the dog back and either keeping them or finding a new home... not sending them to a shelter.

Some really good books on the subject are:

Book of the Bitch
I haven't read this one yet, but I've heard good things. I guess it focuses more on the bitch herself, rather than breeding and whelping.

Successful Dog Breeding
This one is well written and the authors have a great sense of humor. If you only have one book on the subject this one is suitable - though like anything important you should always have multiple sources.

Canine and Feline Endocrinology
This one is absolutely amazing - 1100 pages of very useful information for anyone who is interested in breeding animals! Unlike a lot of veterinary texts, this one is quite easy to understand.
It's a bit on the expensive side, but then again, having a litter is never going to be cheap ;)

Where do you live? I may know someone in your area willing to talk to you and meet Khali.