Why Do Dogs Get Stuck When They Mate?

Many of us have stumbled upon dogs that remind us of conjoined twins stuck at the butt. For some, the unfamiliar sight incited curiosity. For others, the strange phenomenon was met with surprise and shock, so much that some folks hauled objects at what they perceived as a disdainful sight. But why do dogs get stuck in the first place?

Dogs get stuck because of a process known as a copulatory tie which occurs when a stud’s reproductive organ engorges inside a female’s swollen and excited genitalia, making withdrawal impossible for a given period. The main reason why knotting occurs in dogs is to ensure the male’s seminal fluid stays long enough in the female to cause fertilization.

As a dog owner who’s either fascinated or worried about seeing your canines getting stuck, this article will teach you the main reason why dogs get stuck after mating, the biology behind dogs getting tied, how long dogs get stuck for, if you should be worried when your dog gets stuck if dogs are in discomfort when tied, and how to prevent your female dog from attracting unwanted studs that get stuck to your canine.

What Causes Dogs To Lock When Mating?

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There’s solely one reason why dogs get stuck after they mate, and that’s to ensure maximum productivity from the act of copulation.

What this means is that the act of getting stuck ensures that the male’s sperm remains in the female reproductive tract long enough to fertilize an egg and form several fetuses.

In essence, a copulatory tie is nature’s foolproof mechanism in canines, which helps prevent the leakage of semen and increases the chances of pregnancy after mating.

Interestingly, when you discover the surprising fact that female dogs only come on heat twice every year compared to other animals like cats that can mate every 21 days, the importance of a copulatory tie becomes even more appreciated.

Another, albeit subtler, reason why copulatory tie occurs in dogs is to prevent the possibility of other studs mating with the bitch, an act that’s physically impossible when the bitch is still tied to a male.

What’s The Mechanism That Takes Place When Dogs Get Stuck?

Simply put, the reason for a tie in dogs is due to the engorgement of the male genitalia and the contraction of the bitch’s crotch, creating a vice-like grip and preventing withdrawal of the male’s reproductive organ.

All male canines have a peculiar reproductive organ. Unlike in humans, where the same muscle causes the male privates to stiffen spontaneously, as engorgement takes place, dogs have two separate muscles—one that causes the genitalia to harden and the other which is responsible for enlargement.

Interestingly, despite being stiff, the engorgement of a male dog’s private part only occurs upon penetration of the female.

Ideally, when a male notices a bitch on heat, he’ll advance and start to sniff the female dog’s behind. If the female is ready to mate, she’ll raise her backside, bend her tail to the side and show the male her crotch.

Conversely, a female that isn’t ready to mate, upon sighting a butt-sniffing male, will sit, swerve away or flat out a bark to refuse any advances.

The go-ahead from the female causes the male’s private parts to stiffen, but not after mounting, and penetration does the male organ engorge to about three times its original size. At the point of penetration, where engorgement begins, the male starts to thrust deeply, leading to ejaculation.

Incidentally, the female’s system naturally responds to the engorged male’s privates by causing the vulva walls to swell, which then squeezes down on the stud’s reproductive organ. Thus, the engorgement of the male’s sex organ and the contraction of the female’s vulva walls bring about a copulatory tie.

How Long Do Dogs Get Stuck For?

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The truth is, the length of time dogs get stuck varies and could last anything from 5-45 minutes or, in rare cases, one or two hours.

After the stud ejaculates, withdrawal of the sex organ is impossible at this point. However, the knot allows for some flexibility so that the male swings one leg over the female’s back, facing the opposite direction. Now, both dogs will remain in this position until detachment happens.

Experts have opined that the position in which both dogs back each other, covering one another’s blind spots, serves as a defense mechanism. Other sources claim that such a position is the most convenient for most dogs.

It’s important to note that, except both dogs are virgins, experienced dogs will be happy to wait it out regardless of the time taken for detachment to take place.

Should I Be Worried If My Dog Is Stuck?

No, there’s no need to worry when you notice your dog’s stuck because if you wait long enough, detachment will occur.

Many tales abound of some folks beating male dogs with sticks and shovels because they thought their bitch was being raped by a stud. Other times, inexperienced dog owners try to forcefully pull both dogs apart out of fear and panic, thinking they’re in some form of pain or discomfort.

First, there’s no such thing as rape in the animal kingdom. Animals respond to mating and reproduction based on instinct. Hence, when two dogs mate, it’s usually because their natural cravings are in alignment.

In other words, if you sight your bitch trapped with a male dog, it’s better to leave them alone since both dogs yielded their bodies over instinctively.

Also, attempting to beat and separate a trapped male dog to prevent pregnancy in the female is mostly a futile attempt. This is because, when the copulatory tie occurs, the male has long ejaculated, and the semen is already on its way to producing fetuses in the female.

Second, amateur dog owners should note that forcefully pulling dogs apart could cause both dogs’ sexual organs to rupture, leading to serious health complications.

Are Dogs In Discomfort When Stuck?

No, dogs aren’t in discomfort when they are stuck. However, first-timers may find the phenomenon strange and may experience anxiety.

Aside from dogs, canines such as wolves and coyotes generally experience knotting after mating. Evidently, it’s expected that such an evolutionary phenomenon that has gone on for centuries shouldn’t cause discomfort in dogs. Nonetheless, despite the absence of pain, virgin dogs may find their inability to pull away surprising and may begin to panic.

At this point, it behooves every dog parent to calm the situation by finding different means of soothing both dogs, such as keeping humans and other dogs afar.

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How Do I Prevent Dogs From Getting Stuck?

There are two major ways to prevent a bitch from getting stuck with males and preventing unwanted pregnancies, among many options. The first method is to secure the female in a kernel.

Although studs that pick up the scent of a bitch in heat are known to possess out-of-this-world adrenaline that spurs them to jump through fences and breakthrough kernels in a bid to mate.

The second option, which is the most effective, would be to spay the female dog. Spaying a dog involves complete removal of your canine’s ovaries and reproductive organs, precluding the possibility of your bitch coming on heat.

Conclusively, with the guaranteed absence of a female dog’s heat cycle, there remains nothing to attract a stud to a bitch. Hence, the possibility of getting stuck with a male is non-existent.

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Pete Decker