So you are getting ready to breed your best friend, but you’re not sure whether to do Natural breeding or Artificial Insemination!
It’s exciting, but also can be stressful! Don’t worry, we’ve got your back!
In the following post, ill try my best to break down each option and try to help you make the best decision!
When it comes to breeding your dog, you always want to get it right. You have got options but what exactly are you missing before you get started with breeding?
This article gets in deep on natural breeding and artificial insemination. What are they, the pros and cons of both, and what other dog breeders recommend from experience!
How Do You Know When Its Time?
The big question is how do you know it’s time? Whether you are going to do a Natural breeding or Artificial insemination, You need to know when the bitch is in heat.
You can tell a bitch is in heat when her vulva swells and she bleeds for three to nine days allowing the uterus to grow a new lining for the embryo. When the bleeding subsides she will then be receptive to the stud’s advances and stand to breed. A concept, known as estrus or standing heat.
During this period she can become pregnant. For a stud, arousal is easily achieved when a female dog in estrus is placed near.
This is simply mating. Letting the dogs do the breeding on their own.
For this method, you have to be patient with them. Allow them some playtime which is actually playful courting behavior that can last 10-15 minutes or even a couple of days. This interaction is essential! It is allowing them to get to know each other before getting down to serious business.
- It is easier. All you have to do is put an estrus female near a stud.
- It is cheaper as fewer resources and facilities are required.
- It can be very time consuming
- You may have to factor in the cost of transporting the female or male
- Reluctance by female to mate
- Reluctance by the male to mate
- Traveling can cause psychological trauma to the female making the mating process difficult, due to her shutting down!
- It can be VERY dangerous for both dogs.
Dog breeders use this technique to produce superior dog breeds. Artificial insemination is recommended when you’re after superior dog characteristics such as intelligence, strength, behavior, and ability to produce healthy offspring.
Artificial insemination occurs by collecting the semen manually from a stud male and thereafter depositing (inseminating) it in the female so fertilization can occur in the absence of natural mating.
The process of AI starts with semen collection and evaluation – a significant process to obtain good results in canine AI.
Detailed semen analysis is VERY essential. This allows you to ensure that the male’s sperm is fertile before the breeding is done.
The analysis will show the total sperm count, forward motility, and morphology.
Types of semen used in AI
Insemination can be done with three different types of semen: fresh, chilled, frozen.
1. Fresh semen
This is semen transferred to the bitch in the same form it is collected and is only viable for up to 6 days.
2. Chilled semen
This type of semen is spun out to separate out its sperm-rich fraction which is then immersed in a special medium containing antibiotics, buffers, and nutrients. It then is refrigerated, chilled, and ready to be shipped and inseminated within 24-48hrs.
3. Frozen semen
This is prepared in a similar way to chilled semen but with cryoprotectant added to the medium. Freezing it in liquid nitrogen, can either be stored as pellets or straws making it viable indefinitely but after thawing it must be used within 24hrs.
- Artificial insemination is highly recommended by most dog breeders as an effective and efficient method of maintaining the desired gene pool and /or bloodline.
- It is also cheaper and healthier transporting semen than a bitch.
- With AI, you overcome reluctance to breed, injury while mating, and significant size differences and also prevent sexually transmitted infections with proper semen analysis and evaluation.
- Frozen semen must be stored and thawed properly to maintain viability
- High chances of failure without proper clinical examination
- The potential risk of wasting expensive semen if corners are cut by breeders or vet.
- The key to a successful pregnancy by any method is timing. As a dog owner/breeder you should be conversant with the standing heat period of the female and understand how integral breeding especially AI is used to widen the gene pool.