Breeding a dog is a serious process that involves proper preparation. Learn about dog breeding and the frequency of male dog breeding. Moreover, discover if a male dog can breed twice the same day.
If you’re thinking about breeding or mating dogs, be sure to do plenty of research as the first step. After all, taking on a litter is an enormous responsibility, and as a responsible pet owner you want to be sure that your dog or dogs are healthy and well-cared. There is so much that should know about dog mating.
In general, people envision this process as a one-time thing, done fast and instantly. However, it couldn’t be further from the truth. And have you heard that some dogs can mate twice in the same day? and Is that a truth?
Can A Male Dog Mate Twice In The Same Day?
Stud dogs sometimes have the opportunity to service more than one bitch on the same day. A common example is when there are two planned breeding bitches come into season on the same day due to their cycles synchronizing, and both are ready to be mated. As a responsible breeder you want what is best for your dogs, keeping them fit and healthy and performing at their best. In this article we will take a look at how often you can breed your male dog, and other common questions regarding male breeding health. (1)
So, is it OK for a stud dog to mate twice in the same day? The answer is yes he can. However, it isn’t something that he should be doing regularly and it is important to understand a little more about male breeding health. If you breed your dog too often he may start to produce low quality sperm, and lower the chance of the female dog getting pregnant.
When Can A Male Dog Start Breeding?
The age at which a dog becomes physically and mentally mature varies a lot depending on the breed and size of the dog. As a general rule smaller breeds mature faster, while larger breeds take longer to mature. Even if a young male dog is showing signs of being interested in mating, it usually doesn’t mean he is physically ready. Just like humans, it is much better if male and female dogs are fully mature before they have a litter of pups. (2)
Although it may seem like a long time to wait until your male dog is physically mature, it is also an important time to see if he develops any health issues which could be passed on to future pups.
Small male dogs are often mature around 12 months, while medium male dogs may be ready between 15-18 months. Larger male breeds often wont be mature and physically ready until they reach 18-24 months of age. Some breeders even wait until their male dog is 2 years old, irrespective of size or breed, before considering him an “adult” and ready to mate. (3)
How Often Can A Male Dog Breed?
There are no set rules for how often a male dog can breed. It will vary depending on the health and age of the dog, semen quality and libido. A male dog can breed as often as he wants as long as he is keen to do so. However, if he is used for breeding very regularly without rest, his sperm stores will start to decrease in quality. This is likely to lead to a lower pregnancy rate. (4)
Some professional breeders may only use their male stud dog a few times a year to preserve their genetics, while other breeders will be keen to use their stud dog as much as possible for financial gain without thinking about the dog’s health.
Can A Male Dog Mate Every Day?
Yes, a stud dog can mate daily. However, after a few days his sperm levels and sperm quality may start to decrease, so its best if its not a frequent occurrence.
Generally, it is thought that a stud dog should not breed, or have his sperm collected, more than every other day, to keep the sperm quality at a high level. Breeding every other day will allow the dog to replace and replenish his sperm stores.
Can A Stud Dog Mate Twice In The Same Day?
There are some instances when a stud dog is faced with the opportunity to mate twice in the same day. This may occur naturally if a dog and bitch are running together, or a stud dog may be presented with two bitches that come into season at the same time.
Therefore, yes stud dogs can mate twice in the same day if they are in good health and keen to do so. However, mating twice in one day can quickly reduce their sperm reserves. Therefore, its fine to do every once in a while but continually mating your stud dog twice daily will probably tire him out, lead to lower sperm rates and lower fertility rates.
Smaller breeds of dogs carry less sperm reserves than large dogs, as they have smaller testicles. Therefore, some smaller dogs may struggle to produce enough sperm to mate successfully twice daily.
When Is The Best Time Of Day To Mate Twice Daily?
If you want to mate your stud dog twice in one day, then it would be best to space the two mating’s out, to give your dog some time to rest and recover. Therefore, breeding your dog early in the morning and then in the evening might be the best option.
Are There Any Risks Of Mating Your Stud Dog Twice In A Day?
It is possible to breed your male dog too much, which can often lead to lower fertility rates. Over breeding your male dog could also cause him to have a reduced interest in mating. Unfortunately, some breeders do over use their stud dog.
So, it is fine to mate your stud dog twice in the same day if it isn’t happening very often. However, he shouldn’t be mating twice daily all the time as his sperm levels will start to decrease.
What Is The Popular Sire Syndrome?
Another possible problem if you breed your dog too much and produce lots of litters, is the popular sire syndrome.
It starts with a male dog that is producing lots of litters each year, such as a purebred champion stud dog that suddenly lots of other owners want to breed their female dogs with. There is a risk that this male stud dog could be passing on defective genes to lots of his offspring, which may not become fully apparent until a few generations later. By that time, he has lots of offspring with the inherited defect.
An example of an undesirable trait passing quickly through litters, includes unacceptable intense aggression in English Springer Spaniels in the USA, which has been traced back to a popular sire from a well known kennel. Another example is Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) which causes heart failure in Doberman dogs. (5) This genetic problem which many Doberman’s now carry in their DNA, can actually be traced back to seven popular sires in the 1950’s. (6)
A stud dog that is too popular and over breeds, can also increase the risk of inbreeding. Lots of purebred puppies in that area may be related to the original stud dog, even in some small way, and their offspring may mate in the future. Inbreeding increases the risk of puppies developing inherited conditions. (7)
Are You Over Breeding Your Male Dog?
It is important to make sure you don’t over breed your male dog. Some useful tips to make sure you don’t over breed your male dog include:
- Breed your dog every other day
- Manage the breeding
- Keep the bitch and dog separate
- Check his fertility
During breeding season, mating your dog every other day gives your dog time to replenish his sperm stores. However, the odd daily or twice daily breeding is ok as long as he is fit, healthy, with good sperm levels and given time to recover.
A stud dog that is left with a bitch on heat can exhaust himself through excitement and constantly trying to mate. He is also more likely to get hurt. It is best to “manage” the mating’s and give them a bit of help if necessary.
Again this refers to keeping the stud dog separate from the female dogs most of the time. So that when he needs to breed he is keen and fresh.
If you want to properly check if you are breeding your stud dog too much you can check his fertility levels through a semen analysis.
How Can You Check Your Dog’s Sperm Levels?
A sample of your dog’s semen can be collected and analysed by a veterinary clinic or canine laboratory to check his fertility levels. (8)
When a dog’s semen is checked the following factors are usually evaluated:
- sperm numbers
- sperm movement
- percentage of normal sperm
Other additional tests which can be carried out on semen include:
- Culture to check for bacterial infection
- Measuring enzymes to check for reproductive health
- Sperm DNA assessment
These tests can help to check if your dog has good quality, normal sperm or if he has a fertility problem.
Why Should You Check Your Male Dog’s Sperm Levels?
You might want to check your dog’s sperm levels to see how fertile he is.
Common reasons for checking a dog’s fertility include:
- Young male stud dogs can have their semen checked before they start breeding, to check if they are mature and ready.
- If a stud dog has had some time off he should have his semen checked, as sometimes “old” sperm isn’t as fertile.
- If a stud dog has been breeding more regularly, like twice daily, to check if he is keeping up with demand.
- If a stud dog isn’t getting many or any female dogs pregnant.
- If a stud dog starts producing small litter sizes.
- Before a stud dog has his semen frozen.
- If your stud dog has been ill
10 Tips For Keeping Your Stud Dog Healthy
If you keep your dog healthy and fit, then he is more likely to produce healthy sperm and be able to mate twice daily when the occasion arises. A healthy male dog can continue to produce high quality sperm into old age.
Here Are 10 Tips To Help Keep Your Stud Dog Healthy:
1. A good quality complete and balanced diet
Nutrition is a very important factor to ensure your dog is healthy, producing healthy sperm and producing healthy litters of puppies.
2. Normal weight
It is important to keep your dog at a normal weight for his breed. A dog that is overweight or underweight may struggle to mate.
3. Daily exercise
Keeping your dog fit helps to keep his bones, muscles and organs in good condition. Regular daily exercise is also important for his mental health, to help prevent boredom and keep his mind stimulated. The amount of exercise your dog requires depends on his breed.
4. Regular health examinations
It is a good idea for your dog to have a full health check by a veterinarian at least every 12 months. This would include a full physical examination, and also include blood tests to check the thyroid, blood count and serum biochemistry.
5. Semen evaluation
If your dog is breeding regularly then a semen evaluation might be carried out every 6-8 weeks. If your dog doesn’t breed very often, then he may only need an evaluation 2 weeks before breeding.
6. Brucellosis test
A Brucellosis test should be performed every six months. Canine brucellosis is a contagious bacterial infection which can be spread when dogs breed. This is a serious disease which can cause infertility and abortions. (9)
7. Prostate examination
A prostate examination should be carried out at least every 12 months, and sooner if your dog is showing signs of infertility, low libido or painful urination. Prostate conditions are common in older male dogs that are not neutered.
Many contagious canine diseases can be easily prevented through vaccinations. Talk to your veterinarian about which vaccines would be best for your dog.
9. Manage the mating
A stud dog that is just left with a bitch on heat can exhaust himself through excitement and constantly trying to mate. He is also more likely to get hurt, or to hurt the female dog in the process. It is best to manage the mating’s and give them a bit of help if necessary. It is also important to see if the dogs actually mate!
10. Don’t over breed your dog
The frequency at which your male dog should mate with another dog depends on his health, age, libido and semen quality. Generally during breeding season, its best not to breed more than once every two days. Also try to monitor how many litters your male dog is producing and if there is any risk of producing too many within a small gene pool. (10)
Although these regular health checks and disease screenings may seem expensive, they will probably save you money and time in the long run. They will help ensure your dog is healthy and performing at his best.
A male dog can mate twice in one day when the occasion arises, but if he does that regularly his sperm reserves may become depleted leading to lower pregnancy rates. It is best for his fertility levels if he mates every other day.
You can check your dog’s fertility by performing a semen evaluation. If you keep your stud dog fit and healthy, and carry out all the necessary health checks recommended by the breed association, then his breeding ability will be kept at a high standard.
This article has been written by Dr Margarita Boyd, BVSc MRCVS.
Margarita graduated from the University of Liverpool, earning a Bachelor in Veterinary Science with distinction. She worked in small animal and equine practice for a few years, before choosing to focus solely on companion animals. She has developed a special interest in internal medicine and ophthalmology.