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QUESTION: Hi Patti, My standard poodle male will be breeding with both of my females (they came into heat one day apart). Do you think breeding once a day is enough time for his sperm count to go back up. I would have him alternate with one girl each day.
He is almost 10 1/2 months and the girls are 2 and 3.

Hi Paula,

It's good you've waited for your female dogs to be fully matured, so that they're physically able to endure the stress of carrying and delivering puppies.

The time of mating is critical, it is often recommended to have a female tested to determine the optimal days for breeding. You may want to talk to your vet about doing aginal cytology or vaginal smears, or a serum progesterone test to determine when to mate your dogs.  For most females, the best time for breeding is between the 10th and 14th day of the cycle. However, some females ovulate as early as the 3rd or 4th day or as late as the 18th day.  There is also a home test to determine when your females are ovulating and ready to be mated. Read more here:

Alternating the days with your two female dogs as you mentioned is a good idea. To to ensure a successful breeding, it's most common to have two matings per female,  24 - 48 hours apart.

At 10 1/2 months, your male is still a puppy. Though breeding him at this age won't hurt him, he might not have a high enough sperm level to impregnate a female until he is a full year old.  Males reach full sexual maturity by 12 to 15 months.

I hope I've been a help.
Best of luck,


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I've been breeding for years and only breed over 2 years old. But my stud is almost 10 years old and that's why I decided to breed her  with the younger new stud who's 10 months.  It's an odd year. Next year our pup will be in his prime :)
They tied today on her day 10. And will breed again on day 12.

My 10 year old stud and my 2nd girl had a beautiful litter last year when he was 9 and she was 2.
In your opinion would you breed her with the 10 year old or 10 month old? I have a day to decide.
Tomorrow she will be on her day 10.

We have amazing homes for all the pups. Thank you again!


Hello again, Paula

It's really good to hear that you've waited to breed your females until they are aged 2 years. Lets just say, you wouldn't believe some of the messages I get from people.

Assuming your 10 year old dog is healthy, it would be safe to breed him. Regarding the age of breeding dogs at the AKC website, they say:
"No dog or litter out of a sire under seven months or over twelve years of age at the time of mating, will be registered unless the application for registration shall be accompanied by an affidavit or evidence which shall prove the fact to the satisfaction of The American Kennel Club."
So, the AKC wouldn't have a problem with puppies from your 10 year old. Older than 12, and the AKC would want you to have a vet confirm the dog's sperm count. Read more here:

I wouldn't ever recommend breeding a 10 year old female, but many older males (I've heard of 13 year old dogs successfully breeding) are still quite capable of producing litters. Breeding your 10 year old could actually be a plus, because you know your dog's life and his health history. So if he's willing, it sounds like he'd also be able.

Whether you breed the 10 month old, is your choice. He may be able to produce a litter, there's no way to guess about it.

Best of luck,



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To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.


My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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