Dog Reproduction and Whippet Breeding

I learned the hard way that dog reproduction is better left to the breeders who have the facilities for properly breeding a dog and whelping puppies. Read about our adventures with the problems of canine reproduction.

When Nanà, our little lurcher, was in heath, everybody knew about it.

At the time we lived in central Rome and the whole neighborhood was following closely the adventures of Nanà and her most persistent suitor, Orazio.

He was a tiny mongrel who inherited all the genes of his most persevering and stubborn ancestors.

Twice a year his only goal in life became mating with our Nanà, who on another hand seemed totally oblivious of the commotion provoked by her estrus.

Dog with Rose in Mouth
Dog with Rose in...

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The wondrous fragrance of love impregnated not only our little bitch but also our car, house and myself. Orazio would follow me anywhere like the best trained heeler.

There was no way to explain to the supermarket attendant that I couldn’t leave the little mongrel outside because he wasn’t mine and he wouldn’t dream of obeying me.

It was hard to sustain the reproving glances of the bystanders who thought Orazio was following our car because we were abandoning him in the street.

My neighbors were partial to Orazio because they saw in him all the virtues of enduring love and often asked me to let the two dogs mate.

But the idea of having to deal with a pack of little Orazios was disturbing.

Finally I learned the trick of tying the lovesick dog to my gate whenever I was going out and releasing him upon my return.

After years of struggles I finally had to spay Nanà for health reasons and we began to savor a carefree life with our pet.

Certainly I could have spared my little lurcher and ourselves a lot of troubles if I only had confronted reality.

I was never going to mate Nana because there was no place for more puppies in an already over-dogged world.

Definitely dog reproduction is better left to the breeders who will mate only superior quality dogs and only whelp puppies that can be placed in good homes.

FAQ about Dogs in Heath and Dog Reproduction

Here is a very interesting article that will answer everything you always wanted to know about dog reproduction but were afraid to ask .

10 Questions I'm Most Asked about Dogs in Heat
By Louise Louis

1. What is heat?

Heat is more properly called the estrous cycle. During this cycle, female dogs may get pregnant. It’s equivalent to human menstruation.

2. What are the symptoms?

Females bleed from the vagina sometimes with swelling of the vulva and increased urination. Don’t expect bleeding comparable to a human female.

For small dogs, it’s usually not much and you may need to pay close attention to your puppy to identify her first cycle. Other than the bleeding, the most noticeable symptom may be male dogs hanging around your house.

3. When does a dog come into heat?

The average female dog has her first cycle about six months of age. A few dogs start earlier and few dogs later, even as late as 14-months.

If you have a new female puppy, you should watch her and note when she has her first cycle. If she’s 14-months old and still hasn't’t been in heat, you should take her to a veterinarian.

4. How long does the heat cycle last?

The average is three weeks or 21-days. In some dogs, it lasts only two weeks while others go four weeks.

5. How often will she be in heat?

Most female dogs have regular cycles usually every six to eight months. It’s quite typical to be in heat twice a year.

6. When can she get pregnant?

She can get pregnant only when in heat. Some breeders test for progesterone levels to identify the most fertile days but the rule-of-thumb is that the most fertile days are 11-15 of her cycle.

Note – when she’s in heat, the average dog will permit any male dog to mount her. Few females, however, will accept a male when they’re not in heat.

7. Can she get pregnant her first cycle?

Yes. However, responsible breeders generally would not breed a dog that early. For one thing, you need to do genetic testing and some serious problems such as hip conditions do not show up until a dog is approximately 2-years of age.

8. Can I take her on walks during this cycle?

Yes with care. She has no problem with the exercise but she’s a walking magnet for male dogs.

Even the best trained and behaved female dog will succumb to hormones. You can’t trust her off a leash or out of your control. Never let her outside by herself even in a fenced yard if there is any possibility of male dogs nearby.

For walks, if there are male dogs in your neighborhood, it’s a good idea to take your dog in your car and drive to a remote area. Take her for the walk there and drive back home. Otherwise, the scent of her urine and vaginal discharge will blaze a trail to your home.

9. When I can have her spayed?

The answer to that one has changed continually over the 25-years I’ve been in the dog business. People used to be told to let their dog go through at least one cycle or let them have one litter.

Today, veterinarians are doing it much earlier. Some vets spay as early as 6-weeks of age! Talk to your veterinarian about your dog and the vet’s preferences. The state of veterinary medicine also is much improved over the past 25-years.

10. If I don’t have her spayed, will she go through menopause.

No. Her fertility may decline but she will not go through menopause comparable to a human’s. She won’t lose her ability to become pregnant even as a senior so if you don’t want to her to have any (or more) litters, she must be spayed.

Louise Louis is a certified canine specialist and the creator of, your online resource for Toy breed dogs.

Article Source:

All this said about dog reproduction, I think there is nothing prettier than a litter of young puppies.

If at the end of this page about the problems of dog reproduction you are not yet discouraged, if you have considered the responsibility, labor and expenses that dog reproduction involves but you still long for those puppies, well you are obviously a true aficionado and you deserve the litter of puppies of your dreams!

Read this fantastic article about whippet breeding by Karen Lee

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