In this post we are going to go through everything you need to know about whippet breeding, to help you better understand and care for your pet when she’s pregnant.
If you are going to breed your whippet, ensure that if you have a female, she is at around two years of age, or if you have a male, that he is at least one year old.
This will ensure that they are both sexually mature and that your female is prepared both physically and mentally for the pregnancy and raising a litter of puppies.
When your female becomes pregnant, ensure to increase her food intake slightly every week until she is eating 3 times her usual amount in the last few weeks of pregnancy.
She will also need to have all her vaccinations up to date, and a comfortable place to rest and give birth on.
While puppies will be fully dependent on their mother for the first 4 weeks of life, after that time they will begin eating solid food.
At first, it must be softened, until they are able to chew properly at 6 weeks. In addition, at that age, they will need to begin their training.
Remember that while litters are usually from 5 to 7 puppies, more or less can occur, and you will need to be prepared in case your litter turns out quite large.
Whether you own a male or female Whippet, you may perhaps have thought about, or considered breeding your Whippet at some point.
If this is the case, there are many things you need to familiarise yourself with before even going down that path.
Normally, you will need to do in-depth research on Whippet breeding, pregnancy, raising puppies, and everything related.
However, this article covers just about everything you need to know regarding Whippet breeding in simple terms.
If you want to breed your Whippet, you don’t need to go far to find out valuable, accurate information on this subject.
This article will explain all the things you need to know in detail and will give plenty of insight into the world of Whippet breeding.
When Are Whippets Able To Breed?
Whippets are able to breed when the female is in heat, and the male has reached sexual maturity.
A female Whippet’s first heat will usually occur from around 9 months to 1 year. However, some females can get their first heat even as early as 6 months. Male Whippets, on the other hand, usually reach sexual maturity at 6 months.
However, you should never breed a female Whippet or any other dog during their first heat, which can even occur during their adolescent stage, when they are still considered teenagers and only maturing.
Why should a female Whippet not become pregnant during her first heat? Due to the fact that she will not be ready or mature enough to become pregnant, neither physically nor mentally.
At her first heat, the body of a Whippet bitch has not developed adequately for pregnancy. For that reason, it is possible that her growth and development may even be stunted as a result of the early pregnancy that her body is not fully capable to handle.
As well as that, her mind will not have developed or matured to the point of being able to raise her puppies, and she may be confused and doubtful regarding what to do.
So when is the best time to breed Whippets? The recommended age is two years old for a female, as she will be prepared for a pregnancy at that age, and her body and mind will have matured.
On the other hand, when it comes to breeding a Whippet male, the best age is no less than one year old. At the age of one-year-old, your male Whippet will have matured sexually and is therefore ready to reproduce.
How To Care For A Pregnant Whippet
If your female Whippet has become pregnant, this pregnancy is expected to last 63 weeks, more or less. During this time it is critical to give your pregnant Whippet the care she requires and tend to all her needs.
First of all, if you aren’t doing it already, feed your pregnant Whippet a premium dog food that has a balance of carbohydrates, fat, and at least 20% protein.
What your female eats during this period of time must be highly nutritious and energy-dense.
For this reason, besides feeding your female high-quality food, it is also recommended to add from time to time some raw meat or offal, eggs, and vitamins to your dog’s food.
By week 3, it is important to increase your female Whippet’s food intake by 5 to 10% to sustain the development of the puppies. Keep increasing your dog’s portions slightly every week.
During the last few weeks of pregnancy, and a few following the birth, your Whippet should be eating 3 times the amount she would normally eat. A female is expected to gain at least 15 to 20% more body weight during her pregnancy.
During the time of her pregnancy, a female Whippet will become rather lethargic and her energy levels will decrease.
For that reason, ensure your Whippet has a secure and comfortable place to rest during the time of her pregnancy. This may be a blanket or bedding.
She will further need to get all her dewormings and vaccinations up to date, and preferably a check-up at the vet to ensure she is not having any problems with her pregnancy.
How To Know Your Whippet Is Safe To Breed
To ensure your Whippet is safe to breed, you may want to pass him or her through a series of tests to check if your dog has any genetic defects that could be passed down to offspring.
These include a screening to detect any eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy or cataracts.
Both diseases can lead to blindness, but while there is a treatment for cataracts, there is no treatment for progressive retinal atrophy.
As well as that, it is important to have your dog tested for a mutation in the Myostatin gene, which can cause a Whippet puppy to be born with abnormal muscularity that can cause cramps.
Both the male and female Whippet parents should be at an appropriate weight for this breed and in good health.
They should also have good eating habits, high energy levels, and not showing any signs of aggressive behaviour.
The Average Litter Size For Whippets
If you feel like you are ready to breed your Whippet, what size litter can you expect? On average, a litter size would be 5 to 7 puppies. However, it is possible to get more or fewer puppies in a litter.
While more Whippet puppies may initially make more profit when selling your puppies to new owners, it also means more work, time, and dedication involved in looking after them during the first few weeks of their life.
How To Care For Whippet Puppies?
0 to 4 Weeks
During the first 4 weeks of their life, Whippet puppies are fully reliant on their mother to provide for all their needs, including food and warmth.
The things you will have to ensure are that your puppies are kept in a warm and secure environment.
You will also have to monitor their weight and size. Puppies should grow rapidly during the first few weeks, but if you are not seeing a noticeable size increase, it may be a concern that needs to be checked out.
4 to 8 Weeks
From around 4 weeks, Whippet puppies can start eating solid food, but only wet puppy food or kibble softened by soaking in hot water.
They should eat 3 to 4 times a day, around 1/4 of a cup, as they will still likely drink milk from their mother.
At 6 weeks, you should start to give your puppy dry kibble or one that hasn’t been softened in any way, as at this age they are able to properly chew and digest such food.
At this age, feed your puppies 4 to 5 times a day, in little portions of around 1/4 cup spread evenly throughout the day.
At 6 weeks, your puppies will become energetic and will play with the litter. If they are not playing or eating, they will be sleeping.
Now is the time to begin basic obedience training. The puppies will be old enough to teach certain commands and you can start to house train them. You will also have to get your puppies vaccinated and dewormed at the vet.
At 7 of 8 weeks (8 to 10 is usually recommended in smaller breeds), your Whippet puppies are ready to go to their new homes.
More On Whippet Breeding
While Whippet breeding can earn a moderate to high amount of profit, don’t always expect to make a lot of money from it.
Litter sizes vary, and also a lot of money that is earned by selling puppies may initially just be the recompensation for what went into the breeding ordeal.
Feeding and care for your female Whippet and the puppies will require money. Additionally, if you want to earn a reputation for your dog by attending shows, it will also be of a cost.
Some people choose to put their male Whippet up for stud service, which will earn profit through other people wanting your dog’s service for their female dog.
On the other hand, if you have a female looking for a male, you will have to pay for the stud service.
Selling your Whippet puppies will earn you from around £800 to £2000, or even more in some cases. The price depends mostly on whether the parents are of champion descent, and on the quality of the puppies.
Many people choose to simply breed their Whippets because of the passion for these dogs, and the experience of raising a litter of puppies from birth
A few other things to consider when breeding Whippets is that you should not breed your female every heat. Otherwise, it can tire out and weaken her body in the long run.
Breeding your female at least every second heat will give her enough time to recover from her last pregnancy.
Also, you should not breed your Whippet’s after 8 years old. This is because there are more health risks associated with breeding after that age, both in females and males.
If you are a Whippet enthusiast considering Whippet breeding, it is a completely safe process as long as certain things are taken into account.
This includes making sure your Whippet is healthy, tested for any diseases, and that you have enough money to invest into it.
Also, ensure you have enough resources to invest into the process of your dog’s pregnancy and raising a litter of puppies, which will not only require constant supervision, but also plenty of attention and care.
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Hello. I’m Luke- the founder of WhippetCentral. I’m somewhat of a whippet nut and have been for most of my life. In that time, I’ve owned and raised numerous whippets. Bonnie is my latest girl; she is currently eight years old and keeps me very busy! Understanding the need for whippet-specific content, I decided to create this blog to share what I have learned and to share my expertise regarding owning and raising whippets – the right way!