First pregnancy

Reader Question on Labrador Breeding Followed by Suggestion From Our Vet

Should you breed a Lab during her first heat?

Suggestion From Our Veterinarian on Labrador Breeding


I do not recommend that you breed your Lab during her first heat. I do not know how old she is, but dogs can come into heat as early as 4-6 months of age and they are certainly not fully mature at that point. If you are new to dog breeding, I recommend that you use this time to learn all about how to breed your dog responsibly. Labradors have more than their fair share of genetic disorders. At a minimum, all potential breeding animals should be tested for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and exercise intolerance and collapse. Take a look at The Labrador Retriever Club’s website to get a feel for all that is involved in breeding these dogs.

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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