I WANT TO
First thing you need is quality breeding stock.
This is not optional. You need to have a female with great genetics that really represents the breed standards.
Most breeders do not stud out their males. We have stopped doing this as well.
There are a lot of legal issues to consider…
- what if the female is injured(or dies) in your care?
- what if your male is injured by an unwilling female?
- what if there is an undetected sexually transmitted disease that gets transmitted (didn’t know dogs has sexually transmitted diseases?)
Now that you are aware of all of that information you can see that you will probably need to buy your own male or set up artificial insemination with your vet.
Once you have spent a lot of money getting your first breeding pair (if you bought them as puppies you need to wait about 2 YEARS to breed them) your male will become sexually mature at around 6-8 months of age, your female, at around 18 months -2 years.
- Your male will “spray” urine around your home to mark his territory.
- He will need to be kept far away from your female while she is in heat, starting at around 6 months, then every 6 months after.
- He will be very aggravated about being kept away from his female.
- He will be very vocal, possibly driving you crazy for up to 3 weeks, until your female is out of her heat.
- While your female is in heat she will bleed from the vagina, some dogs clean them selves well, others make a real mess.
- She will also try everything in her power to get to her male while she is in heat.
If you bought your male as a puppy, his testicals may have not been descended yet. If one or both fail to descend (a common problem) he will need to be fixed and you will need to start over.
Let’s say your female is 2 years old and your male is sexually mature with both testicals descended. Are you ready to breed? not yet…
They both need to be tested to see if they are carriers of any genetic diseases common to the breed. If either tests positive that dog will need to be spayed/ neutered and you will need to begin again.
When you have 2 healthy, mature, disease free, wonderful examples of the breed then you can try to breed them. Sometimes nature just takes its course, sometimes, it needs some help. Your male will probable need a few dozen practice runs before he gets it right. When he does your dogs will “tie”. During the tie you will need to be “hands on” to be sure they do not injure each other. Please be aware the tie can last up to an hour. We breed our dogs at least once every other day while the female is in heat.
You can get an ultrasound done at about 8 weeks to determine pregnancy. The ultrasound can not usually count how many pups there are (very important to know with a chihuahua) so you will need an XRAY around day 52. MOST Dogs are pregnant for about 63 days so you can see that the vet bills can really start adding up.
During the last week of pregnancy you will need to be with your female all of the time. Chihuahuas can die from having an unattended birth go wrong. For some Chihuahua’s by the time the owners get home the litter can be lost as well as the dam. Most first time (and some times second and third time) mom’s do not know to remove the puppy from the birthing sack. If the puppy is not quickly removed they can suffocate. An over eager dam can chew the umbilical cord too close and the puppy can bleed to death. As the breeder YOU NEED TO BE THERE when your puppies are born.
An average chihuahua litter is 3 pups. If there are less the puppies can become to big in utero and your female may need a c-section.
LOTS OF CHIHUAHUAS NEED C-SECTIONS! After waking up from sedation a chihuahua may refuse to take their pups and they may kill and eat the pups. It’s very important you be with them every second during this time. You may have to introduce the pups over and over to the new mother.
The cost c-sections at the veterinarian in our area run from $700 – $1,200. There are lots or reasons you chihuahua may need a c-section. We have had a large chihuahua that should have been able to whelp naturally but needed a c-secion even though her pups were small. We have also had a chihuahuas that have had 3 litters naturally and in their 4th litter a puppy was bent sideways and became stuck in the birth canal. This dog required a c-section. Unfortunately her litter died and she had to be spayed. We have had several singleton litters that almost always need c-sections because the puppy is just to big. We had a female that went into premature labor and started bleeding vaginally. She also required a c-section. Her litter died and she needed to be spayed as well.
You need to be sure you are financially able to pay for a c- section with every litter you breed. You WILL need it eventually. If your female needs a c-section she may need one for the second breeding too. If she does, she will need to be spayed and you will need to start over.
OK, so the puppies are here!
But… mom doesn’t want to take care of them (sometimes the case with first time moms and moms who have had a c section). The puppies need moms colostrum, its not negotiable, so you need to either “milk” mom, hand stripping colostrum one drop at a time into the puppies mouths or into a container to bottle feed them. Or hold mom still so the puppies can nurse every 1 1/2 – 2 hours. The puppies must be kept warm since they can not regulate their own temps. You may need to buy a whelping nest for this. They cost around $150 – $300 depending on the set up you choose.
Finally, after a few days mom starts taking over feeding, cleaning, etc. but chihuahuas are a very small dog. Feeding puppies can cause them to loose huge amounts of calcium. “Eclampsia” can occur and is common to small breeds. It is caused by loosing too much calcium through nursing. Eclampsia can come on quickly and cause your female to die. She will need constant monitoring to be sure this does not happening. If this does occur your chihuahua will need to see a vet immediately. Eclampsia can cause rapid heart beat, shaking, seizures and even death. Breeders will take a lot of time off from work during the whelping season. If your female suffers from eclampsia she may need to be spayed and you will have to start over again.
So finally you have a healthy mom and 3 healthy pups. You will need a scale to weigh your pups twice daily. I have found large postal scales work best. They cost around $30 – $50.
You notice that suddenly one doesn’t look “right”. It’s not eating like the others , it doesn’t move as much, and it cries more. The puppy has Fading Puppy Syndrome, happens very often, and it needs to be removed from mom and kept warm (yeah another whelping nest $150 – $300). You try to bottle feed it ,(puppy formula $15 $30) but it doesn’t suck well. Now you need to take the puppy to the vet, find out it needs sub q fluid every 2 hours around the clock (you have to do this at home, your vet will not keep a newborn puppy) so you buy all of those supplies as well. Your vet will show you how to administer the fluids and yen you go home. It will take 4 days of round the clock feeding sub q fluids, constant temperature checks to get the puppy to maintain weight. Unfortunatly, it is my experience that these pups usually die. There is a 20 % mortality in healthy litters, fading puppies make up most of that percentage.
Now lets say your female finally has a healthy litter of 3 pups but she needed a c-section. The money you will get for the first pup, goes to cover the vet expenses for the female, check ups for your puppies, shots, cost of registering the litter etc.
The money you get from the second puppy (and part of the 3rd) will go toward the cost of the c-section. The remaining money for the 3rd will go to cover some of your supplies. So even if all of your puppies sell you are still in the red. But, what if the puppies don’t sell? Can you keep them? Can you afford to give them away? Most people are hesitant, or at least should be, to accept puppies from inexperienced breeder. You need to put some real thought into what you will do with your puppies if they don’t sell.
So now that you know all of that, if you still want to breed chihuahuas, give me a call.