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Dogs + Breeding

  • Puberty or sexual maturity in the female dog usually occurs around six months of age. The smaller breeds tend to go into estrus or "heat" earlier and some females can have their first "heat" cycle as early as four months of age. On the other hand, the large and giant breeds can be up to two years old before they come into heat for the first time.

  • Pregnancy in dogs, also called the gestation period, normally ranges from 57-65 days with an average of 63 days. It is important that she be in good physical condition before she is mated. During the last three weeks of pregnancy, your dog's food intake should increase by up to one and a half times the normal level, by feeding smaller meals more frequently.

  • Many owners find the companionship of their dog so rewarding that they feel they would like to breed their dog, to continue the bloodline and/or to keep a puppy. Others, especially first time dog owners, will acquire a female dog with the intent to breed her when she is old enough.

  • During the last week of pregnancy, the female often starts to look for a safe place for whelping. Some pets appear to become confused, wanting to be with their owners and at the same time wanting to prepare their nest. It is a good idea to get your pet used to the place where you want her to have her puppies well in advance of whelping. Some dogs like the owner to be with them the whole time they are in labor. Others prefer to have their puppies in seclusion.

  • A sheepdog from France? With his long shaggy locks, curiously perked ears and air of dignified aloofness, the Briard is indeed a French sheepdog with that je ne sais quois - not like his British or German sheepherding brothers, but entirely original.

  • These dogs are playful and happy to join their family in anything. Most are friendly and accepting of strangers. They're happy, waggy dogs who always greet their family with an invitation to play.

  • They're perfectly willing to lie beside you (or on your lap) while you're reading a book, but if you invite them to play, they'll join a rousing game of catch-me-if-you-can.

  • The clownish, energetic Bull Terrier has found himself to be the object of advertising adoration. No fewer than three Bull Terriers have lent their talents to various marketing media. That said, any well-bred Bull Terrier is happy to put on a show for the family upon whom he lavishes never-ending devotion – and for family guests as well.

  • With its massive head, jutting jaw and barrel shape, the Bulldog appears to be a real tough guy but in fact is just the opposite. The truth is, everyone loves the Bulldog and this sweetheart returns the compliment.

  • Strong-willed and with a body more powerful than the average bear, the Bullmastiff cannot be coerced to do something he doesn't want to do. But for a master he loves and respects, nothing is impossible. These dogs crave physical contact and consider themselves to be lapdogs despite their girth.

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