German shepherd dogs (GSD), are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. They are loyal companions, among the smartest dog breeds, hardworking, and just gorgeous animals to behold. Due to the high demand, German shepherd breeding can be an appealing idea.
There is a lot of thought that goes into dog breeding, which means many factors need to be weighed. With the GSD breed, there are many health concerns to consider that are associated with them. While this can be similar to other breeds, it is important to know what to consider and how it relates to when you should consider breeding. Let’s break down the best age to breed a German shepherd.
Maturity And Breeding Ages
Dog breeds don’t vary that much in maturity times, but there is a bit of difference depending on size and breed specifications. A German shepherd reaches sexual maturity around 2 years of age. There are a few other more general factors to consider as well, such as ages for testing viability and even emotional maturity in females.
Most health screening tests and vaccinations can be done at 2 years. OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) testing and x-rays are done after the second year as well. Health considerations are paramount in the breeding process. Genetic testing can be done for hip and elbow dysplasia. This can be one of the most debilitating conditions that GSDs are at risk of.
Genetic traits are important to be aware of, and screening is an important step in both potential mates. German shepherd breeding can make genetic testing even more important as there are a few conditions like the aforementioned dysplasia that these dogs can be predisposed to.
Many of these conditions can be attributed to a great deal of inbreeding. This practice leads to genetic issues that have been passed down throughout the generations of the GSD breed. Some of the conditions associated with German shepherds to be aware of when dog breeding are:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Degenerative joint disease
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Von Willebrand disease
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
- Irritable bowel disease
Some of these conditions have genetic screening tests. Some are important to know about because they can affect how suitable a breeding mother will be to bring healthy puppies to term. Some of these conditions can impact the dog’s overall fitness. This is especially true in female dogs and can mean that the older they get the less viable they are for breeding dogs.
Ideal Ages, Male, and Female
Breeding ages can be important for health reasons, but also for reasons of emotional development. A female can start heat cycles in the first year but this does not mean she is ready to rear puppies. Breeding too early can be detrimental to the dog’s parenting ability.
In females, breeding GSDs should begin no earlier than 2 years old. Though some breeders suggest there being a benefit to waiting until females are 3 years old to help ensure healthy parenting skills.
Breeding isn’t recommended past the age of 8. As your dog grows older the quality of her eggs will deteriorate and be more vulnerable to birth defects, and she’ll be less likely to carry to term.
Male German shepherds should not stud until they have reached sexual maturity and shown confirmation temperament standards. Just like females, as they age their sperm will deteriorate. With regular check-ups to ensure quality, a healthy male can stud into his 10th year.
German shepherd Breeding
German shepherd breeding is going to continue to be in high demand. Knowing the right ages to pursue breeding will help ensure healthy sires with healthy litters. When it comes to breeding German Shepherds, Lara’s Canine Solutions does it best. They’re located in New Braunfels but also service surrounding areas, including San Antonio.
For more information about German shepherd breeding in San Antonio and New Braunfels visit our website at https://larascaninesolutions.com