[en] Canine herpesvirus-1 (CHV-1) is presumed to be enzootic in the dog population and is associated with reproductive disorders and neonatal mortality. To advise dog breeders towards an effective management of CHV-1 infected colonies, 27 breeding bitches were studied during one reproductive cycle in field conditions: the effect of cycle stage, kennel size, initial antibody titre, mating and gestation on serologic and viral excretion patterns was evaluated, while the association between reproductive disorders and CHV-1 antibody titres and viral excretion was also analysed. All initially seronegative bitches seroconverted, while 40% of the initially seropositive bitches became seronegative at one or two occasions. No difference in antibody patterns was observed between mated and unmated bitches. Of the mated bitches, 40% experienced infertility, foetal resorption or mummification. No difference in antibody patterns was observed depending on the occurrence of reproductive disorders even if a decrease in antibody titres during early or late-di-oestrus was often present. Significantly higher titres were observed at all cycle stages in large kennels. None of the vaginal and nasal samples or buffy coats tested positive for CHV-1 DNA. The mixed image of clinical and subclinical carriage in this study demonstrated CHV-1 has a complex and difficult to predict clinical behavior. Preventive management with vaccination of reproducing bitches in kennels with reproductive disorders should therefore be advised. (c) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.