In domestic dogs, sexual maturity occurs between the ages of six to twelve months or later. The age a dog goes into heat, however, does not dictate the age they are mature enough to breed.
One of the problems in breeding too young is rather or not the dam is mature enough to take care of their young babies. A female Standard Poodle is not emotionally mature until at least a year old. A look at the maternal grandmother may give insight into what age a female is able to take care of her litter. AKC will not recognize a litter under 8 months old for this reason as well as to protect the health of the dam.
Through it is important that a female is near physical maturity it is also important to consider that as she ages, the cartilage that joins together the two sides of a pelvis become ossified into hard bone as she achieves full maturity. Pregnancy and birth in the “puberty” years can help a female finish filling out and mature, making subsequent deliveries easier as the birth canal has been prepared, introducing the pelvic canal to the birthing process while it still has a little “give” in it. Subsequent births are then likely to be that much easier and trouble free.
The other factor in deciding when to breed a dam is the responsibility of producing healthy pups. Though we can't guarantee everything, responsible breeders DNA health test for the most common problems in their breed so they can have a pretty good idea that they are free of these risks. It is further important that the breeding pair came from parents that are tested free of the most prominent diseases and defects in their breed.
Although we realize that not all breeders agree in these issues, Ohio Standard Poodles makes these decisions based on consultation with our vets and what what we read in the latest scientific studies.
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