Firstly, the contents of this article are not my opinion, but information I have gleaned from various sources both on the internet, in books and from reproduction specialists.

Please note that the UK Kennel Club does not advocate back to back breeding and will not register a litter born within 12 months of a previous litter.

Breeding a female back to back simply means breeding on consecutive seasons without a break in between and often breeding for several consecutive heats.When breeding back to back, the breeder tries to get his female pregnant twice in a row, or even more, and will then sometimes let her rest for several cycles or completely retire her from the breeding program.

However, some back to back breeding can be pushed to the extreme and done consecutively over three, five, or even all of the bitch’s heats without any consideration for her overall health.

First of all, before making any decision on whether breeding back to back or waiting to skip a season is best, there are multiple points to consider:

1. Were there any complications during the last pregnancy?

2. Was the litter size way above average for the breed?

2. Did the bitch have a C section on the last pregnancy?

So ignoring the ethics, when discussing back to back breeding there are two sorts of breeders

Those who believe it to be inhumane and only carried out for monetary gain without a care for the bitch, and those who defend themselves saying the return of a heat after pregnancy is a natural sign of readiness for a new pregnancy.

So what is best for the bitch's health?

The most common thought amongst breeders is to let the bitch skip at least one season between pregnancies to allow the dogs body to rest and recover.

Some believe that a bitch should be bred on every season up to 3 or 4 litters, then spayed and retired from breeding. The philosophy behind this is that a bitch's body is in her prime in the first few years of her life with her progesterone levels being at their highest to prepare the endometrium, or uterine lining, as a uterine supportive environment to welcome a fertilized egg. As a bitch gets older, her levels of progesterone decrease causing the regeneration of the uterus to become more approximate. Bitches of age six and over have a 33.3% less chance of conceiving than bitches under 6 years of age. Whether a pregnancy occurs or not, the bitch goes through the very same progesterone effects. Therefore, breeding a younger bitch back to back makes use of a healthier uterus. She can retire earlier than other bitches that are not bred back-to-back but bred until much older, thus using a much less capable uterine support system.

However, Pregnancy and whelping are extremely damaging on the female's body and support system and even with the help of modern science, canine pregnancy still kills thousands of dogs every year worldwide. Back to back breeding is extremely demanding on the mother’s biological resources and energy levels. Therefore, it is also a good idea to skip a heat in order to let her whole body recover perfectly and regenerate before becoming a mother again.