Puppy Breeding

For many inexperienced breeders, it may seem as though breeding a litter of puppies is a natural thing to do. After all, you just need a stud and a dam, and the willingness to raise a litter of puppies, right? 

Sadly, that is not the case. Puppy breeding is a serious undertaking, and there are many considerations involved. Proper planning before breeding a litter of puppies will help ensure the health of the mother and her pups, as well as the happiness of future owners.

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What is Your Goal Behind Breeding a Litter of Puppies?

Whenever dog breeders plan out a litter, they have a clear goal in mind. In general, good dog breeders want to improve the overall health, temperament, and physical characteristics of their dogs.

A breeder should always aim to produce a litter that is an improvement on the previous generation. Whether you are a first-time breeder or an experienced veteran, this principle is always the same.

However, each breeder’s individual goal is going to be different.

Breeders with well established bloodlines may be trying to fine-tune the traits of their dogs, taking into account years or decades of breeding. First time breeders may just want to produce a litter of friendly, well-behaved dogs with fewer health problems compared to the parents.

Considerations Before Breeding a Litter of Puppies

Before you commence breeding your dog, it’s good to ask yourself some basic questions to determine whether or not you are ready to begin the process:

If you are unable to answer these questions, you may not yet be ready to begin breeding your dog. We encourage you to do more research into the aspects of breeding mentioned above so that you are more prepared for the experience.

The most successful breeders carefully consider the health, temperament, and physical traits of the dogs being bred. They are also aware of their responsibility to support and guide new puppy owners so that their puppies can live happy, healthy lives.

Breeding Methods

There are two different breeding methods:

Natural breeding method
Natural method

Natural breeding takes place between the stud and the dam with little, if any, human intervention.

Artificial insemination breeding method
Artificial insemination

Artificial breeding is often used with frozen or chilled semen when the male is not available.


Regardless of the puppy breeding method used, the dam’s gestation period will typically last 63 days. However, this period may be a few days longer or shorter depending on the size of the litter.

The first sign of pregnancy will usually be seen at about 21 days after mating. The dam’s teats will grow larger and turn pink, and fur may begin to disappear. At around 28 days after mating, the dam will grow calmer and may begin to gain weight as the puppies start to develop.

It is at this point that you may go to the veterinarian to confirm the pregnancy. If the pregnancy is confirmed via an ultrasound, there are preparations you can make to ensure that the dam is comfortable when they give birth:

Once pregnancy is confirmed, you will need to be more aware of your dog’s activity level, appetite, and overall well being. Exercise should be lowered in both volume and intensity once the dam begins to show physical changes.

Around two weeks before the dam’s due date, you can allow them to begin using the whelping box or room. In the week before the puppies are due, you can allow the dam to do as little or as much exercise as they please, as they will be able to feel what is best for them.

Of course, when in doubt, you should contact your veterinarian for advice. They will have more specific recommendations as they will have a clearer understanding of your dog’s health and needs.


Thankfully, most dogs experience a relatively problem-free whelping. There are a couple of clear signs that the dam is ready to begin whelping:

The whelping happens in three stages:

Puppy Breeding
Stage 1

This stage can last between 6 to 12 hours. Contractions may begin to get stronger, and the dam may start to pant and get restless. You may see a clear, watery discharge from the dam’s vagina.

Stage 2

This stage begins when the dam begins to strain and have strong contractions. The number of puppies in the litter will determine how long this stage lasts. The dam will produce a puppy every 20 to 30 minutes, with some rest periods between each puppy where they will clean off the neonate and break the umbilical cord before contractions start anew.

Sometimes they dam will rest for 30 minutes to an hour before contractions start for the next puppy. This is normal, so long as the dog appears to be comfortable and is not straining.

There will also sometimes be a placenta that follows the puppy being born. Count how many of these come out, as they should match the number of puppies that are produced.

Stage 3

This stage comes after all the puppies have been born. The remaining placentas will be expelled during this stage. Contact your veterinarian if the puppies and placentas do not match and you feel a placenta is left inside the dam.

The dam may also want to eat some of the placentas – it is okay to allow them to do this, but not in excess. Eating a couple is no problem, but more than that may lead to stomach upset.

When in doubt, if you feel like the dam is having trouble or is in distress, you should immediately contact your veterinarian’s emergency line so that life-saving medical intervention can be done.

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Customer reviews


They have great resources for first time breeders like myself which made me feel a lot more comfortable knowing I have their ongoing support and guidance.

The discounts and specials they offer members saved me 10 times more than their membership fee. A no brainer. And the support from fellow RPBA breeders has been reassuring and welcoming too. Very happy!


RPBA has been excellent to deal with from start to finish. My application was processed within 24 hours and their breeder offerings are great.

I’ve already used some of their templates and the learning documents they provide also has made it easier for me to educate new families on health matters and ongoing care of the pups once they leave our home. Great to be part of a proactive and supportive group.

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Example of member discounts

RPBA have partnered with well known pet brands to offer discounts for puppy essentials, supplements, training, toys, and much more. Here is a preview of just some of the many RPBA member-exclusive discounts:

Orivet Genetic Pet Care​
Orivet Genetic Pet Care

Orivet is proud to be able to offer discounted Orivet DNA testing to all Full RPBA Members. All DNA information will be made available to the RPBA database.

Black Hawk Food
Black Hawk Food

Black Hawk Food gives RPBA Members exclusive discounts and free puppy/kitten packs:

Greenbah Pet Supplies
Greenbah Pet Supplies

Greenbah Pet Supplies is proud to offer exclusive benefits to RPBA Members:


Zamipet offers 30% off on Premium Dog
Supplements for both RPBA Members and anyone who has purchased a pet from an RPBA breeder.

Pampered Paws Products
Pampered Paws Pet Products

Pampered Paws gives 25% off on all Pampered Paws products for both RPBA Members and anyone who has purchased a pet from an RPBA breeder.


Pet-Mat is proud to give 20% off Pet Mat
products for RPBA Members, and 10% off for anyone who has purchased a pet from an RPBA breeder.