Questions about dog mating

We have already published articles about deciding to breed your dog and choosing a stud dog, but there are not as many articles about the actual dog mating.

In general, the first time dog breeder should not be breeding a litter without having first researched what is involved and preferably been involved in dog breeding through another breeder, but sadly there are some who simply decide to breed their dog without looking into it properly because they want a puppy from their dog or worse still, simply to make some money.  The worst case scenario would be a first-time dog breeder taking their bitch to a first-time, unproven stud dog owner and although this is rare, it does happen.

Here are the answers to a few often asked questions about dog mating:

Where should the mating take place?
In most cases, it is customary for the bitch to be taken to the stud dog, however, at times the venue may be agreed between the dogs owners.  It is important to note that it is against the Kennel Club rules for any dog mating to take place within the grounds of any dog show and would be irresponsible to allow this.

Who should attend the dog mating? (aside from the stud dog and bitch!)
Naturally, it is not a good idea to have too many people there.  It should be just the stud dog owner and the owner of the bitch, however, the stud dog owner should have a good idea of how his dog will react and so you should be guided by the owner of the stud dog.  It is important that owners and any onlookers remain relaxed as the bitch will pick up on this.

Should the bitch be muzzled?
It is not unusual for a stud dog owner to request this, because it is possible that the bitch may turn and nip the stud dog.  A muzzle can be removed once the pair has ‘tied’.

How long should the dogs be tied for?
This is difficult to say, but on average between 20 and 30 minutes.  However, it has been known to be much longer!

What should the owners do when the dogs are tied?
It is important to stop either dog from trying to pull away before they are ready.  Experienced stud dogs will usually stay where they are but even experienced bitches may try to pull.  A tie will usually take less time if both dogs relax, so the dog owners should stay with their respective dog and talk gently to them to help the dogs relax.

Should there be a second mating?
Some dog owners prefer to have a second mating, especially if they are not sure about the best day for ovulation (see When is my bitch ready to breed).  If a second mating does take place, it should be about 48 hours later.

As with all dog mating, make sure all stud dog fees and any agreement is in writing beforehand.