Skipping Breeding Heats in Canines

Recently at an AKC Dog Breeding Symposium held at Michigan State University with key note speaker Dr. Claudia Orlandi Ph.D. (AKC’s breeder of the year and author of The ABC’s of Dog Breeding) shocked many breeders when it was disclosed that there have been scientific studies to show that it is detrimental for bitches to skip heat cycles. It was shared that once you have begun to mate a bitch that you should NOT skip any heat cycles until she is completely finished breeding. A bitch is said to be “finished” breeding when her litter size is drastically decreased. The study involved following females that were bred every heat cycle and females that were bred every other heat cycle. After they were “finished” breeding, the bitches were spayed and their uterus dissected. Those showing most stress, and damage of the uterus were the females that were bred “every other” heat cycle. Part of the rational that skipping heat cycles is harmful stems from the fact that with consecutive heat cycles there is no “flushing action” of the uterus, that normally occurs by having a litter of puppies.The female will go through Estrus no matter if she is bred or not and by breeding a healthy bitch back to back,can lesson the chances of the female experiencing pyometra, infections and false pregnancies

The SCIENTISTS and DOG EXPERTS explained that the skip every other heat program was an myth, probably started by people trying to impose their human emotions on to their dogs. Women try to get back their girlish figure between pregnancies, and that is not a priority for dogs.

My vet told me the same thing, he breeds and shows Britney Spaniels, He said that part of the reason some show dogs that are not bred until later in life have problems getting pregnant is because the damage done to the uterus of the consecutive heat cycles where no “flushing action” occurs after the heat cycle..i.e. having puppies… Also he said that if a female dog has a litter in which she gets an infection after the whelping, the best thing for her, as long as she is in a good body condition the next heat, is for her to have puppies…. He said that the dog is less likely to get a pyometra…