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FWIW and I just spotted this thread, I believe that a Basset bitch should have 3 seasons before being bred, or be over 2. On the other hand, I don't believe in taking a first litter from a Basset of older than 4 years. And for sure, if you happen to have to have a Section, that's it. If you breed from a young bitch, it's not just about immaturity, but more to do with her giving her all to her litter, maybe at the risk of her own development.

As for males, yes, many breeders do tend to like to use a young dog of around a year, on one of their own suitable bitches, usually a kind experienced one for his first time :)p) not only to see what he can throw, but to give him the experience. After that you'd concentrate on his show career putting him away until he's at least 18 months, if not older. However, some Bassets can help themselves (we had one who mated his first bitch when he was barely over 8 months - it was planned, but on her next season!) although I'd suggest that most need some assistance. I'd never allow mine to be used at stud outside my kennel (and even then only to 'approved bitches') until they had been proven on one of my own - or at least on a bitch with compatible bloodlines owned by friends!

We only bred for our next generation and in truth, I wish I could have kept ALL the puppies (impractical !) - selling them was the worst part of breeding, for me! And for sure, if possible, I tried to get a Championship on all my Bassets, much as coming back to the UK, that was far harder than it was in Canada.
 

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Well since this ancient thread is already up here, I have a question I've been wondering about regarding breeding age. Is there an approximate age at which a male should be retired from being used for breeding? If, for example, a 10 or 11-year-old male sired a litter, would there be some kind of increased risk of health issues/defects with the puppies, or no?
In the UK there used to be an 11 year old top age limit for males. I'm not sure whether that still stands, but to be honest, although the spirit may be willing, physically the old boy may not be as capable as he once might have been - with the knowledge that very few males manage to do any of this 'unaided' in any case :p I'd suggest that once an old boy reaches that stage of his life, it's not really necessary. He surely has a son or two, or a grandson even, to take over his duties!! And for sure, his sperm may not be as viable as it once was.
 
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