- Global Canine Communication


Canine Reproduction Section


Insuring conception starts with semen analysis-sperm check for motility, strong speedy sperm and of course, reading the canine estrus cycle correctly.





by Craig White, DVM, M.S.


The patience (and backs) of a lot of breeders have been strained trying to insure conception through the practice of elevating a bitch's hindquarters. In fact, doing an artificial insemination (AI) can be a bitch!


Speedy Sperm reach the egg first and stand the best chance of fertilizing firstWe have long been advised to hold her up at least ten minutes and most breeders believe twenty minutes is even better. Some experts also employ other insider tips such as simulating the tie and stimulating the bitch.


The process is frightening for many toy dogs and backbreaking for large breed owners.


So how long does it take for sperm cells to migrate through the female reproductive tract?


Would you believe that spermatozoa from fresh ejaculates reach the tip of the uterine horn within 25 to 120 seconds after intravaginal insemination? It’s true, according to an article published in the Japanese Journal of Veterinary Science 1989;51:560-565. So, based on this information, is elevating the bitch’s hindquarters for extended periods of time really necessary?


Based on the results of a research study performed by C.R.F. Pinto, B.E. Eilts, and D.L. Paccamonti, (Theriogenology 1998;50:301-305), the practice of elevating the bitch’s hindquarters for more than one minute may be totally unnecessary! The study compared the conception rates of two different hindquarter elevation times: 10 minutes versus 1 minute. The trial used 3 dogs and 15 bitches of proven fertility. Inseminations were performed intravaginally with fresh undiluted semen.


The study was performed at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Results were an overall pregnancy rate of 91% with litters averaging over seven puppies in two study groups. Statistically there was no difference in pregnancy rate or litter size in this comparison of 10 minute versus 1 minute hindquarter elevation time.


Also noteworthy for breeders is that “feathering or stroking of the vulvar and perineal region was not performed in any of the bitches” nor was there any attempt to simulate a tie by use of inflated balloons or other means.


The inseminated bitches were immediately returned to their runs with no attempt to prevent sitting or urination.


In summary, the results of this study indicate that pregnancy rate in dogs with normal fertility is unaffected by reducing the hindquarter elevation time from 10 to 1 min following artificial insemination with fresh semen. Also notable, litter size is not affected by reducing hindquarter elevation time after insemination.


Well, so much for tradition. The practices of elevating hindquarters for uncomfortable stretches of time, genital area stimulation, and crating the bitch to prevent sitting or urination are relegated to the status of “old wives tales”. Your back (and the poor bitch!) will thank you for cutting that long, uncomfortable after mating procedure down to "just a minute."

Copyright 20071541907


      click to share this article    


Getting your top show bitch bred can be as simple as letting her out of your sight.

Mechanics of Mating

Getting her bred can be as simple as letting her out near a mutt...

Fat dogs are rarely fertile and suffer flakey seasons and low reproductive ability.

Fat and Fertility

Fat bitches may not conceive but crash diets can cause sterility.


Breeding Problems

Breeders should be familiar with obstacles preventing conception.

ii Health Disclaimer   ~   Mission   ~   Privacy Policy   ~   Disclaimer   ~   ii NetPlaces Network


Become A Charter Member of TheDogPlaceYour $20 Membership supports the world's first dog-site (1998).  Documented, cited, global information for all dog owners is powered by the NetPlaces Network and the internet's first

 International Science & Advisory Board.

Become a Charter Member, Join US Now!