Conception

  • Timing
  • Introductions
  • Courtship
  • Penetration
  • Pedigree Information

Timing - To ensure conception takes place, it is best to take your bitch to the stud dog twice. Once on the 11th day after the heat season has begun and again two days later. This is when the bitch is at the most fertile period of her heat season. Sperm produced by a dog can survive for up to a week in the bitch's genital tract and still be capable of fertilising eggs.

Introductions - At first introduction, keep the dog and the bitch on leads just in case either party shows signs of aggression. Always bear in mind that the bitch may not like the dog you have chosen for her, and vice versa, although the latter is rare. It is best to abandon the idea of mating with this pair if this happens and it may be wise to have another stud dog lined up to fall back on.

Courtship - This is generally minimal. It is usual for the stud dog to lick around the bitch's vulva briefly before mounting, but this is not always the case.

Penetration - There is a small bone in the dog's penis, which means that penetration can be achieved without an erection. Once the dog has mounted the bitch he will make strong thrusting movements and ejaculate the first part of his semen. During the second stage, the dog will dismount from the bitch, but his penis will remain inside the vagina. He does this by turning away from the bitch and lifting his hind leg over her back. This stage is called 'tied' and can take up to an hour to complete. The dog and the bitch are now in a tail to tail position. No attempt at separation should be made at this stage. The bitch's strong contracting vaginal muscles and the dogs engorged penis means the pair are 'locked' together and the dog continues to release semen. The pair will separate in due course. This second stage is not essential for conception to take place, however the second release of semen is far richer in spermatozoa and should be allowed to continue.

Pedigree Information - At this stage of the arrangement you will need to obtain the details of the dog and the owner, even though your bitch's pregnancy won't be confirmed for a few weeks. If you, or the owner of the stud dog, have travelled far there is a chance that you will not meet again and this information is essential in order to register the puppies.