How Do Dogs Mate?
Adding a dog to your family comes with all the pleasures and responsibility of adding any new member to your family. Dogs are living breathing creatures, and require care just like humans do. Dogs are man’s best friend, an amazing companion that will love their master unconditionally for the rest of their lives, but in return, we must give them companionship back, as well as food, water, medical care, and provide for their other needs. When a dog gets pregnant and has a litter of puppies, it can be a wonderful and priceless gift. Unfortunately, this happens to many owners who are just simply unprepared, and many puppies end up getting put to sleep because they are unwanted and their owner was not prepared for them. When a dog reaches sexual maturity, many new things must be taken into consideration. Many owners will take spaying and neutering as options, but it is still helpful to know about canine sexuality in owning any dog. So how do dogs mate? Let’s take a look!
A male Dog will reach sexual maturity very early in life, at about 5 to 6 months. Even young puppies will exhibit sexual behaviors, like mounting, but they are not yet able to produce sperm. Females reach maturity at a little older age, usually between 6 and 12 months (which is still pretty quick!). Some large breeds can take as much as two years to reach sexual maturity, though, so it really does depend a lot on the breed. The reproductive cycle in dogs varies in females but is usually somewhere around 6 or 7 months. Their cycle is comprised of four distinct stages, called the proestrus, estrus, diestrus, and anestus. In the first state, or the proestrus, the eggs in the female ovaries mature as estrogen levels start to rise. This is the stage where males will start to become attracted, although the females are not yet considered to be in heat. In the next stage, or the estrus, the mature eggs will be released from the dogs ovaries, and estrogen levels will begin to spike. The female is now ready to copulate, and considered to be in heat. If the female is receptive, they will “flag” the male to mount by moving their tail off to the side. If she is not yet receptive, they will be totally uncooperative, barking or biting at males who try to mount them.
Males will always mount “doggy style” or from behind. Dogs differ from humans in that they cannot actually become erect before penetration. Once they do this, a large spherical gland, or the bulbus glandis, will become engorged with blood and trap the penis inside. This is called a “tie” and ensures that no sperm will leak out and the female will not be able to run away (which is common in young virgin dogs). The dogs will stay tied for up to 20 minutes, and it is very important to not try to separate them even if the female looks uncomfortable, as doing this will cause great harm to both the dogs. After mating comes the diestrus stage, which is where the litter will mature in the womb. And the final stage is the anestrum, where the dog will give mature in the pregnancy and give birth. Neither dog will show any interest during either of these two stages. So how do dogs mate? Well, not too differently from us, although it is a bit more animalistic.