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One Easy Way to Improve Your Breeding Success

by | Dog Breeding, Dog Fitness

Improve your dog’s fitness!

Instead, breeding dogs need to develop strength, balance, proprioception and flexibility. Stud dogs need core, rear and front strength in order to mount and tie a bitch. They need balance and proprioception to hit their mark during a mating, and flexibility to turn without injury. They need to be in optimal physical condition to have the best quality and quantity of sperm.

Similarly, brood bitches need core, rear and front strength to carry the male during breeding and carry the pups while pregnant. They need flexibility to whelp their pups, and balance and proprioception to move carefully among their pups without injuring or lying on one.

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Studies in many species, including dogs, strongly support the benefits of optimal fitness to reproduction. Unfit bitches tend to have:

  • Fewer eggs ovulated
  • Fewer eggs fertilized
  • Higher rates silent heats and Caesarian sections
  • Prolonged time between heat cycles
  • Smaller litter sizes
  • Higher rates of dystocia or birthing problems
  • Pups with lower birth weights
  • Higher rates of neonatal puppy illness and death
  • Poorer milk production
  • Diminished fertility in their later years

Fit dogs produce more and better sperm

Unfit stud dogs, tend to have:

  • Higher rates of infertility
  • Lower total sperm concentration, count, concentration and motility
  • Increased DNA fragmentation index
  • Higher toxin load
  • Fewer overall breedings
  • More breeding-related injuries, such as cruciate tears

Several years ago, Drs. Chris Zink and Gayle Watkins decided to combine their 85+ years of dog knowledge to develop an easy-to-use, science-based breeding-stock conditioning program for stud dogs and brood bitches of all ages, since parental fitness has beneficial, long-term effects on offspring. After years of effort, we are delighted to announce that the new, improved Fit to Be Tied is here!

Join Chris and Gayle for a free LIVE webinar for more about Fit to Be Tied on Oct 10, 2018 at 11 AM! Seats are limited!! Register here.

Fit to Be Tied 2.0 is the only canine breeding stock conditioning program in existence. It starts by guiding you through a questionnaire that asks about your dog’s age, sex and breeding status. If appropriate, you will be directed to conduct a simple assessment of your dog’s front leg, core and rear leg strength. The results are entered into our software and your dog is provided with an exercise program that combines flexibility, balance, proprioception (body awareness), strength and Good-For-the-Soul exercises that are suitable for and targeted to your dog’s individual needs.

In addition, Fit to Be Tied includes detailed information on nutrition and vet care critical to dogs and bitches throughout the breeding process, from before a breeding until after you send your litter home. If you want to explore further, there are short lecture videos, research papers, recommended resources, and downloadable reports and forms.

And not only does Fit to Be Tied™ provide you a tailored fitness program for your breeding dog, it will do the same for all of your dogs, no matter how many you have. So you can include your up-and-coming puppy, all of your breeding dogs, your non-breeding adults, and even your aging dogs and trust that the programs you get take into account their individual needs.

But we didn’t stop there. We firmly believe that everyone needs personal support as they work their dogs, so the program includes LIVE monthly calls where you can get your personal questions answered by Chris and Gayle, and a private Facebook group where members can support each other and benefit from group knowledge. Each month there will be new information that will be provided exclusively to Fit to Be Tied and Fit for Life members.

Join Chris and Gayle for a free LIVE webinar for more about Fit to Be Tied on Oct 10, 2018 at 11 AM! Seats are limited!! Register here.

Photo by Tammy Strebe and Deb Seline


Join the leading community of responsible dog breeders seeking to use science to produce the best pups possible! Science based but always experience tested!


  1. Jane Beaudry

    Wow, what a great opportunity to learn, unfortunately I have a class in Ottawa at the same time. So sorry!

    • Gayle Watkins

      Stay tuned, Jane! We are trying to make it on-demand, too. So you may be able to watch it afterwards.

    • Gayle Watkins

      Jane, If you’d still like to watch the Fit To Be Tied webinar that Dr Chris Zink and I did, drop us a note at and we’ll send you an email with the link.

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Avidog International II, LLCWe combine science, art and over 40 years of dog breeding experience to create, develop and present puppy rearing courses, programs and equipment for puppy owners and dog breeders.

Avidog International II, LLC
PO Box 66
Highlands, NC 28741