If you are among the lucky parents of owning a German Shepherd, you can openly testify that they are among the fiercest dog breeds one could ever possess. When an intruder in your homestead or a stranger tries to attack your family members, German Shepherds usually stand firm when protecting those they love and do an excellent job facing unwanted ill-intentioned strangers.
Due to their loyalty and ferocity, they have managed to win the hearts of many, making them the dog breed with high demand in the market.
As there is such high demand, you may be thinking of breeding your dog, but you have not got the appropriate source that explains what is required. But in this post, we will delve into when you should breed your German Shepherd and tips to get you through.
Note: Before breeding, go through this post to ensure you understand the basics. Keep reading.
When to Breed German Shepherd
The ideal age for breeding German Shepherd dogs is after two years, whether female or male. Why? After two years, German Shepherds attain a whole maturity level, and their genital organs mature fully.
Due to genital maturation, German Shepherds can now successfully mate and produce offspring. But wait, there is more to that.
Now that you have understood the perfect time and age for breeding your German Shepherd keep reading as we delve deeper into the topic.
Male German Shepherds
The male German Shepherds are known to be more aggressive and proud compared to their female counterparts. They also have a larger body size and weigh heavier (usually 75 to 90 pounds)
The males are also extraterritorial and will deal with any stranger that intrudes almost instantaneously. They are also more possessive and affectionate towards their caregiver.
The males are also intelligent and are very good at training. They master drills quickly and rarely forget them, making them admirably train-worthy. They are extraordinarily brilliant but can be hard to train sometimes as they constantly compete for dominance.
During breeding, you should not consider the male breed until two years. They are known to reach full maturity both physically and sexually and can impregnate a mature female breed at this age.
Female German Shepherds
On the other hand, the female German Shepherds are lighter and smaller than their male counterparts. They have a broader stature and weigh almost the same as the males.
The females have a lifespan of about 11 years if well maintained and live an additional 1.4 years more than the males. This signifies that they have a longer lifespan and can serve you longer than males.
Training them is more manageable than males since they are more reserved and less rowdy. They are intelligent and can master numerous commands and tasks in just a single session.
They are also known to be less aggressive compared to the males and are friendlier towards their families. They also have a high tolerance towards strangers, but this does not mean they are weak. Any slight provocation is enough to awaken the beast in them and can deal a massive ton of collateral damage if not restricted, especially if they have a litter of puppies around.
Ideally, it is safer to breed female German Shepherds after two years and after the second heat cycle. At this age, their genitals have fully matured and can conceive at any time if left around a mature male. They will have also matured both physically and mentally to handle pregnancy.
Effects of Breeding a Younger Than Recommended Age
You already know two years is the legal age of maturity for both female and male German Shepherds, but what happens if you breed a younger one?
A younger German Shepherd has a less mature body and genitals to handle pregnancy, but the litters are usually prone to many genetic trait diseases if it happens accidentally.
The litters may mainly suffer from degenerative joint disease, arthritis, or degenerative myelopathy. Such diseases severely affect bones, and some may prove fatal if not addressed earlier.
If your German Shepherd is younger than two years, male or female, it is wise not to engage them in breeding activities as they are not yet physically strong enough to handle pregnancy. Abstaining will help avoid issues such as stillbirth and severe whelping issues.
Effects of Breeding Older than Recommended Age
When breeding, age is a very sensitive issue since it directly affects the health of the offspring and the parent dog. In as much as younger dogs also have issues when bred, older dogs also have issues due to the deteriorating quality of sexual fluids.
For the females, breeding is not recommended past the age of eight since the quality of eggs shall have deteriorated. Such breeding makes offspring more susceptible to congenital disabilities. The female would also have difficulty maintaining the pregnancy and can be terminated prematurely.
For the males, after the age of 10 years, the sperms begin deteriorating and, if bred, will produce low-quality offspring. To avoid such a disaster, it is wise to take your furry friend for regular check-ups to ensure sperm quality is maintained before breeding.
What to Consider Before Breeding
Breeding is usually systematical and based on the traits you desire your offspring to retain. If done blindly, it can lead to the production of undesired offspring traits, but the tips below can help you avoid such.
- Confirm if your dog is of the right age to mate and if you suspect they might be older, take them for check-ups to confirm the sperm or egg quality.
- Look for a partner with healthy genes that has desirable qualities.
- Gather all the lineage information on your dog, aiming at your desired traits. This step will help you stand a better chance of obtaining a specific type of litter you so desire.
From the information above, you learn a lot about German Shepherd breeding, and I hope it will help you make correct decisions on breeding.
German Shepherds are faithful, intelligent, and fierce, and such traits make them one of the most sought-after breeds in America. They can be used as family dogs or guard dogs and still deliver beyond expectations.
It is wise to maintain such a breed by carrying out the required selective breeding to get even better offspring. All the best as you carry out the breeding process.