When Can You Breed A Lhasa Apso? Think Before You Decide


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Are you an owner of a Lhasa Apso? If you are then you will probably in the future want to breed your Lhasa Apso. I have scoured the internet to find you the answers to many questions about breeding Lhasa Apsos in particular. These answers will help you, they give much detailed advice if you decide to go ahead and breed your Lhasa Apso.

When can you breed a Lhasa Apso? Lhasa Apsos come on heat from six months, they can become pregnant at this age. Veterinarians advise this is too young to start breeding. Eighteen months to two years is ideal for breeding. Give your young female a chance to grow first.

Do you want to learn more about breeding your Lhasa Apso? Questions you may ask yourself or that may arise during breeding are covered below. Read on to get the answers.

  1. Introduction
  2. Ethics
  3. Costs of Breeding
  4. What Age
  5. Choosing a Stud
  6. How to Tell When the Female is in Heat
  7. When is a Female too Old to Breed?
  8. Do Males go into Heat?
  9. How Long Does the Pregnancy Last?
  10. How many Puppies in a Litter?
  11. Why Do Dogs Get Stuck Together After Mating?
  12. Is my Male Fertile?
  13. Think Before you Breed your Lhasa Apso

1 Introduction

What is the reason you want to breed your Lhasa Apso?  To make money, to prolong the Lhasa Apso breed, because you love your dog?  Let’s take these one at a time.

Selling puppies can be a lucrative option to increase your revenue for the end of the month. If your puppy’s a purebred then you can expect to sell them for around $500 each. A puppy with all the Kennel Club certificates and is show quality then you can expect $1,300 to $5,100. In some cases, you can demand more than this if you have a Lhasa Apso from a superior pedigree stock with all the history and documents of the descendants. If you would like a little extra revenue once a year then this is an option to help you financially.

Your Lhasa Apso is your best friend and she’s special, she is your companion and gives all her love to you. Maybe you want to prolong the species of Lhasa Apsos and your motive is not the financial side of breeding. Would you like to breed pure Lhasa Apsos so that the breed continues? This breed is renown for its fearlessness, and their high spirits, their qualities as guardians, and of course are very loyal to their Masters. If your desire is to bring pleasure to potential owners then go for it.

Your Lhasa Apso probably loves you more than you love her!  You are her master, if you have raised her correctly, she will adore you even more because they need a leader of the pack and this is your role. Breeding your female is not going to change her thoughts and love for you. I don’t think this option is a reason for breeding your dog.

2 Ethics

The primary goal and reason you should be breeding your female Lhasa Apso is to continue the breed, help improve and maintain their quality, their qualities as watchdogs and valued companions. This brings me to the question of purebred or mixed breeding.

If you own a pure Lhasa Asapo why breed her with another breed of dog only to have a mixed litter. This is defeating the idea of increasing pure Lhasa Apsos in the world. They are so cute and adorable, if I had a female then I would make sure I chose a pure Lhasa Apso stud to breed her with.

One procedure I disapprove of is that some breeders attempt to genetically modify the Lhasa Apso to obtain perfect show dogs. This is like being Frankenstein, making, one-day dogs that do not resemble the original Lhasa Apso. The Lhasa Apso has been on this planet for nearly 3000 years, and if we breed correctly will carry on for many more centuries to come.

Mixed breed Lhasa Apsos can also be adorable and cute if you are looking to breed for financial gains mixed breed puppies will sell for less than purebred puppies.

Breeding your female will help to calm them down, making them a much friendlier and passive dog. What you should never do though is to force your female to breed, it should be natural. She will give strong indications if she is not ready to breed, ie; refusing to allow the stud to mount.

3 Costs of Breeding

Now you have made the decision to breed your Lhasa Apso. Following the advice above she should be a minimum of 18 months old, preferably two years old, so that her internal organs have fully developed. She should be in good health and have no hereditary diseases that can be passed on to her puppies, do get the relevant blood tests undertaken to confirm she has a clean hereditary background.

Obviously, breeding is going to take two partners. You will need to pay for the services of a stud to breed with your female. Prices do vary from as little as $75 going up to $500+ This upper price is for a stud that has a reputation in shows and registered in the AKC (American Kennel Club)

Negotiations are possible with stud owners. You could offer them first pick of the litter if they are offering a service priced low, thereby allowing them to sell one of the puppies.

Unforeseen costs could be incurred if there are complications during the pregnancy or in the actual birth of the puppies. Assuming all went well and the puppies are in good health, they are now going to need all their vaccinations and injections and this, of course, has significant costs.

All these vaccinations that they need, will protect them from illnesses and diseases such as

  • Heartworm
  • Kennel cough
  • Dog distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Parainfluenza
  • Coronavirus
  • Lyme disease
  • Leptospirosis
  • Parvovirus
  • Rabies

The first 9 vaccinations will cost normally between $60 and $70. To this, you need to add the rabies vaccination which will cost around $20. These vaccinations are vital and I’ll give you one example, if your puppies develop heartworm then the cost at the veterinary starts at $400!! It is easier and cheaper to prevent heartworm than trying to eradicate it when it is too late. Hundreds of dogs die needlessly every year because of heartworm.

Finally adding to the cost of breeding you need to account for their puppy food and a stock of absorbent matting.

4 What Age?

Lhasa Apsos can start to breed as early as six months, when they have their first cycle in heat. This is in expert’s opinions far too young to start breeding. Your dog at this tender age has still not fully developed all her internal organs. Breading at this early age could damage their organs irreversibly. It will be much better to start breeding at the age of eighteen to twenty-four months. By this time your dog will be more willing to breed with the male as well.

5 Choosing a Stud

Of course, it’s easy to find a stud dog, but finding the best is another story which can be daunting. In the following paragraphs I will help you with this task.

Assuming you are going to breed pure Lhasa Apsos then you need a purebred stud. If you search on the internet you will find many offers that should meet your needs.

The first thing you should check with a potential stud are papers and certificates confirming their lineage. This can be achieved by contacting the owners. Take this opportunity to discuss the characteristics of the stud and his temperament. You may also bring into the conversation your desires and expectations from the litter.

Look at the color of the stud and what you think your puppy’s eventual colors might be. Many factors can be used to determine what your puppy’s characters would be. If your female is aggressive then look for a stud non-aggressive that may help reduce the aggressiveness in the puppies.

At this stage, you know of all the health and genetic problems that Lhasa Apsos may have. Make sure your female has been checked completely to make sure she has none of these hereditary illnesses. Likewise, you should demand the certificates confirming the stud has none of these problems.

Choosing a stud that is middle-aged or a bit older lessens the chances of choosing an immature stud. An older stud has proven that he can live a good age and would be a good choice. Beware not to choose a stud too old, as there might be problems in his sperm count.

Stud location is an element that needs to be considered, if you live on the east coast and the stud is on the west coast the travel expenses will be enormous. If you fly your female to the stud, there will be flight costs, once at the studs kennels will you have to pay boarding fees while she is there? Remember the Lhasa Apso breed have a shorter muzzle and there could also be complications on the flight. The option of choosing a stud locally will make things easier, you could actually go and see the stud and talk to the owner personally.

Finally as in all operations where finances are involved you need to be clear and precise in the agreement terms that you should draft up in a contract. Some owners will ask for a fee, others may ask for a puppy, what if your female does not give birth to a litter? What are the arrangements in this case? are you reimbursed or a second rendezvous the next time your female is in heat,  at no extra cost to you of course.

6 How to Tell When the Female is in Heat?

As we prepare to breed we need to determine when is the best time for the stud to come into contact with the female.  Smaller dogs like the Lhasa Apso reach sexual maturity at an early age, they can have their first heat at six months of age. But we have already decided not to breed them until they have reached at least eighteen months old.

These heat cycles happen normally twice a year, being six months apart, although at the beginning these periods may change slightly they will settle down into a regular pattern later. They will have their cycle always around the same time of the year thereafter. Our small Lhasa Apsos could have a yearly number of four heat cycles.

Having gained the knowledge now,  our female could possibly come into heat as much as four times a year, how long do these cycles last? Each dog is different and a cycle can average from two to three weeks. Visual signs that your female has started her heat cycle will be a discharge from the vulva. You may like to use a high tech machine to help determine when she will come into heat and this one on Amazon will do just that. You may also notice that she starts looking at her vulva and licking it, the vulva will also start to become swollen. The end of the cycle will be marked by no more discharge and when the swollen vulva has returned to its normal size.

At the beginning of each cycle, when she is in heat, she has now become prey for any male dogs in the area. In this first week of the cycle, although attracting male dogs, she is not ready to accept a male and will not allow one to mount. Eight to ten days after the beginning of the cycle the blood flow will become less, this is the time when they become receptive. At this time she will also release pheromones and hormones in small amounts of urine that male dogs will pick up as a signal that she is ready to mate with.

So now we have all this information when is the best time to mate your dog? Not an easy question to answer precisely but your female will ovulate and become receptive by the 11th day of the cycle. At this point, your female will be looking for a male partner. But to make the problem even more difficult, the ovulation could start later or even earlier during their cycle.

Finally, there are some tests your veterinarian can undertake to determine much more accurately the best time to mate your dog. These tests are;

A Serum Progesterone test, which is a simple blood examination to determine the progesterone levels. This particular test is very sensitive and has become popular because of its accuracy.

The vaginal smear test, this is a non-invasive smear of the vagina where the veterinarian, using a microscope, can detect changes in cell numbers and appearances, this test is carried out over a few days and can predict the ovulation in your female and when is the right moment to mate.

7 When is a Female too Old to Breed?

Dog breeding is a satisfying and rewarding occupation for a dog owner but there comes a time when your cherished pet has become too old to continue breeding. What is the age limit when your dog for health reasons should stop breeding? Do female dogs stop having heat cycles as they get older?

Any female Lhasa Apso in good health could still have complications and health problems when breeding and giving birth. As your female becomes older then these complications and health issues could be exaggerated to the point where you risk their lives.

There are many opinions as to what age should you stop breeding your dog, as a general rule the standards suggest six years is a good time to stop. Size and breed also come into the valuation when considering at what age to stop breeding. The strictest age is five years old which would seem to be young for a Lhasa Apsos that can live as long as fifteen years old. If you intend to continue breeding your Lhasa Apso after these ages then do consult your veterinarian.

Specialists and veterinarians advise stopping breeding your dog after she has had four litters.  Sadly there are breeders that come under the label of “Puppy Mills” and do not care for the well being of the female they just keep on breeding until the dogs can no longer have litters.

You must stop breeding your female if any medical issues have occurred which would be detrimental to their health. some of these issues could be a prolapsed or distended uterus, diabetes, and a common problem with Lhasa Apsos is hip dysplasia.

If your female has pregnancies that become complicated then again breeders and vets advise stopping breeding. Such complications could include a cesarean section, stalled labor, and delivery, or if they have had a miscarriage at any point then you should stop breeding.

8 Do Males go into Heat?

No! male dogs do not go into heat. Well, that answered that question very quickly, but let’s expose this question a bit more. Don’t worry if you have been waiting for your male to come into heat because basically they do not come into heat. Perhaps you have noticed his behavior has become more amorous, this is no doubt due to him being able to smell the hormones and pheromones of a female in the nearby vicinity.

You have probably heard that saying that male dogs are always “randy” this is due to their natural instincts. If there are females on heat in your area your male will become excited! The odor of hormones and pheromones a female gives off becomes at its highest in the middle of her heat cycle and will attract male dogs. Male dogs will become less interested in the female towards the end of a heat cycle as this sent starts to become less pungent.

9 How long does the Pregnancy Last?

Now that you have successfully mated your female with her stud, you need to know how long the gestation period will be. This can vary between fifty-eight and sixty-eight days, sixty-three days which equals nine weeks being a normal gestation period. Your veterinarian can perform tests to ascertain more precisely how far your female pregnancy has gone. And more helpfully can give you a date when she will give birth to her puppies.

The gestation period of dogs is broken into three trimesters each about three weeks in duration. although you could possibly see some visual signs your female Lhasa Apso is pregnant it can be sometimes very difficult without your veterinarians expert diagnosis.

To give you an idea of the time needed from the conception to birth.

Firstly the embryos will start their journey through the uterine horn after about one week after their creation. They will have found the uterine lining by the sixteenth day and will snuggly embed themselves there. Six more days later, this is now day twenty-two into their journey, the fetuses will begin to form. Taking your female to your veterinarian between twenty-eight and thirty days he will be able to see the heartbeats of the fetuses with ultrasound equipment.

Continuing the creation journey of your new puppies on day thirty-two their eyelids will start to develop, next you will see their little toes start to grow around day thirty-five,  quickly followed by their claws five days later. Their skeleton and coat start to form around day forty-five. You will be able to see your puppies skeletons and form after fifty days, by taking her to your veterinarian who will conduct an X-ray and count how many puppies she has.

Your new puppies will be completely formed around fifty-eight days and you may notice the mother starts looking for a place where she can give birth. The time is getting close, within the next three to four days your female should be going into labor, it is advised that someone with experience or even your veterinarian should supervise this time because complications could occur.

There are three stages of labor for your female Lhasa Apso, the first can last anywhere between twelve to twenty-four hours. This will be the moment when the first contractions begin in the uterus, sometimes there are no outward signs in this first period. Your pending mother will probably be restless, she may be panting, she may be sick, maybe gone off her food, these are definite signs that she has begun her labor.

Then comes the second stage of labor, it is in this second stage when she will give birth to her newborns, this second stage can also take up to twenty-four hours. Once the first puppy is born the others normally follow between thirty to sixty minutes later for each, on no account should it take more than two hours for each puppy. Having been following your female’s pregnancy with your veterinarian you will have the exact number of puppies that will be born so you’ll know when she has finished.

The final and third part of this labor is when the placenta appears to be completely delivered.  This normally starts in the second stage of labor and the third and final part is when there is no more placenta being delivered, your baby has done her job.

10 How Many Puppies in a Litter?

Now your female has puppies growing inside her you will want to know how many she can bring into the world. How many more little mouths are there to be feed?

Just with other breeds of dogs litter sizes of a Lhasa Apso can vary with up to a maximum of eight puppies. The normal number of puppies in her litter will between four to six though.

To know for sure exactly how many puppies she is carrying you can have your female x-rayed by your veterinarian, where you will be able to see the exact number of puppies.

11 Why Do Dogs Get Stuck Together After Mating?

Once your female and her stud have completed their romantic encounter together you will notice that they remain stuck together, for a considerable amount of time afterward.

The reason and why this happens is a natural phenomenon. After mating the penis of the male becomes stuck inside the female and this can last fifteen to thirty minutes. Although the two dogs may look in pain and cry this is normal and you should not be concerned.

The reason this happens is, as the penis enters the female’s sexual organ the bulbous gland, which is part of the male dog’s penis, begins to swell and becomes too large to withdraw. During the time they are stuck, which can last for as long as thirty minutes the male organ will continue ejaculating sperm, this, in turn, will impregnate your female. After this time, which looks stressful the bulbous glands will gradually reduce in size and the two dogs will disengage on their own.

If this is your first experience in breeding your dog you must never, I repeat never, try to separate the dogs once they are stuck together, you may hurt both dogs in trying to do so. Also, the fertilization of your female will be unsuccessful with a possible negative result for pregnancy. Leave them on their own and time will play its part.

12 Is my Male Fertile

It can sometimes occur that a male dog will be infertile, but it is not very common.

In rare cases, the male dog might not be able to mate. If the mating act was successful, the fertilization of the female could be unsuccessful. Some reasons why your male dog is infertile could be sudden hormone changes a physical injury or an infection. Ask for veterinarian advice if you are concerned about the fertility of your male Lhasa Apso.

Some things to look out for, a litter size smaller than normal even though your dog has successfully mated with the female. Abnormalities in the sperm could also occur, low sperm count or even misshapen sperm. Again consult your veterinarian who can examine and confirm this dysfunction. There may even be hormonal problems and obviously, as your male dog becomes older their sperm production will decrease.

13 Think before you breed your Lhasa Apso

Now you have reached the end of this topic I asked you, seriously think about why you want to be breading your Lhasa Apso. What are your motives for doing this? Are you putting your female at risk? Will you be able to meet the financial cost of breeding your female? Do you have space where you live to accommodate twenty-four extra little feet running around? You will be responsible for the health and the well being of these little puppies. They are coming into your home for a few weeks, and before you can sell them you need to care for them as your own children!

Related Questions

Can a large dog mate with a small dog?

Yes, they can!!  Be careful when your female Lhasa Apso is in heat that no big dogs find her. Do not rely on a crate or a garden fence to be her birth control, they should be closely supervised during this time in estrus. A small Lhasa Apso that has been fertilized by a large breed of dog is going to have difficulties when the time comes to give birth to the big puppies. The larger puppies will be almost impossible to pass through the vaginal organ of a Lhasa Apso and cesarean operations are often necessary.

Is Crossbreeding good?

Mixed breed dogs could be called designer dogs, they are bred intentionally from two different adult breeds. Studies have shown that crossbred dogs compared to purebred dogs prove the mothers were superior, giving better care and larger milk production.  Crossbred dogs tend to live longer and are less subjected to inherited diseases that purebred dogs suffer from. There is no prediction of what coat color the cross-breed may have. An example of a cross Poodle-Labrador which is called a Labradoodle could be born with the coat of a poodle or a Labrador or a combination of both!





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