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Nursery age

Margaret Johnson

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  • 3 weeks later...

Kind of an offshoot question -


I know there's two schools of thought on the whole nursery class thing ... but I'd be interested to hear some thoughts from those who do run nursery.


If you've got a nice female you want to breed, and it just so happens she comes into season in May and November. Would you breed her in May to have a just-after-the-nursery-cutoff litter, or would you wait till November? If you breed her in May, and she has the pups in July, assuming she doesn't wean the pups until August, the finals are in September ... are you able to sharpen her up for the finals? Would you not even dare try? Is it too much on the dog? Is this even a thought? Do you prefer to trial males for this reason? I am noticing the birth dates on some of the litters by the trialers in the area, and am noticing a bit of a trend to where the dogs they trial are males. Is there any validity to this thought process, or does it not even come into play and I am overthinking this?


(I understand this is all very hypothetical ... so let's assume the starts and the moon and the sun lined up just right to make this all happen perfectly, and it's a respectable breeder, blah blah blah, k?)

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A good healthy young bitch should be able to whelp and wean a summer litter and still be sound for the Nursery trials in September. Ray bred Sally in May of 1999, she whelped 7 healthy pups on 8/3/99, weaned them 4 1/2 weeks later just before they set out for Virginia. Sally won the Nursery Championship and was none the worse for wear. If she had her way, she would have left her pups at 2 weeks old and gone back to work then :-)


I'm sure the UK shepherds who have real 'using' dogs and bitches don't have the luxury of giving them 6 months off for a whelp.


YMMV, of course,



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