Mating: A Crash Course In The Reproductive Cycle – Part 2

Peter | September 5th, 2008
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Dogs mate early in estrus in association with ovulation. There are three ways to determine when a female dog is ready to mate:

(1) Put her with a male and see if anything happens.

(2) Note when proestral bleeding starts and mark the 11th day on the calender, taking into account individual variations, then put her with a male and see if anything happens.

(3) When your dog is delivered from home to spend a night or two with a male, you may need an accurate account of the most likely mating time. Ask your vet to examine a vaginal smear. (It is often necessary to examine a series of smears on subsequent days to determine the proper time to mate.)

Anatomically, it is difficult for a male dog to separate himself from a female immediately after mating without causing injury. Because of this, dogs remain tied up together for 15 minutes or longer. This is completely natural and attempts at forceful separation risks injury.

When several male dogs mate one female, it is possible for more than one percentage to represent itself in the offspring. This is because the female ovulates several eggs at one time. Some of the eggs may be fertilized by one male and some by another.

A stray male dog may call unexpectedly, mating your female. Male dogs have been known to swim wide rivers, dig deep holes beneath fences, and tear planks away from barns to get to a female that is in heat.

When a mating accident occurs, avoid unwanted puppies by requesting your vet to inject a hormone to prevent pregnancy. Chances are good that pregnancy can be avoided if this is done during the first 24 to 48 hours after mating has occurred. (Keep in mind that many veterinarians may recommend a series of injections at weekly intervals and some vets may refuse to give abortion shots completely).

If Your Chosen Male Will Not Mate

Lacking experience, young male dogs may be a bit uncertain of what to do. Injections of male hormones may help, however, by the time the problem is apparent hormones are often too late to be effective. Make arrangements for a substitute in case the chosen pair will not mate. Male dogs with defective sperm cells often have a normal sex drive and a normal mating instinct; they will mate, but pregnancy will not result.

Artificial insemination serves as a substitute for natural mating when, for any reason, dogs refuse to mate. Sperm cells collected from the male by artificial means are inserted into the uterus of the female. This technique frequently results in pregnancy.

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