Why do dogs remain stuck together after a cover?
Often the dogs remain stuck together for a short while after mating. This is a natural part of the mating and it is also called a ‘link’. A link is the last phase of a cover. A link is a good sign and it ensures that the chance of a pregnancy increases. But it is not a guarantee of pregnancy, nor is it necessary for a pregnancy. A covered bitch can become pregnant with, but also without, a clutch.
Breeding is often very fun and very exciting. But it can also be difficult at times and it is something that comes with a lot. The first condition for breeding is of course that both the bitch and the male are both physically capable and ready for being.
The whole process starts with the selection of the parent animals. For successful coverage and healthy pups, it is necessary to carefully search for the right partner. In this respect, attention must be paid to the character and health, but also the size and physicality of the parents must fit together.
When breeding with dogs with a dominant character, it may be advisable to first get to know each other before they actually have to be mated. By taking a joint walk, for example, the dogs have the opportunity to already get used to each other. If the dogs have met each other before and it clicks between the two animals, the chances of success during the deck appointment will be considerably increased.
At the moment the bitch is in heat and is in her most fertile, she can be brought together with the male. It is wise to bring the male and the bitch together in a large room, or in a closed garden, where they have enough space. It is important that both dogs are relaxed and comfortable. One of the most common causes for not wanting to cover is the emphatic presence of the owners. The owners do well to leave the dogs alone and to keep themselves in the background.
Coverage consists of three phases: the foreplay, the actual coverage and the link.
The first phase of coverage is the foreplay. In this phase the dog and the bitch turn around each other and sniff each other, run after each other and challenge each other. How long this foreplay lasts varies per situation. This foreplay can take some time, especially with inexperienced dogs. Experienced dogs often come to action quicker.
The actual coverage
As soon as the interest in each other is at its peak, the actual coverage takes place. Young and inexperienced bitches can sometimes resist and viciously get rid of the male, while bitches with experience are often easier to cover. The actual coverage often takes a few minutes.
The final stage is the link. After the cover the dog and the bitch are often coupled for a while. The genital organs of both dogs have been swollen for a while, which makes it impossible to separate from each other. A link, which usually lasts 5 to 45 minutes, is a good sign. A link prevents the dog from running away from the dog and thereby increases the chances of fertilization and pregnancy.
It happens regularly that a male is turning and maneuvering during the coupling, so that he can hit the bitch with four legs on the ground and with his hind against the bitch.
Dogs that are paired will automatically come apart. Never try to disassemble the dogs. The disassembly of coupled dogs can lead to permanent damage to the genitals. Inexperienced dogs sometimes have a tendency to become a little agitated by the clutch. It may therefore be wise to hold inexperienced dogs during the coupling and to put them at ease.