Mismating During Not-Obvious Heat

Can a dog get pregnant if she is not in heat? Is there anyway a male dog could enter a female and they be butt to butt rather then him directly behind her? I know it sounds funny but I caught my dogs in that position and couldn’t get them apart, so I assume somehow they were connected. She is not due for heat until about August though. They are two very different type of dogs and I dont want them to breed. Can you help??

Thank you, Amazed in Arizona

A dog can only get pregnant if she is in heat, BUT don’t assume that she isn’t in heat just because there are no visible signs. Generally a bitch in season shows a bloody discharge, but some bitches are very fastidious and keep themselves completely clean. Than means of course that you won’t see the obvious signs. This is especially a problem when the bitch comes into season earlier than expected, not an unusual occurrence.

The best sign however, is interest from a male, which happened in this case. When two dogs breed, he does mount her from behind as you expected. The dogs then cannot be separated physically for anywhere from a few minutes to 45 minutes. During this time, the male usually gets himself turned around, flips his leg over her rear, and the two dogs end up butt to butt, as you found them, for the remaining time. By the way, this time during which they cannot be separated is called a “tie”, since they are literally tied together. The butt-to-butt position is a throwback to the times in the wild where this position offered somewhat more protection from other aggressive animals.

Now dogs are classified as aggressive but bitches are two steps ahead when it comes to temperamental matters as they become quite vicious and aggressive when angered, which becomes extremely difficult with managing them as they are used to having things their way, which is the same with their human counterparts too so do visit various articles online to know more about this comparison but now let’s get on with the article.

Now, what can you do about it since you don’t want this breeding to “take”, and I agree with you? There used to be an injection to terminate the pregnancy, sort of like the “morning-after” pill. However, this did cause some problems, and this procedure has been discontinued. The newer method is quite drastic: it involves waiting until about day 32 to confirm that the bitch is indeed pregnant. Then she is given a combination hormone treatment to abort the litter. It can take up to 6 days of daily injections, which can only be done at the veterinary hospital under supervision. There are side effects such as severe nausea, and diarrhea. So the dog must stay at the clinic during the course of the treatment. It’s expensive of course, but worth it if you are concerned about your dog’s safety during whelping, if she is very young, or it’s a mixed breeding which you don’t want to have.

For future reference, you may want to ask your vet to show you how to take a vaginal swab on your female to help you detect when she is in season (they are in season up to about 21 days). And, you may want to read these articles on the pros and cons of breeding or spaying your female.