Dalmatians become more popular every time a new version of the movie "101 Dalmatians" is released. Many dog hobbyists have tried to capitalize on the success of the movie by breeding these dogs. Dog breeding should not be undertaken lightly, however, and dalmatians are a challenging breed because of their high energy and genetic predisposition to deafness. Many puppies bred by hobbyists end up in animal shelters and are ultimately euthanized. Potential dog breeders should ensure that they have homes for every puppy, and that if a potential owner changes their mind or returns the dog, they can care for the dog for the rest of its life.
Things You'll Need
- Whelping box
- Female dalmatian
- Male dalmatian
Schedule a consultation with your veterinarian before you attempt to breed your dalmatian. Only dogs with excellent temperaments and good health should be bred because these dogs will improve the breed and have the best chances of finding permanent homes. Your vet should test your dog's ears since as many as half of dalmatians eventually go deaf. Dalmatians are also prone to allergies, skin conditions, epilepsy, thyroid problems and bladder stones. Avoid breeding a dog that has these conditions, and ask your vet to test your dog for susceptibility to these conditions.
Choose a mate for your dog. Both dogs should conform to breed standards and be free of health defects.See Resources for an overview of dalmatian breed standards.
Additionally, the dogs should have American Kennel Club papers that certify their purebred status and list their lineage. Few people are willing to pay for a dog without papers. Avoid large size discrepancies in the dogs. Dalmatians have difficulty delivering very large puppies, so it's best to choose a male who is not much larger than the female.
Watch for signs that your female has begun the cycle of estrus. Females begin bleeding from the vagina and frequently become restless, territorial or fearful. A female in heat will attract male dogs from the surrounding area, so it's vital to keep her secured. Otherwise, she may end up mating with a random male dog rather than the one you have chosen. Females do not become fertile and ready to mate till they have been bleeding for three to five days.
Put the male and female dog together. If the female becomes aggressive with the male, she is not yet ready to mate. Separate the dogs and try again the next day. During mating, the male will latch onto the female and the two may remain connected for as long as 45 minutes. Dalmatians only need to mate once to become pregnant and may fight with potential suitors after the first mating, so separate the male and female for the rest of the heat cycle.
Build a whelping box for your dog. This is where she will give birth to the puppies and nurse them for their first few weeks of life. The sides should be tall enough that puppies cannot easily escape and there should be plenty of room for the female to move around. Four wood boards with a base will work perfectly. Many pet specialty stores also sell whelping boxes. Fill the box with blankets so that it is soft and enticing, and make sure the female has seen the location of the whelping box before going into labor.
Allow the female to give birth. The normal gestation period for dalmatians is 60-65 days. Bitches become restless prior to going into labor and frequently squat or strain. Puppies typically begin to be born three to 12 hours after labor has begun. They should be spaced no more than an hour apart. If labor stops, if the dog begins bleeding profusely or if a puppy appears to be stuck in the birth canal, contact an emergency vet immediately.
Take the puppies to the vet for a checkup a few weeks after birth. The vet should administer a BAER hearing test to ensure that none of the dogs are deaf. You will also need to obtain vaccinations and the first deworming treatment before the puppies go to their new homes. Puppies should not be taken away from their mothers till they are at least eight weeks old.