Long Distance Breeding
So, you have your bitch in Oregon and you want to breed to a stud dog in Florida. What do you do? This is a dilemma faced by many breeders for many years. You could put your bitch on an airplane and ship her to the stud dog, or you could get on the plane with her and deliver her to her intended. Now, there is another option and that is the use of fresh chilled semen, which many breeders are finding to be very successful.
Fresh chilled semen has been around for a few years now and it is gaining much wider acceptance every day. The process involved in its use is rather simple. First, you need to make sure you have buffer and shipping boxes available. The next step is to start progesterone testing the bitch to determine when ovulation occurs to insure a successful breeding. This testing can easily be done in your veterinarian’s office with the use of an in office kit. It does not need to be sent out to a reference laboratory. After the determination of the optimal breeding dates the collection and insemination of the semen can be arranged with the veterinarians on both the collecting and inseminating end. I have successfully shipped semen by Fed Ex, UPS, Express Mail, and regularly scheduled airlines. The method of shipping will be determined by which method will work best in each individual case. As with any other breeding all the necessary arrangements should be made ahead of time and not wait until the bitch is in season. Once the bitch comes into season the final last minute logistics can be arranged.
The actual procedure is very simple. Once it is determine when to ship the semen, the owner of the stud dog takes the dog to their veterinarian and has the collection done and packaged for shipping. Both the stud dog owner and collecting veterinarian need to fill out their portions of the AKC form and send the form along with the sample. The form can be downloaded from the AKC website. Once the semen arrives at the destination the bitch is brought in for insemination. Most of the time the insemination is a routine intravaginal insemination. Rarely a surgical insemination may be needed. That decision is one the owner of the dam and their veterinarian will have to make. When a routine intravaginal insemination is done I would recommend two breedings with one day in between each breeding.
The main advantage of using fresh chilled semen is that you do not have to ship the bitch. Shipping the bitch can be stressful on her and may also be impossible due to airline embargoes due to weather. Another advantage is that the owner of the stud does not have to board the bitch for any length of time. The cost involved with the collecting, shipping, and inseminating are usually offset by the savings in not having to pay the shipping costs for the bitch.
The disadvantages involved in the use of fresh chilled semen are that you have to coordinate two veterinarians and a shipping company to accomplish the breedings. Since most breeders have a close relationship with their veterinarians that does not seem to be a major obstacle to overcome. The biggest problem comes when weekends or holidays come into play. Sometimes that creates a problem for the collecting, shipping, or inseminating. However, I have found that in the vast majority of the cases this can be handled rather easily.
The two main resources for the purchase of buffer and shipping containers are International Canine Semen Bank, headquartered in Sandy, Oregon and Camelot Farms in College Station, Texas.