thank you for your advise i knew about the tests etc anyway and would be happy to do all that. but wasnt sure when was best thank you_Nikki_ said:A bitch should ideally be at least 2 years old before mating her so no your bitch would not be ready on her 2nd season. I wouldn't even begin to think of mating your pup, you will need to have all the health tests carried out first when she's much older.
it would probably be in 2 years anyway that i was considering or it being an option, I am planning on researching everything before i do so, I do have a male lab to whom i.d prob mate her with thankfully i am housed to be able to keep them apart when she is in season,it is not something i am 100% sure of doing but wanted some age advise first.sue51 said:Some would say it is far too early to be considering having a litter with her - and it is - BUT it isn't too early to start doing your reseach.
Before breeding, all dogs and bitches should, be hipscored with a current clear eye certificate and at least one parent should be DNA tested or hereditarily clear for Optigen PRA.
Hip and elbow scoring can only be done once the dog has reached 12 months - and I would advise asking around for a recommended vet to use for this - don't assume your own vet is the best bet.
Eye certificates are done annually - and don't have a minimum age to start - I generally lump my youngsters in with my older girls when they are due - Moz for example had his first clear eye cert at just 6 months, Hope at 7 months.
Eye testing has to be done by a specialist eye tester - I believe the BVA website has a list of these with contact details (I don't know how many there are in other areas - but ther is only one in South Wales)
Optigen testing if the bitch is not hereditarily clear, can also be done at any age - Di has a clinic coming up in November - have a look at this thread for more info
To start off with, I would advise buying The Book of the Bitch by J M Evans and Kay White
have a look at the Labrador Health website which gives a good overview of all the recommended tests
and also talk to your girls breeder - it is possible that she may have breeding endorsements on her which means you may have to meet certain conditions to get them lifted. They should also be your first port of call when considering possible stud dogs.
As an aside, the actual season is a bit of a misnomer - I have just mated my 2 year old bitch on her 4th season - I have a 3-1/2 year old bitch here who has only had three seasons, so if I had been taking a litter from her (which I am not) - it could quite feasibly have been on her 2nd season.
My aunt has 5 labradors and has 2 she uses for stud and has bred for many years, so I could always have one of hers as stud if i decide to as i stated before I am not 100% sure this is what i would like to do , and no i have never bred before. my elder lab who is now 3 is speyed so had never considered it before but i am just looking for advise in case i decide to in the next 2 years or so , i intend to do lots of reasearch before i make my decisionScubabe said:Has your own dog been used at stud before?
Mating a dog "just the once" to your own bitch could actually cause more harm than good.
Also, as it sounds as though you've not got any breeding experience then it might be worthwhile for you to use an outside stud dog, as when you do that you're paying for all the expertise of the stud owner, they can offer you so much fantastic advice and assistance in all sorts of things - pre-pregnancy care, best time to mate, how to tell if she took, care during pregnancy, what you'll need in a whelping kit, what the onset of labour looks like, what to do if there are problems with the whelping or any of the puppies.... All of this knowledge is so worthwhile, and it would be very useful for you to have that assistance.
Here's a few threads on the topic:
Also, not to forget, if you do decide to use your own dog on your bitch, then he will need all the same health tests that she needs - it'd likely be cheaper to use a stud dog than to have all his health tests done!