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Dogs/English Bull Terrier - breeding.


Hi Nancy, i have a female and male English bull terrier pair, which are both around the 2-3 year old mark. My boy is pure & papered but my girl was a private rescue. In the last year my girl has been having false pregnancies, (we think she's around 3). They do mate and lock properly every time she's on heat, but never got puppies besides the false pregnancies. I've been informed by a vet that too many false pregnancies can cause a pus filled womb which has the potential to kill her. I was wondering if you could tell me some of the symptoms of EBT pregnancy and how to tell if it's a false pregnancy, without having to go to the vet, i know being on the safe side is best but I've spent $500+ on vet bills just to confirm or deny the pregnancy. Thanks!

Hi,  I haven't heard of too many false pregnancies doing that.  I may be behind the times, but I have had dogs that I didn't spay and they had false pregnancies until they were twelve with no problems.  I will probably have to do more research on that, but I have found that if they are getting milk within the first month, it is usually a false pregnancy.  Of course there are no absolutes when we are talking about animals and humans, so anything is possible.  So to save money, just wait until around 7 and a half weeks.  If she is pregnant, it should be obvious.  
On the other note,  I check my female dogs all the time after they have been in heat.  I make sure there is no white discharge.  I have had only one case where I have seen a discharge and I had to spay my dog or lose her.  I know others who don't check their dogs and have lost them.  Be aware of signs in your dogs to prevent things like this.

Now,  I want to know if you are being precise about the mating times.  Are you counting the first day of blood as day one?  Are you waiting until the eleventh day before you are putting them together?  If you are letting them stay together and he is riding her and ejaculating, his sperm will be very weak.  He needs to NOT BE EJACULATING while waiting for her fertile time which is the thirteenth day of the heat cycle in most cases.  So if you breed on the eleventh day and the sperm lives 2 days you should get fertilization.  Then breed again on the thirteenth day, letting the male rest on the twelfth day to build up the sperm count again.  There is a certain amount of antibodies in the female that fight off sperm, that is why he has to be very potent for them to conceive.

Two signs that she is fertile are:

she flags (putting her tail to the side inviting him to ride her)  but more important
the color of the discharge.
it should be almost colorless on the inside of a collected spot on a paper towel with a darker ring around the outside.
You can also take her to the vet and have him take a smear.  He can tell you if she is going in or out of heat.
Good luck
PS  sorry for delay  storms here had internet down


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Nancy Perry


You can ask me anything on dog training, dog breeding, dog grooming. What type of dog you should get. Pertinent facts about different breeds. I am also specifically knowledgeable about terriers and the diets that help maintain coat excellence. I have trained and helped owners train their dogs.


I have worked in dog training for 35 years. I have been a dog groomer for 25 years..

Certified trainer with Petsmart Certified Groomer with Petsmart

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approximatedly 2 to three hundred clients since 1993

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