How do you keep a female dog from getting pregnant on her first heat?

Ridgetop

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And my reason for breeding her is not to make myself rich but just so she basically pays for herself. So I can have a dog that I love so much (and the sweetness and cuteness of puppies) but by her producing puppies and me selling them, it should pay for her food and some partial vet bills .
First, I do not breed lgds or any dogs anymore. My last litter of any breed was about 20 years ago. I do not anticipate breeding any litters. I have found that buying a good LGD from a well-known breeder specializing in livestock guardians, who does all the genetic testing to prevent dysplasia, etc. is worth the higher price of the puppy. It is certainly cheaper than breeding a litter of pups, feeding and vaccinating them and trying to find buyers willing to pay more than a couple hundred dollars. And then getting complaints about the dog when they do not follow my training instructions! And worst of all, taking back a perfectly good dog that the buyer has ruined!

When you say you want to breed her and sell puppies " just so she basically pays for herself" are you saying that she is not a working member of the ranch? If she is a guardian dog and protecting your herd and flock from predators, then she is already "earning her keep".

Without a guardian dog we lost 30 pregnant ewes and lambs in less than 2 years to coyotes. Our old dog had died of cancer and we decided to try just locking our animals up in the barn at night. The coyotes came n during the day and slaughtered them. Not only did we lose the price of the ewes, we lost the unborn lambs they were carrying (most were at term). We replaced our dead ewes 3 or 4 times then finally got a new guardian dog. Between the loss of the ewes and the lambs (born and unborn) we lost over $6000. When you consider that we had to replace breeding ewes with ewe lambs and start over each time, we lost the $$ from sales of any lamb those older ewes would have produced during the time we were waiting for our ewe lambs to mature to breeding age.

Our guardian dogs work hard for their dinners, and definitely "earn their keep". We have 3 LGDs on a 6 acre property due to the many coyotes and occasionally cougar surrounding us.

With the cost of dog food, vaccinations medical care, and loss of the guarding work of a bitch in whelp for several months you will not be making any money. What price were you planning to charge for your puppies? At several hundred dollars per up, you might be lucky to underwrite the feed bill. Not all puppies will get sold and you will have to keep the leftovers for a while until a buyer comes along. Growing puppies eat a LOT!

With the large breeds like Pyrenees, they are not fully mature until 2 years old. Just because she comes into season does not mean she is mature enough to breed and raise a litter to term without endangering her own health. Human girls begin menstruation around 11 years old but that does not mean their bodies are mature enough to carry a baby for a 9 months gestation and give birth without some damage to their own bodies and health. And in the case of your Pyr LGD you are expecting her to continue working as a livestock guardian throughout her 9 week pregnancy, whelping, and lactation until the pups are weaned at 8-10 weeks. It is not recommended to breed before 2-3 years old since the bitch is not fully developed and grown herself. Having litters of pups before maturity is bad for the dog and can keep her from getting to her full size. Many breeders wait until the dog is 3 before breeding to make sure the dog is mature and healthy enough to grow a litter and feed them once they are born. The puppies will also learn some livestock basics from the mother if she is older and trained.

Who do you plan to breed her to? Are there other Pyrenees around? What are they like? Are they healthy? Do they have any genetic defects? Do you plan to have her xrayed for possible unseen genetic diseases like hip dysplasia? Do you plan to guarantee the health of your puppies to your buyers? Could you take a puppy back if it did not perform well? Are you ok with having your puppies end up in the pound? Some owners may not be willing to have a dog that grows from an adorable powder puff into a 120 lb shedding and barking dog. LGDs bark. A lot! That is the first defense system they use against intruders and predators. If a puppy is returned with bad behavior due to improper training by the purchaser will you know how to retrain the dog? Will you be able to afford to keep another adult Pyr during that time of retraining and placement?

One last thought is the state of the economy. With prices rising every day, how many people will be able to afford to buy and feed a livestock dog? Actually, how many people will be able to afford to keep small livestock. LGDs are mainly used to defend sheep and goats not cattle. Dog food has risen in price along with hay and feed, and will continue to do so, as will vet bills. Keeping large LGDs is not cheap. Feeding a pregnant bitch and while she is producing milk for her pups is very exensive. Feeding a litter of large breed puppies 3x daily (that is what I said) costs a huge amount. A Pyrenees btch can whelp anywhere from a small litter of 6 to a large litter of 12 puppies.

If you are determined to breed your dog and try to sell puppies you need to invest in a heavy duty dog kennel with a top since Pyrs can climb chain link fencing She will need to spend the 3 weeks of her heat cycle in the kennel every 6 months until she is ready to be breed. During that time period you will be without a flock guardian. A bitch is pregnant for 9 weeks. For the last few weeks of her pregnancy she will be heavy and while willing to do her job, runs the risk of harm due to her slower speed clumsiness while heavy with pups. Once the pups are born she will also be reluctant to leave her nest to protect the flock for several weeks.

So here is the amount of time you will be effectively guardianless:
3 weeks every 6 months, or 6 weeks out of the year.
2-3 weeks just before whelping, and another 2-3 weeks after whelping. If you plan to breed her 2 times in her life and take the wise course of waiting at least until she is 3 years old and wait at least one year between breeding, and she has a life span of 12 years, you will have no guardian for 63 weeks+. That equates to 1 year, 3 months of no protection for your flocks. Can you do without flock protection that long?

In addition, is this dog worth being bred? Not is she worth being loved, not does she do a great job, but are there a lot of other Pyrs of the same quality out there doing guardian jobs? How much would a 2nd puppy cost to purchase? How many people are already breeding Pyrenees guardian dogs in your area? How many people want to buy Pyrenees guardian dogs?

As someone who has bought many LGDs over the years, I strongly recommend you to reconsider breeding your bitch, particularly at 1 year old. Instead get a kennel for her - they are available at feed stores Lowes, Home depot, etc. and confine her to it for the 3 week duration of her heat cycle. The minimum size should be 6' x12' with a top. Place logs or heavy timber around the bottom so she can't dig out, and male dogs can't dig in. You will be using it for 6 weeks of the year every year until you have her spayed. It will be a good investment since you can put her pups in it when they are too small to be loose at night and mama is working. If you are determined to breed her for puppies, once you have bred her and sold her pups, I recommend you have her spayed.
 

Blessedwithpets

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First, I do not breed lgds or any dogs anymore. My last litter of any breed was about 20 years ago. I do not anticipate breeding any litters. I have found that buying a good LGD from a well-known breeder specializing in livestock guardians, who does all the genetic testing to prevent dysplasia, etc. is worth the higher price of the puppy. It is certainly cheaper than breeding a litter of pups, feeding and vaccinating them and trying to find buyers willing to pay more than a couple hundred dollars. And then getting complaints about the dog when they do not follow my training instructions! And worst of all, taking back a perfectly good dog that the buyer has ruined!

When you say you want to breed her and sell puppies " just so she basically pays for herself" are you saying that she is not a working member of the ranch? If she is a guardian dog and protecting your herd and flock from predators, then she is already "earning her keep".

Without a guardian dog we lost 30 pregnant ewes and lambs in less than 2 years to coyotes. Our old dog had died of cancer and we decided to try just locking our animals up in the barn at night. The coyotes came n during the day and slaughtered them. Not only did we lose the price of the ewes, we lost the unborn lambs they were carrying (most were at term). We replaced our dead ewes 3 or 4 times then finally got a new guardian dog. Between the loss of the ewes and the lambs (born and unborn) we lost over $6000. When you consider that we had to replace breeding ewes with ewe lambs and start over each time, we lost the $$ from sales of any lamb those older ewes would have produced during the time we were waiting for our ewe lambs to mature to breeding age.

Our guardian dogs work hard for their dinners, and definitely "earn their keep". We have 3 LGDs on a 6 acre property due to the many coyotes and occasionally cougar surrounding us.

With the cost of dog food, vaccinations medical care, and loss of the guarding work of a bitch in whelp for several months you will not be making any money. What price were you planning to charge for your puppies? At several hundred dollars per up, you might be lucky to underwrite the feed bill. Not all puppies will get sold and you will have to keep the leftovers for a while until a buyer comes along. Growing puppies eat a LOT!

With the large breeds like Pyrenees, they are not fully mature until 2 years old. Just because she comes into season does not mean she is mature enough to breed and raise a litter to term without endangering her own health. Human girls begin menstruation around 11 years old but that does not mean their bodies are mature enough to carry a baby for a 9 months gestation and give birth without some damage to their own bodies and health. And in the case of your Pyr LGD you are expecting her to continue working as a livestock guardian throughout her 9 week pregnancy, whelping, and lactation until the pups are weaned at 8-10 weeks. It is not recommended to breed before 2-3 years old since the bitch is not fully developed and grown herself. Having litters of pups before maturity is bad for the dog and can keep her from getting to her full size. Many breeders wait until the dog is 3 before breeding to make sure the dog is mature and healthy enough to grow a litter and feed them once they are born. The puppies will also learn some livestock basics from the mother if she is older and trained.

Who do you plan to breed her to? Are there other Pyrenees around? What are they like? Are they healthy? Do they have any genetic defects? Do you plan to have her xrayed for possible unseen genetic diseases like hip dysplasia? Do you plan to guarantee the health of your puppies to your buyers? Could you take a puppy back if it did not perform well? Are you ok with having your puppies end up in the pound? Some owners may not be willing to have a dog that grows from an adorable powder puff into a 120 lb shedding and barking dog. LGDs bark. A lot! That is the first defense system they use against intruders and predators. If a puppy is returned with bad behavior due to improper training by the purchaser will you know how to retrain the dog? Will you be able to afford to keep another adult Pyr during that time of retraining and placement?

One last thought is the state of the economy. With prices rising every day, how many people will be able to afford to buy and feed a livestock dog? Actually, how many people will be able to afford to keep small livestock. LGDs are mainly used to defend sheep and goats not cattle. Dog food has risen in price along with hay and feed, and will continue to do so, as will vet bills. Keeping large LGDs is not cheap. Feeding a pregnant bitch and while she is producing milk for her pups is very exensive. Feeding a litter of large breed puppies 3x daily (that is what I said) costs a huge amount. A Pyrenees btch can whelp anywhere from a small litter of 6 to a large litter of 12 puppies.

If you are determined to breed your dog and try to sell puppies you need to invest in a heavy duty dog kennel with a top since Pyrs can climb chain link fencing She will need to spend the 3 weeks of her heat cycle in the kennel every 6 months until she is ready to be breed. During that time period you will be without a flock guardian. A bitch is pregnant for 9 weeks. For the last few weeks of her pregnancy she will be heavy and while willing to do her job, runs the risk of harm due to her slower speed clumsiness while heavy with pups. Once the pups are born she will also be reluctant to leave her nest to protect the flock for several weeks.

So here is the amount of time you will be effectively guardianless:
3 weeks every 6 months, or 6 weeks out of the year.
2-3 weeks just before whelping, and another 2-3 weeks after whelping. If you plan to breed her 2 times in her life and take the wise course of waiting at least until she is 3 years old and wait at least one year between breeding, and she has a life span of 12 years, you will have no guardian for 63 weeks+. That equates to 1 year, 3 months of no protection for your flocks. Can you do without flock protection that long?

In addition, is this dog worth being bred? Not is she worth being loved, not does she do a great job, but are there a lot of other Pyrs of the same quality out there doing guardian jobs? How much would a 2nd puppy cost to purchase? How many people are already breeding Pyrenees guardian dogs in your area? How many people want to buy Pyrenees guardian dogs?

As someone who has bought many LGDs over the years, I strongly recommend you to reconsider breeding your bitch, particularly at 1 year old. Instead get a kennel for her - they are available at feed stores Lowes, Home depot, etc. and confine her to it for the 3 week duration of her heat cycle. The minimum size should be 6' x12' with a top. Place logs or heavy timber around the bottom so she can't dig out, and male dogs can't dig in. You will be using it for 6 weeks of the year every year until you have her spayed. It will be a good investment since you can put her pups in it when they are too small to be loose at night and mama is working. If you are determined to breed her for puppies, once you have bred her and sold her pups, I recommend you have her spayed.
Thank you so much for this. I’ll have to talk it over with my family whether we want to go through all of this or if we might just get her spayed. And as for where we get the Pyrenees we had to drive 4 hours to get my puppy because no one breeds them around us. Even if we do get her spayed we will still get a male because I’ve heard that Pyrenees thrive when they have an opposite sex partner. We paid 300 for our dog but we got her from a backyard breeder that just had 2 mature Pyrenees. That lived in their goat pen and the puppies were just running around. Thanks again. God bless!
 

Ridgetop

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Good Luck.

Most livestock people refer to spay and neuter their LGDs because when the bitch comes into season it attracts male dogs and coyotes. If they have a male and female, the male LGD is spending his time hanging out by the female in season where she is penned up instead of doing his job. Or the dogs are continually breeding and producing pups for you to find homes for. LGDs don't always make good house and yard dogs. They are loud, protective, and do not take obedience training well enough to be good household pets.
 

Stephine

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If u don't want puppies lock her up in multiple layers of protection. One row of fence might not stop the act.

On the other side if u wanna breed and produce puppies to sell down the road then go ahead but just think it threw and understand all sides.

And to those who say u don't make money selling puppies even with one litter I have to disagree. Multiple people have multiple reasons for not wanting others to breed animals. Most are just opinions tied in with some fact. You have to decide and be ok with the reasons you choose.

I have seen good and bad animals come from both registered breeders and I'll call them animal mills. The people I stay away from are rescuers and those who want to charge.more for breeding rights.

Just a heads up everyone on here is making money from all there animals. If u don't make money or break even then none of us would have them we couldn't afford them.
Yeah, I am not making a dime; definitely my animals put me in the red.
 

Grizzlyhackle

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I'm late to the ball game here.
Lock her up. Think bank vault. I chased away a male that was 6 ft in the air hanging on the side of my dog pen. Luckily I had put wire fence over the top to prop up shade tarps in the summer. He couldn't figure how to climb up then slip under the wire. My own mutt figured out how to get out of his store bought fence panel dog pen. He pulled her door open enough to slip out and the rest you can figure out. Vet wasn't helpful there was a shot I was told that would make her abort. He said sorry for your luck you'll learn won't you. 47 lb English pointer had to have a surgical abortion. Puppies were huge. Mutt was 98lb Chesapeake cross, they pulled 13 fetuses. This was in 1989 or 90 none of that was cheap even then.
 

B&B Happy goats

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I raise and breed dogs and I have a few questions for you... can you afford the vet bills, ..can you handle taking a sick puppy to the vet and hold it and comfort it while the vet puts it down...can you afford to have each parent dog Embark tested ($150 per dog ....large breed dogs such as yours need to have proof of good hips, it takes a different (expensive !) type of xrays and certificate of clearance of hip dysplasia....are you prepared to wait 2 years to breed your dogs....you will need to advertise , answer tons of questions from prospective buyers... how would you interview the prospective buyer and make sure that your puppy is going to a responsible home, with lots of room for the dog to run...do the new owners have time to properly raise and TRAIN their puppy,...do they have animals to guard, family pet or will it be for working.., do they have young children ? .do they have high fencing ...will the puppy be alone all day when they work, or will someone be home with them ...can they afford to take the dog to the vet if needed...
If you already have about 5k set aside for food, dog and Puppies needs and vetting.....and have all the above items planned out, then go for it ! Raising puppies is a 24/7 job...and last but not least, who is cleaning up all the mess they make....YOU
It really isn't as sweet and fun as some people think, I have held those puppies that have needed to be put down , then we (vet and I) opened up that puppy to find out what may have gone wrong, then home to bury it, ...and I won't even get into birthing issues or puppies born dead.....they (puppies and dogs) are not anything like a litter of kittens, rabbits, birds or fish....they ( I am repeating myself) are a LOT OF , and I mean alot of work, and cost a alot of money to raise...let alone trying to find the perfect homes for them in this current economy.
I hope you will consider what I have mentioned, I have not said it to discourage you...it is just some facts you need to be aware of...good luck to you, Barb
 
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