Mating is a natural process among canines. The ‘tie‘ that occurs during the mating process is also natural.
As a new pet parent or a breeder, you may find it unsettling to watch the dogs struggle while they are stuck with each other. So naturally, your first instinct would be to separate them. But this is precisely what you should not be doing.
Forcefully trying to separate dogs after mating is of little to no help. Instead, you risk physically hurting or injuring the dogs.
The mating process can be unintentional from the dog’s parent’s side. For example, when the female dog goes into heat, she will start attracting the attention of male dogs. It can get difficult for you to keep male and female dogs from each other during this period.
If you are not careful, the dogs are likely to mate. Even in cases of mismatch, you should not try to separate the dogs. Once the mating process is done and the dogs get unstuck, you can reach out to the vet for further steps.
The article will explore the canine mating process and attempt to answer the question of how to get dogs unstuck after mating.
- How Does the Mating Process Work in Dogs?
- Why Do Dogs Get Stuck After Mating?
- How Long Can Dogs Stay Stuck After Mating?
- Can Being Stuck feel Uncomfortable or Painful for Dogs?
- How to Unstuck Dogs After Mating?
- Is it possible for Neutered Dogs to Get Stuck?
- Is Getting Stuck Necessary for the Dog to Get Pregnant?
- How to Care for Dogs After They Have Mated?
How Does the Mating Process Work in Dogs?
The mating process in canines can last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour.
When the female dog is in heat, she will pass urine in small quantities. The pheromones and hormones in the urine communicate to the male dogs around. It says that the female dog will soon be receptive to mating.
1. Prep Phase
We can consider the phase just before the actual physical mating is flirtatious.
For example, both dogs will be playful towards each other. The male dog may playfully nudge around the female’s neck and ears.
Once the male dog is interested, he will sniff the female dog’s vulva. If the female dog is curious, she will move her tail to one side of the body. If the female dog is not interested, she may snap at the male dog, lie down, or move away from him.
This reaction is known as flagging.
2. Mating Phase
Once both parties have shown interest, the male dog will mount the female’s back and attempt to penetrate her vulva. If it is an experienced dog, the male will not have any difficulty finding the dog’s vulva.
But if the male dog is mating for the first time or the female dog is physically more noteworthy, the male dog will have difficulty mounting. Here, human intervention is required to help the dog mount and find the vulva.
At this point, the male dog will begin with pelvic thrusts. This thrusting is possible because of the narrow bone in the dog’s penis called a baculum. The penetration is about 50% to 60% at this stage.
3. The ‘Tie’ Phase
The dog’s thrusting will increase in speed as its penis becomes erect. At the same time, the female dog’s vulva also constricts, resulting in a tie.
Once the dogs are joined or locked together, the male will stop thrusting and ejaculate. Typically, the dogs will naturally ‘untie‘ from each other 5 to 10 minutes after mating. However, the dogs may be stuck in that position for longer.
Why Do Dogs Get Stuck After Mating?
We have gone through the stages of canine mating above. Let us explore the ‘tie’ phase and understand why dogs get stuck after mating.
Once the male dog achieves full penetration, a part of its penis, known as the bulbus glandis, swells and enlarges. Simultaneously, the female dog’s vulva muscle constricts around the bulbus glandis.
The swelling and contracting action physically ties the dogs together. The dog stops thrusting and ejaculates.
Next, the dog will dismount from the back of the female dog. Then, the male dog will swing one of its legs over the female’s back and stand facing the opposite direction. This slight movement makes the dogs stuck as the male dog’s penis twists and stays erect for longer.
So summing it up, the swelling of the male dog’s bulbus glandis and constricting of the female dog’s vulva muscle causes them to get stuck after mating.
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How Long Can Dogs Stay Stuck After Mating?
The dogs will stay stuck until the swelling in the male dog’s bulbus glandis subsides. The ‘tie’ stage usually lasts 5 to 10 minutes.
But some dogs can stay stuck for about 45 minutes to an hour after mating. Your job is to ensure that both dogs are kept calm. If either of the dogs tries to pull away, the result can be a serious injury.
Can Being Stuck feel Uncomfortable or Painful for Dogs?
Yes. This can be true for dogs mating for the first or second time.
Let us try to understand from the dog’s perspective. Mating is a new experience for them. After the mating, both dogs are now stuck with their backs to each other. This cannot be very clear. More so if the dogs are stuck for over 30 to 60 minutes.
The dogs may try to pull away from each other. And doing so can be uncomfortable and also painful.
The process may be more painful for the female dog. Because once the thrusting stops, the female dog still has to deal with the male dog’s enlarged penis inside her vulva.
So, if your dog is mating for the first or the second time, the ‘tie’ stage can be painful because the dog might pull and try to get out of the situation.
As mating becomes more common, the dog will learn that it has to wait to get unstuck naturally. Pulling will only be hurtful.
How to Unstuck Dogs After Mating?
Dogs have long been mating with no human intervention. We have gone through the mating stages and why dogs get stuck after the act.
The male dog’s bulbus glandis will shrink and return to its original size. The female dog’s vulva muscles will also relax. And when this happens, the dogs will get unstuck. There is no need for you to do anything.
As we have mentioned above, forceful separation can be painful for dogs. In addition, the dogs may struggle if mating is a new experience for them. But you have to wait and let the dogs separate on their own. Not doing so can cause injuries to both dogs.
If you search the internet for an answer to how to separate dogs after mating, you may find advice like using buckets of cold water or water pistols. Please do not try any of these practices. They are not helpful.
They are not helpful even where the dogs mate without you being around, or if you want to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Letting the dogs completely and discussing the situation with the vet would be best.
You might intend to help the dogs, but your action of forceful separation will lead to a completely different result.
Let us consider another scenario. If the dogs are mating for the first time, the getting stuck stage can overwhelm them. They can get anxious and try their best to pull away from each other. You must step in and try calming the dogs down in such a case.
Pet the dog’s head, hug them, use positive words, smile, and sit close to them. Having their human parent around will help bring their anxiety levels down.
It would help if you also calmed down. Dogs are empathetic. If you are bursting with stress and anxiety, your dog will pick up on this behavior. And that can be an issue.
You need to understand that ‘getting stuck‘ is a natural reaction after mating. Your dog may be uncomfortable, but it is not a grave issue. They will get unstuck on their own within a few minutes. So, you need not worry and try to intervene.
Is it possible for Neutered Dogs to Get Stuck?
Yes, neutered dogs can get stuck after having intercourse. But this is uncommon.
Neutering can bring down a dog’s sex drive but not altogether remove it from its system. For example, according to ASPCA, it can reduce the dog’s sexual motivation in the presence of a female dog in heat but does not eliminate the motivation.
The neutered dog can continue with activities like masturbation and mounting, especially if it was sexually active before being fixed.
The dog’s testosterone level will be low, which is a contributing factor to the swelling of the bulbus glandis. But again, low testosterone levels can be enough for the dog to start intercourse and get stuck for a few minutes with the female dog. So again, it is rare, but it can happen.
Is Getting Stuck Necessary for the Dog to Get Pregnant?
Getting stuck increases the dog’s chances of getting pregnant, but it is not a requirement.
If we look at the mating process, the male dog ejaculates within a minute once the thrusting stops. This is the first fraction, and is usually the primary payload of ejaculation. The second fraction, which should happen within 80 seconds of getting stuck, is more semen rich. Finally, the third fraction will contain more fluid.
So the female dog can get pregnant even if it was stuck with the male dog for a couple of minutes. Pregnancy depends on how fertile the female dog is during mating.
For example, when female dogs go into heat, they enter the estrus cycle. The length of this cycle can be anywhere from two to three weeks. So if pregnancy is the result you desire, then the timing of mating is crucial.
Some female dogs are at their fertile best between 10 to 14th days of their estrus cycle. For other dogs, it could be as early as the 4-5th day or as late as the 18th day.
So, getting stuck for a long time may increase the chances of pregnancy, but several other factors are required for a successful pregnancy.
How to Care for Dogs After They Have Mated?
If you let the male dogs behave as they want, they can mate up to 5 times a day if there is a female dog in heat around. However, if the aim of mating is pregnancy, then the male dog should be allowed to mate a maximum of 2 times with the same female dog.
If you are opting for planned breeding, breeders usually schedule two mating sessions, 24 to 48 hours apart. If the breeder has a famous ‘prized stud,’ the dog may mate several times during the week to maintain its sperm quality.
So for male dogs, once they have mated, it would be best to keep them away from females in heat. Give them a chance to relax and rejuvenate.
Once your female dog has mated, give her plenty of time to rest. Ensure there are no male dogs around. This is because the dog’s estrus cycle will go on for a few more days, attracting male dogs’ attention. And theoretically, the female can get pregnant from another dog during the rest of the cycle.
Both male and female dogs should be healthy before you decide to mate them.
Food intake should typically remain the same after mating. The vet may recommend nutritional supplements to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
When the female dog shows signs like increased appetite, weight gain, and more prominent nipples, you can check the vet for a confirmed pregnancy.
Getting stuck after mating is a natural process for canines. This happens because the male dog’s bulbus glandis swells, and the female dog’s vulva constricts, leading to a ‘tie‘ position.
If you are wondering how to get dogs unstuck after mating, the answer is you do nothing. If you forcefully try to separate the dogs, it can lead to injury to the reproductive organs. Once the dog’s bulbus glandis reverts to its original size and the vulva muscles relax, the dogs will get unstuck on their own.
If the dogs are mating for the first time, they might get uncomfortable and try to pull away from each other. When this happens, you should try to calm them by petting them and giving them a few ear scratches.
Remember, no forceful separation. Getting stuck is normal; the dogs will get unstuck without human intervention.
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Heather Abraham is an owner of two dogs, one cat, a leopard gecko, and a parrot (who her dad still cannot teach bad words to), and an avid blogger. From the time she was a young girl, she always felt a connection with pets. She brings her love of every type of pet to you, with information on animal nutrition, medication, toys, beds, and everything else in between. Along with newly-on-board veterinarian DVM editor Elena, she puts pups first while offering other various fun tidbits along the way.