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When Is A Dog Too Old To Have Puppies? 3 Tell-Tale Signs Your Dog Is Too Old

One of the most important checks a dog breeder or anyone looking for a puppy considers is the ages of the parents, especially the age of the dam. Such a factor maters not only for the puppy but also for the mother.

So, when is a dog too old to have puppies? At what age can you breed a female dog? What signs should you watch out for, so you know your pooch is ready to be a mummy?

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What Are The Symptoms Of A Dog In Heat

If you want to start breeding, look out for the below signs:

  1. Vigilant, attentive and wide awake posture
  2. The tail position might be stiff, upright wagging, or even tucked between the legs.
  3. Apprehensive and uneasy behavior
  4. Repeatedly urinating
  5. Hostile towards female dogs
  6. Warm and embracing towards the owner
  7. Vaginal discharge

When Is A Dog Too Old To Have Puppies

There are a few factors to consider to help you know when a dog is ready to have puppies.  However, figuring out what is the oldest age a dog can have puppies” can be more difficult as there are many factors to keep in mind, these include: 

1. Age

The breeding age will depend on the dog’s breed. Most dogs are ready to have pups by as early as 6-12 months. However, one should start breeding before the second estrus cycle.

Regardless of the dog’s breed, senior dogs should retire from having puppies. Seniority will, however, vary from one breed to the other. Smaller dogs and toy breeds hit the senior age when they hit ages 10-12. Larger breeds have a shorter span where they reach their senior ages between 5-6 years. 

These differences crop from the breed’s body weight and size. According to studies, a dog is more susceptible to diseases based on its body size and weight. Also, hormonal and genetic factors play a role in determining how long an organism lives. 

All this shows that the older a dog is, the weaker its body gets. At this stage, having puppies will put the dog’s health on the red line. The younger the dog is, the better it is to breed healthy puppies. But how young should the dog be? 

2. Breed

Some breeds have health issues that start early in life than other breeds. One should factor psychological and other issues when planning to breed a dog. With this, some dog breeds need to retire from having pups earlier to avoid complicated pregnancies. 

Some small breeds like chihuahuas should retire from breeding once they hit 5 years of age. Large breeds should retire at the ages of 5 to 6, while medium-sized dogs will depend on any prevailing medical issues. Remember some dogs will have extenuating circumstances that may prevent them from breeding altogether. 

3. Health status

It would help if you did not breed a female dog that has an inheritable medical condition. The same applies to the female dog’s offsprings.

While the offspring might not show signs of the condition, the genes might still have the medical condition strand, which can be passed to its offsprings. With time, the breed line fo this dog will decline. 

The health conditions to consider are:

  1. Heart conditions 
  2. Thyroid 
  3. Blindness
  4. Hip dysplasia 

Breeding a dog requires a lot of checks, for example, when a dog is too old to have puppies. Depending on the dog’s breed and age, the right time to stop breeding could be ages 5 to 12 years.

Hopefully, we’ve given you enough information to answer the question “when is a dog too old to have puppies”. You should also consider other factors like health to ensure you keep the dog’s lineage as healthy as possible. 


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