Mating in dogs: how does it work?


As with all animals, dogs have a natural reproductive instinct, and therefore sexuality. However, unlike humans, copulation in dogs can only take place under certain conditions, which are different for males and females.

The heat period in the bitch

In females, the first periods of heat begin between 6 months and 15 months, depending on the breed. They usually occur twice a year, and last two or three weeks. During this period, the bitch’s vulva doubles in size, and we can notice white / yellowish discharge. The bitch is fully fertile when the discharge turns white.

In some cases, this heat can represent risks, which is why it is strongly recommended in the following cases to make an appointment quickly with your veterinarian:

  • no heat observed even after the age of 15 months,
  • heat that lasts more than three weeks,
  • time intervals between heat too distant: more than 8 months apart,
  • time intervals between heat that are too close: less than 4 months apart.

Heat in dogs

The male does not really have a “rutting season” as such, since he becomes sexually active when he meets a bitch in the heat. However, the male’s sperm will not be really fertile until he is ten to fifteen months old (depending on the breed), although he can physically mate anyway.

The courtship display of dogs

When a male and a female in heat meet, they begin their courtship display. They will both start by sniffing each other, tail in the air, first the muzzle, then the male will then sniff the rump, and particularly the bitch’s vulva. This is how he will make sure that the female is in the rutting season, and that she will therefore be receptive to reproduce.

The female will want to check the reproductive qualities of the male. She will therefore turn around him while sniffing him, making small jumps while wagging her tail, then finally, if the bitch feels that the male is a good breeder, she will accept mating. It will therefore stop, raising the rump to facilitate penetration, and place his tail to the side.

How does dog copulation take place

Once the courtship is over, copulation begins. The male becomes erect, and begins to climb on the pelvis of the female to penetrate her. The attempted penetration can take place instantly or take up to several minutes, often depending on the male’s experience.

Once the penetration is done, the male will begin jerky movements of the pelvis, which the female will accompany. This action will have the effect of dilating the glans of the male, which will be here totally erect, and will dilate up to 8cm. During this action, the male will ejaculate three times:

  • for the first time, upon penetration, pre-sperm will act as a lubricant,
  • about a minute later, a second ejaculation will contain more sperm,
  • finally, the last one will take place during what is called the more complex knotting period.

The tying period in dogs

The knotting period is the last phase of the dog’s mating, and the one during which it will be necessary to be the most attentive. During this stage, the male’s erection is at its peak, resulting in vaginal contraction in the female. From this moment, the male and the female can no longer separate.

This last phase, which lasts between 15 and 30 minutes, is the period during which the male ejaculates the most fertile sperm, and should especially not be interrupted by one of the masters, because this can cause a fracture of the pelvic bone in the patient. male, and vaginal hemorrhage in the female.

Do not panic, however, if the dogs are found back to back, the male’s penis being flexible up to 180 °. Despite everything, this is the time when they need to be watched the most so that they do not get injured.

Once this period is over, the bitch’s vulva expands, and the two dogs can finally separate. The two dogs begin to lick each other’s genitals, and the male’s penis recalibrates.

The postcoital period of the dog

Once the mating is finished, the male will be very calm, and will have no sexual desire for a few days, even if he meets another bitch in the heat; so you don’t have to worry.

On the side of the female, she will be quite simply very calm, for a while, whether she has been impregnated or not.