Breeding & Whelping

78 – Litter Evaluation Workshop: Recorded LIVE with Laura Reeves

Litter Evaluation

Litter Evaluation Workshop: Recorded LIVE with Laura Reeves

Puppy litters are our hopes, dreams, and a bit of mystery for dog breeders.  Every litter is a chance to get it right, to learn a little more about our breeding selections.

Picking the Right Puppy

Our second challenge as breeders is picking the right puppy.  At 8 weeks, puppies are full of potential, and sometimes the best one gets away.

Laura Reeves suggests learning how to evaluate puppy litters with puppies that you are not emotionally attached to.  Avoid the heart string decisions.  Ask for every opportunity on breeds that are not your own, with master breeders to guide you.

Structure, Temperament, and Breed Standard Evaluation

In this workshop, two distinct breeds are evaluated - Smooth Fox Terrier and Wire Haired Dachshunds.

Please enjoy this workshop!

Litter Evaluation
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77 – One Breed, One World: Think and Breed Global with Doug Johnson

One Breed One World

One Breed, One World: Think and Breed Global with Doug Johnson

Doug Johnson


One Breed, One World

Doug Johnson started at a young and impressionable age of 15, and attributes his "no bias" mentality to his youth.

Pursuit in quality is the top priority in working in small gene pools and shrinking gene pools are a factor that even popular breeds are facing.  Pursuit in quality means that there is "no bias" towards or against the kennel or "camp" that the dog is associated with.

Doug Johnson breeds by physical trait, dogs that look alike or resemble each other regardless of the pedigree.

We use science as a tool, but breeding is an art

Genetic testing is a must-use tool, especially when breeding internationally.

Search the Globe

Search the globe and exchange dogs internationally.  Consider building bridges by exchanging dogs with top international breeders for a second or third generation "puppy back".

We can't be be island breeders anymore.

Resist Fashion

Resist the "Americanization of Show Dogs" fashion trend.  Dogs are bred to standards and should look and be the same everywhere.  The English Springer Spaniel in the U.S. for example, has lost proper croup for a "showier" presentation in the ring.

Test and Tell

Yes, Test AND TELL!!!  It's not about you.  Small gene pools cannot survive without the sharing of test results, good and bad.  As genetic testing improves, the necessity for greater understanding, education, communication and reliance on other breeders is needed.  The perfect dog without a specific recessive gene may be in Australia, or Germany or even Russia.

Look at the success of the African Basenji Project featured in Pure Dog Talk #67.

Drop the Ego

Don't believe the press.  You're top winning dog may not be the best example of your breed.  You may have had better dogs in the past, and this is just the best one at this time.

Want success for other people.  Keep every door open and commit to lifelong learning.

Elevate who you are and be honest about your animals.

Be Grateful

Above all, be grateful.  Be grateful for others and grateful for our dogs and what they give us all.


59 – Stud Dog Management #4: Foreign Affairs – Critical Tips Before You Import or Export Semen

Foreign Affairs - Critical Tips to Know Before Import or Export of Semen

Every country has different requirements for import and export of semen and are constantly changing the rules!

Blood Tests

Some require blood testing prior to collection, some after collection, some after a waiting period. If that wasn't enough, the tests vary and even the dilutions of the "standard" tests vary.

Ship the Stuff with an Expert

Sirius is one of the most recommended import/export all-in-one services for shipping semen safely.

Critical Tips to Consider 3-6 Months Prior to Shipping

  • Group Shipments - Planning ahead allows for group shipping with considerable savings.  Solo shipments can range around $2,500.
  • Plan up to 6 months ahead - there are quarantine requirements, USDA requirements, and lots of paperwork
  • Cryrodrum - NEVER USE! Use a dry vapor shipper with aluminum tank, shipped in outer fiberglass and with a shipper rated for 21 days.  Yes, you have to pay round trip shipping on the tank, but better than dead swimmers.
  • Fees on both ends - Someone familiar with procedure has to receive the shipment and work with authorities on acceptance
  • Microchips are essential for most countries as permanent identification
  • Collection vet (in U.S.) has to be currently accredited with USDA
  • Get copies of foreign collections reports for review PRIOR to contracting the semen
  • Ask Sirius for recommendations for collection in another country - get an experienced referral

Why Sirius Fertility?... Service!

Not just a great interview but Sirius handles all the paperwork and timing of tests and shipping.  The Stud Dog owner just needs to follow the directions of when to make appointments.

Sirius handles the AKC registration and DNA so the litter can be registered.

New Gene Pool Horizons - Russia

Russian just opened up for import and export of semen.  Most other countries are also on track to approve or consider import and export.

Just think of the gene pool opportunities in countries that breeders have not had access to.

As Bill McFadden would say:



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56 – Stud Dog Series: Fresh, Fresh Chilled and Frozen – Do’s Don’t and Why-Nots

What's Best for Your Stud Dog?

Fresh, Fresh Chilled or Frozen?

Semen Quality

Fresh is Best... but not always an option.  Fresh semen, of lower quality, might need a little reproductive vet help to improve the chance of getting your bitch pregnant.

Fresh Chilled Semen

Fresh Chilled requires Timing, timing, timing.  For the DIY collectors, prostatic fluid kills the swimmers when shipped.  Most of the commercial media's are good, but some dogs do better in some than in others.

Prepare ahead of time - 7 Day Test

If your are offering your dog out to stud, have him tested in different medias for 7 days to see which is best.  Some have egg, some have caffeine, some have antibiotics.  Be able to responsibly tell the bitches owner that that your have tested and know that he is viable for X number of days.

Better in the Bitch than in the Box

There is only so much life and energy in the sperm cell.  While there are extenders, each day the cells lose integrity... and the sperm still needs to do it's job inside the bitch.

Fresh Chilled lasts 7-10 days, including the time needed to do the job.

Frozen Semen

When in question, go frozen.  Plan ahead with your vet and know Fed Ex delivery times and dates.

Straws vs Pellets

Either is fine.  There are extremely important thawing difference between the two.  Be sure you know if you vet is familiar with the method used, or is able to ask the source of the semen's vet.

Always use the thaw media that comes with the semen.  Frozen, when thawed, lasts only 6 - 18 hours, including the time inside the bitch.

Viability Testing

New technology for viability testing is available - ask if your vet has it.  Motility is not everything.  The protein head of the sperm has to be healthy and viability testing is the only way to know for sure.


Timing, Timing, and Tips

  • THE most important factor is timing and it differs with each method.  Progesterone timing is the key.
  • Collect a young and promising dog at 2 as soon as health clearances are done.  You can always dispose of later.
  • LABEL THE SAMPLE!!! Name, breed, dog's name on every tube.  Don't rely on shipping label.
  • Caution on supplements - be sure to tell reproductive vet everything at least a month prior to using the dog.
  • Stress is a large infertility factor.  Collect a dog before campaigning.
  • Peas, flax and soy - Phytoestrogens convert to estrogen.  Some dogs have sensitivities or may be low in estrogen.



Sirius Canine Fertility held a reproductive seminar.  The lectures will be available soon.

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53 – Stud Dog Series #2: Management for Better Semen Production

Stud Dog Series Management for Better Semen Production

Learn How to Increase Your Stud Dog's "Stuff"

Healthy Semen 101

Sirius Canine Fertility returns for Part 2 of our Stud Dog Series.

LISTEN to episode #53 and learn:

  • Reproductive Soundness
  • Collection Do's and Don'ts
  • Environmental Conditions
  • Stress
  • Managing Stud Dogs around Breeding Bitches


Sirius Canine Fertility Booth

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52 – Simple Tips on Whelping Puppies: Myra Savant Harris

simple tips on whelping puppies myra savant harris

Myra Savant Harris

Whelping puppies is often panic time for even experienced breeders.  Myra Savant Harris, RN, gives simple tips on the do's and dont's of whelping puppies.  What is the green fluid and is it an emergency, to don't swing the puppy, to gurgling pups, to stuck pups... Myra covers it all.

Author & Speaker on Dog Reproduction and Whelping, Breeding and Puppy Care, Myra Savant-Harris is a dog breeder and Registered Nurse with many years experience working in labor & delivery and neonatal ICU. Along with her interest in genetic research and experience dog breeding, she brings a wealth of knowledge and techniques to help you in your breeding program.She also is a sought-after and highly informative, entertaining speaker who had published several books.

  • Advanced Canine Reproduction and Puppy Care
  • Puppy Intensive Care
  • Canine Reproduction and Whelping.

(courtesy of

dont panic when whelping puppies myra savant harris

Help Support Pure Dog Talk - Books by Myra Savant Harris

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50 – Stud Dog: Progesterone – 4 Part Series with Sirius Canine Fertility

stud dog series

Progesterone: Part 1 of 4 on Stud Dog Management

Sirius Canine Fertility

Welcome to the first of four Friday episodes on understanding stud dog management and insemination techniques.

Bridgett Higginbothm, AKC Judge, Bulldog breeder, licensed Vet Tech, and owner of Sirius Canine Fertility (formerly ICSB Grass Valley) and Shannon Stone guest on PureDogTalk and answer many of the common questions about reproductive services.


20 – Bomb Proof Your Puppy: Dr. Gayle Watkins #4

Final Episode from Dr. Gayle Watkins

How to socialize and prepare your puppy during the critical sensitive period up to 16 weeks of age.  Understand the difference between Startle and Fear, what age they occur, how to train Following, and create great temperaments for life.

More Resources and Complete Notes in Show Notes

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17 – Dr. Gayle Watkins: Transition Period in Puppies – Part 3

Dr Gayle Watkins has been breeding and showing multipurpose golden retrievers for 38 years under the kennel name Gaylan’s. Driven by a passion for science, she has taken her background as both a researcher and teacher, and applied it to breed and raise healthy, stable dogs. With the help of hundreds of wonderful Gaylan’s owners, Gayle has produced nearly 70 conformation, obedience, agility, tracking, and rally champions, as well as many Qualified-All-Age field trial goldens and master hunters. She was recently recognized by the AKC as one of the 2016 Breeders of the Year for performance sports. Gayle lives in the mountains of western North Carolina with her husband and longtime breeding partner, Andy Chmar, and her beloved dogs.

Avidog was born from a desire to make a difference in the world of dogs! Co-breeders Gayle Watkins, Marcy Burke and Lise Pratt launched Avidog to provide accessible, science-based, professional education to dog breeders around the world. Through its courses, webinars, seminars and products like their world-famous Adventure Box, Avidog helps breeders and puppy owners bring out the very best in every puppy. Whether you are looking to produce national breed or performance champions, working, service or companion dogs, applying Avidog’s Transformational Puppy Rearing and Evaluation systems to your breeding program will help you reach your personal breeding goals.

See Show Notes for Resources and More

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16 – Bill Shelton: How to Create a Family of Dogs

AKC Judge and Breeder Mr. William Shelton - Coventry Corgis

Bill Shelton, a long time breeder of Pembroke Welsh Corgis, lecturer on Canine Anatomy, dog writer, is also an advocate of preservation breeders and the future of our breed's gene pools.

Dr. Beckie Williams - Coventry Corgis - obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University in 1985. She practices in Yorba Linda, CA and has a special interest in reproduction - breeding, whelping and neonatal car.

Coventry Corgis is renowned for generations of Championship Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and received the Winkie Award for Breeder of the Year in 2013.

Bill Shelton and Dr. "Beckie" also share a mutual interest in the restoration of their classic Craftsman homes in a National Historic District.



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