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Breeding your Pomeranian

dam nursing pups; pups at 6 weeks
Breeding can be a rewarding experience, if done with care and planning.

Photo Left: Lemon nursing her pups; Photo Right: The pups at 6 weeks old; Foo Foo, Blondie, Smokey and Snowy 
Photo courtesy of Ekachai Chuchuen and Norman Allin, Bangkok Thailand
Thinking of Breeding Your Pomeranian?

Think about this carefully before you decide to breed your Pomeranian. This is not to be taken lightly and research should be done before undergoing a task requiring so much responsibility.

There is so much involved to make sure that breeding Pomeranians produce healthy puppies!

If you are confident that you can handle the responsibility of breeding your Pom, do keep in mind that this is one of the smallest toy breeds that exist and ethical breeding will involve placing the needs and well-being of the dam, sire and future puppies above all else.  
You will be spending money and dedicating a lot of time to your commitment, whether you decide to have just one litter or if you wish to start a small breeding program.

Important Elements

All Pom owners should think very carefully before breeding their dog. Some people wish to breed "Designer Dogs". These dogs of mixed breeds are given cute names and sound appealing...however technically to do so is to weaken the strength of the Pomeranian bloodline. This is most likely a trend and trends can disappear quickly. 

If you wish to breed your Pomeranian, we would hope that you are planning to breed a purebred to purebred. One of the mottoes of established, reputable breeders is to do so for the betterment of the breed. We suggest that this be taken very seriously.

You will want to pair dogs to produce Poms that are excellent representations of the Pomeranian breed while working hard to eliminate genetic health issues. When this goal is met, another litter of Poms will be born that have a strong bloodline and will be part of the development of the Pom that keeps it strong and compliant to the standards.
group of Pomeranians
Health Checks

To avoid passing on genetic health issues to puppies, both dam and sire should be tested to rule out certain eye disease, hearing issues and orthopedic issues. The AKC requires cardiac, patella and ophthalmologist evaluations. 

• CERF -to check for heritable eye diseases
• Cardiac test, to ensure heart health
• OFA - to check for genetic orthopedic issues including hip and elbow dysplasia 
• BAER - to check for hearing issues
Are you Prepared?

One must be fully prepared before breeding. Ask yourself:

Do you have have the money for this? Breeding involves many veterinarian bills. The pregnancy may have complications. A cesarean section may need to be performed. You will need extra food, possibly milk supplement and more.

Do you have the time? Those newborn puppies need to have a careful eye on them around the clock. Hypoglycemia is just one of the many health issues that can suddenly strike a newborn puppy.

Do you have the emotional strength? Even the best breeders in the world experience loss. Even with years of experience, there may be a puppy or puppies that do not make it. If all goes well, how will you feel when the puppies go to their new homes?

Guidelines & Requirements

Weight: With toy breed dogs, it is always best if the female is larger than the male; with both still falling within the acceptable standard weight. A good example would be a 7 lb. female paired with a 4 lb. male.

Please note: Taking two very small "runt" Pomeranians and breeding them together to produce unnaturally tiny puppies - to be marketed as Teacups - is extremely unethical and will only produce very unhealthy puppies. Any puppies born from that type of breeding will have huge risks of major health problems.

Age: How old should your Pomeranian be when you breed him or her? The AKC states that a dam must not be younger than 8 months and the sire not less than 7 months. Personally, we feel that this is much too young. We recommend a breeding age of 2 to 3 years old for the dam; she will be physically mature yet still have enough youthful flexibility. A male’s sperm will be viable at about 4 months old, however we suggest waiting until the 1 year mark to ensure sperm is strong. Additionally, dogs must be placed in ‘retirement’ at the correct age; it is particularly dangerous to have an older female carrying and delivering litters. In general, a female should be retired from breeding at 7. However, this will vary greatly depending on her health, how quickly she recovers, if a cesarean section was needed, the size of her litters and so much more.
Health: It should go without saying that you should make sure both dam and sire are healthy before attempting to have them breed. This includes medical checkups to check for hereditary diseases which could be passed on to pups. Aside from the standard genetic testing, the dam's pelvis should be evaluated for proper girth. In addition, consider any other issues that while they will not be passed on to a litter, would cause additional stress to be put on the dog.

How often? How often can you allow your female Pomeranian to breed? Each Pomeranian must be evaluated to ensure that they are ready for a litter. There are two basis methods: You may breed 2 heat cycles in a row and then allow a rest or breed every other heat cycle. Remember, these are guidelines only...your female Pomeranian should be evaluated by your experienced veterinarian to make sure that she is able to safely handle this schedule. For example, if a Pomeranian had a difficult delivery, extra rest in between liters may be needed. Mother nature is in charge when all is said and done. However it is vital that the female Pomeranian be given plenty of rest.

The dam should be retired from breeding between the age of 5 and 7. Your vet may decide that your Pomeranian should retire earlier. Again, medical testing and evaluation must be done for your dog on a regular basis to make sure that she is receiving plenty of rest in between litters and that her body is fully recovering between litters. 
Heat Cycles & Issues

What do you do when your female Pomeranian just does not seem interested in the male? You can help your dog breed. As we are sure you know, male dogs and female dogs are as different as day and night when it comes to breeding. There are a few things to keep in mind regarding your Pomeranian. Most male dogs (un-neutered) will breed absolutely at any time. There are very few exceptions when a male is just not interested in a female dog in heat.

A female, of course will only be receptive to a male when she is in heat. A Pom will go into heat about twice a year. However, there is a big misconception regarding this: Once showing the signs of heat, the dog will most likely not immediately breed the first day. For some dogs it is over 2 weeks after the signs. The average time to allow for breeding is anywhere between 1 and 17 days. Every dog is different. The good news is that every dog has a pattern.

Once you figure out what your Pomeranian's pattern is, you will know exactly which days she is ready.
female Pomeranian looking in mirror
In addition, a female dog does not always want to mate, even when she is ovulating. This is normal. This dog breeding tip may help: When she is in full heat, place the male in the room with her. Stay by her side and rub her stomach and back. When she seems completely relaxed, then allow the male to make his attempt. 

When she is ready, she will flag her tail and be more receptive but always respect her decision to accept a mate or not. To try and force a paring or tie puts an incredible amount of stress on a female. 

Once you know you do not wish to breed your Pomeranian any more, you should have her spayed. A Pomeranian that is not spayed in her later years of life may have severe complications of the uterus, it may even turn fatal. It is best for your dog to not breed her...and to have her spayed as early as possible. Spaying even before the first heat greatly reduces the risks of ovarian and mammary cancer. If breeding, when you retire your female you will also want to have a full dental done...and then of course keep your dog forever or find a loving, caring adoptive home.
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