Understanding Dog Mating Behaviour!

Read this post to learn how nature guides these canine mating behaviours

A pack of dogs near my house are going through ritual seasonal mating procedure and I managed to capture it on camera. Am putting it here so that we all see and learn how nature guides these behaviours. These dogs are semi-feral as there is also heavy greenery near my house and these dogs have been scavenging as well as hunting in the woods nearby. This whole scene involves 2 different packs.


Part 1:
Black Female has entered in season but yet not ready for mating. She is OK when the Male dog exhibits pre-reproductive behaviour and tries to make her ready for intercourse by licking her, but as soon as he mounts on her she goes for him viciously signalling that she isn’t ready yet. This is possibly her first phase of chums and intercourse will be useless. The intention is to keep the male away since her body is yet to get ready, the hormones are yet to spike in her body. Check the Black colored male showing calming signals which is lip licking, tail wagging, friendly submissive body language. He is not even making an attempt to mount on her. Either he must have got warned by the brown dog or doesn’t want to make the female dog angry! Conflict avoidance behaviour! Brown male again makes an attempt to mount on her and yet one more time he gets badly snapped by the female, and this time the pinch is harder and she didn’t let him go for a second. Life lessons. No matter how much the male attempts, she won’t allow anyone until she is fully ready.

Part 2:
Let’s give a name to each dog by their looks and gender. Blacky (F), Snow (M), Patchy (small brown M), and Senior (M).

We are often thought to think that breeding is an act of rape and this is the answer. To understand more about this watch the entire video carefully again and again to understand the behaviour and communications between any dog or every dog involved in this video.

Blacky is on her Peak phase of periods and desperate to get mated. She has chosen a male and male has chosen her as well. Snow is protecting her and keeping both other males away. Without too much of vocalisation and fight they are handling the scene very carefully. Snow has been trying to get a success since yesterday but somehow he is yet not able to perform 100%. Blacky being a female dog she is constantly humping on the male dog which indicates she is willing to get mated. See her body language, tail flicking, the way she isnviting Snow throughout the video. How Snow is interfering and warning other two male dogs - the body blocking and the snarling. Later how beautifully other two dogs accepted their position in this scenario and withdraw themselves and sat down at a distance. Nowhere in the video it looks that female Blacky is being forced or raped. In fact she is inviting both the males. For some reason Snow is not able to perform. But not even once she moved away from him. This is just a minute long video but I have been observing these dogs for the past couple of days. These acts are happening at early morning and and evening when the temperature is low. 9:30- 10 onwards until 5-5:30 these dogs are resting. The whole act is very exhausting for them, body need to rest too. So much simple logic animals are using!

Now let’s consider this whole act at a BREEDER'S place... [Please note, I am not talking about the breeders who indulge in malpractices, backyard breeding, running puppy mills, use mating stands etc.] 

No breeder wants to have his or her dog injured and cannot afford any injury to their dogs, irrespective of their gender. Mating days are always decided considering female dogs' progesterone levels, tail flicking behaviour etc. They always choose early mornings or late evenings for mating to avoid over exhaustion in the dogs. People who were present on my dog pregnancy course will know this so this is for those who couldn’t join us - The female usually has her periods for 15 days to 3 weeks, depending on individual dog. Out of those days ONLY 3 to 5 days are important. If that is missed, then the breeder have to wait another 6 month to 12 months since some dog gets into the season once in 6 months, 8 months or once a year!

Some pairs are SEASONED and don’t required human assistance at all. But again BREEDERS cannot afford any injury to their dogs during this process. There are so many aspects are involved during mating and there are valid reasons why the human support is required. Sometimes female dogs are taller than male, sometimes male is heavier than a female but not obese, which pushes the female down as soon as he mounts on her. In the second phase of the ritual when male and female gets tied or knot together physically that is the most sensitive phase, if not supervised both male and female can get injured badly. This KNOT period lasts 15 minutes to 40 minutes. In that position female can drag a male which can cause terrible injuries to the male. Hence, Human Assistance IS required.

Stray dogs often get such injuries and SEASONED pair manages due to their strong genetics and skills. In some of the cases female is tied up or in KNOT with 2 or 3 dogs together also. This doesn’t happen at responsible BREEDERS because they are very careful!

If you belong to PET Industry, one must be aware of this topic and basic knowledge. Pet Professionals, Animal Workers must understand the difference and reality of the Science of Breeding. 

Meera Thosar

Meera Thosar

Jeevoka member since Oct 2019

Since 2006, I've been working as a Professional Dog Trainer & Behaviourist with a specialization in working with aggressive dogs. I am an owner of a Dog & Cat Boarding Facility known as Happy Tails, Pune.