So You Want To Breed?
Pics on this page are of Faith, and her kids,
Klaus and Rebekah

I once pondered the same question. I tried a litter and it scared me half to death! So for years I stayed away from breeding and just bought an occasional pet. About 45 years ago, I decided to try it again. I had raised two healthy boys and was now very confident about being a mom (human or canine makes no difference!) I threw away my Dr Spock baby books and replaced them with every chihuahua book I could find. I went to the dog show and found a handler who familarized me with the breed standard.

I soon realized I was born to be a chihuahua breeder and now cannot imagine my life any other way. I have devoted well over half my life to this tiny little breed! God has been gracious enough to send me help along the way and I cannot turn my back on others that are looking to learn. I now try to do everything in my power to not only contribute to improving the breed, but share what I have learned through the years about breeding.

One of the first lessons one must learn is not every breeder thinks alike, and there are some that might try to discourage you. Don't become a robot to people and their opinions. Visit a few dogs shows and once you've decided the look you wish to strive for, stick with it. You don't have to have exactly what you neighbor has. Look at the standard and decide what it means to you and GO FOR IT! I have tried to provide a step by step outline of the highlights of breeding and will update it from time to time.

The birth of Klaus and Rebekah Oct 23, 2014

Early Signs Of An Approaching Heat

When your darling little girl starts to mount pillows, other animals or even your leg, you will know her heat is doubt 3-4 weeks away! She may come into her first season as early as 6 months, but normally 9-12 months. She becomes more aggressive;yap Chihuahuas have PMS!She is in heat approximately 3 weeks.

We never breed before the 2nd heat, with the 3rd being the best. The first week she has a bloody discharge, which will fade to a light pink coloring, then to a clear coloring.

Standing Heat

Standing heat is time frame when your female will accept a male. The red discharge will have changed to a pink or almost clear color. She will begin to be very flirtatious and will move her tail to one side when she is touched anywhere near the base of her tail. This is called "flagging" the male. If she lifes her rear end up into the air, she is flagging and she should be breed within the next week. We normally breed on the 10th, 11th, 12th day and then stop.
Because every day is credical in the development of the fetus, breeding over a week period has caused us to have an occasional underdeveloped puppy. Those conceived on the first mating will push those conceived on the 7th day and be what my grandson says are "not cooked long enough, Granny."  A normal birthing weight is 3.0 ounces....and these tiny fellows can be as small as .09 ounces. They normally do not survive, despite human intervention.
If you are not sure of the proper day to breed your bitch, you can take her to the vet and he can run despite an Ovulation test.

Pictured Klaus, Rebekah and their dad, Gig-a-watt

Choosing A Male

When choosing a male, remember you are trying to improve the breed so find a male that will compliment your bitch, being sure that both are checked by a vet for healthy hearts, legs and both have good temperaments. Talk to the breeder of the male you wish to use. Ask what traits are behind the particular male that is being taken into consideration. Be leary of the breeder that says there are no faults in their lines. There is NO perfect Chihuahua and they all have some kind of fault. You, as the owner of the bitch, what to make very sure you are not doubling up on common fault. Look for hidden fault that might be in the parents of the two being breed together.  Ask about the siblings of the male you plain to breed to. Don't just look at two dogs and breed them together. Study pedigrees, find the weaknesses and the strong points, being very sure what you are willing to introduce into your line.

Don't be fooled on a little male producing little puppies when bred to a little female. Look at the parents of both the male and the female. Do you remember the "Bell Curve" in school?  Well. if you don't, let me explain it this way.  Picture a bell. On one side of the bell list the smallest dog you know of in the pedigree. On the other side list the largest dog you know in the pedigree. If the male you are breeding to is a pound and his mama as 9 lbs, the puppies from this mating can range from 1 ounce to 9 ounces and if you are breeding a 3 lb bitch, that is not good! She might have difficultly birthing the larger puppy from the larger area of the bell and you will have to head to the vets!

It is hard enough breeding, without finding out there was some hidden 15 pound chihuahua somewhere in the pedigree on the sire's side that you were not told about! Ask zillions of questions....your bitches life depends on it!

How Do You Tell Your Bitch Took?

A rule of thumb.....women carry their babies 9 months,
Chihuahuas carry their puppies 9 weeks!

First few weeks you will notice:

Her vulva will stay slightly swollen at the base
Her temperament becomes more loving and gentle

4th week

We palpate our girls at 4 weeks to see how many puppies they are carrying, if any.
If you do not know how to palpate, I would advise going to the vet after the 28th day

5th week

Your little girl's girlish figure begins to change and she should have begun to show

6th week

You might start to see a clear discharge, oderless discharge. This is fine.
But if you notice it being a green coloring with a odor, call your vet immediately!

7-8th weeks

Between 7-8 weeks you will begin to feel the puppies kicking....oh....what a blessing this is! If you own a stethoscope get it out and listen to the heart beats. If you listen very carefully you can even tell the sex. Males heartbeats are faster. I have hear old timers say the sound is like Morris code. Males are the dots.....females are the dash!

9th week

Your little girl's belly will start to drop and lay lower to the ground.
Her sides look narrower as the puppies line up in the uterine get that bed ready

A Few Things To Have On Hand

Stethoscope- for listening to those little heartbeats!
Clean blankets- keep puppies and mama dry after each puppy.
Vaseline - needed in case the puppy becomes stuck.
Nutra Cal or brandy - to aid mama and jumpstart her puppy
Quick stop - to stop cord bleeding
Scissors & Clippers - We cut the hair around the vulva and teats.
Scale - digital stamp scale is best.
Paper and pen - to write down those weights. The average weight is 3.0
Blow Dryer -blow the puppies dry, make sure you keep your hand over the puppy to gauge the heat!
Heating pad - you need to keep the puppies warm!
Paper towels - to clean the puppies
Thread or hemostat - to tie off the umbilical cord
Camera - You must have those first pictures!
Bible - to keep you focused
Coffee - to keep you await in the wee hours of the morning!
Beer - Give mama a teaspoon if she doesn't appear to have much milk.

The Blessed Event Is Right Around The Corner


Temperature drops to 98 degrees
Eyes dilate
She *might* refuses to eat, although some will eat with up to the minute they whelp!
She might begin to withdraw and want to be alone
She might what to cling to you more, not letting you leave her sight
She tries to rest, but can't get comfortable
Clear discharge appears, remember to call your vet if you care concerned about the color

The Chihuahuas' normal temperature is 101.5, but due to the hormone levels, the final trimester of a pregnant bitch is somewhere around 100. Start taking the temperature around the 56th day of the first mating. You will soon learn that between 12-24 hours before the blessed event the temperature will rise higher than normal (maybe 101) and then drop to 98.6. If your bitch has not had puppies within 24 hours of that drop in you vet!


She will feel cool to the touch and might shiver She starts panting
She will begin to frantically dig
I also give her shredded paper to tear apart, along with her blanket
Might vomit
She keeps licking herself
Mild contractions

Listen to you bitch and your heart. If she is napping between contractions she is probably ok. If you see a bubble protruding, yet she is constantly pushing with no visible puppy something is wrong . Call you vet immediately!


Harder contractions
Water breaks
Pushing much harder

If you bitch is pushing or crying and this lasts over an hour with no puppy,  you could be in trouble. Do not let your bitch push hard for more than 15 minutes. Once you see that head/rear of the puppy, don't wait more than a few seconds before you assist her. Get a towel and gently pull when you see the bitch contract. DO NOT pull when she is not pushing.

Puppies are born covered in membranes which must be cleaned away or the pup will suffocate. The mother will bite and lick the membranes away. Allow her a minute or two after birth to do this; if she does not do it, then you must clean the pup for her. Simply remove the slippery covering and rub the puppy with a clean towel. The umbilical cord may be tied about one inch from the pup and clammed with hemostat. DO NOT JUST CUT; this straight cut will cause bleeding and the puppy could die.

Although I have had successful litters whelped at 58 days, those whelped at 56 days had very little hair and their lungs are not quite developed. Some I saved, some I didn't. Those I saved where tubed for a week before they were strong enough to nurse on their own.

What To Expect The Next Few Days

Watch the mama for a least the first night. Keep them in a quite place and do not let them stress in any way. Be very careful when having puppies during 4th of July. I once had one eat her puppies when hearing all the noises.

A brownish red is charge is normal for a few days. But if it is black or foul smelling, contract your vet as this could be trouble on the way.

Keep count on the placentas. There is one puppy with each placenta, although once I did have two puppies share one placenta! If you are not sure,  retained placentas can be cleaned out with a shot of Oxytocin. Oxytocin also stimulate milk production. The bitch will eat the placentas, but we only allow them to eat one, if they eat any more than one, they get diarrhea.

In the event you must have a section on your bitch, be sure to ask the vet for one of the placentas to take home in a doggie bag. He might give you a strange look, but you will be glad you did! Sometimes mama doesn't realize the puppies are hers because she didn't deliver them herself. By rubbing her placenta on her puppies, she smells herself and readily will accept them.

Things That Can Go Wrong


Chihuahuas are a very small breed with a big skull. Sometimes they just cannot pass their puppies due to a small pelvic. At other times the puppy is twisted in the womb preventing them from being whelped naturally. Another reason is two puppies are trying to come into the world at the same time. Whatever the reason,  we must always be prepared by remembering we not live in a perfect world. It is times like this we must seek the help of a vet experienced in little dogs to aide Mother Nature deliver her young.


I can't stress enough to people starting out, sometimes they just don't make it, for whatever reason. If you can't handle the worst that can happen, then breeding might not be for you.


This condition results when the bitch has trouble supporting the calcium demand of lactation. This condition generally occurs in the first three weeks of lactation and a veterinarian should be consulted immediately.

At first they demonstrate:

nervousness and restlessness
no interest in the pups
stiff, painful gait
Which progresses to:
muscle spasms
inability to stand


Mastitis is an infection of the mammary glands related to heavy milk production and incomplete emptying of the glands. The mother may not let her babies nurse, and the babies may then cry excessively, become weak, and die if not cared for by the breeder. In animals with severe infection, hospitalization and surgical drainage of the mammary glands may be necessary. The babies will need to be hand fed a milk replacement formula to prevent malnourishment or starvation while the mother is sick.

(teats) become swollen, hot, and painful with dark red or purple soft spots.
reduced appetite.


The word “pyometra” is derived from latin “pyo” meaning pus and “metra” meaning uterus. The pyometra is an abscessed, pus-filled infected uterus. Toxins and bacterial leak across the uterine walls and into the bloodstream causing life-threatening toxic effects, Without treatment death is inevitable.

What Might Make You Suspect This Infection?

Usually, she has finished a heat cycle in the previous 1-2 months. She has a poor appetite and may be vomiting or drinking an excessive amount of water. In the more usual “open pyometra” the cervix is open and the purulent uterine contents is able to drip out thus a smelly vaginal discharge is usually apparent.

There is also a form of pyometra called a “closed pyometra” where the cervix is closed. In these cases, there is no vaginal discharge and the clinical presentation is more difficult to diagnose. These patients also tend to smell more than those with open pyometra due to retention of the toxic uterine contents.

Breeding is a neverending story of ups and downs, joys and disappointments. I will add things I've learned as I think back to them. In the meantime, if there is any questions that I have not included, please contact me at and I will do my best to answer them!

Which Is Best For You, Puppy Or Adult?
Two Separate Varieties, LC and SC
What's Underneath That Bundle Of Fur?
Copyright Infringement Warning
A Bit Of Chihuahua History
So You Want To Breed?
To Tape Or Not To Tape
Getting Around The Dog Shows
Show Training Begins At Birth
Housebreaking Your Chihuahua
Is Teacup The Correct Term?
Chihuahua Growth Chart
Chihuahua Share Time

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