Why Do Dogs Get Stuck When They Mate? Vet Explains

It is understandably worrisome for a new breeder to find two dogs stuck after mating.

Sometimes these dogs could be anxious and even look like they’re in pain.

But, why do dogs get stuck when they mate?

Before you pick up the phone to ring a veterinarian, you should know that it is normal.

Sure, it does look weird, and even experienced dog owners still find it hard to get used to the mating process of dogs.

However, just as humans have their quirks, dogs do too. It is not threatening, neither should it be regarded as an emergency.

This guide will explain why dogs get stuck, how long they stay stuck, and even what you can do at that moment. 

Why Do Dogs Get Stuck When They Mate?

The process of getting stuck while mating is natural, and might even be necessary for the female dog to get pregnant.

It is known as a copulatory tie and can last for quite a while. 

To further understand this, you need to know how the male dog’s sexual organ work.

It is the major reason why a copulatory tie happens. 

The male dog, like most mammals, has two erectile tissues with different functions.

While one makes the penis stiff, the other swell it.

The stiffening for a dog happens before he starts the intercourse but the swelling occurs during the process.

The part that swells is called the bulbus glandis (also known as the bulb or knot).

When the male dog ejaculates, the swelling increases while the female dog’s vaginal walls tighten.

As a result, both dogs get stuck.

The necessity of this process is further shown through experts’ research.

According to findings, female dogs get into heat (their version of menstruation called the Estrus cycle) just twice a year.

This means that the chances of the female getting pregnant is limited.

A copulatory tie gives ample time for the semen to reach the female dog’s eggs. During this tie, both dogs face backward. 

How Long Does it Take for Dogs to Get Unstuck?

The unsticking process happens on its own without the intervention of the breeder.

Once the female’s vaginal walls relax and the male’s swelling goes down, both dogs will separate. This can last for 5 to 45 minutes.

Do not try to separate the dogs on your own.

If you try this, you risk damaging both genitals which would cause more pain and extra vet bills.

Don’t scream, get anxious, pour cold water on them, or do anything that would make them panic.

Can a Neutered Dog Still Get Stuck After Breeding?

Neutering a male dog involves removing his testicles to prevent him from ejaculating semen.

For the female dog, the process is known as spaying.

The neutered male dog can still mate and might experience a copulatory tie, though it is rare and usually happens when the dog just got neutered.

His testosterone level would be high, resulting in swelling during intercourse.

It can also happen to a neutered dog with low testosterone if he gets aroused, though that’s uncommon. 

How to Unstick a Dog After Mating

As we earlier mentioned, do not separate dogs during this process, especially if you are not an expert in inbreeding.

It may be nerve-wracking to watch both dogs in that unusual state, especially when they show obvious signs of discomfort.

You might also get worried if it stays longer than the 5 to 45 minutes range.

However, remember that a copulatory tie is normal.

While you relax, look for which dog is feeling anxious. Usually, it’s the female dog, especially when it is her first time.

This isn’t a universal rule, though. The male dog may feel uncomfortable too.

Reassure both dogs and soothe them to avoid any panic. When they remain calm, it shortens the process.

Related Questions

Why do dogs get stuck together when they mate?

Dogs sticking together is a normal process that happens at the ending stage of the mating process due to the swelling of the male genitals and the tightening of the female’s own.

Do dogs get pregnant every time they tie?

While the copulatory tie increases the chances of the female dog getting pregnant, there is no guarantee. Dogs don’t get pregnant every time they tie. 

Why do female dogs cry when mating?

If the female dog starts to cry or whimper during the process, it means she’s hurt.

You should calm her down to stop her from hurting the male and ruining the mating process.

How do you know if dog mating is successful?

A dog mating is considered successful when both get tied down, which is often the final process.

After that, pregnancy is the positive result of dog mating. 

Final Thoughts

The copulatory tie, which is the process of dogs sticking together, is natural and should not be a cause for concern, especially if your aim for keeping two dogs is to get puppies.

Let nature take its course without your intervention.

If your dogs are unneutered and unspayed and you don’t want mating to occur, you have to keep them apart.

The male dog can sense when the female is in heat and will become agitated.

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Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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