Guidance for breeding Samoyeds
If you are thinking about breeding from your Samoyed then this is a far more complex procedure than many would expect, with no guarantee of success.
Some of the questions to ask yourself are:
Is my bitch a good enough example of the breed, healthy and with a good temperament. Is she KC registered, microchipped and had relevant health testing done? Is she old enough (between 16-18mths minimum and had her 2nd season)
Have I the room and enough time to raise a litter?
Can I afford the stud fee, the equipment required (whelping box, vet bed, food, heating etc), vet fees including a possible caesarean, the health checks needed on the pups, worming, registration, microchipping, etc?
Will I be able to cope with the whelping and raising of the pups, the emotional and practical side of it?
Would I be able to find good homes for the puppies?
Would I be able to take back or re-home any puppies if it becomes necessary.
here is a lot else to be taken into consideration and a good web site is thekennelclub.org.uk/breeding to help you make the correct decision.
Samoyeds are susceptible to a genetic condition called canine hip dysplasia – ‘an abnormal formation of the hip socket that, in its more severe form, can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints. It is a genetic (polygenic) trait that is affected by environmental factors. It can be found in many animals and in humans, but is most commonly associated with dogs, and is common in many dog breeds, particularly the larger breeds.’
To minimize the risk of producing Samoyed puppies with this condition, many Samoyed breeders undertake hip scoring on dogs and bitches that they wish to mate. Hip scoring is a procedure used to determine the degree of hip dysplasia in dogs and other animals and reporting the findings in a standard way. The hip score is the sum of the points awarded for each of nine radiographic tures of both hip joints. The hip score should be used as a tool to help you decide on suitable breeding stock. The British Veterinary Association (BVA) advise to breed only from dogs with scores below the median value for the breed which is currently (1/11/2014) a score of 9.
Finding a mate
Breeding Samoyeds is not a simple task. Samoyed breeders can spend many hours researching and reading pedigrees to not only source compatible dogs but also to attempt to find attractive traits from individual Samoyeds and family lines. It is advisable to visit one or more breed shows, to observe dogs and gain as much information as you possibly can and also to pinpoint potential mates. The breeder of your bitch may be able to advise you and assist.
When you have decided which dog you wish to use to mate to your bitch, make sure he is over 1 year old and has been hip scored. You should then make contact with his owners to discuss the possibility of using him for a mating. Most reputable dog owners would insist on seeing your bitch’s pedigree and hip score before agreeing to proceed any further. Be prepared that the owner may not agree to the mating. If the owner is happy for a mating to go ahead they will then inform you of their stud fee. A stud fee is the price you pay for them to use their dog for the mating. Current stud fees range from £400 – £1200+ and are often based on the dog’s success in the show ring. Once a fee has been agreed, in writing, you then wait until the bitch’s next season and (traditionally) take the bitch to the dog for a mating (see paragraph below). It is advisable, if possible, to organise for a repeat mating the following day to increase the chances of a successful mating. In the event of an unsuccessful mating, many dog owners will agree to a free mating the next time the bitch is in season, (this should be part of the stud dog contract) but not all do though. The owner of the stud dog may prefer to have a puppy, rather than a fee – they will also want to take their pick from the whole litter.
This is the part you would generally assume would be very straightforward and simple but it often isn’t. For first time breeders, it is highly advisable to seek the counsel of an experienced breeder prior to the day of the mating and, if possible, have an experienced breeder present at the mating to ensure everything goes to plan. The bitch should be ready for mating between the 11-14th day of her season but this can vary considerably. Its often advisable to have an ovulation test carried out by your vet to determine the correct date on which to mate your bitch, especially if the stud dog lives a fair distance away.
A bitch is in whelp for approx. 63 days. It is advisable to have your bitch scanned 28 days after a successful mating. This should be able to tell you roughly how many pups there are (although Samoyeds normally have more than can be seen on a scan, but not always), or if there are no pups. A bitch can show all the signs of being pregnant, making milk and even nesting at the right time, but no pups, so its worth scanning to be sure.
A confirmed pregnant bitch should have her food gradually increased from 4 weeks of gestation, until she is eating almost double her normal amount of food. There are various supplements she can be given (eg calcium tablets) but there are no exact rules on supplements and it is up to the owner to research and decide what would suit their bitch.
Samoyeds can have litters of up to 10 puppies but more often 4-6 puppies, sometimes as few as one. Caring for a litter of Samoyed puppies is incredibly time consuming and plans need to be in place in case the bitch cannot feed the pups and they have to be hand raised
The whole breeding question can be an expensive undertaking (stud fee, food, equipment, vets bills etc.) with no guarantee of a successful litter. It can also be a very rewarding experience and, at times extremely emotional – especially in the case that one or more puppies die, and when the puppies leave to go to their new homes.
If you are thinking of mating your bitch then please make sure you are fully aware of what is involved and you do have the time and commitment to raise a litter. If you have any further question or would like more information then please contact the Samoyed club secretaries.
Definitions of canine hip dysplasia and hip scoring sourced from Wikipedia