Greyhound Breeding Information
CHOOSING A BREEDING FEMALE
Most Breeders are going to start with a brood bitch. Finding a strong foundation bitch can lead to many years of successful breeding and racing stock. But what do you look for in a breeding female? Well, that is the golden question.
There are many theories, but some important aspects to consider are-:
- The bitches overall racetrack record. If she didn’t race, why?
- Her style of racing
- Was she strong at the end of her races or fast early?
- Was she a good beginner?
- How did she handle herself in a field?
- Was she a keen chaser?
- Her size and confirmation.
- Her bloodlines. Are there many winners in her family?
- Perhaps look closest at her immediate past two generations.
- Her temperament. Is she passive or boisterous?
There are many people involved in the Industry that can offer opinions and guidance on these and other aspects of selection. Greyhound Racing SA can help put you in touch with experienced people.
You may wish to buy the bitch outright, or even consider just leasing the bitch from the Owner.
STUD SIRE DOG
Next step is to select a Stud Dog. Again you need to consider the Stud dogs performance on the race track and at Stud.
Do you select a recently retired dog or go for one with a proven siring record? You should consider most of the points mentioned before.
The Australian & New Zealand Stud Book can help you with sire statistics, 4 generation pedigrees of all sires and many other features. It is available from Greyhounds Australasia.
There is an excellent selection of Sires based locally, interstate and overseas available in South Australia. These Sires can be accessed by using normal mating or by Frozen Semen which is extremely popular.
Frozen Semen is an extremely good option available to breeders. You can select from Stud Sires based all around Australia and the world, without having to travel with your breeding female. Once you have selected a sire, the frozen semen is made available through an approved insemination facility where the breeding female is then inseminated. It certainly widens the scope of picking the right sire for your bitch.
Make sure from the Stud Sire owner or Stud Master that their dog has been registered as a National Stud Sire with Greyhounds Australasia prior to the service.
Stud Dogs stand at varying fees. These fees vary from nothing to thousands of dollars depending on the record and success of the dog.
Once you have purchased frozen semen you are required to transfer it into your name with Greyhounds Australasia.
For information on Stud Sires and Approved Frozen Semen Inseminators, contact Greyhounds Australasia.
PREGNANCY & WHELPING
Pregnancy is divided into three periods or trimesters. 0-3 weeks; 3-6 weeks; 6 weeks to whelping.
The gestation period is 63 days plus or minus 2 days. Take particular note of the mating dates and monitor the breeding female accordingly.
Feeding levels for the bitch during the first 3 weeks generally don’t change, however, during the last trimester the food intake for the bitch needs to be increased sometimes up to 1-1/2 times.
Some bitches become very fussy eaters during pregnancy and may have to be coaxed with treats, e.g. cooked meats or cat food. Get vets advice before appetite stimulants are used.
During the last week she can be introduced to her whelping box, which should be warm/cool and be easily cleaned. A few days before whelping the ligaments and tissues in her pelvis relax and the spines over her lower back become more prominent. If she develops filling (retains fluid) in the lower hind limbs, it will go after whelping. Diuretics must not be used. Very close to whelping, her temperature will drop to sub 37° and she may start showing signs such as tearing up paper, 'nesting' etc.
If the discharge is green/black or contains excess blood, Veterinary advice should be sought.
You may assist whelping with great care.
The use of Oxytin or calcium injections should only be through a Veterinary surgeon.
Strictly, rearing begins after whelping. The bitch should be fed all she wants to eat and a well balanced diet and supplemented with calcium.
Puppies should get a good drink from the bitch soon after whelping to kick start their immune system. Food is usually offered at 3-4 weeks of age.
Remember it must be palatable and easily digestible at this stage.
A worming program can be started at 2 weeks of age. When pups become more mobile, they must be able to exercise freely. This will pay dividends in the future. Vaccinations are required as per the Rules of Greyhound Racing, pups must be vaccinated (C3) between 6-8 weeks and (C5) between 10-16 weeks.
If pups are reared at home prior to breaking in, good quality food and the provision for exercise are mandatory. GRSA are able to provide details of rearing and breaking-in establishments.
A DNA test will need to be done prior to registering as a breeding female. Contact Greyhounds Australasia to arrange a DNA kit to be sent. The charge for the Kit is $180 inc. gst, however, GRSA provides a rebate once she has been registered as a breeding female.
NOTIFICATION OF SERVICE
Once the bitch has been served the Insemination Facility will notify Greyhounds Australasia who intern will notify Greyhound Racing SA or if the bitch is naturally served the Stud Master will notify GRSA of the service who will then forward the relevant paperwork to register the resultant pups to the breeder.
A Notification of Whelping form must be completed and received by Greyhound Racing SA within 14 days of whelping. This form must be completed, whatever the result of the mating. There is no charge accompanying this form.
A litter registration form is to be completed by a GRSA approved marking official in your area and must be lodged with Greyhound Racing SA within 4 months of whelping.
Pups must be vaccinated (C3) between 6-8 weeks and (C5) between 10-16 weeks. A proof of vaccination form must be lodged with Greyhound Racing SA with the litter registration form. Please contact GRSA and we will send you the litter registration form.
Restrictions and requirements regarding moving of a litter from address of whelping also apply. GRSA reminds breeders to seek advice on Rule requirements.
On receipt of the litter registration and proof of vaccination forms by Greyhound Racing SA, naming forms will be issued. If you sell a dog before naming, the naming form (signed) together with a transfer of an unnamed greyhound are to be passed onto the new owner.