Breeding problems

Continued

The actual mating act
(the tie)

The process whereby the male dog introduces his penis into the bitch’s vagina and then gets ‘stuck’ is called the ‘Tie’.

There are a few actual physical (anatomical) differences in the sex related organs of humans and dogs; for one thing, the human has seminal vesicles (above the prostate gland) which can actually store sperm cells.  In the case of the dog, sperm flows directly into the tube (urethra) that leads to the penis.

I want to say a few words about this prostate gland. First of all, male humans and dogs have a prostate gland.  The function of this gland is to (i) wash out and sanitise the urethra, (ii) neutralize the acidity of vaginal secretions, and (iii) help propel sperm into the uterus.  In humans, the ejaculate mixes with prostate secretions.  In dogs, the prostate secretions come in at the end of the ejaculation.  Actually, the dog’s ejaculate has three parts.  The first part is clear and contains no sperm cells; the middle part is cloudy and has the majority of sperm cells; and finally, the third fraction is composed of the prostatic fluid.

Also, the actual mechanics of sexual intercourse differ between humans and dogs.  I don’t need to describe the former.  However, dogs actually ‘stick’ (the tie) during intercourse.  In dogs, after insertion (intromission) a bulbular gland at the base of the penis swells and becomes a hard knot.  This knot is also held in place by a special constriction of muscles in the walls of the female’s vagina, thus enabling the sustenance of the union (tie).

The exact function of the tie is unknown.  Perhaps it holds the penis in place while the sperm flows up from the testicles.  For a tie to be effective, it must last for at least two to three minutes.  Of course, we have seen ties that last for more than half an hour.  Contrary to popular belief, the length of the tie (beyond a few minutes) has little or no effect upon the likelihood of pregnancy or the number of puppies that the female will give birth to.

I should share with you a surprise (for me) experience I had when I was a student (what seems like forty thousand years ago).  The professor asked the class of about 120 students, how many of them had actually seen dogs ‘stuck.’  Thirteen raised their hands. Ten of them originated from farms where they actually had the opportunity to witness dogs mating. (The other three were from developing countries where dog mating is ubiquitously visible during mating season).  In Europe, dog matings take place in the kennels of breeders and not on roadsides.

This brings me to another aspect of dog mating.  As a child growing up, we had immense fun in pelting dogs, which were ‘stuck’ during the mating act. Forty thousand years later, nothing has changed.  People, adults included, derive great amusement from watching the pain dogs exhibit, while they pull each other backwards and forwards in attempt to evade the sticks and stones aimed at them during the intercourse.  Do the generations learn absolutely nothing?  We have belaboured the fact during radio and TV programmes and in articles such as this.  It seems that the innate cruelty in man and the desire to inflict torture on the disadvantaged and unfortunate know no bounds.  The agonized eyes of dogs who are ripped apart during mating by thoughtless humans tell us the whole story, and is a reflection of a wretched sickness that has an even greater meaning for our society as a whole.  Long story short:  Leave the dogs alone when they are mating.  Do nothing to ‘unstick’ (separate) them.  There is no joy in ripping a ‘stuck’ dog’s penis out of a bitch’s
vagina.

Next week, we’ll deal with some
problems that can occur before, during and after the tie.

More in Features, Sunday

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