If you’ve ever witnessed two dogs mating, it’s common to wonder, ‘why do dogs get stuck together?’ Unless you’re a breeder or someone rescuing dogs that haven’t been fixed yet, it’s unlikely that you’ll witness this. But if you do, it can be a scary and confusing concept at first. You might assume something is wrong, but there’s actually no need to panic. It’s normal for dogs to get stuck while mating. However, you should always get your own dogs spayed and neutered, which means you likely won’t have to worry about this, but it’s okay to be curious about it.
Why Do Dogs Get Stuck?
When dogs get stuck together during intercourse, this is referred to as a “copulatory tie.” It occurs when the bulbus glandis, an organ in the male dog, swells inside the female reproductive tract. The organ can swell up to three times in width, causing the dogs to get stuck together. This is why if you witness two dogs mating, you might notice them stay together, butt to butt, for a while. To humans, this might be a strange sight, but for dogs, it’s fairly normal.
During a copulatory tie, the dogs don’t have many options. The only thing they can really do is wait until the swelling goes down. It’s important to not interrupt the dogs during this time and to give them space.
Copulatory ties are not only for dogs though. Other similar species, such as foxes, wolves, and jackals, have also been reported to breed this way. All animals have unique ways of mating, so this is just one of the normal behaviors for canids (mammals in the dog family).
How Long Do Dogs Get Stuck for?
There is no set time for a copulatory tie. In general, dogs stay stuck together for about 5 to 15 minutes. Yet, it’s possible for them to stay together longer, for even as long as 30 to 45 minutes in some cases. If the dogs remain calm, it will likely end sooner. So, staying away from the dogs can help reduce their stress which means they won’t have to stay stuck together for too long.
If this is a dog’s first time breeding, they might stay stuck together longer. The experience could be painful, confusing, or scary to them the first time, so they might not relax quickly. Because of this, a dog’s first time mating might take longer or be more stressful for them.
Is There Anything You Should Do?
When we see unusual behaviors in dogs, it’s common to want to rush to the rescue. But in this case, it’s better to leave them be. If you try to interact with them while they’re stuck together, this might only add more stress and confusion. It’s recommended that you never try to separate the two of them because doing so will likely only cause unnecessary pain to them. So, be respectful and give dogs space in this situation.
It’s possible for the dogs to whine and whimper out of discomfort. But again, you should not rush to save them. Many dogs will whine when they feel uncomfortable or anxious, but it doesn’t mean they’re in any danger. Many loyal dog parents will cater to their dog’s needs whenever they let out an upset behavioral cue, but in this instance, it’s better to let them work through it themselves.
If you’re a professional breeder, you probably planned for the dogs to mate. So, during this situation, you might want to keep an eye on them at all times. It’s a good idea to supervise the dogs and be prepared to contact your vet if anything out of the ordinary occurs. On the other hand, if you’re a dog parent that was not planning on breeding dogs, you still shouldn’t separate the dogs. Once the mating has begun, it’s safer to just let it happen for the safety of both dogs.
The concept of dogs mating may sound scary, but it’s something that most dog parents will never have to worry about. All dogs should be spayed or neutered if they’re not specifically used for breeding. Some people might think it’s cruel to fix your dog, but it can have many benefits, such as improving your dog’s behavior, preventing them from getting lost, and protecting them from future health concerns. And best of all, the more dogs that are spayed and neutered, the less dogs that will die in shelters. So, please spay or neuter your dogs. And if you ever happen to encounter two dogs mating, proceed with caution and never separate them.