Girl dogs of different blood lines and different breeds come into season on different cycles. Lady humans cycle every 28 days or so and ovulate in the middle of their cycles. Lady Tibetan Terriers cycle every seven to eleven months (in my experience) but most of mine cycle every seven to eight months and ovulate about ten days after their discharge begins.
That’s the simple description of what truly is a complex situation. Figuring out when to breed the bitch to the sire involves science and a little bit of luck.
Some breeds put out a big pheromone radius and have a similarly obvious discharge. Tibetan Terriers have neither. While the pheromones are intoxicating to nearby intact males, the discharge is oftentimes inconsequential and can happen without notice, especially with a Tibetan Terrier puppy under one year old. All you might see is a lot more licking ‘down there’ and maybe even not terribly much more than normal. When I get the sense that someone might be coming into season, I spread white cotton sheets around the house to ensure that I capture any discharge and know when to begin counting for a progesterone test.
Sometimes a natural breeding based solely on when the discharge begins can be done, but progesterone testing gives me the numbers we need to know when ovulation occurs. If I am lucky enough to breed naturally, I charge $1800 per puppy. If I need progesterone testing and artificial insemination, I charge $1950, as my costs to breed are higher. In the beginning, I preferred natural breedings, as I always used boy dogs who lived with me. Now, as my breeding program has grown, several of my stud dogs live in other forever homes. And because I always err on the side of safety to both bitch and stud, I prefer artificial insemination when the stud lives with another family. This way, I know that no one will get hurt, as the vet and I are always in total control of the dogs being bred.
At this time, we have Oliver just beginning to sniff around Gigi and Billie’s privates. He’s my barometer. Soon, we’ll have more excitement and then, it will be time for the boys to be separated from the girls.
Given what I see, my guess is mid-June breedings, with puppies arriving mid-August or so. Summer will be in Princeton and whelping will be in Stowe. At this time, we are planning to breed Gigi to Whitaker (or Oskar) and Billie Jean to Oskar (or Connor). Our last litter was Gigi to Oskar and the puppies were wonderful. Oskar is a proven Kensington stud dog who has sired two of my previous litters and several of Nina Wagner’s litters. He is available to proven bitches, with both Nina’s and my approval required.
Mother Nature never ceases to throw curve balls at me and I appreciate being kept ‘in my place’. It keeps me humble and that is where I want to be. And plans are made to be broken – but we are going to do our best!
Oskar lives in Burlington, Massachusetts and Whit splits his time between Montreal and Stowe, Vermont. Logistics need to be taken into consideration, as do everyone’s travel and work plans. Wish us luck!
Happy Memorial Day!