Is my 14-Year Old Male too Old to Breed?

by Deanna
(Westminster, CO)

I have a 14 year old male trying to breed with my 2 year old female shih tzu ,is the male too old? the female is definitely willing and my male sure has been trying.

Anonymous Answers:
He is too old and we have enough dogs in the world. Please do not breed him.

Our Answer :
Technically a 14-year old male is not too old to breed. According to the American Kennel Club a healthy male dog may remain fertile his whole life and can mate anytime. The bigger question, in our opinion, is why do you want to breed? Are your Shih Tzus AKC registered? Are they from a strong line of award winning dogs?

If you’re breeding for profit and the answer to those questions is no, chances are you will have put your female dog through the risk and trauma of whelping for little or no financial gain. And we mean this with no disrespect, but the fact that you’re asking this question on a blog indicates that you’re not a knowledgeable professional breeder with the goal of maintaining the highest breed standards.

Most Shih Tzu owners believe their little lion dogs are about the most adorable creatures on earth – and who can argue that? It’s understandable to want babies from the most adorable creature on earth, but in most cases it’s not actually the wisest decision for anyone involved, especially not for the female.

Before subjecting your female dog to an experience that can literally kill her, please consider these reasons not to breed.


Approximately 8 million new dogs enter shelters every year and about 80,000 cats and dogs are euthanized each week in the U.S. Don’t think purebreds end up in the shelter? About 25 percent of all dogs in the shelter are purebreds.

Responsible, professional breeders work for the betterment of the breed but hobby breeders only add to the problem of overpopulation.

Health Risks

Life-threatening complications are a reality for dogs giving birth. While Shih Tzus are generally healthy dogs, smaller breeds do experience more problems than larger dogs during the process of pregnancy and birth. Losing a beloved pet certainly takes the enjoyment out of breeding “for fun.”

Investment of Time

Are you prepared to stay up all night supplementing feedings if your Shih Tzu doesn’t supply enough milk for her pups or decides motherhood really isn’t her thing?

Will you provide the manual stimulation needed to help puppies urinate and defecate, and will you keep their bedding area clean and provide safe space where a pack of newborns can roam without being harmed?

Taking care of puppies seems like a delightful job, but in fact in takes a lot of time and commitment to keep multiple puppies safe and healthy.

Investment of Money

What’s wrong with breeding a litter or two to make a little money? The reality is that unless you’re selling papered Shih Tzus from champion lines there’s not a lot of money to be made after your expenses are covered.

Vet bills for the mother plus special food, emergencies, vaccinating and deworming puppies are costs that add up quickly. And sadly, approximately 10 to 30 percent of all puppies die shortly after birth. Most hobby breeders find that what little profit they realized was not worth all the trouble involved.

Comments for Is my 14-Year Old Male too Old to Breed?

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Jan 27, 2014
a view from our rescue
by: Ed new jersey

My wife and I run a rescue in New Jersey. It is a all breed rescue. We have a special place in our heart for Shih-tzu and I can tell you for sure what you thinking is a bad idea.

We almost always have Shih-Tzu puppies. When we get them at 8 weeks and still have them at 16 weeks the vetting alone is $475. For each puppy. 3 distemper shots, bordatella shot, fecal test ( many puppies have parasites from there mommy). Meds and oh yes heart worm treatment.

What will you do if one or more have a genetic problem that prevents the puppy from being placed? Like liver shunt, dry eye, miss shaped kidneys and many others.

Did you know if you place it and the owner still want it you would have to pay the vet bill up to twice the price what the new owner paid. If you still wanting to breed I hope youre not from NJ... we don't have much room left.

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