Mating in dogs can be one of the things that may interest many breeders, but you must first understand the responsibilities and risks involved in this process.
While having a handful of puppies running around sounds like an amazing and fun thing, they also require a lot of work and attention!
If you are interested in dog breeding, you need to make sure you are prepared for this.
When does the female dog enter the first heat? (First heat for mating in dogs)
Puberty or sexual maturity usually occurs to a female dog between the ages of 9 to 10 months. Smaller breeds tend to go into estrus early and some females can begin their first mating in dogs as early as four months of age.
On the other hand, large and giant breeds can be up to two years old before they first reach their first heat for mating in dogs.
For many dogs, the first mating cycle is “silent” or has no outward signs associated with estrus. Additionally, it is unlikely that a first heat of estrus will allow many dogs for successful breeding, so the usual practice is to wait until the second or third mating cycle before considering a dog mating process.
How often do female dogs request for mating?
On average, this occurs twice a year or every six months, although it varies from dog to dog.
Small breeds tend to be more regular than larger breeds. The period between heat cycles tends to be 4 to 12 months with an average of 7 months. An exception is the Basenji breeds and sled dogs. These breeds tend to go into the heat only once a year, usually in the spring.
There is no evidence that irregular mating in dogs predispose a dog to false pregnancy or pyometra (infection of the uterus).
What are the signs of mating in dogs request?
Vaginal swelling is the first physical indication of an impending mating cycle. However, the most recognizable and obvious sign of heat in dogs is vaginal bleeding. This may not become apparent until a few days after the female enters estrus. Some female dogs suffer from heavy vaginal bleeding during estrus, while other dogs experience slight bleeding. If you are concerned, see your veterinarian.
From the start of the heat period, it will be attractive to males, but will not normally accept it, or allow mating until about 7 to 10 days into the cycle. As the period progresses, the color and appearance of the bleeding changes. At first, it is usually bloody and thick in appearance, but gradually turns into a watery, blood-tinged secretion. The period of receptivity to mating usually coincides with this change in the appearance of the bleeding.
We may also find that she is frequently passing small amounts of urine. Urine contains pheromones and hormones, both of which indicate an interested male that he can mate soon.
How long is the heat in dogs?
Cycles of mating request vary in dogs, but on average it is two to three weeks for most dogs, and the cycle begins with the first signs of vaginal swelling or vaginal secretions. It ends when all secretions stop and the vagina returns to its normal size.
How do I know if it’s the best time for mating in dogs?
This can be difficult. Most dogs ovulate on the ninth day to the eleventh day of the dog’s heat. The discharge is usually less bloody and the female will actively search for a male. The female may stand with her hind end exposed for the male to be mated, or her tail may fold to the side. However, ovulation may occur early or late during the mating cycle.
Are there any tests to determine the most appropriate date for mating in dogs?
Yes. There are two simple tests that your veterinarian can perform:
- Vaginal cytology or vaginal smears. A simple microscopic examination of vaginal cells will detect changes in cell appearance and numbers. This technique has been used for many years and is reasonably reliable. It is non-invasive and does not cause discomfort for the female. Most vaginal smears are performed over several days, to look for changes in the cells that predict ovulation and the best time for breeding.
- Serum progesterone test. This measures the progesterone level in the blood. This test is very sensitive and has become popular due to its accuracy. Some pets will require several tests done over a series of days to predict ovulation. Some veterinarians prefer another daily blood hormone test, LH (luteinizing hormone) instead of serum progesterone. Your veterinarian will discuss the different testing options and what is best for your pet.
Your veterinarian may be able to perform both tests at the veterinary practice, though sending samples out to a laboratory gives a more accurate result. The serum progesterone test gives a very good indication of when mating is most likely to be successful and is useful for females that have a history of unsuccessful mating or if the dog will be traveling a considerable distance to the male dog.
Are there precautions I should take into account before mating in dogs ??
- Ensure that both male and female dogs have completed their viral vaccinations, in order to ensure that the puppies endure a degree of immunity until the time for vaccination comes
2- Ensure that the female dog takes the preventive dose against worms so as not to transmit the worm infection to the puppies through the placenta or milk
3- Ensure that both the male and the female do not have any sexual diseases to prevent the occurrence of miscarriage or deformation of the fetus
4- Ensure that both the male and the female are free from any fleas or ticks to avoid the occurrence of infection to the female and thus the occurrence of anemia during pregnancy
What can I do to ensure successful mating?
Surprisingly, male dogs appear to be more sensitive to stress than females during mating. Mating in dogs are most successful when the male dog is in its own environment. For this reason, females are usually taken to a male dog’s home for mating.
The mating time is extremely critical and it is highly recommended that you test the female to determine the optimum days for breeding. For most females, the best time to mate is between the tenth and fourteenth days of the mating cycle. However, some females may ovulate as early as the third or fourth day or as late as the eighteenth day. Blood tests or a vaginal cytology examination will help determine the best period for your dog.
It’s normal to arrange two mating dates, often 24 or 48 hours apart. Check these details with the male dog’s owner when making initial inquiries. Also, be sure to ask what would happen if your dog did not become pregnant as a result of a male dog defect. It is common for male dog owners to offer a free service next time.
I was told that my female had tied well with the dog and that only one service was necessary. What does this mean?
During coitus, part of the dog’s penis (the bulbis glandis) swells and enlarges. The female’s vaginal muscles contract against the bulbis glandis, preventing the penis from being withdrawn. This is the ‘tie’ that is considered a desirable feature of a successful mating. It is important to note that pregnancy can occur without a tie. Once tied the male dog will often step over the female or be turned by handlers into a position so that the animals are back to back. The tie will usually last for five to ten minutes.
I found my dog tied to a female dog during a mismating. Was there anything I could do to separate them?
There is little point in trying to separate animals that are locked together in this way. Buckets of cold water, water pistols, cap guns, and so forth do little to speed up the process of separation and merely upset or potentially injure the dogs. In fact, forced separation can result in serious injury to the female and should be avoided.
If a mismating has occurred, discuss it with your veterinarian as soon as possible so your options can be reviewed.