According to Dr. Claudia Orlandi Ph.D. (AKC’s breeder of the year and author of The ABC’s of Dog Breeding) there have been scientific studies to show that it is detrimental for dams to skip heat cycles. It was shared that once you have begun to mate a dam that you should NOT skip any heat cycles until she is completely finished breeding. A dam is said to be “finished” breeding when her litter size is drastically decreased. The study involved following females that were bred every heat cycle and females that were bred every other heat cycle. After they were finished breeding, the dams were spayed and their uterus dissected.
The study involved following females that were bred every heat cycle and females that were bred every other heat cycle. After they were finished breeding, the bitches were spayed and their uterus dissected. Those showing most stress, and damage of the uterus were the females that were bred every other heat cycle. Dr. Orlandi reasoned that skipping heat cycles is harmful because with consecutive heat cycles there is no "flushing action" of the uterus that normally occurs by having a litter of puppies. The female will go through estrus no matter if she is bred or not and by breeding a healthy bitch back to back, can lessens the chances of the female experiencing pyometra, infections and false pregnancys. The choice to breed or not, should be contingent upon the goals the breeder has and for sure the mental and physical health of the female, above all else.
And while it may be generally healthier to breed every heat, Ohio Standard Poodles recognizes that each individual and her physical and emotional health needs to be taken into consideration when making the decision when to breed and when to retire. Ohio Standard Poodles will make that decision along with our Veterinarians discretion with each individual dam.
1) _Back to Back Breeding and Pseudopregnancy, The Australian Journal of Professional Dog Breeders
February 5, 2011 By Dr Kate Schoeffel concurs with the above studies.
2) In 1994 Donnay and his associates showed that there is a relationship between the number of pseudopregnancies a bitch goes through and the development of mammary cancer
3.) Verstegen and Onclin (2006)
4 ) According to canine reproduction specialist Dr S. Romagnoli “bitches whelping regularly throughout their reproductive life almost never develop pyometra, while those who whelp rarely or never in their lives have a greater chance of developing this condition”.