top of page

Artificial insemination in dogs

For a long time, breeders, enthusiasts and professionals, were unable to solve the problems of sterility because, for reasons not only inherent to the physiology of the species but also to the priorities of zootechnicians, cynology suffered a certain delay in this field. However, currently, this delay has been mitigated thanks to the practice of smearing vaginal cells to determine the time of ovulation and artificial insemination.

With regard to the latter, a distinction is made between "mating assistance", with the collection and direct use of the sire's sperm to inseminate the bitch, and insemination practiced with frozen semen. Mating assistance, which is the most used method, is easy to practice and has numerous indications.


There are two: pseudofrigidity and mating refusal. Pseudofrigidity is observed when the bitch has normal sexual cycles but they go practically unnoticed ("silent" cycles) and only pseudocyesis lactations (psychological pregnancy) are visible.

Refusal to mate can be linked to a lack of libido or a "false heat". In certain cases it is the result of difficult intercourse, which can occur in different circumstances: when the male is very young, when the female is dominant (even aggressive) or, on the contrary, submissive (lays down on the floor or runs away), in case of malformation or tumor of the genital tract of ptosis (loosening of ligaments and muscles) of the vagina or vulva, and, when the bitch suffers from vertebral or hip osteoarthritis.


All the above mentioned indications are also valid for this case. There are also limitations due to the removal of interested parties (or the presence of one of them in a country where quarantine measures are in force) and the particularities of use with a view to selection (and conservation of sperm from exceptional breeders).


Electroejaculation was abandoned altogether. In addition to being poorly supported by animals, the sperm collected by this method is usually of poor quality.

Currently, in other countries, a simple device is used: a rubber tube (which is heated to avoid too cold contact) and a tube that allows collecting the donor's sperm in good conditions. In Brazil, sperm collection is performed using the technique of masturbation, the operation is largely facilitated by the presence of a female in heat.


After collection, the semen can be used directly (mating assistance). Or keep it refrigerated in a conservation liquid that can be based on lactose and egg yolk, in which case the semen can be used one to two weeks later. In liquid nitrogen, at -1960C, after a complex treatment, the conservation of sperm in the form of pipettes is almost unlimited.


Semen should be deposited in the anterior portion of the vagina, as close to the cervix as possible.

For this, a simple elongated syringe with a glass tube can be used. This device does not prevent the backflow of semen and, to compensate for this inconvenience, the female must be held up by the hindquarters for fifteen minutes.

In any case, when the probe is in place, physiological vaginal contractions facilitate the entry of semen into the uterus. The use of a probe, specially designed for insemination in the canine species, has brought about a significant improvement in this technique. This probe has the particularity of having, at its anterior end, an inflatable balloon that plays the role of the male's erectile bulbs, with which the reflux of sperm is avoided and its advancement is facilitated by stimulating vaginal contractions. The probe used (sterile device) has a flexible body, which eliminates any risk of trauma, and a telescopic tube, ending in a rotating part, to deposit the sperm against the cervix without causing any injury.

Currently, experts recommend using a thinner probe, which allows it to cross the cervix and practice intrauterine insemination. In general, the results are better.

Insemination should be done twice, at intervals of forty-eight hours, whenever possible, regardless of the method used (mating assistance or use of frozen sperm).

With frozen semen, five nuggets of 1 millimeter each are used at a time (each ejaculation allows storing thirty doses, that is, the value of three inseminations).

We remind you that the success of the operation is largely linked to the choice of the intervention date, which should occur as close as possible to ovulation. For this, the application of the technique of smearing vaginal cells is essential.


Before proceeding with insemination, the sperm must be examined to control its quality. Thus, several characteristics can be verified under the microscope, including abnormal spermatozoa, which should not represent more than 15% of the total. In any case, the semen must have a minimum of 75% motile sperm.

SOURCE: Our Friends, the Dogs Collection


Golden Calli

Specializing in Golden Retrievers

bottom of page