Breeding a Male Dog – All You Need To Know

In this article we will go through your most frequent questions about male dog breeding problems, when should your dog start breeding, and what can you expect from the whole process. When is he too young or too old? Read on, and you will discover what it takes to do before mating when being an owner of a male dog.

breeding a dog

You want to breed your male dog but are a complete beginner in dog breeding, mating and having the litter of puppies. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

In this article we will go through your most frequent questions about male dog breeding problems, when should your dog start breeding, when it should stop mating and what can you expect from the whole process. When is he too young or too old? Read on, and you will discover what it takes to do before mating when being an owner of a male dog.

A lot of dog owners start thinking about whether they should spay their dogs, or breed them in order to have a litter of cute puppies. Some owners do it professionally, but others just want to have another little pup that is similar to their already beloved pet.

While it may sound easy, breeding your male dog also comes with certain responsibilities and duties. Though the perfect timing of mating depends on the female, the success of it is mostly connected to male dog’s fertility and overall health.

We will list out all the factors that you have to take in consideration before getting your dog into the mating world. So, let’s start!

When Can You Breed a Male Dog?

male dog beagle

Let’s make it clear, the fact that your male dog started showing any kind of willing-to-mate behavior, doesn’t mean anything at all. It’s really the same for female puppies. Even if they enter their first heat at six months old, they still can’t be seen as mature candidates for mating.

Similar to us humans, reaching physical and mental maturity is necessary in order to produce a healthy litter and to avoid any potential health problems that might occur after breeding at a young age. In extreme cases, breeding while being sexually immature can even result in injuries and death.

It is very important not to start breeding your puppy while he’s too young, but you should also be aware when your dog is simply too old to breed.

When Do Male Dogs Reach Sexual Maturity?

The age of maturity of your dog depends on his size. The bigger the breed, the older age that is necessary for your dog to be considered mature for mating.

While small sized male dogs can be used as studs from the age of 12 until 18 months old, medium size dogs take 15 to 18 months in order to reach the same level of maturity. If you own a large sized dog, you can expect him to be a mature stud not before the age of 18-24 months. But, what age can you breed your male dog?

When Is The Best Age To Breed A Male Dog?

The best age to breed your dog is above the age of 2. OFA doesn’t accept younger dogs as studs before that age as well.

If you’re asking yourself why is this age seen as the best one for mating if some breeds are considered mature at a younger age, this is what you should know.

Breeding dogs doesn’t really start with mating and end in having the offspring. Both female and male dogs have to be checked and confirmed in order to mate. They have to be in good health conditions that won’t produce a litter of puppies with health issues.

Some diseases and health problems in dogs don’t manifest any symptoms before the age of 2 years. After this age, your dog can have a health check for mating at your vet’s, after which you will know if your dog is a good candidate or not.

However, you should know that breeding is not recommended for dogs older than 8 years. This is the case if your dog is has a good overall health. If not, the oldest age for breeding might be restricted to 5 years max.

Preparation of the Stud

two dogs running together

So, your dog has grown to his standard size and has reached the age of 2. Now you want to breed your dog, but what should you do next? The first thing to do is check your dog for all health issues including his overall health, genetic traits, and fertility.

Health Tests Preparation

Before breeding a male dog, it is important to confirm that dog is in good health because some diseases might be passed on to the litter of puppies. Your vet will probably know the procedure, but you might want to know what is expecting you and your dog.

In order to be accepted as a stud for mating, your dog has to get a complete physical exam by your vet. Any health issues like hip dysplasia and joint problems have to be ruled out in order to proceed with mating.

You also want to check your dog’s ears and eyes, as well as run a blood test and urinalysis. You have to ensure that your pet is not suffering from any disease or disorder.

Additionally, you might need to do a genetic traits test too. This will provide you with clear information on your dog’s genetic status. Doing a genetic test is especially important if your dog is not a pure breed and it ensures that the offspring won’t have diseases or genetic problems. This will make sure that there wasn’t any inbreeding in your dog’s ancestry.

Getting this information will help in matching your dog with a suitable mating partner.

If you haven’t brought your dog to a general check-up, don’t worry! Watch this video to see what your vet will do in order to do a basic health check.

Fertility Check

Even if this shouldn’t be an issue for healthy pups, some dogs experience signs of infertility as a result of hormonal imbalance or some disorder or disease. Fertility check will give you the clearest answers if you’re wondering if your dog is too young or too old to breed.

Fertility check includes an examination of your dog’s reproductive anatomy and prostate. Often, the semen sample is collected to further the examination. Your vet might also want to know about the history of breeding.

However, not all factors that influence fertility are strictly related to health disorders or diseases. It might not be a perfect time to breed your dog if he has suffered from a physical injury that will prohibit him to mount a female dog. Again, some medications might influence your dog’s fertility, so before getting into the breeding phase consulting your vet about all the health aspects is definitely a good idea.

Once it’s confirmed that your dog is fertile, you can proceed with looking for a perfect mating match.

Breeding Paperwork

Now that you have all the health tests done, you can proceed with paperwork. Now you want to confirm that your dog conforms its breed’s standards. This part is mostly focused on your dog’s appearance and temperament.

In order to mate, dogs have to possess their breed’s most prominent traits. While in some breeds these traits are merely physical, in others they are rather behavioral. Contact a breed club in order to find out if your dog conforms to breed standards. If he does, it will make the whole process much easier.

Although it’s not mandatory, registering your dog at a Kennel Club might help other dog owners know that your dog is a good candidate for breeding. Additionally, you will need to claim the ownership of your dog in order to recognize him by a Kennel Club.

Determining The Ideal Mate

Before signing the stud contract you have to find your dog’s ideal female mate. The dam shouldn’t be bigger in size than your dog and should suit your dog in terms of temperament and appearance. Ensure that their bloodlines are compatible and that the female is a rather calm and friendly dog, as this will make mating less stressful.

Also, you have to make sure that both your dog and the dam have received all the necessary vaccine shots.

If it’s the first time your dog is being used as a stud, finding a female dog that has mated before would be quite helpful.

Create a Stud Contract

Stud Contract

Before the breeding takes place, you should draw up a stud contract. But what is this contract about? Well, it actually protects you and your stud’s rights on the offspring after the mating.

Stud contract contains details such as “where will breeding occur”, or what is the stud fee. As a male dog’s owner, it is you that sets the price of a fee, but you can also opt for other options such as: “picking one puppy of the litter” or asking for one or two puppies from the litter.

However, if your dog is breeding for the first time, you probably won’t be able to charge too much for the fee. Rather, charge a nominal fee that will ensure you cover health and fertility checks.

This contract should be signed by both male and female dogs owners before the breeding occurred.

Before The Breeding

Now that you’ve found an ideal dam for your male dog, you need to make sure that the mating happens in the right moment. This, of course, depends on the female dog’s oestrus cycle. The best moment for mating is in the Estrus phase of the heat cycle when the female is ready to mate and will more luckily accept a male. This occurs, on average, from 9th till 14th day after the blood discharge appears.

Mating should occur on every second day in a way to increase the chances of impregnation. So it should be 9th, 11th and 13th day or 10th, 12th and 14th, counting the first day of blood discharge as day 1.

Female dog’s owner will probably provide you with the information you need considering the ideal days for breeding.

Hygiene Check

Even if stud’s role is much shorter in the litter production, you will nevertheless have to prepare your dog before the breeding occurs. Your dog should be thoroughly clean, especially in the genitals area as this will prevent giving the female dog an infection.

Apart from ensuring your dog is bathed and neat for the breeding, keeping his peak in physical condition is also very important. Ensure your dog is getting a fair amount of exercise and a well balanced, healthy diet.

On the day of breeding, it’s smart to skip feeding your dog as he might vomit his lunch as soon as the mating is over. Wait until it’s over and give your dog to eat only after everything’s finished.

The Mating and The Tie

As a male dog owner you might have to monitor the mating procedure. In case the canine couple has difficulties or start behaving strangely, some of the owners would probably have to help them out.

What you have to be careful about is that dogs change the position during breeding facing up in opposite directions. This position is called the tie, and it usually lasts from 10 to 30 minutes. It is very important to keep the dogs from pulling one another so no one gets injured. That’s why it is necessary to have at least one of the breeders monitor the breeding process.

How Many Times Can You Breed A Male Dog?

There isn’t a precise number of times you can breed a male dog, since studs don’t go through exhausting pregnancies and whelping periods that might affect a dog’s health condition. Apparently, a male dog can breed multiple times from the moment he is fully grown.

However, the number of times your dog can be bred depends on several factors such as his overall health and fitness condition, as well as fertility levels. If a stud is in good health, he’ll be able to produce high quality sperm even up to an older age.

All potential health-related issues will appear once your stud reaches his adult age and develops into his grown-up size. Once your vet establishes that your dog has no concerning health conditions to pass to the offspring, your stud will be ready to mate.

From this point on, you can breed your male dog as often as you want. Some breeders mate their dogs just several times per year, while others mate them every week. Nonetheless, the first approach might be more successful than the latter because of the semen quality. We’ll explain that in our answer to the next question.

How Long Does It Take A Male Dog To Build Up Sperm?

Even if it’s possible to mate male dogs as often as you want, it might be smarter to provide your dog with sufficient sexual rest between two matings. Why? Namely, it takes 60 days for a stud to produce new sperm cells and another 2 weeks for semen to mature. The first two times of semen collection or the first two matings are usually the most successful ones.

The rule here is to ensure your stud is rested in between ejaculates so that the quality of the sperm remains good.

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6 comments

  • sue Hunt

    I have a 16 year old Yorkshire terrier, could he still mate with my small Border Collie lass, or is he passed it.

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      It is not recommendable to breed dogs that are in their senior age. Not only may breeding process be exhausting for them, but old parents might pass more genetic anomalies to the litter than younger studs.

  • Jenny Sundberg

    My female is in heat and the male is super interested, but he can’t seem to tie with her. 

  • Mike Porten

    Can using my male golden doodle for breeding change his temperament and personality? Will it make him more sexually active? He is very calm and easy going with no « humping » habits and we are concerned that if we use him for breeding, this could change. Thanks 

  • Linda Leighton

    What age can we mate our dog he is 5 months old?

    • Kristina - Barking Royalty Team

      Hey Linda!

      The best age for your dog to mate depends primarily on his size. However, the best thing to do is wait until he reaches the age of 2.

      Best,

      Kristina