This decision involves several factors, many of which are really good reasons for considering this question early. You will avoid many of the more common problems with a little forward planning. Mammary cancer in an older bitch that has not been spayed or a caesarian section for an unplanned pregnancy are two of these. Having your dog spayed before her first season will ensure that she has the maximum health benefits and the best chance against mammary cancers. This protection decreases after each season. Early spaying will help protect your dog against vagina prolapse, uterine infection and ovary and uterus cancers.
Breeding your dog can also be a very rewarding experience, but this also requires careful consideration. You will need to consider where you will have the puppies and if you will be able to handle them on your own. Will you be able to take the time off work if they need to be assisted. Will your budget allow for these puppies to be properly fed and dewormed? Will you be able to handle a medical emergency, should one arise? Something else to think about is how you are going to find good homes for your puppies.
Deciding to breed you dog will give you time to plan. Dogs are usually only bred after they are fully mature, which is more than two years old. It is important to consider your dog’s temperament to know whether they will make a good parent. Many dogs are euthanized because of bad temperament and behavioral problems. Health screening tests can be arranged for most breeds. This will clearly show if your future puppies are vulnerable to inherited conditions. Advanced planning will also give you time to find a suitable mate. Your local kennel club should be able to assist with this.
Accidental breeding can be very difficult to avoid. Males can smell a female in heat for long distances, while the females are driven to the males. Deliberate breeding is not recommended as it could put your dog’s health at risk. There does not seem to be much point in bringing more dogs into a world that is already full of them. The benefits of spaying by far outweigh the negatives, but don’t spay before the reproductive hormones have done their important work. Allow time for the bones, joints and internal organs to properly develop. Do not rush spaying. There is a right time for it. Spaying is major surgery for your dog and poses health risks if done too early.