How to cross dogs successfully?


It is said that bitches are jealous every 6 months. It is not entirely true, since in many occasions the frequency will depend on the race. For example, German Shepherds have it effectively every 180 days, but poodles have it every 250 days. Many times you confuse your dog's jealousy with menstruation, but they have nothing to do from the hormonal point of view. I mean that bitches don't have the period or period like women. It is also important that you know that normally the phase in which the dog bleeds abundantly is not that of the jealousy itself, but what we know as proestro that lasts on average 9 days, with an interval of 3 to 17 days, which is the period preceding the heat. At that time, that of the zeal proper, the dog will practically not remove blood through the vagina, but at most you will see a few droplets of pinkish or straw color. The period in which the dog is receptive, known technically as estrus, lasts on average 9 days with an interval of 3 to 21 days. It is therefore recommended that you introduce the male to the dog with whom you want him to cross at 8 or 9 days after he started to bleed and in the days after. The dog will try to ride her, but she will only be receptive or accept it when her body is ready for it.

To achieve a successful coupling, it is convenient for the female to be taken to the place where the male is. Ideally, a quiet environment in which the male attracted by the pheromones produced by the vagina and the female's anal glands will proceed to intercourse. I must tell you that the natural ride is the most normal, but sometimes, the inexperience of both or even the size of the dog or the dog can be an impediment for the intercourse to be performed normally especially in small breeds. In extreme cases and when natural riding is not possible, we will have to opt for artificial insemination. This consists of obtaining semen from the male by manual masturbation and its subsequent introduction into the dog's cervix by means of a probe.

The time that a male and a female can use in mating is 15-20 minutes.

At 16 days of the mount, the uterus will show spherical bulges at the implantation sites and at 20 days the embryo implantation begins. An experienced veterinarian may make a diagnosis of pregnancy by palpation at 25 days. The average gestation period is 63 days, varying between 56 to 72 if calculated from the time of the first ride.

We can say that after 5 weeks of gestation is when the true development of fetuses occurs, and after 50 days they will be practically the size they will have when they are born. It is advisable to perform an ultrasound at 30 and 50 days of gestation in order to determine the good condition of future puppies, their positioning and their number. If an ultrasound is not possible, it can be replaced by an x-ray, which will not cause any problems in the fetuses.

The use of medications during pregnancy, if necessary, should be done with extreme caution and always under veterinary control, as they can cause fetal alterations (teratological effects). What is indicated is the deworming of females on the 45th day of gestation to avoid as far as possible the transmission to fetuses by placental route of some parasites that can cause serious problems in the digestive system of puppies. This deworming should be repeated in the mother, ten days after delivery. It is also advisable to change the mother's diet from the 30th day of gestation. The most suitable food will be a feed of those formulated for growing puppies according to their breed or size. This special feeding must be maintained until weaning.

When there are a few days left for childbirth or sometimes only 12-14 hours, the dog will be restless, hyperactive, dig in certain places in the house and will look for the place that seems most appropriate to her to give birth. This place will not always be in line with what you think is the most appropriate, so if we do not want unpleasant surprises, it will be time to put ourselves in the task of showing it the place you have chosen. The ideal is a quiet place and as far away as possible from the bustle of the home. During the hours before the birth you will see that the dog comes very frequently to the place designed for childbirth and will be aggressive with strangers. The bed for childbirth should be made of a hard material so that the dog can tell if she is crushing a puppy and high enough on the sides to prevent a puppy from moving too much. It goes without saying that it will have to be sized according to the dimensions of the dog. A point that seems to me of the utmost importance and that many times is forgotten, is that in childbirth only the people closest to the future mother should be present. There have been cases of cannibalism when the dog understands that her litter is threatened or transfers of puppies to places she considers safer. The decrease in rectal temperature 8 to 24 hours before delivery is a parameter that must be taken into account. In the dwarf races it can descend to 35 º C, in the medium ones up to 36 º C and in the giants up to 37 º C.

Puppies and placentas are expelled with uterine contractions and the help of abdominal contractions. Once the puppy is born, the mother will proceed to her hygiene by breaking the fetal sheaths by means of licking, she will cut the umbilical cord with her teeth and remove the fluids and envelopes that could be obstructing the external airways. In the case of weak or dead puppies, after trying their resuscitation and not achieving it, the mother will separate them from the rest, hide them, bury them, or very rarely swallow them.

The intervals of 10 minutes to 2-3 hours between each birth are considered normal, with an average span of 30-45 minutes. Time we will have at another time to explain in more exhaustive way the different periods of labor and the control that you will have to perform over them.

Since during the gestation period of the dog a couple of visits to your usual clinic will be essential, you should take advantage of the one closest to the delivery to explain all those possible circumstances that may lead to a difficult delivery in which it will be essential to go urgently to a veterinarian.

José Enrique Zaldívar Laguía
Veterinary Clinic Colors.

Hormonal cycle

Another important aspect to know how to cross dogs successfully, is to know the proper functioning of the hormonal cycle of the dog.

Some tips to identify the right time to cross dogs successfully are:

  • What is the female's heat time? Some think it comes every 6 months. However, it depends on the breed, among other factors. As an example, that of poodles comes every 250 days, that is, every 9 months, approximately.
  • The hormonal cycle of dogs is not equal to that of women. It has nothing to do and you should not confuse zeal with menstruation.
  • The dog stains first for 9 days, with an interval of 3 to 17 days. This time is called "proestro". After this time, the heat begins.
  • The ideal time to introduce the female to the male is when 8 to 9 days have passed since the cycle began. That's when the dog is in its most fertile stay.
  • Animal instincts are wise. The female will accept the male, only if her body is prepared for effective mating.
  • It is recommended that the female be taken to the male's territory, generating in this a calm environment.
  • The mating process usually lasts 15 to 20 minutes. It is advisable to leave the couple for several hours, so they can have several sexual encounters and have a greater chance of success.
  • If it is the first time that the dog will have sex, it is possible that she moves away from the male, for inexperience.

Results with success

Occasionally, despite bringing dogs together at the right time, mating does not work. Why does this happen? The most likely reason is the inexperience of dogs. In this case, artificial insemination should be applied, which consists in obtaining the semen of the male, through manual masturbation, and transferring to the dog, through a probe.

For an effective crossing, it is recommended to ask an expert for help on the subject, to be able to perform an appropriate procedure.


It will not be until the 16th that small packages will begin to be created. On the 20th the embryos will begin to form, and at 25 days, a test can be performed, palpating, to know if the procedure was a success. The normal duration of pregnancy in dogs is 52 to 72 days.

It is advisable to perform several ultrasounds during pregnancy, to verify that everything is going properly. The first can be done at 5 weeks gestation, when the fetus begins to form. From then on, they can be done every fifteen days, to keep track of the procedure.

Frequent mistakes

There are several common mistakes that people who don't know how to cross dogs make. One of them is that they do not consider health factors when choosing couples. The consequence of this is that certain diseases are transmitted to children or that mating is not effective.

Another reason that leads to the failure of the meeting is infertility. This problem is usually latent in dogs.

It is always advisable to seek help with a specialist. The expert will perform the appropriate exams for both animals, to know if they are suitable. In addition, it will give some tips on how to cross dogs.

We will see some tips on planning

  • It is recommended that the future mother be wormed before mating. It should also be 10 days after pregnancy, to avoid undesirable transmission of parasites, which can kill fetuses.
  • You should eat a healthy diet during pregnancy while the female is with the young. The idea is to keep the mother healthy and to give the puppies the necessary nutrients.
  • It is important that mating and childbirth be performed in healthy places, clean and hygienic.

In general, it is very positive to accompany the female during the process, in order to help her in whatever she needs.