How to Check to See If a Breeding Will Fit in Your Schedule
I am often asked how to get a bitch to come in season. I usually get a laugh when I give my advice–plan a wedding, a non-refundable vacation, or a big dog show weekend. Anything that will make breeding, whelping or sending puppies home extremely inconvenient or even impossible seems to bring bitches in season. Although my advice is given tongue in cheek, there is a lot of truth to it.
For example, let’s consider my most recent breeding. Both of my young girls were due in season in mid-December so I expected a Christmas Eve breeding in northern Wisconsin. I shrugged at the thought since it wouldn’t be my first holiday spent away from home breeding a dog.
However, my dogs had other plans. Instead of waiting until December, the first came in season at the end of October. While we were at the Golden Retriever National Specialty. Staying in a rental house. With two intact males. And of course, had no Bitches Breeches on hand. We survived with a quick shopping trip and careful management of the boys but I knew my other girl, the one I was breeding, was going to come in soon after. The Dormitory Effect works for dogs, too!
Sure enough, Dreamer came in five weeks early. My first action when my bitch comes in season is to check my calendar for three dates: when she is likely to be bred, when she is likely to whelp, and when the puppies will likely go home. I estimate these dates starting with the day she came in season, either counting on a calendar or using an Excel spreadsheet like our Estimated Breeding Dates Cheat Sheet (see the bottom of this blog for a free download of this cheat sheet).