Mating your bitch
Before mating your bitch you should ensure she is in fit, muscular condition and has had all the relevant health tests done. Your bitch should also have a sound temperament; she should be bold and outgoing. Overweight bitches in soft condition are more likely to run into problems when giving birth. The best age to mate a bitch for the first time is between 2 and 3 years of age, when she is fully mature physically and mentally.
You should make plans in advance of her season to select an appropriate stud dog who will suit her physically and also in regard to her pedigree and ancestry. A good place to look for a suitable mate is at a Championship show where Challenge Certificates are on offer for your bitch’s variety of dachshund and there is likely to be a representative entry of quality dogs for you to look at. It is also worth asking the breeder of your bitch for their opinion on suitable stud dogs to use.
At the show, buy a catalogue and, as the judging progresses make a note of any dogs and bitches you like the look of. You may find that the ones you like are all sired by a particular male, who may not be at the show, but is an older, established Champion or top-quality dog. If so, find out who his owner/breeder is and make contact with them. Ask to go and visit the dog at his home to see him in the flesh and to make an assessment of his temperament prior to your bitch coming into season.
If there are any particular younger dogs that you like the look of at the show, then after their owner has been in the ring, introduce yourself and ask to say “hello” to the dog. This way you can find out more about him and what his temperament is like. The dog should allow a stranger to fuss him and not back off or act fearfully. Temperament is as important as health when choosing a stud.
If the owner of your chosen male is agreeable to their dog being used on your bitch, you should agree what the stud fee will be, when it will be payable and if you are allowed a free return service if your bitch fails to get in whelp at the first attempt. Different owners will have differing conditions and it is between you and the owner to reach a suitable agreement.
When you know your bitch is due in season, keep an eye on her for any swelling of her vulva and check her daily with a tissue to detect any bleeding. The first day you see any blood is day one of her season and you should notify the stud dog owner immediately. Unless you live close to the chosen stud dog, and can visit several times, it is advisable to get your vet to do one or more progesterone blood tests to determine when your bitch is ovulating and reaches the optimum time for mating. Most bitches are ready for mating between day 10 and day 14 of the season, but not all follow the textbooks! Once the bitch is ovulating you should make arrangements to visit the stud dog.
On arrival, make sure your bitch has had a chance to relieve herself before she is introduced to the dog. The stud dog owner will instruct you as to how they want to conduct the mating and you should follow their directions. Most will allow the dog to meet the bitch for a short period to get to know one another, but not all bitches are keen to allow the dog anywhere near them and the stud owner will not want the male bitten or attacked by a recalcitrant bitch and may suggest muzzling her for the mating to take place.
The mating will to some extent be “stage-managed” as it is rarely as simple as just letting a dog and bitch out into the garden to get on with the mating themselves. The bitch should be held still at the front by holding her collar to restrain her and the stud dog owner will deal with getting the dog to enter the bitch and control proceedings at the “business end”. The dog should mount the bitch, enter her and achieve a tie, where the pair are locked together for a period of time, usually 15 to 20 minutes, although this can vary. During the tie, the bitch should be held still and prevented from squirming about or rolling over as this could injure the male. It is not necessary for a fertile mating to achieve a tie, but if this doesn’t happen, the dog should be held in place for at least 5 minutes. Usually, if they don’t tie, this means the bitch is either not quite ready or is going past the optimum time of her season and closing down inside.
Most stud owners will want you to bring the bitch for a second mating either the following day or 2 days after the first mating, e.g. day 11 and 13 of the bitch’s season. Remember that your bitch will still be in season for the next week to 10 days after the mating and do not allow her access to any other male dogs during this time.
Once the stud fee has been paid in accordance with whatever you have agreed with the male’s owner, you should expect to receive the Kennel Club Form 1 (Litter Registration form) and a copy of the dog’s pedigree, together with copies of any health test results for the dog.
28 days later it is advisable to get your bitch scanned at the vet’s to find out if she is in whelp and inform the stud dog owner of the result.
Written by Sue Seath