Read About Dog

Categories in Pet Library
Featured Article

Dog Reproduction

Dog reproduction varies from human reproduction in a couple of ways. The cycle of dogs is quite different and of course, the size of the litter tends to be quite a bit more than in a human pregnancy.

Like humans, dog reproduction can only occur when the female reaches an age of sexual maturity. Female dogs, which can also be called bitches, will mate only when they are in heat. Being in heat, or estrus, is the period of time when the animal is ovulating. Interestingly, female dogs only have a cycle, on average, every six months. Some can have one every four months or some every twelve months, it really depends on the dog.

The female dogs estrus cycle last roughly around three weeks and is divided into three parts; proestrus, estrus and diestrus. This is the menstruation, the ovulation and then the post-ovulation. Proestrus lasts roughly five to nine days, this is the stage where bleeding occurs. Then you have the estrus, where ovulation occurs. Lastly, diestrus is the post ovulation.

The most interesting thing about dog reproduction is that the female is able to get pregnant by multiple male dogs. Each pup in the litter could have a different father, pretty amazing, right?

With female dog reproduction, her first cycle usually begins around six months of age. There are a couple of signs to look for when determining whether your dog is in heat. First, swelling of the vulva, any behavioral changes, she may begin to lick herself, be less resistant to male dogs and bleeding.

As with all mammals, the possibility of impregnation is highest during ovulation. If the dog does become pregnant at this time, then she has a gestation period of around 9 weeks. A canine can carry anywhere from two to ten pups, depending on the size and breed of the dog.

Interestingly, there are methods of birth control that are similar to those of humans. There are injections that your vet can insert in order to avoid the dog’s menstrual cycle. There are also hormonal pills that can offset the cycle for later in life. It is important to note that this can have negative affects on your dogs’ health, such as infertility and cancer. If you are trying to breed your dog or monitor the dog reproduction cycle, these all of the above things are important to know.