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How to Tell If Two Dogs Have Mated

↯ Key takeaway points

  • It is difficult to confirm if two dogs have mated.
  • Pay attention to changes in behavior and physical signs for clues of pregnancy.
  • Signs of recent mating include prolonged wooing, strong smell, erect penis, rolling around and licking genitals.
Breeding Business is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Highly educated researcher and DVM with extensive experience in Clinical VetMedicine, Veterinary Nano Medicine, and Preventive Veterinary Medicine.
Published on
Saturday 17 March 2018
Last updated on
Wednesday 10 May 2023
How do I know if my dog has mated?
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Many breeders and non-breeders try their best to avoid the accidental mating of two dogs. Often, breeders are adequately prepared, but unfortunately, sometimes, two dogs are left together either by mistake or lack of attention.

It is extremely complicated to state whether or not two dogs just mated accurately. If you catch them during the coitus, it’s obvious, and you will immediately know and prepare to confirm the pregnancy or undergo a dog abortion.

Monitor the female over the following days and weeks because you may be wrong if you think they did not mate.

Signs of Mating

The mating of two dogs usually lasts anywhere from five minutes to half an hour. Mating in dogs is longer than what most people think and it’s not unusual to see ties lasting close to an hour. So if you let the dogs together by mistake for a couple of minutes, you can usually assume that they did not do anything naughty.

Now, if you let the dog for over 15 or 20 minutes, then you should definitely get worried because if both dogs were willing, they could have done it. Here are some signs of mating in dogs to know if two dogs mated.


If your female dog looks particularly damp around the head and neck and it hasn’t been raining, she may have been wooed by a male dog. Dogs are smart social creatures, and “wooing” is another way of describing their canine seduction techniques. Believe it or not, in the dog world wooing involves a lot of fur licking! They may also nibble each other’s ears and nuzzle each other affectionately, like flirting behaviors in humans. To humans, the dogs may look like they are in love! (Are they?)


The male dog also spends much time sniffing the female’s vulva and anus and will follow her around before mating. He may make a few failed attempts at mounting the female dog from behind before the final big event. If you witnessed your dog engaging in this behavior, followed by any of the signs listed here, there is a strong possibility both dogs have just mated.

Strong smell

After a mating session, your female dog may have a particularly strong smell around her vulva. This scent will be different from the scent she has during her heat cycle. If your dam smells odd and she has been around an unneutered male dog in the last few minutes, she may have mated! If you are worried, seek advice from a vet who can advise you on the next steps.

Male’s penis still very erect

It may take some time for a dog’s erect penis to become flatulent and return inside its sheath after he has mated. The time it takes for this to happen varies depending on the dog, but it is usually minutes. Dogs get aroused for many reasons that are not always linked to sex. Neutered dogs may still get random erections even though their desire to mate is significantly lower than intact male dogs.

You may notice your male dog gets an erection when playing with his squeaky toy or when he knows he is going out for a walk. Sometimes he may even be sitting doing nothing. Erections can occur because of sexual arousal, but also due to general excitement and anatomical abnormalities. Just because your dog’s penis is still very erect, it cannot be guaranteed that mating has occurred.

Sometimes after mating, a male dog’s penis may remain stuck outside its sheath and appear abnormally swollen and enlarged — this could be a major tell-tale sign he has mated. In this instance, the penis struggles to return to its normal position. This is usually due to swelling of the bulbous glandis inside the penis – if the glands swell enough, the outer skin will no longer cover the penis, exposing it. This swelling usually occurs once the penis has penetrated the vaginal canal and reduces once intercourse is over. For some dogs, the swelling may take longer to go down. Try soaking the exposed penis in a sugar water solution if this happens. If the problem persists, contact your vet for advice.

Signs of mating in dogs.
Signs of mating in dogs.

Dogs rolling around on the ground

After a dog has finished mating he or she may rub themselves along the ground or roll around on their backs. It tends to be male dogs who exhibit this behavior, but there is a lack of solid evidence about why they do this. Experts suggest that male dogs roll around because they are in a state of “ecstasy” after mating. Their rolling almost acts as a victory dance because they are satisfied with the activities they have just performed.

Research has also suggested that a male may roll around to leave his scent and bask in his masculinity. Experts suggest that testosterone levels in males rise after sex, so their desire to leave their scent may be greater. However, dogs also roll around if they have an itch or they are rolling in something smelly – assess which one of these options is most likely before assuming that your dog has been sexually active.


Whilst male dogs tend to roll around on the ground after mating, female dogs do something entirely different. Females tend to walk away and keep their distance! Dogs don’t lie down together and cuddle after mating like humans often do. They simply do the deed and go their separate ways until the male decides he is ready to mate again (rarely with the same female, though). When this time comes, he will usually begin to follow and woo the female as he did before.

If you notice that your dog was unusually close to a dog of the opposite sex and is now completely disinterested, it could indicate that he or she has mated.

Odd body position


When mating is over, a female dog may take a while to return to its normal position or gait. This is completely normal, and she shouldn’t take long to correct herself. Any abnormality in your dog’s gait could indicate mating, so watch her closely! If the problem persists and your dog appears distressed, contact your vet for advice.

You may also notice that your dog (either male or female) is quieter than usual and spends a little more time sleeping or lying down. This is another potential indicator of a sexual encounter, but not one to worry about too much – dogs find mating quite tiring and often need time to rest and relax afterward.

Licking genitals

Dogs will be dogs, but they are still very hygienic and highly organized. Both male and female dogs will lie down and thoroughly lick their genitals after a sexual act has occurred. The female will clean her vulva, whilst the male will clean his exposed, erect penis, helping it return to its normal position inside its sheath.

Dogs will regularly and systematically lick their fur and genitals to clean themselves whether they have had a sexual encounter – it’s their own version of a shower! But, if you notice the licking, along with any of the signs listed above, you may be witnessing their attempt at trying to freshen up after mating.


You may have noticed that your dog is suddenly much calmer and less frantic. Male dogs, especially young unneutered ones still developing hormonally, can overwhelmingly desire to mate when they smell a bitch on heat. The desire may be so strong that their behavior appears agitated and desperate. He may constantly follow her around, often try to mount and hump her, and even whimper or whine when he doesn’t get his own way.

If this frantic behavior suddenly disappears and he appears relaxed and disinterested, there is a chance he may have mated. In many ways, you must play the role of detective. If you think your dog has engaged in intercourse – study his or her behavior carefully and try to piece clues together.

If you have a female dog and are still unsure, watch her behavior over the coming weeks. When she has been successfully impregnated, she will start to exhibit new signs of pregnancy (e.g., she may gain weight or go off her food). Dogs are a constant puzzle, so be sure to pay attention to her behavioral and physical changes to get hints of pregnancy getting started.

Some other behavioral and physical signs that dogs have mated are loss of appetite, frequent urination, lifting the tail up, hyperexcitement, swollen vulva, and mucus discharge.

Dogs who stick together

In some ways, it may be quite difficult for it to go unnoticed that your dog has mated. The act itself is highly unusual and is not as quick as you may think, making it difficult for your dog to have a quickie behind your back! Although mating starts off mimicking human intercourse with a lot of wooing and mounting, it then takes quite an interesting turn (literally, ha!)

Dog Coitus, The Tie
The second stage of the coitus called the tie.

While the erect male penis is inside the female dog’s organ, the bulbous glandis at the head of his penis begins to swell. It becomes large enough that it is almost impossible for the stud to withdraw his penis from the narrow vaginal canal. This is sometimes known as the lock or the tie phenomenon – as crazy as it sounds, the female dog locks the male’s penis inside her vagina.

The vaginal lock remains in place for an average of 15-20 minutes but sometimes can last up to 30-40 minutes. While this happens, the male usually steps down from his mounted position, twists around, and turns his back to the female. The two dogs then stand with their rear ends touching whilst the penis ejaculates semen into the female organ to attempt to impregnate her. Some dogs may even scream when mating.

To the human eye, this act may look very odd and may even look like the dogs aren’t doing anything. If you see your dog standing rear-to-rear with another dog, he or she is mating and may even be coming towards the end of the act. Once the act is over, the bulbous gland will begin to reduce in size and the penis will be freed from the vaginal canal.

In general, you should always watch your dog and avoid unsupervised mating. The lock process, in some circumstances, can cause injury to one or both dogs, which in extreme circumstances can be life-threatening. Never leave two unneutered dogs of the opposite sex alone with no supervision if you want to avoid any mating. So, how do you know if two dogs have mated? Check whether or not the dogs are close, behaving differently, rolling around, licking their genitals, and assess the situation.

13 comments on “How to Tell If Two Dogs Have Mated”

  1. AkwasiOkyere-mensa

    Iam glad to be part of group .Thank you

    1. Sebastian

      How do i know that my dog has mate will i see a diffrence on her viginal area or smell or her behaviour

  2. Denette

    Is it possible for a supposed female dog to actually turn into a male dog?

    1. not your fan

      are you serious??

  3. Shawna

    Why does a male dog go crazy, trying to hump a 7 month old female pup off & on for about 2 weeks, but when she actually shows signs of being in her first heat… bleeding from the vulva area, then he doesn’t act any different? Did she put off some kind of scent early on? Or is he waiting for her to be in the stage after the bleeding to try to mate her? Any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated.

  4. Rhonda Rich

    My Gsd is 9 months female and been in heat for about two weeks and now she not bleeding like she was but she was left out side and noticed another dog was around her, did not see if they have mated or not but since then she is constantly licking herself and her area is swollen still. I would clean her up and seen light bright red color and it doesn’t have a bad smell to it but my dog smelled it and went crazy!! Her expressions with her jaw was very odd. What does this mean?

    1. Stinny

      That’s what I’m trying to figure out now about my 1yr old female dog. I experienced the exact same thing with my dog. What did you find out?

    2. Arpit pandey

      What happened next? please update

  5. Smnam

    My dogs were left alone so how will I know if they locked

  6. Helen

    I gave my male dog to a family who really wanted him because it was hard for me to keep him The family have a female dog I think they mate the 2 of them then after the family brought him back So this means the family pretended to want my dog took him they mate them then a few days later came n dumped him off with me The family’s attitude was rude towards me when they came to leave my dog n my dog came back different I feel so aweful n really should of realized what this family were up to

  7. Yemi Bakare

    I would like to know if a female mother dog will allow her male son to mate with her. Is it even possible? Is there any bad omen about such a thing happening?

  8. James Bessa-Simons

    Is it semen that comes out from the tie immediately after mating

  9. Cee Vellacott

    my dog mated today and when they had finished his penis was enlarged but it looked like his testicule had also been exposed is this normal everything has gone back to normal should I get the vet to check him

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