Archive for May 24, 2015

What does it mean for a girl Tibetan Terrier to be in season?

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.

Illustration of Estrogen, LH, and Progesterone levels and best time to breed

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.

Georgie Girl and Oliver

Georgie Girl and Oliver

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 has occurred.   Early on in my breeding program, I was able to use natural breedings, as my males 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.  But if I know the stud and he’s proven himself naturally?  That is my preference, every time.  It has been my experience that Mother Nature outperforms Mr. Science and my only failed breeding has been with a questionably timed artificial insemination.

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Billie Jean on the couch

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.

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Oskar, loving springtime on the grass

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!