WHEN TO BREED YOUR BITCH
E. Katie Gammill, AKC Judge, TheDogPlace.org Exhibition Editor
Many breeders today use lab tests to measure progesterone, luteinizing hormone, and vaginal cytology (smears) to determine when ovulation occurs.
What if technology wasn’t available? Knowing the stud dog and observation of the bitch can be nearly as accurate and a lot cheaper and less stressful for the bitch.
Knowing when she’s ovulating and ready to breed comes from experience, “reading the bitch” and observing the male.
Before breeding, make sure the dogs are clean and in good condition. Watch for sheath infections and possible female infections because even though she ovulates, infection can contribute to failure to conceive.
Some stud owners want proof of a culture and clearances. It works both ways. If your bitch misses, watch her carefully for Pyometra or Metritis. The bitch will appear depressed and have a discharge with a foul odor. Prevention is always better than a cure.
Reading my bitch, I often follow up with Veterinary visits. By taking slides or an Ovulation Smear we can read if there are cornified epithelial cells under a microscope. Easily seen, one can determine the best day to take the bitch to the stud. However, the “you just gotta know” system has proven I am right within a day or so regarding her fertility cycle.
Despite what some young male dogs think, BREEDERS know the cycle is usually 21 days. Also, what may be normal for one dog may not be for another. Some bitches cycle on schedule, others ovulate and mate from 12-21 days. Some have “clear heats”, flakey or false seasons  or false pregnancies. This was taught to me in the 60’s by a breeder friend and holds true today.
Using a rubber glove and lubricant, the breeder can digitally examine the vulva. There will be a “milking” motion or action. Touch the “knot” at the top of the vulva and it will flex and be soft like “butter.”
It is a good policy to trim the hair around the bitch’s vulva. One might muzzle a maiden bitch for breeding, depending on the breed. Once the bitch is bred, I crate her for some “silent time” and feed the male his supper. That will encourage a male to eat during mating season and eliminate weight loss; the male really CAN do two things at one time if he is rewarded after breeding.
Keep the bred bitch away from all other males until her cycle runs out. Bathe the bitch after she is bred and wash the male’s privates.
Here are average, estrus changes one may expect in normal heat cycle.
DAY 1: Licking and attention to rear. Discharge is dark or bright red color, swelling of vulva. Start counting heat cycle from when the blood hits the ground
DAY 2-7: Bright red with swelling increasing.
DAY 8-10: Color begins to lighten to pinkish, swelling is at peak and the vulva has a spongy look and feel. There is a “knot” at the top of the vulva and it is very firm. A male cannot have a successful tie when the vulva is swollen. However, a “slip tie” CAN produce puppies. Bitch may lay her tail over and tease, then snap, so wait a little longer as she can easily turn a young male off.
DAY 9-14: Color changes from light pink to clear or straw colored. The swelling is down and the vulva appears dry or harder on edges. The knot at the top of the vulva is very soft like butter. The bitch will stand solid and elevate her rear. The male is aggressive, restless and noisy. Breed the bitch now. Monitor the tie as an aggressive bitch can damage a male. The tie may last 10-25 minutes.
DAY 14-21: Color clears, discharge and swelling almost gone, bitch may act receptive, but is still snappy. Count 58-62 days for puppies!
TESTAPE: There are always exceptions to the rule. Some bitches will mate and conceive as late as 22 days. Another way to check if the bitch is receptive is to use Testape reactions. Put discharge from the bitch on the Testape. When the bitch is ready to breed, the ovulation pad will turn (pink to blue/black/purple/burgundy) somewhere between the 9th and 12th day (as depicted below). That is ovulation. (Colors of Testape may vary according to the manufacturer.)
Most seasoned studs don’t waste their time. They will ignore a bitch until she is READY, and then tear up the pen trying to get to her. If you breed too early, the male penetrates, works, and slips out. Wait a day or so as it’s too early and the bitch cannot hold the “tie”.
Dogs ejaculate over a period of time, which is why nature designed the “tie”. The male is at the bitch’s mercy until she releases him. (On another note: If you want to break a tie, one might turn the male back around into the normal mounting position and push his rear in carefully. This often “unlocks” the tie. If after breeding the penis will not return into the prepuce, call the vet for advice.
A natural breeding is desirable. A veterinarian can help you with an artificial insemination. Maiden bitches who are A-I’d often have trouble whelping. Suggestion: when taking the dogs to the vet for an A-I suggest the vet use a baggie and NOT a glass beaker to collect the male in. Also, have the bitch available to tease him.
There are volumes of books on the subject of Canine Reproduction but it really shouldn’t be that complicated. Dogs have been doing it for centuries. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a successful breeder to mentor you like I had so long ago, this should help and you can find out all about the Mechanics Of Mating  in this section. There are many misconceptions about getting the bitch pregnant. Craig White, DVM, M.S enlightens dog breeders about Speedy Sperm  and elevating the bitch’s hindquarters.
Reference and Related Information:
And for more on canine physiology and healing, don’t miss Energy Medicine Solutions
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Dogs are the most loyal creatures created by God. Once you start to pet a dog, there is no going back to it but wait, do you know that there is a specific age for a dog after which they should not breed.
Although we human beings get too attached with our pets and what comes after is the hope of their pups so that their existence in our lives never ends but what we all need to know is their appropriate age to breed.
Today, in this article, you will read about the age of dogs after which they should not be bred and why it is so.
Suitable Breeding Age Groups:
Normally smaller breeds of dogs get mature by the age of 6 months and can immediately start breeding.
A male dog usually starts breeding between the age of 6 months to 12 months.
Female dogs breed after their first heat cycle which is later than the male dogs. Suitable breeding age group of female dogs is only after they are 18 months old.
A dog is considered a puppy until the age of 1 year. But we know that a puppy can start breeding before the age of 1 which means that it can give birth to puppies while still growing itself. On the other hand, a bitch isn’t allowed to breed before the age of 1 since its chances of bearing stillborn puppies are high.
Well, the above mentioned average age criteria is not 100% applicable on all dogs. Some male dogs can start breeding before 6 months of age. Breeding in dogs depends on various factors including their size, age and health.
What Factors Affect Breeding in Dogs?
Depending upon the type of breed, various factors can influence the quality of breeding.
These factors include:
Size of the Dog –
If the dog is physically not eligible to breed then its age wouldn’t matter even if it has reached the minimum age of breeding. Size of the dog typically matters on breeding so every dog owner must know about it.
Health of the Dog –
As much as the size of the dog matter in breeding, the health of it also puts an effect on the quality of breeding. If the dog is not healthy enough to breed, it may be eligible by age but not by health. If your dog is suffering from any chronic disease, it should not be allowed to breed because the disease will flow into the next generation and will spread. To know more details about your dog’s health, visit a nearby vet.
Sex of the Dog –
It matters if the dog is male or female to know at which age will they be eligible to breed. Usually, female dogs need more time to mature and be ready to breed as compared to the male dogs. Sex of the dog also matters while breeding because both of the sexes have different harmones and body functioning which affects the breeding in various manners.
Age of the Dog –
Most important thing to keep in mind while breeding a dog is its age. You must ensure that your dog(male or female) has reached the minimum age before breeding.
Another important factor in breeding is the maximum age of breeding a dog. After a particular age, your dog must not breed. Usually this age, as prescribed by various veterinarians is 8 years. Depending upon the sex, there are different age groups upto which your dog can breed.
How Old is too Old to Breed a Female Dog?
A female dog starts breeding at a considerably late age which is after their first heat.
There is a maximum age for a female dog upto which it can breed. After this age, the female dog is not eligible to breed. Although female dogs don’t have menopauses still they don’t ovulate after a particular age.
This age is 7 years. Various veterinarians have claimed that a female dog stops breeding at an age of 7 years. This is the age where she retires from breeding.
How Old is too Old to Breed a Male Dog?
Male dogs start breeding at a very early age and breed for a longer time until it is time for their retirement from breeding.
Male dogs breed upto a particular age after which they stop producing sperm or say, healthy sperm. Although the breed of a dog highly matters when it comes to the maximum age of breeding.
The average age recorded for a male dog to stop breeding is 10 years. Once your dog has turned 10 years old, you must know it is time to stop breeding him.
People who try to breed their dogs even when they reach their retirement must understand that breeding cannot be done in female dogs after 7 years and in male dogs after 10 years.
To know more about the right age to breed a dog, click here.
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If you own an unsterilized, or “whole” dog, it’s important to be responsible about making sure he or she does not have access to other dogs of the opposite sex during mating season. If you feel there’s a chance your dog may have had an accidental, unsupervised mating, there are a few signs you can look for that may confirm your suspicions.
Signs of Mating in Dogs
Determining whether a mating has occurred depends a lot on timing. There are a few signs you can look for that occur shortly after mating. If you return to your dog hours later though, you’re unfortunately not likely to be able to tell if anything happened at all, at least not right away. Sometimes the only way to tell if your female dog has mated is if she begins to show signs she’s pregnant.
Evidence of “Wooing”
One of the first signs that you may see immediately after a mating has occurred is a lot of moisture on the female dog. This is known as “wooing” because the male will lick the female prior to mating to entice her into the act. His saliva may also drip onto her during mating. You are most likely to see damp, matted hair on her head and facial area and along her back down to the tail.
The Smell of Mating
Another tell tale sign is a very distinct smell from your bitch’s rear quarter that is more noticeable than any odor related to her heat cycle. It may be strong enough to be noticeable in the immediate area or only when you get close to her.
The Dog’s Genitalia
Depending on how soon after the incident you arrive, you may notice that the male’s penis is still aroused and erect and has not returned completely to its normal size. Another sign involving the genitalia is that both the male and female dog may lick theirs a lot more after mating in order to clean themselves.
Another sign your dogs may have mated is if you see either the male rolling on the ground on his back. Females may do this too but usually this is only seen with males. This behavior looks exactly like how a dog would roll in his back in the grass so it doesn’t necessarily indicate mating happened but if you see it along with a few other signs, it becomes more compelling evidence the dogs were together.
Changes in the Female Dog
Female dogs after mating may become standoffish around the male. They may also seem lethargic and sleep more than usual. Another indicator found with the female is a noticeable change in how she walks which may possibly be due to discomfort from mating. This usually goes away shortly after but you should contact a veterinarian if she is still walking funny after a day. One change you most likely will not see is a cessation of bleeding after mating, as she may continue to bleed until her heat cycle is over.
Changes in the Male Dog
You may notice that your male dog has become much calmer, especially if he was very agitated around the female before. Dogs that are focused on a female in heat can be very hyper and will not leave the female alone and if this has suddenly changed, then mating most likely happened and ceased his urgent, pestering behavior.
The most obvious sign that your dogs mated is that your female becomes pregnant. If her heat cycle ends, her nipples begin to swell, and she shows less interest in food within the first week or two after the suspected mating, contact your veterinarian as there’s a strong chance she is now pregnant.
How Long Does Mating Between Dogs Take?
One of the reasons it is difficult to tell if your dogs have mated when you were not supervising is that the actual process doesn’t take very long. When a male and female are in the act of mating, this is called the copulatory tie and the dogs are said to be “tied.” Most ties average about 20 minutes though some can go as long as 40 minutes.
Can One Puppy Get Another Pregnant?
Dog owners who are new to breeding are often unaware of just how young dogs can be to mate successfully, no doubt because in their minds they’re comparing a puppy to a human child. Technically a dog as young as five months old is able to sire a litter.
Does Dog Size Make a Difference in Mating?
Another common misconception is that dogs of vastly different sizes cannot mate and that a tie must occur for impregnation. While it obviously is much harder for a mating to take place between say, a Chihuahua and a German Shepherd Dog, it can still happen. The size difference doesn’t matter as long as the bitch is willing to accommodate the dog, and fertilization is possible without an actual tie.
Is There a Discharge After Mating?
Other than the female continuing to bleed until her heat cycle is over, you should not notice any other type of discharge from the male or female. If the female becomes pregnant, you may see a clear discharge two to three weeks after the mating has occurred.
How to Tell If Your Dogs Have Mated
The best way to know if your dogs have had a successful mating is of course to be fully supervising them at all times. Male dogs will be determined to get to a female in heat so if you don’t want your dogs to breed, boarding the male elsewhere until her heat cycle is over is the best way to prevent a mating. This also means supervising your female 100% so that other male dogs living nearby do not get access to her for any period of time.
Dog breeding can be exciting and rewarding, but it is not something that is to be decided on a whim.
There are many factors that need to play into your decision when considering whether or not mating your Golden Retrievers is truly a good idea.
В©Photo Courtesy of Brad Kennedy
Raising a litter of puppies is a huge undertaking. Most people see puppies and all they think is, вЂњOh, how precious and cuddly.вЂќ
But the reality is that they are a lot of work and even when everything goes picture perfect, you will still be shocked at just how much work and expense goes into raising a litter.
You need to objectively look at your Golden and see if he or she is of breed standard, excellent health, and would be improving the breed before you decide about mating your dogs.
All Golden Retrievers are fantastic pets, but not all are breeding quality, and not all of them should be bred.
Also, having litters is not always as easy as it sounds. There are a whole range of problems that can and sometimes do, crop up.
If you have a female that is in heat and also have a young male pup, do not let his young age fool you into thinking that your female is safe, if you do not want her bred.
A male is capable of producing puppies at a very young age, even as young as 6 months.
Obviously, you should never intentionally breed a male Golden Retriever this young, but it can happen, so make sure your female is safely out of his reach!
There is a lot more to dog breeding than just throwing two dogs together to reproduce.
If you are planning on raising your male Golden to be a stud dog, be prepared for behavioral changes when he isnвЂt allowed to mate.
Understanding your femaleвЂ™s breeding cycle, having an estimate of when her next cycle will be, and being prepared for it ahead of time, will greatly help in your dogвЂs mating.
В©Photo Courtesy of Pawel Pieniazek
If you do not own the stud dog that you will be using when breeding your dogs, you will need to have already picked out her mate, and discussed all paperwork or contracts involved.
Understanding the actual dog breeding process will greatly aid you in knowing what to watch for, and when to step in, if your dogs need your help.
Though it is desirable that your dogs achieve a locked tie, realize also that possibilities of puppies from a slip mating can occur.
Do your homework and study all there is to know before you make your decision.
If you do decide to breed, remember that Goldens have large litters, ranging from 8 to 12 puppies per litter!
If your dog is grown up and you are thinking of its mating time, make sure to do plenty of research first. Although breeding sound easy, it is not as simple as it sounds. You should do some research before involving your male or female dog on a breeding process.
Before copulating, you should know if it is the right time for the mating. You should also ensure if both males and females are healthy and well cared for the process. In this article, you will read about the facts and things to know about its process.
1. What Age is Right for Breeding?
The right age for mating usually depends on the size of your dog. The age varies from small dogs to large dogs. The estimated ages of sexual maturity for dogs are:
- Large-sized dogs: 18 to 24 months old
- Medium-sized dogs: 15 to 18 months old
- Small-sized dogs: 12 to 18 months old
Although dogs are matured at the age of one and half-year-old, it is best to wait for their second year before mating. This applies especially for female dogs as it is risky to breed during her first-year of heat. she is still mentally and physically immature during her first heat and will not be able to care for her litters.
While the male dog reaches its sexual maturity at the age of 4-6 months but this is too young for him to be used as a stud. As the male dog is immature at this age, involving it in mating can tire its system, hinder the development, injuries, and even early death. So the right age is 2 years for both male and female dogs.
2. Understand the Heat Cycle of The Female Dog
As mentioned above, the first heat of the female is not the best time for mating as they are not matured enough for breeding. The first heat lasts for seven days where bleeding occurs and swollen vulva can be seen. In this stage of females, the male will be more alert and will try to come near giving more attention to her.
However, the female will not allow the male to come even near to her and will growl at him.
During the second heat, which also lasts for seven days on average, the bleeding will be less and the female also start accepting mates. The ninth and tenth days of the heat is the best time for mating your female dog. She will not accept a mate during her last stage of heat which is around day 21.
3. How to Prepare Female Dogs for Mating?
Before mating a for the first time or any other time, there are few things to consider.
- The female should be healthy, which is the first priority. By healthy it also means that her weight should be right for her age and size. She should not be too thin or too fat.
- The female dog should be bathed prior to mating.
- The fur around the female vulva should be trimmed and cleaned to make sure there will be clean entering.
4. How to Prepare Male Dog for Mating?
- Like with the female, the male should be checked for any health problem prior to mating and ensure a healthy mating.
- The stud should be bathed thoroughly before mating.
- The fur around the stud’s penis should be trimmed and the genitals also should be cleaned before mating, so no infectious bacteria pass.
- Do not feed the stud before mating as there are chances that he might vomit in the process of mating.
5. Pairing the Dogs
There are certain things you should keep in mind before taking the step of breeding dogs. A breeder will choose two dogs carefully so the puppies from them are healthy and fit. Make sure both dogs are healthy and do not have any history of a genetic defect.
If you are breeding to see the puppy, the dogs should have breed and the appearance you are seeking. Do not breed the dogs if they have any major health problems.
6. Mating Procedures
Before processing the mating, make sure both male and female are ready. If the male is ready for mating, he will approach the female and starts sniffing the vulva area. And if the female is ready, she will allow the male to inspect the area without protesting.
Your presence is necessary while the dogs are mating as the dog may be having trouble mounting the female. Assets them with the positioning. Keep them together on the ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth of the heat cycle as these days have a high chance for the female dog to produce.
7. The Tie in Dogs Breeding
You might have witnessed both of the male and female dog changing position and facing the opposite direction. It is called a tie which lasts for 10-30 minutes. It is very important that your presence is there as the dogs will try to pull which might injure them.
During the tie, the majority of the male sperm is delivered into the female. As the swelling subsides, the dogs can separate.
8. How Often to Breed?
Many successful breedings are done during the ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth of the female’s heating days. It is important to allow one good breeding each during these three days. Any more than one on each day can deplete the male sperm count, tire them both, and is not good for their health.
After mating, do not let the female mate to any other dogs. After mating the normal gestation period lasts for 63-65 days in dogs. The eggs can remain fertile for 48 days whereas the sperms are alive for several days in dogs. To know if the female dog is really pregnant, you need to visit the vet and the vet will run the test to let you know if the dog is really pregnant.
10. How many litters?
The female dog can give birth to 4 to 8 depending on the size of the puppies. Most of the caring for the puppies is done by the female dog. You should make a warm and cozy place for them and the mother will do the rest.
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Planning a litter of puppies? Margaret V. Root Kustritz, DVM, Ph.D, DACT, professor of small animal reproduction at the University of Minnesota, answers frequently asked questions from breeders preparing to breed that promising next litter.
How Often Do Dogs Go Into Heat?
Bitches should have an obvious heat cycle by 24 months of age. Although bitches vary in the frequency of their heat cycles, an average female goes through heat about every seven months. A bitch is not considered abnormal unless she has not had an obvious heat cycle for one year.
Is It Okay to Breed a Bitch in Back-to-Back Heat Seasons?
That depends on how many puppies she whelped the first season and how well she maintained her body condition during pregnancy, whelping, and lactation. If she had several puppies and was thin by the time they were weaned, she probably cannot regain normal body condition before she is in heat again and thus should not be bred. If she had few puppies at the first breeding and is in excellent body condition, she potentially could be bred again. Every circumstance and every bitch should be evaluated individually.
What Do You Feed a Pregnant Dog?
A growth or performance food, like Purina® Pro Plan® SPORT 30/20, is best to feed a pregnant bitch because they are nutrient dense and thus require less food to sustain her increasing energy needs. Particularly later in the pregnancy when her uterus takes up much of the space of the abdomen, she may have trouble eating a significant amount of food. At whelping, a bitch should weigh 5-to-10 percent more than before breeding. Try to avoid obesity as it is associated with difficulty whelping, increased birth defects in neonates, and stillbirths. Likewise, a thin body condition can cause conception failure, loss of pregnancy, and low-weight pups.
How Soon Should Puppies Nurse After Birth?
Puppies cannot make their own antibodies at birth, so it is important that they receive their dam’s first milk, colostrum, which is rich in disease-protecting antibodies. Puppies can absorb these antibodies from their intestinal tract for only about the first 24 hours of life. Don’t be concerned if your bitch does not nurse until all the puppies are born. This is common behavior that generally causes no risk to puppies.
What Causes Small Litters?
The most likely culprit is breeding at the wrong time. The optimal breeding day for litter size is two days post-ovulation, as determined by your veterinarian based on progesterone measurements. Other possible causes of small litters are hypothyroidism, uterine infection, and advanced age of the bitch.
Was the Runt Conceived Later Than His Littermates?
Probably not. Runt puppies most likely are the same age as their littermates but had poor placentation. Bitches release all their eggs over a 24-hour span. Even if the conception of that small pup occurred later than conception of the other puppies, all pups float around free for 17 days before implantation and formation of the placenta.
Pregnancy, also called the gestation period, normally ranges from 58 to 65 days with an average of 63 days. With a planned breeding, the date of mating should be carefully recorded. If there are two matings, make a note of the exact dates and expect birth to occur between 63 and 65 days later.
Immediately after your female dog has been mated, is there anything you should do?
Make sure that she does not have the opportunity to mate with any other dogs. Remember that oestrus will continue for several more days and she could theoretically become pregnant from another dog during this period. After a planned mating it is a good idea to allow her to rest quietly for a few hours.
Should you change her food?
It is important that she is in good physical condition before she is mated. Both the male and female dog should be examined by a veterinarian prior to mating.
After mating, food intake should remain the same during the first two-thirds of pregnancy (approximately six weeks after mating). If a well-balanced super-premium diet is being fed there is no need to use additional vitamin or mineral supplements. Discuss nutritional supplements and vitamins with your veterinarian before giving them to your dog. Some large breed dogs may have adverse effects if they are given certain supplements.
What to do after the sixth week?
After the sixth week of pregnancy, food intake should be gradually increased and high energy, low fiber foods are recommended (ie the premium diets available from the veterinary hospital). As the foetuses increase in size, abdominal pressure increases and frequent small meals are advised.
During the last three weeks of pregnancy, food intake can be increased by up to one and a half times the normal level by feeding smaller meals more frequently.
If you are unsure about any supplements or medication, please do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian. Some commonly used drugs should be avoided if your dog is pregnant.
How can you be certain your dog is pregnant?
Early pregnancy detection in dogs can be extremely difficult. Unfortunately, as yet, we have no reliable laboratory test. Trans-abdominal palpation (feeling the abdomen for enlarged uterus) by a veterinarian at about three to four weeks after mating may be performed, but the results are variable. It has to be said that results depend more upon the relaxation of the female than the experience of the doctor!
Abdominal ultrasound is currently the method of choice. Depending on the equipment, positive diagnosis can be made as early as three weeks. Most scans from one month of pregnancy and onwards are reliable. Any estimate of the number of puppies should be treated with caution. It can be difficult to accurately count the number of foetuses on an ultrasound. An abdominal radiograph (x-ray) during the last two weeks of pregnancy, generally around week seven, is the most accurate method for counting foetuses and should be performed on all pregnant dogs. Otherwise, you will not know when your female is finished having puppies and this could lead to puppies remaining trapped inside the mother.
Should her routine change as pregnancy advances?
As pregnancy progresses, intra-abdominal pressure increases and so does the mother’s food requirements. The number of meals usually needs to be increased rather than the quantity per meal. Let your pet decide how much physical activity she needs. This depends on the number of puppies and the amount of intra-abdominal pressure she is experiencing. Do not over exercise a pregnant female. Check for any vaginal discharges and contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns.
Canine reproduction is complex and there are numerous different factors which need to be taken into consideration. All dog caregivers should have knowledge about their dog’s reproductive cycle, heat stages and more, especially in the case of avoiding unwanted litters. If, for example, you live with a male dog, it is your responsibility as their owner to know when your male dog is fertile, prevent mounting and wandering, and make sure your dog is cared for correctly. Not only does male dog fertility bring the possibility or reproduction, but a fertile male dog may change in terms of general behavior.
If you’re wondering, ‘‘When can male dogs breed?’’ This article is for you! Keep reading here at AnimalWised to discover everything you need to know about responsible dog breeding and male dog fertility.
- When can male dogs breed
- Male dog fertility age
- At what age can a male dog breed?
- How old does a male dog have to be to breed?
- Benefits of neutering a dog
When can male dogs breed
When do male dogs experience heat? In female dogs, heat manifests itself with clear and obvious symptoms, such as vaginal spotting or an enlarged vulva. In males, however, it is not as obvious. Unlike female dogs, male dogs do not have a clear set heat cycle. In fact, male dog heat is activated by the female, who releases pheromones during her heat phase.
During a male dog’s heat, you may notice behavioral changes stemming from desperation for the female. Some of these male dogs in heat symptoms include crying, groaning, escape attempts to escape, fights with other male dogs, legs raises and urine marking. This behavior which varies depending on external factors, can occur at any time once a male dog has reached sexual maturity.
Unlike female dogs, there are no pills or medication that can destress a male dog in heat. In order to avoid this anxity, prevent behavioral problems, and control canine overpopulation, we recommend castration and/or sterilization. These interventions are incredibly beneficial to a dog’s health. Always make sure to consult your veterinarian about your options and the best time for neutering.
Male dog fertility age
Heat in dogs can only begin once a dog reaches sexual maturity. Before this time, when dogs are still puppies you may notice them riding their siblings or objects. It is important to know that these are simply behaviors that, at an early age, are separate from sexual stimulation and are rather related to curiosity.
So, when does a puppy reach sexual maturity? One of the most obvious signs is when your male dog begins lifting its leg and urinating. This action, also referred to as marking, is a way in which dogs communicate with other dogs, especially in regards to sexual maturity.
Dog sexual maturity is linked to sperm production and occurs at varied times depending on the breed of the dog. On average, a male dog becomes fertile between 6 and 12 months. Smaller dog breeds tend to mature later than larger dog breeds.
Dogs reach sexual maturity before becoming fully grown. That is why the age to cross of a male dog can be delayed for up to 12 or even 24 months. A male dog is fertile from the beginning of sperm production, and therefore, the right precautions need to be taken (even if not fully grown).
How old does a male dog have to be to get a female pregnant?
Unless a dog is suffering from an illness or is castrated, male dogs are fertile for their whole lives.
For more, we recommend reading our article where we discuss, ‘‘Is my male dog in heat? – Sexual maturity in canines.’’
At what age can a male dog breed?
Now that we know at what age male dogs are fertile, we must understand that for them this is strictly reproductive. This means that male dogs are only interested in copultaing when they detect the presence of a female dog in heat. For the same reason, a female dog will only allow mounting duing some of her heat days. Only in those days of fertility can fertilization occur. Read my female dog won’t accept a male.
How often can a male dog breed?
There is no minimum or maximum number of ‘male dog mounts’ and it will vary depending on each individual dog. Therefore, a male dog that lives with a female dog in heat can mount her several times a day.
It is important to note that canine intercourse presents certain differences with respect to that of other species. In order for fertilization to occur, dogs must remain ‘‘stuck’’ for a few minutes, a situation that usually makes the female uncomfortable. Therefore, sterilizing your female, even if you live with a sterile male dog, is equally important.
For more, we recommend taking a look at our article where we discuss how to control a male dog around a female dog in heat.
How old does a male dog have to be to breed?
Some dogs may suffer from diseases that cause sterility or anatomical malformations that prevent riding and/or mounting. To know for sure whether or not a male dog is fertile, you can consult your veterinarina about a fertility test.
Additionally, hormonal abnormalities, underdeveloped or retained testicles, genital tract infections such as brucellosis, hypothyroidism or fever can all cause infertility in male dogs . Some dog tumors cause impotence. In any case, it is important to remember that dog breeding should not be carried illegally in homes and/or establishments. For more, we recommend reading our article where we discuss everything you need to know about transmissible venereal tumors in dogs.
Benefits of neutering a dog
As we have pointed out throughout this article, controlling our canine population prevents the increase of stray and homeless dogs. In order to avoid the abandonement of animals, spaying and neutering both male and female dogs is incredibly important.
Not only do these surgical interventions help decrease this abandonment rate, but they also prevent certain health problems in dogs related to their reproductive systems. Neutering or spaying dogs helps to prevent the appearance of breast or testicular cancer, psychological pregnancies, etc. In adult dogs, neutering decreases the risk of behavioral changes by 40%. This means that the remaining 60% of male dogs can still experience heat behavioral changes in dogs.
Now, which is better, dog castration or sterilization? In general, castration is usually the intervention of choice, however, this will depend your dog and your veterinarian’s recommendation.
For more about neutering in dogs, we recommend reading our following articles:
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