Breeding strong, healthy puppies means that the parents need to be of good stock and low risk of hereditary disease and other defects. It is also important to make sure the female is healthy and taken care of well throughout the pregnancy. We offer a range of services to ensure the best outcome when breeding your dogs.

Collecting, Evaluating, Freezing and Storage of Canine Semen

Fresh semen is the best option when it comes to artificial insemination but this is not always possible.

Alternative options are fresh chilled or frozen semen.

Fresh semen can be mixed with a suitable protective diluent and chilled to a low temperature making it possible to keep the sperm viable for several days, enabling it to be sent to other vet clinics throughout New Zealand. Using a teaser female that is in heat will enhance the success of the collection, but can be done without. Collection is done via massage of the prepuce and a collecting cone. It is done in a specific way to ensure minimal prostatic fluid is mixed with the semen so fertility is not reduced. Extension fluids are often added to nourish the semen. The semen is checked for motility (should be over 70%) and appear normal.

Once collected, evaluated and frozen, semen can be preserved for an unlimited period of time in liquid nitrogen at –196 degrees C. This technique makes it possible to preserve the genetic heritage of high-value stud dogs. Breeders are able to add genetic diversity to their dogs’ pedigrees by importing semen from most parts of the world. It is preferable to freeze a dog’s semen before it is 8 years of age.

Identifying Ovulation Timing

Dogs are different to most mammals in that ovulation occurs when oestrogen levels are declining and progesterone levels are increasing instead of when oestrogen is increasing. Serial blood progesterone measurements determine when ovulation is occurring. The optimal period for fertilization in bitches is between two and four days after ovulation when the ova are mature.

Blood Progesterone Testing

Breeding can be an expensive process and it is important to get the timing right to ensure the best chance of success. To determine when the female is ready, quantitative progesterone blood tests need to be done. This test can give a high accuracy as to her ovulation. This is especially important when using chilled or frozen semen or if the bitch or dog have to travel for breeding. It is advised to do the first blood progesterone test on day 8 after the first sign of bleeding. To successfully monitor the heat cycle she will require between 2 and 5 progesterone tests.