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When a male and female in heat meet on the street, the hormones do somersaults. They only want one thing: mating – right now! Now it is important to keep a cool head as a holder.

Mating with dogs: when does dog sex occur?

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In order for a mating act to take place, both males and females must be sexually mature. Bitches come into heat for the first time when they first come into heat, between the ages of seven and 14 months. Males are sexually mature when they are around one year old, often earlier. While the male is ready for dog mating practically all year round, the bitch is only ready during her heat, more precisely: during the standing heat.

Experts also refer to these fertile days as “oestrus” or “oestrus”. In this phase of the cycle, the fertile egg cells mature. Even in the preliminary phase (proestrus) the bitch smells attractive for males but does not allow mating intercourse. The standing heat lasts between three and 21 days, but an average of nine days.

How do dogs mate?

As wild as the hormones may make our four-legged friends: The mating act follows a millennia-old “protocol” that most dogs adhere to. That means: Before you have the mating you get to know each other. Even if it only takes a few minutes …


Even with dogs, there is foreplay, but it can be different. Some get straight to the point. But most dogs sniff each other extensively before sexual intercourse and mount each other.

The bitch heralds the end of the foreplay by signaling her readiness: she presents her bottom to the male and stretches his tail to the side. In the case of accidental dog encounters, this foreplay usually gives dog owners enough time to intervene and separate the dogs in a love frenzy.

The mating act in dogs

During the actual mating, the dog climbs onto the bitch from behind and holds onto her back with his front paws. Only after penetration does the dog’s penis have a full erection.

Both the penis and vagina swell, causing the bitch’s vagina to become blocked. Male and female dogs are literally knotted together. Shortly afterward, the male will ejaculate.

Hang out after mating

The so-called hanging is part of the ceiling. The dog dismounts from the bitch after ejaculation. However, because the vagina and penis are still swollen, the two get stuck together. Meanwhile, the male turns sideways. Only when the genitals are swollen can he pull the penis out.

The duration of hanging can vary widely – from a few minutes to around an hour. Hanging increases the chance of the egg cells being fertilized. This is because secretion from the prostate gets into the vagina, which flushes the sperm cells into the bitch’s uterus.

Caution, risk of injury: male and female dogs must never be separated by force when “hanging”!

How long does mating take for dogs?

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Dog mating can take different lengths of time – some dogs do without foreplay and “hang” for a short time. So the mating act can be over after a few minutes. Dog mating usually takes 15 to 20 minutes.

In rare cases and when hanging for a long time, it can take over an hour for the two lovebirds to separate again. Even if no offspring is desired, you should not separate the dogs after riding because of the risk of injury.

Breeding process for dogs: is the bitch pregnant?

Around three weeks after the start of pregnancy, an ultrasound scan can reveal whether the bitch is pregnant. Further diagnostic options are the detection of a pregnancy hormone by means of a blood sample (relaxin test). Experienced veterinarians can feel the fetuses between the third and fourth weeks of gestation (palpation).

Prevent unwanted offspring

Anyone who has a dog is also responsible for their offspring. Anyone who is not a breeder in a recognized club should therefore ensure that there is no mating. The shelters are full of grown-up “ups” litters and mixed breeds. Also for the breeding of pedigree dogs, you need more than one bitch and one male in heat. In addition, every pregnancy is associated with health risks for the bitch.

Therefore keep dogs and dogs in heat under control in their vicinity. However, if you do not want to mate, consult a veterinarian immediately. He can advise you on all aspects of dog abortion. Among other things, hormone injections are available, which, however, have to be given relatively shortly after mating.

Warning: Riding is not always the same as dog mating

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Many dog owners are familiar with riding dogs on other dogs or even ramming objects or people. Riding on dogs is not always sexually motivated, however. Bitches or neutered males also ride. Young dogs in particular like to test their strength when riding – will the other dog fight back and put them in their place?

Riding can also be an act of jumping over by socially overwhelmed dogs. In rare cases, ramming objects indicates insufficient demand. What are the reasons for riding your dog? When in doubt, seek advice from a dog trainer or animal psychologist.