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When Can Male Dogs Mate?

When can male dogs mate? Generally anytime after the first year is a safe bet but there’s a lot of factors that help to determine the best time for your male dog to start breeding. 

Although male dogs are fertile from the onset of puberty (about 6 months of age), It’s essential to wait until your pup has reached full sexual maturity before breeding. Young pups still need time to grow and mature and growth plates don’t close in most pups until they are 9-10 months old.

If the dog is too young or too old, there may be breeding challenges associated with energy level and interest. When assessing your male dog’s breeding readiness, it is important to consider three things. 

  • Age
  • Interest
  • Risk

How old is your dog? Once a male dog reaches sexual maturity it can reproduce every day, so it’s important to consider the impact that breeding may have throughout the lifetime of your pooch. 

An older dog may not be up to the task of regular breeding, don’t forget, it takes a lot of energy to get this job done. Your dog may not be able to keep up. Sperm count and motility are also known to decrease in older male dogs.

Mating Interest And Energy Level

Healthy dogs that are sexually mature and ready to mate generally display sexual interest. If your dog doesn’t display sexual interest, it may be challenging to breed. Sexually mature male dogs can perform several times a day although so much breeding activity is not recommended. A dog that produces semen every day will experience a decline in quality.

Breeding Risk Factors

When making the decision to breed your dog, don’t forget to think about possible breeding risk factors. While many factors exist, the risk factors worth giving the most consideration to are genetic and disease or sickness.

Genetic Risk Factors

When it comes to successful breading, consider genetic traits that your dog may possess before making the decision to sire. Thanks to overbreeding, genetic disorders are very common in dogs. 

You may have heard of some of the common genetic problems. Cancer, hip dysplasia, eye disease or degeneration, hyperthyroidism, heart disease, and immune problems are just a few genetic challenges your dog may have to overcome.   

Disease and Sickness

Think about the overall health of your pet. Is your dog sick? Breeding a sick dog can place unnecessary stress on your little buddy making it harder for them to heal. Make sure your dog is in optimal condition before starting a breeding program.

When Can Male Dogs Mate?

What can you do to make sure your male dog is ready to breed?

Once you have assessed the obvious, things like age and maturity level, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your dog’s veterinarian. Plan that appointment in advance. Have your vet answer breeding questions during your regular check-up.

The best resource you can find is your veterinarian. Your vet can test for sperm count and viability and a good vet will know what kinds of risks are associated with breeding your animal, both overall health-related and genetic. Your vet will also be able to help you come with a safe breeding plan.   

Making the decision about whether to breed your dog or not is one of the most important decisions you will face as a dog owner. Breeding carries big responsibilities

Unfortunately, many folks think about the most important after it’s too late. If you don’t think you’ll be able to find homes for all the puppies, don’t start breeding. Dogs require a lot of extra love and attention, and it’s just not fair to them if you can’t provide that as a responsible owner.

The Rundown

At the end of the day, we all love our dogs, some we love so much that we wish we could clone them. But that’s not what you get when you breed dogs, every one of them is different from the next. Each one with its own color and personality.

Just like humans, dogs just want to be loved. In fact, we’ve bred them to be that way. We owe it to our pets to provide safe and responsible care. Before you breed your dog, take the time to make sure it’s the right time.

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