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Dog Knot: Why Dogs Get Stuck Together When They Mate?

by Lily Morgen
Published: Last Updated on 871 views 8 minutes read
Dog Knot: Why Dogs Get Stuck Together When They Mate?

When walking in the streets, you may see two dogs sticking together butt to butt, and their heads pointing in the opposite direction. You may be curious about what they’re doing. In fact, this is a dog knot or dog tie, a natural phenomenon of dog mating. 

What Is A Dog Knot?

At the second stage of mating, the male dog will come down from the female dog, turn his back to the female dog, and the erect penis will rotate 180° on the horizontal plane, but still in the female dog. This is called a dog knot. 

It’s not that the penis can’t be pulled out. Instead, this is a normal part of the dog’s mating process. They will only separate after breeding is complete, and no matter what obstacles they encounter in between, it’s very hard for them to separate when in the state of a knot.

The duration of the tie can vary depending on erection shrink, but it typically lasts for 10 to 50 minutes. 

Why Do Dogs Get Stuck Together When They Mate?

The bulbus glandis, also called the “knot” in dogs, is a part at the top of a male dog’s penis that can swell. During the mating process, this knot enlarges inside the female dog. Meanwhile, certain muscles of the female dog will contract, so the bulbus glandis are stuck, resulting in a lock or tie phenomenon. 

It is similar to inserting a wooden stick into a tree hole. But suddenly, the wooden stick becomes thicker and the tree hole becomes smaller. Therefore the stick cannot be easily pulled out. This lock up mechanism is nature’s way to increase the chance of a female dog being pregnant after sex.

How Long Do Dogs Stay Stuck Together After Breeding?

Generally, the back to back stuck together will last from 10 to 50 minutes. Once the bulbus glandis relaxes and returns to its normal state, the dog is untied. 

Overall, dog intercourse can last from 20 to 60 minutes, generally averaging 30 minutes. It is normal physiology for dogs to stick together back to back while they are still mating, and when they are done, they will naturally separate.

Canine Mating Stages

Getting stuck or tied is a common occurrence in canine reproduction. You’ll have a better understanding of dog knot from canine two distinct mating stages.

First Stage of The Canine Mating

First Stage of The Canine Mating

When two dogs prepare for breeding, the male dog rides on the female dog’s back, moves, and enters into the female dog’s body before the penis is erect. Different from our humans, the male dog’s penis bone is hard before erection so he can do that. 

If the male dog’s penis is erect before penetration, full penetration will not be possible and a knot will not occur as the swelled bulbus glandis is too big to move in.

The erect penis will fill with blood upon entering the female dog, and as a result, swells to 2-3 times its normal size. The first two parts of liquid (with sperm) are released quickly with fast movements shortly after penetration, and this only takes a few minutes.

Second Stage Canine Mating

Second Stage of The Canine Mating

When the female dog is fertilized, she clamps down on the male’s penis. When stuck to a certain degree, a knot is formed.

At this time, the male dog gets off the female’s back, but the mating is not over as the penis is still engorged inside the female’s body, and the two dogs will continue to mate but back to back. 

Due to the special physiology and anatomy of the male’s reproductive organs, he can rotate 180 degrees and turn around smoothly. At the time of the knot, the third part of the liquid (without sperm) will be released. 

Why Dogs Stay Stuck Together So Long Time After Breeding?

After the male dog has delivered its own genetic material, he will continue to occupy this position to exclude interference from other males’ genetic material.

Effective mating is actually a few minutes at most, but the knot can last for half an hour, or even an hour. During the period of the knot, the male dog will also excrete genetic material, but mainly with the prostate gland that does not contain genetic material. It can be seen that even if the knot is not happen, the mating can be successful.

Therefore, from the perspective of mating alone, the lock knot of the canine family is a waste of time, but this is their advantage, tying for an hour is enough to ensure the combination of sperm and egg cells to improve the chance of being pregnant.

Does Getting Stuck Mean the Female Dog Is Pregnant?

As said above, getting stuck increases the chance of a female dog being pregnant after intercourse, but it cannot 100% guarantee the female dog will be pregnant. Here’s why:

  • Sperm Quality: Even if the male dog releases sperm, the quality of the sperm matters. If the sperm is not viable or there are not enough healthy sperm cells, pregnancy may not occur.
  • Timing: The timing of the mating is also important as female dogs have specific fertile periods during their heat cycle. Mating outside of this window can reduce the chances of pregnancy.
  • Age and Health: The age and overall health of both the male and female dog can influence the chances of pregnancy. Older dogs or those with certain health issues may have reduced fertility.
  • Other Factors: Other factors at play, such as infections, anatomical issues, or hormonal imbalances that can affect a dog’s ability to conceive.

So, while getting stuck does increase the chances of a successful mating, it does not guarantee pregnancy. If you suspect your dog might be pregnant or if you are trying to breed your dog, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian. They can provide guidance, conduct tests to confirm pregnancy, and offer advice on prenatal care.

What to Do When Dogs Get Stuck While Mating?

Two dogs stuck together during mating, should we separate them?

If you’ve read the above reasons why dogs stick together, you know that trying to break them apart can be dangerous. The dog’s anatomy of reproductive organs does not allow for the penis to be separated until the dog’s third release is complete. 

If you force them apart, both male and female dogs will be in extreme pain and will be injured. Not only will intercourse not end, but you could severely rupture their sex organs, and lose their ability to reproduce. They may attack you because of it. 

Dogs need a natural mating process where they have a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. Trying to separate them after getting stuck creates more pain for the dog. It is wise not to put pressure on them and let them separate naturally.


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