Nothing is more adorable than a roly-poly Pug puppy. These little dogs only grow to a maximum size of around 18 pounds, so they are very small puppies.
Pug puppies are an absolute delight, but they do come with some challenges and, if you multiply those challenges by an entire litter of puppies, they become compounded.
If you’re thinking about breeding your Pug, take the time to carefully consider the repercussions of that choice. Keep reading to learn some precautions against breeding Pugs.
Understanding the Breeding Process in Dogs
A dog cannot be bred until he or she reaches sexual maturity. The age of sexual maturity varies from one breed to another, though in females it frequently occurs with the first heat cycle around 6 months of age.
Just because a dog is sexually mature, however, doesn’t mean that you should start breeding that early – many vets recommend waiting until a male is at least 1 year old and until a female has gone through two or three heat cycles.
The heat cycle (or estrus) is the cycle through which the female becomes fertile and receptive to breeding. If she is mated with an intact male dog at the right time in her cycle, she will become pregnant.
Following conception, the female dog will enter the gestation period during which the puppies develop inside her over the course of about 63 days. At the end of the gestation period, the puppies are born.
Precautions Against Breeding Pugs
As wonderful as the Pug breed is, there are some anatomical challenges that can make breeding risky. As a toy breed, the weight of a developing litter of puppies can put a lot of strain on a pregnant mother and it may cause structural damage to her body.
Pugs are also a brachycephalic breed which means that they are subject to a collection of anatomical abnormalities that can limit their breathing. Any Pug used for breeding should be free from these abnormalities as much as possible to avoid spreading the problem to the puppies.
This breed is also prone to a musculoskeletal issue called hemivertebra which can be inherited, so Pugs used in breeding need to be screened for this disease.
A final challenge that could make breeding your Pug dangerous is the fact that these dogs have large, broad heads – natural birth for Pug puppies can be challenging and dangerous. In fact, many Pug puppies are delivered via C-section for this reason.
Not only can surgery be dangerous for dogs (especially toy breeds), but it can be costly. Add to all of these things the cost and challenge of raising and feeding an entire litter of puppies and you have a number of valid reasons to choose not to breed your pet Pug.
In the end, it is your decision whether you choose to breed your Pug or not. Before you make your choice, however, think carefully and do some research to ensure that you have a depth of understanding about the risks of breeding.
The worst thing you can do is breed your Pug on a whim just because you want a litter of puppies – a responsible breeder will take the welfare of his dog into account and take steps to ensure her safety as well as the safety of the puppies.