Other than an accidental breeding a/k/a an “oops litter” most people plan their breedings well in advance. Some of the early plans include choosing a stud dog and deciding what method will be used to do the breeding. One other early plan that you need to implement is how you will get your girl in great physical shape before she is bred.
Years ago we leased a bitch, took her to the stud dog for a natural breeding and sent her home after she had been bred. Her owners pampered “the little momma” while she was home giving her lots and lots of extra treats and very little exercise. When she came back to us for the whelping she was very overweight and really out of condition! Her whelping was very difficult for her taking over 16 hours, almost twice the time it has taken any of our girls to whelp their litters.
In addition to the physical challenges out-of-shape bitches face, the dam’s and sire’s condition may also impact the puppies from an epigenetics perspective. FMI on epigenetics, check out our blog Might Dog Dads Contribute More Than Just DNA?
What we do know is getting your bitch and stud dog in shape prior to breeding is important for their fertility, the best chances of conception, an easy whelping, a successful litter raising experience and their general health.