For those of you Beagle lovers out there, just like me, you have probably taken a look at your Beagle at least once and wondered what it would be like to be a breeder of such a cute animal.
So, what age is best for beagle breeding? As long as you have not taken the time to get your Beagle spayed, the chances of her becoming fertile vary in a space of 6 to 15 months old. However, it is highly recommended by the American Kennel Club that you wait until your dog is at least two years of age before you start to breed her.
However, if you are seriously considering breeding your dog, there are several factors that you should know before diving head first. This is crucial if you want to keep your Beagle and her future puppies as protected and safe as they can be.
Why Wait Two Years?
Chances are, you would probably agree that breeding your dog as young as 6 months is too young. This is because you understand the health and risk factors involved in breeding a living creature that is not yet fully developed. Breeding a dog is not as simple as putting your female Beagle in a pen with a male and letting them have puppies. There are things for you to consider first. Here is what the American Kennel Club recommends you take into consideration before you start breeding your Beagle.
- Prepare Yourself First
- Understand Genetics
- Take Your Dog to the Vet to be Checked Out
- Understand the Estrous Cycle
- Understand Mating
- Taking Care of the Puppies
If you are really serious about breeding your dog, and you care about the health of not only her but her puppies as well, I recommend that you do your research. Take the time to understand your dog and her heat cycle, and consider her flaws and what you may want to improve in her pups when choosing a stud to mate with her. This way, you will have the best opportunity to raise the healthiest puppies out there.
Understand that breeding a dog is a huge deal. If you are doing this for your own personal gain, I would highly recommend that you do not pursue any further. We should all understand that when we do take these steps, we are changing the lives of living, breathing creatures who have just as much right to be treated correctly as we do.
However, if you are like me, you love your dog and will do whatever it takes to give her the healthiest pregnancy possible. You will also take the time out your day to make sure that you are providing for her and her puppies all throughout the whelping (birthing) process and everything that will come after.
Understanding the Heat Cycle of Your Beagle
For a female dog, it is simple. She is considered monoestrous. This means that she enters a period of fertility once a year. Sometimes, for smaller breeds such as the Beagle, she will enter this period twice a year.
The Heat Period is crucial for a dog breeder. This period is very similar to a woman’s menstrual cycle. Simply, it is the most viable time for a female dog, or in this case, your Beagle, to be bred. This period will last for about two to three weeks. As a smaller breed, Beagles tend to enter heat twice a year. At this time, she will start indicating to you that she is ready for breeding. Here are some typical signs that your Beagle will show when she is going into heat.
- Her Vulva will become red and swollen
- Discharge will begin to show. (This may range in color from pink to dark red)
- She will seem to be more clingy
- Your Beagle will begin to nest
- She will become more responsive to males – indicated by lifting her tail
You may also begin to notice that as your Beagle reaches breeding age that around her time of heat, she will be more lethargic and sleep more. This is because just like the menstrual cycle in women, as eggs are being released for pregnancy, your Beagle will feel some slight cramping.
When considering a stud, remember that if it is not your first time breeding your Beagle, it is better to place her with a young stud.
If you are breeding your dog naturally, rather than through artificial insemination, keep in mind that the actual breeding process will take some time. There will be a period where both the male and female will physically become stuck together. This period can last anywhere from ten to thirty minutes. You may be concerned, but, Remember, do not pull them apart!
Eventually, the two will come apart from each other naturally. After that, it is time to wait to find out if pregnancy is confirmed. If not, wait for your dog’s next Heat Period and try again. Just be careful when considering her health.
Beagles generally have a gestation period (are pregant for) of about sixty to sixty-five days or just about two months. Once you suspect that your Beagle may be pregant, take her in for a check-up with the Veterinarian. They will be able to confirm the pregnancy for you.
If pregnancy is confirmed, Congratulations! You are on your way to becoming a successful breeder.
During this time, proper nutrition is crucial both for the mother and her pups.
“Daily food intake should be increased gradually, so that at the time of whelping she may be eating 35 to 50 percent more than usual. “American Kennel Club
Technically, a Beagle can become pregnant again at the start of her next Heat Cycle, but it will be best to give her some rest and time to recover after her first pregancy.
Handling Beagle Puppies
Beagles generally have around six puppies on average, but can have a litter as small as one puppy to as large as ten puppies.
For the first few weeks, your Beagle will take control of things as her instincts begin to kick in. She most likely will not need your help in the process of giving birth, or the moments that follow after. But it will not hurt to keep a close eye on her in the coming weeks.
“You should keep track of how many placentas are delivered and ensure that the number matches the number of puppies because a retained placenta may cause problems.”American Kennel Club
Once the puppies are delivered, allow your Beagle the proper time to stimulate breathing in her puppies as well as allowing them to suckle. By about seven or eight weeks, your puppies should be completely weaned off of their mother. In most cases, this process will happen naturally between mother and pup.
Since you already own a Beagle, you are already aware of what a handful they are. If your Beagle has had about the average six puppies, prepare the proper room that you may need. After all is said and done, the puppies should be able to leave their mothers at about eight weeks old. Keep this in mind when giving the puppies to other homes. Make sure that you don’t give them away too early.
When Should I spay my Beagle? It is recommended that the healthiest age for you to get your Beagle spayed is between four to five months old. This will give your Beagle the best chance of eliminating any kinds of reproductive cancer or unplanned pregnancy for your dog. Be prepared to follow the vet’s instructions before and after the procedure. Don’t be surprised if your dog is lethargic for the first few days after being spayed.
How Do I Know That a Beagle is Right for Me?Most Beagles are described as small and compact. They are well known as hunting dogs and are very active as well. If you are planning on adopting a Beagle from a breeder, make sure that they have been tested for any genetic diseases and that you are prepared for their active personalities. Although, they are generally very family friendly dogs, just make sure you have the time and proper amount of space before adopting.