Quite some time ago, we changed our breeding policy on whether to breed back to back or every other heat (once a year). There have been several studies done on what is healthier for a breeding female and the results of these studies show that it is healthier for a female to be bred every heat and for only a few pregnancies. While we do plan a breeding every heat, we do not force a breeding every heat (our dams ultimately decide, once health cleared for pregnancy, whether they are receptive to a sire).
First and foremost is the health of our females. We consult with our vets frequently and our dams undergo regular health checks. Prior to any breeding, it’s important that the female has returned to a healthy weight (if bred previously) and is overall healthy and is receptive after the previous breeding. A heat will be skipped should it be determined that it's not in the best interest of the female or should the dam not be receptive to a sire.
We believe females should breed only a limited number of times. This means that our breeding females retire earlier than those who are bred every other heat. This ensures that they are only breeding in their prime breeding years when it is healthier and safer for both dam and puppies. Our dams will typically be retired by 4 years of age and be spayed, living out the remainder of their life with us as our beloved family pets. We do NOT re-home our retired dams or sires. They are our family dogs first and foremost and our close relationship with them helps us understand them, their health, and demeanor which in turn helps guide us in making the best decisions for their health and the health of their litters.