Dogs Mating - All You Need To Know

Dogs Mating - All You Need To Know

Author WDF Staff | Last updated: Jun 18 2023


If you are an inspiring breeder or looking to get a suitable partner for your dog to mate, there are things you should know about dog mating. There is a lot less romance involved and a lot of technical planning.

As a breeder or an owner, you should know why you want your dog to mate. Some owners love their dogs so much and would love to have more puppies from them, but that might be more complicated than you think. First, there is one question you need to answer;

Should I breed my dog?

If you want to become a breeder - yes, by all means. Select a suitable, healthy partner for your dog, and arrange reproduction. If you are an owner, things might not be so easy. There are many reasons why you should or should not breed your dog. Keep in mind that dogs don’t breed for pleasure. They do it because of their survival instinct.

Female dog mating

There is a widespread belief that female dogs should mate at least once. There is no scientific evidence that that is true, and dog owners sometimes feel guilty after spaying or neutering their dogs. There is also no evidence that female dogs have maternal instincts or that they want to have puppies for their satisfaction.

Spaying or neutering can reduce dogs’ overpopulation and help clear animal rescues and shelters. These procedures will also help prevent certain health problems in the future. If you still want your female dog to mate, there are things you should know about the heat cycle.

male and female labrador dogs

The health of a nursing dog is important, and there are things you should know. Check out this article - Mastitis in dogs.

Dog heat cycle

There are over 400 pure-blooded dog breeds worldwide, and they all have different heat cycles. The female dog heat cycle can be split into three cycles - proestrus, estrus, and diestrus. Dog mating should ideally occur around the eleventh day of the heat cycle. That is when the female dog is ovulating, and she is most receptive to the male dog's advances. During the diestrus cycle, the dog pregnancy should be confirmed or denied. 

RELATED: How Many Puppies Can a Dog Have?

How often do female dogs go into heat?

There is no general rule about female dogs going into heat. Every breed has different cycles, and if there is a way to round that up, it would be like this;

  • Small breeds - Female dogs of the smallest breeds, like the Chihuahua, Pomeranian, or Yorkie can go into heat every 4 months.
  • Medium breeds - Medium-sized breeds like the Border Collie will go into heat about every 6 months.
  • Large breeds - Larger breeds go into heat on average every 9 months. But it can be anywhere from 6 - 12 months.
  • Giant breeds - Giant dog breeds like the Broholmer or Tibetan Mastiffs go into heat every 12 months. 

Male dog mating

Male dogs can act pretty crazy if they are around females in heat. They smell the pheromones and hormones female dogs leave in their environment. By doing that, female dogs let the males know they will be in full heat soon and receptive. Male dogs’ instincts can take over, and they will be adamant about mating.

There is no reason a male dog should do that. It doesn’t offer any health benefits; some researchers proved it could worsen their behavior. Controlling a male dog around females in heat can be pretty hard. Their instincts will take over, and they will listen to no one, not even their owner. The only possible solution to that is neutering.

male and female dachshund

Neutering a male dog

Male dogs will instinctively look for a female partner. They don’t need to mate, but they will look for some sort of sexual gratification. This behavior can escalate, and the only way to control it is by neutering them.

Neutering will solve another problem - unwanted puppies. Many dog owners believe they want puppies, but they have no idea how much time and effort puppies demand when puppies come. When they grow up, they need constant feeding and cleaning, shots, parasite medicine, vet check-ups, and dog food. It often becomes too much for some owners, who give them away.

Act of dog mating

Dog mating should only take place after careful consideration. Regular owners should not mate their dogs without a goal. For example, if you are part of a doggie daycare and other owners would take your dog’s puppies, that might be a good reason. Remember that people often change their minds, and you could easily end up with a home full of puppies.

If you want to become a breeder, make sure you have done your research, and the goal of mating is clear. It should always be to improve the breed you are interested in. Don’t mate your dog because you want to make money.

As we mentioned earlier, the ideal mating time would be around the eleventh day of the female dog’s heat cycle. By then, they are usually receptive, and there is a bigger chance that she will get pregnant.

RELATED: Main Reasons Why Dogs Get Stuck After Mating

Tips for successful mating

There are a few tips to follow if you want to give the pregnancy the most chance of success. Interestingly, male dogs are more stress-sensitive than female dogs. It would be best for pregnancy if the female dog is taken to the male’s home, where he will be relaxed and in familiar territory.

You can test a female dog, and the vet can tell you the optimal time for mating. It should be around 10 - 14 days of the heat cycle. There are ways to check the vaginal discharge, which should be watery and salmon-colored.

Breeders usually arrange two matings. They should be 24 - 48 hours apart, which is the best way to make sure the pregnancy takes. If everything goes well, you can expect puppies in about 60 days, which is how long a gestation period usually takes. To know more about a dog’s gestation period, check out this article - Dog pregnancy.

World Dog Finder team

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