For those considering breeding dogs, it’s crucial to approach it from an informed perspective. More than knowing how dogs mate, when mating season is for dogs, and when a dog is coming on heat, you need to know how to take care of your dog throughout the process.
Your dog’s well-being will ensure they experience less stress during the process and that their litter is happy and healthy.
After all, if you are familiar with Paw Pals, you already know that we are all about happy-healthy fur babies.
Signs of a Dog Coming into Heat
It’s not too difficult to tell if your dog is in heat because you will notice her vulva has swollen, and she will experience vaginal bleeding. However, the bloody discharge may only begin a few days after the female enters oestrus.
During this time, you will also notice her licking the area, and some behavioural changes such as agitation or nesting behaviour may occur. While she has a discharge, you don’t want to worry about any mess your poor dog may make; the best way to keep your house clean when your dog is on heat is by putting her in a washable dog diaper.
Look for ones which are adjustable, waterproof, and comfortable.
How Often Do Female Dogs Come into Heat?
Heat cycles vary between dogs; some females only develop a regular cycle after eighteen months to two years. Typically, female dogs come into heat every six months. The female is usually on heat for two to three weeks. When your dog’s vulva has returned to normal, and she is no longer experiencing a discharge, you will know she is no longer in heat.
So, How Do Dogs Mate?
Initially, the male dog will sniff the female dog’s vulva, and if she is receptive, she will ‘flag’ by moving her tail to one side to show that she is receptive. If the bitch, or female, is receptive, the male will mount her and insert his penis.
After a bit of thrusting, the male will ejaculate. It doesn’t end there, though. You will know that the male has ejaculated when he dismounts, although they will still be tied together rear-to-rear because the bulbus gland on the male’s penis swells, locking the dogs together.
With the penis still inserted, the dogs will remain in this position, known as a breeding tie, for anything from two to thirty minutes until the bulbus has returned to its normal size.
It’s critical to ensure the dogs separate gently and naturally to avoid damage to the their reproductive organs.
When Is the Best Time for Dogs to Mate?
Figuring out the best time for a dog to mate can be tricky. Most female dogs are receptive on about the eleventh day of oestrus when ovulating, although ovulation could occur early or late in the heat cycle. During this time, the female will actively look for a male, and their discharge will be less bloody.
To ensure that your female is ready to mate, you can perform a vaginal smear or a serum progesterone test. For males, mating is easier; they can mate anytime from as soon as four months in some cases, although they are generally considered virile from six months onwards.
During mating season, especially, you need to ensure that your male and female dogs are up to date with their vaccinations, they have been dewormed, and they are receiving the correct nutrition.
The phases of the canine oestrus cycle:
- Pro-oestrus – lasting roughly ten days, this is the beginning of heat and the bloody discharge.
- Oestrus – this period usually lasts seven days. During this phase, ovulation and fertilisation occur.
- Dioestrus – under the influence of progesterone, during these two months, the female will refuse the male.
- Anoestrus – for a minimum of two to three months, the female will be sexually inactive during this period.
Ensuring Mating is Successful
As a dog parent, you know that dogs can be sensitive when outside their usual surroundings. In male dogs, more than in female dogs, this will affect their performance during mating season. To calm the male dog’s nerves, it’s best to keep them in their own environment and bring the female to the male for breeding.
To be certain that the female is ready, test your female ahead of the big day. Usually, females are ready to mate between the tenth and the fourteenth day of oestrus, although some females may ovulate on the third or fourth day or as late as the eighteenth day.
There’s no doubt how rewarding it is to be a dog parent, but when you choose to breed, you are taking on a lot more responsibility, which is partly why vets recommend desexing your dogs.
But whatever you choose, now you know more about when your dog is in heat and when mating season is for dogs.