Skip to content

How Long Do Dogs Mate For?

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Dog copulation can last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, with the tie lasting for 10 to 30 minutes on average.
  • The mating process involves a prep phase where females show signs of receptivity and males initiate mounting.
  • Intromission occurs when the male's glans penis enters the female's vulva, and the copulatory tie is achieved.
  • Ejaculation occurs throughout the copulatory tie, with the main payload ejaculated in the first two minutes.
  • It is important to allow the dogs to naturally separate after the tie, and mating should occur on the most fertile days of the female.
Written by Jay
BsC (Hons) Animal Behaviour & Welfare graduate with a passion for advocating for misunderstood animals.
Zoo and wildlife doctor in veterinary medicine passionate about animal welfare and preventive medicine.
Published on
Monday 14 September 2020
Last updated on
Monday 6 November 2023
how long do dogs mate for
This page may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links.

As a beginner breeder, it’s natural for you to have many questions about the mating process. You may ask yourself, how long do dogs mate for? Well, if you’re thinking about breeding dogs responsibly, be sure to do plenty of research before attempting anything. Taking on a litter or using your dog for stud work is a huge responsibility, and you need to ensure that your dogs are healthy and handled properly throughout the process.

Understanding the mating process and the length of dog mating will play a big role in how you handle your breeding dogs. Make sure you also learn about male and female dogs’ reproductive systems.

Here, we’ll explain how long the process should take, what to expect, and how to tell if your dog has mated. So, how long do dogs mate for?

How Long Does the Mating Process Last For?

Dog copulation can take anywhere from ten minutes to an hour. While the actual insemination time is often quick, the preparational stage and copulatory tie can last for hours. The tie lasts for 10 to 30 minutes on average. This means that, overall, the mating process can be over quickly, or go on for an extended period of time, all depending on the experience, personality, and confidence of the dogs.

The Prep Phase

The prep phase, or courtship, involves some distinctive behaviors that eventually lead to mating. When a female is receptive, she may roam to find males and urinate more frequently to communicate her sexual status. Both dogs often playfully interact in the prep phase. They will play bow and generally show increased activity around each other. The male might nose the female’s ears and neck.

When the male is interested in mounting he sniffs the female’s vulva. If the female is unreceptive to his advances, she will sit, lay down, snap or move away from him. If she is receptive to mating, she will stand in position and hold her tail to one side. This stance is called “flagging.” Flagging signals that the male can safely mount the female.

the courtship in dogs
Dogs playfully interact during courtship.


The stud may mount once or several times. Following a successful mount, the male “clasps” the female by pulling his forelimbs caudally. This action prevents the female from crouching or moving away. Some males pair this action with an inhibited bite of the neck as they mount. As soon as the male has secured the female, pelvic thrusts begin and the glans penis enters the vulva. Intromission is successful in 50% to 60% of mounts. At this stage, the penis is not erect and can only penetrate the vulva because of a narrow bone called the baculum.

Once intromission is successful, the rate of thrusting accelerates. This continues until the penis enters the vagina and the bulbous becomes erect. At the same time, the female’s constrictor vestibule muscle contract around the bulbous glandis. This physically joins the two dogs together in a “copulatory tie” or “lock.” Once the tie is achieved, the male stops thrusting, and ejaculation occurs.


The “Tie”

Within a minute or two after the pelvic thrusts have stopped, the male dismounts to one side by swinging a rear leg over the female’s back. He stands facing in the opposite direction. The movement twists the penis and thus maintains the erection for longer. This is because of venous constriction. The copulatory tie lasts for 10 to 30 minutes, during which the pair should stand quietly. If the female attempts to move away, the breeder should make an effort to stop her as she may injure the male.

After this time the dogs will separate naturally. It is important that the owner allows this to happen on its own. Major damage can occur to the reproductive tracts of the dogs if the breeder attempts to physically separate them before they are ready. It’s understandable that you might want to separate the pair before they are ready to prevent pregnancy or because you are concerned about the female being in pain. However, by this time, the ejaculation has already occurred, and discomfort during this stage is normal.

How Long Does it Take for a Male Dog to Ejaculate?

Ejaculation occurs throughout the duration of the copulatory tie. The main payload is ejaculated in the first two minutes. More specifically, the second fraction should be ejaculated within 80 seconds of the tie.

The first of three fractions is a clear or slightly cloudy fluid with a volume of 0.5 to 2 ml. This fraction clears the urethra for easier passage of semen. The second fraction is rich in sperm and usually ejaculated in the first 80 seconds of copulation. In normal dogs, this fraction is distinctly milky in appearance. The third fraction is clear and adds volume to the ejaculate. Fluid continues to be ejaculated until the dogs separate.

How Long Do Dogs Mate for – FAQs

Got any more questions or concerns about the length of dog mating? Our Frequently Asked Questions section will address all of your worries.

How Long Does it Take for Dogs to Mate?

Mating takes anywhere from ten minutes to an hour. While the actual ejaculation happens quickly, two mating dogs often “tie” for up to an hour. During this time they should both stand quietly without trying to move away. The time it takes for a dog to mate will also depend on their experience and emotional state.

An inexperienced or frenzied male may need to mount the female several times before he manages to achieve intromission. An anxious pair may also take longer to mate, especially if the tie lasts longer because of anxiety. In cases where the dogs refuse to mate, some breeders use breeding stands. These stands are controversial in the breeding world and not all owners are willing to use them because they restrain the female for mating.


How Many Times do Dogs Mate to get Pregnant?

How many times a dog is mated is less important than when a dog is mated. Most dogs are successfully mated between the tenth and fourteenth day after the onset of proestrus. However, a bitch can ovulate as early as the third or fourth day after the onset of proestrus or as late as the thirtieth day of the heat period.

There are numerous techniques that are used to investigate the best time for breeding. These include vaginal cytology, progesterone assays, and ovarian ultrasonography. If you can pinpoint the best day to mate your female, one mating should be enough. To be sure that the breeding is successful, however, the AKC recommends mating every other day for two to three matings.

Although it may be tempting, do not mate your dogs every day in an attempt to get your bitch pregnant. Doing so will not only cause her discomfort but reduce the quality and quantity of sperm from the stud.

Does a Female Dog Stop Bleeding After Mating?

A female dog should not bleed if she is pregnant. A dog’s pregnancy lasts from 58 to 68 days, during which time you may see a negligible amount of vaginal discharge. If the mucus has a pink tint, it is a normal part of the pregnancy. This mucus is secreted due to the formation of a mucus plug over the cervix. This mucus plug keeps bacteria out of the uterus and protects the developing puppies. If the vaginal discharge is red, bloody, or pus-like, it indicates a problem with the pregnancy. Bleeding during pregnancy is abnormal and is a call for immediate veterinary care. Bloody discharge is often the prelude to a miscarriage. Leaving any miscarried pups behind in the uterus can lead to hemorrhaging or infection.

There are other causes for bleeding during pregnancy. During the pregnancy, your dog may develop vaginitis. The condition can cause your dog to produce bloody discharge. This is because the vaginal lining becomes inflamed. Cystitis is another infection that can occur during pregnancy, but this infection causes bloody urine rather than discharge. This is because it causes inflammation of the bladder. Treatment for either of these conditions often requires antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian.

How do I know if my Dog Mated?

Although most owners are able to avoid accidental matings, there are times when two dogs are left together by mistake or lack of attention. In these cases it can be difficult to determine whether the dogs have mated or not. The signs of a successful mating right after the fact can be subtle and non-specific. Both the male and female may exhibit an abnormal gait. More commonly, both the male and female will thoroughly lick their genitals to clean themselves after the mating. The male sometimes rolls around on his back after mating. Finally, if the female is damp around her neck and head, it can indicate that a male has mounted her. This is because the male bites the female’s neck whilst mating.

To conclude, the length for dog mating is variable, typically lasting from 10 minutes to an hour. The overall mating process involves a prep phase, initiation, and the “tie” with ejaculation occurring within the first two minutes of the tie. Dogs should be mated on their most fertile days. The frequency of breeding is up to the owner, but mating every other day for two to three matings is recommended by the AKC.

One comment on “How Long Do Dogs Mate For?”

  1. Raven Lawrence

    Hello im thinking of matting our dogs they are both family pets she is currently in season she’s been on a week on Sunday, is it safe to leave my dogs in the same room all day every day or should I separate them in the night? I’m not 100% sure

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *