Frequently Asked Questions
When should I reach out to you once I notice my female has begun her heat cycle?
The short answer is immediately. For scheduling availability, we ask that you reach out to us as early as possible within the heat cycle so we can coordinate when our services would expected. Email us by clicking here or call/text at 260.633.8699.
Do you take any reservations to ensure Maximus will be available when I need him?
We do not take deposits to reserve your spot with Maximus. For availability, it is best to reach out to us the same day you notice bleeding so we can arrange accordingly.
What health testing have you performed on Maximus?
All information specific to Maximus is included on our website under the tab named Our Dogs. Genetic and OFA testing that has been performed can be found by accessing this link.
How successful is AI and do you offer normal breeding on smaller females?
AI is no less successful than regular breeding. If anything, it can be more successful as AI allows the semen to be deposited as closely to the cervix as possible and we can use gravity to hold it in this preferred spot to even increase our chances.
We have also had great success with semen shipments and have found that the semen extender we use promotes healthy semen during the transit process. Progesterone testing is essential within the process to ensure that we are hitting most optimal breeding days. If you are using a non-reproductive vet to perform the AI, ask them how frequently they do this as experienced vets will have even higher rates of success than less experienced vets.
As far as natural breeding even on smaller breeds, we only perform AI as Maximus has become trained to the process and he has never experienced a live covered breeding. We’ve also found that restricting to only the AI process helps ensure STDs (yes, dogs can get STDs just like humans) are not a worry of concern and thus, we do not require a recent and negative brucellosis test on your female nor do we perform brucellosis testing on Maximus as a result. A brucellosis test can be performed for Maximus at the clients expense, our vet charges $90-$100 and results take between 7-10 days to be returned.
What to expect at the AI appointment?
The stud fee is $800 (for one session or $1,000 for two), which the AI is performed onsite from our home. We recommend that your female has gone “potty” 1-2 hours prior to when AI takes place and does not go to the bathroom for at least 2 hours after semen has been inserted. We do require that your female is leashed until our garage is shut, which then she can be unleashed to get acquainted with Maximus before we collect from him. If your female becomes aggressive towards Maximus or us, we ask that she be leashed once again for safety concerns. If we do not feel safe to perform the procedure, we may ask that you leave without AI being performed.
If performing 2 AI sessions (stud fee is $1,000), we recommend skipping a day in between to allow Maximus to build up his sperm count and provide a better collection. Depending on your female’s heat cycle or traveling arrangements, we could do the second breeding 24 hours after the first, but note that Maximus’s counts may not be as strong as we would had we waited 48 hours in between breedings.
How long does the AI session take?
It generally takes less than 10 minutes for us to collect from Maximus and then another 10 minutes for the insemination process as we prop your female on a forward incline to allow gravity to help us with the process. Most of the time, we can get you back on the road within 20-25 minutes of your arrival.
Can my kids come and watch the process?
While we understand the excitement that comes with meeting Maximus and experience what AI may look like, we have found that kids can be distracting to the process and can cause lower volume collections. If you are unable to have someone tend your kids and you must bring them with you, we recommend that kids stay inside the car while the AI session is being performed. They may meet Maximus (and showered with his love) once the process has been completed.
What is progesterone testing and do you require it?
Progesterone testing requires a blood sample from your female and measures how quickly your female is progressing within her heat to determine when she will release her eggs for optimal breeding. Most vets perform this service, but some will not provide same day results as they send the blood sample to a lab to conduct the testing instead. We prefer same day results as some females could be a 2-3 one day and a 5-6 the next, however, next day results are common and still provide a level of accuracy.
We only require progesterone testing if your female did not get pregnant with a previous breeding as we generally associate this with a mismatch in the timing of the breeding. We do highly recommend progesterone testing as this gives the best look into where your female is at within her cycle without much guess work involved. If you do go through with progesterone testing, we recommend shipping when a level of 5-6 is first reached, onsite AI to be performed when a 7-8 is achieved, and trans-cervical procedure to be considered with values surpass 10. These values come based off discussion with our vet and history with previous customers.
I have decided to not go through with progesterone testing, are there other signs I should look at to determine if my female is ready?
Although progesterone testing increases the chances we are hitting the desired days, most females are ready to be bred between days 9-12 after first bleeding has occurred. Behavior changes in your female are instinctual and they will not be receptive of a male until they are ready. Some things to evaluate on a daily basis are:
The amount and color of the bleeding. Most females begin a heavier cycle with dark red blood and the blood lightens in volume and turns to a pinkish/straw color when she is getting closer to optimal breeding.
Her vulva may swell and stay swollen or swell and reduce in size. It is more common for females to swell and stay swollen as she progresses through her heat cycle.
Her interest in other male dogs will progressively change. At the beginning of her cycle, she will still not be receptive to a male dog. As the days go by, she may become more and more interested in smelling the male dog parts, endorsing in foreplay, and sticking her tail to the side (also known as flagging). For a video idea on this, see here. Generally, most females begin to flag a couple days before they are ready and continue flagging days after she has released her eggs.
I need the semen shipped, how does this process work?
With semen shipments, we collect from Maximus the same day the shipment is being sent out. We generally collect approximately 2 hours before the collection is packaged and taken to UPS/FedEx for delivery. After collecting, we add LT Chill Guard semen extender and begin to chill the semen. We validate the collection immediately after collecting from Maximus and just before we put the vial in the shipping box using a highly magnified microscope to ensure the quality is good prior to packaging.
Now that we’ve explained a little about the behind the scenes from our end, below is what we expect from you.
Let us know immediately after you have noticed your female has begun her heat cycle.
Find a vet that performs progesterone testing and begin to test 5-7 days after heat has begun.
For questions on what progesterone testing is and what values we generally target for, refer to What is progesterone testing and do you require it?
Ensure this vet also performs AI as we require AI to be performed by a license Vet in order for our guarantee to be valid.
Once it has been determined shipping is needed, we need to know no later than 4:00 PM EST to allow us time to collect from Maximus, chill the semen, package the collection, and make it over to UPS/FedEx. If informed after this time, it is unlikely we will be able to ship out the day you are notifying us.
Payment must be received before semen is shipped, so we ask that you make yourself available the day of shipping so no unforeseen hold-ups occur. We will NOT ship if payment has not been received.
What fees are associated with shipping?
The $800 stud fee is standard for any shipment being sent. In addition, we charge $45 for a specialized shipping box, LT Chillguard semen extender (that’s our cost), and whatever fees are associated in sending the semen overnight to your Vet’s location. For specific shipping quotes, you can access the FedEx site for a quote by clicking here and plug in the information below.
Navigate to the Rate & Ship tab on the website home page.
Under Location, enter Huntertown, IN 46748 under FROM and your City/Zip under TO.
Weight: 4 lbs, L: 14, W: 9, H: 8
Several amount will then be shown, but we HAVE to send next day air so only pay attention to results shown for next day shipping. If you have a particular appointment early in the morning, note delivery times presented and outline which selection needs to be made when we mail the shipment off.
Note that these are just quotes and not set in stone on what the actual price might be.
We are not responsible for shipping delays and will not refund shipping box/fees in any shape or form. If the semen sent is not used for any reason, a letter of destruction from your vet must be received within 24 hours upon which we will refund you the $800 stud fee, but nothing more.
I need the semen shipped over a weekend, can you do that?
All shipping services we use close early on Saturdays and are not open on Sundays. This makes weekend shipments difficult as anything sent out Saturday afternoon would not arrive until Monday. We have had shipments where they have been perfectly fine when they were received on Monday and others that have been less in quality. We will ship from Saturday to Monday, however, we generally try to avoid this if all possible.
Do you ship semen chilled or frozen?
We only ship fresh chilled semen, never frozen. We use LT Chillguard as the semen extender to provide longevity and nutritional support for semen during transit.
What is trans-cervical insemination (TCI)?
Trans-cervical insemination is a method to deliver sperm directly into the uterus, bypassing the cervix. It is a surgical procedure that is generally used in females that have difficulty getting pregnant through AI/normal breeding or with collections from the stud that is in decreased quantity. Depending on vet preferences, only one collection may be needed for TCI to be successful. Progesterone counts need to be higher than normal for TCI as the female is expected to be further along in her heat cycle since the sperm are being deposited directly into the uterus for quicker fertilization.
For shipments, can you ship directly to me and I perform the AI myself?
The answer to this is no, not without a risk you would be carrying yourself. We can perform this route, however, note that if we do not ship directly to a Vet’s office and have the AI be performed by a licensed Vet, the “free with next heat cycle” guarantee we offer would not apply and you would be performing this at your own risk. We would also send over a contract for you to sign understanding that you agree to this risk. We do this because we take careful measures to ensure the collection we send is of good quality and if the AI is not performed correctly and pregnancy does not occur, this is at no fault to the collection we send.
How do I know if my female is pregnant?
The standard approach for those that are most eager to confirm pregnancy would be to have an ultrasound conducted. This can be scheduled as early as 3 weeks (21 days) after breeding has occurred. Of course, this is a cost to you if you go this route, but would be the most accurate way for you to confirm pregnancy. Some trained vets may be able to give you an idea of how many puppy sacs they see, however, this is mainly just to confirm if they see puppies developing within your female’s uterus more than anything.
Some females may change their behavior, they may seem more sleepy or cuddly than normal, they may increase or decrease in appetite, and some may even experience episodes of vomiting. Most owners will know that their females begin acting different, but females may not exhibit any of these signs either. As they progress within their pregnancy, a tale-tale sign is their nipples begin to enlarge and their belly begins to feel more full and between 1-2 weeks of their delivery date, you can usually feel puppies moving around inside their belly with gentle pressure. Xrays can also be used, generally later within their pregnancy, as puppies need to be more developed in order to show up, but this could give you a basic idea of how many puppies they see on the Xray so you can know what to generally expect.
My female didn’t get pregnant, what do we do from here?
It is unfortunate and although we do everything we can to make sure you have a successful litter, nothing in life is 100%. We do offer a “free next heat cycle” guarantee within the contract you will sign when breeding with us. In order for this to be valid, we must have documented proof from your Vet that pregnancy did not occur. This needs to be collected and sent to us within 2 weeks after expected due date and if not delivered to us, the guarantee is null and void.
Once proper documentation is received, we will take note that you are to receive a free breeding with next heat cycle. If you have another breeding female, we may be able to use the free breeding with them instead, as long as Maximus is available. Free breeding must take place within 12 months of missed breeding and progesterone testing is required. We will also supply visual confirmation that the sample collected is of good quality by allowing you to view through microscopic observation (or if AI is performed by your vet, ask them to confirm sperm quality). If your female still does not get pregnant, we offer one last chance of trying and require progesterone testing in addition with trans-cervical insemination to be performed. After these 3 attempts, the contract is complete and no refunds will be given on the stud fee.
Any advice on how to sell puppies?
Honestly, this is going to be location dependent and individually specific. Some locations may have local classified ads you can take part in, while others may have limited resources. We’ve used hoobly with good success and you might be able to find FaceBook pages that allow you to advertise with very specific restrictions. We’ve found that word of mouth works best and many have used Instagram or individual FaceBook pages to help get the word out there.
To recap, what questions do you think I should ask my vet?
For progesterone testing:
My female has begun her heat cycle, what day do you recommend I start progesterone testing?
Do you provide same day test results or next day test results? When are the results provided?
What numeric value do you use to determine when breeding should take place?
What address would you like the semen to be shipped to?
Do you perform AI pretty regularly?
Do you have the ability to provide trans-cervical insemination if needed?
What progesterone numeric value do you use to determine when shipping should take place?