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Dog Mounting But No Tie + Signs a Male Dog Wants To Mate

Veterinary reviewed by Elizabeth Racine, DVM.

Witnessing the mating between two dogs is a pretty fascinating process that is unlike the human coitus or most other animals’ breeding processes.

Usually, the male ejaculates which is followed by tying with the female for a period of time ranging from several minutes to an hour.

While this “tie” or “lock” should never be interrupted as it might cause injury, what should you do if it doesn’t happen in the first place?

The tie doesn’t always happen and breeders often lament the fact that this eliminates the chances of a successful mating altogether (while some dog owners would cheer over this fact when an accident occurred).

But is it really true that so-called slip mating eliminates the possibility of pregnancy?

Moreover, why does slip mating happen in the first place and could it have something to do with the male not wanting to mate?

Can a Dog Get Pregnant Without a Tie?

Yes, if the male dog is mounting but no tie happens, the female can still become pregnant if the male ejaculates.

However, if the male has not yet ejaculated at all, pregnancy is extremely unlikely.

Male Beagle humps a female and often there's mounting but no tie.
Photo by Sigma_S on Shutterstock

Also, the chances of successful mating are reduced if no proper tie has been formed.

That doesn’t mean the chances are zero though.

If the dogs aren’t tied, many breeders immediately think that the mating has failed, but you should always check if ejaculation has occurred.

Unsure about the ejaculation? Time for a trip to the vet.

Usually, heavy panting, body language as well as the spillage of semen are easy tells whether or not the ejaculation has happened.

A false sense of security is especially dangerous if mating isn’t the desired outcome.

Why will dogs not tie properly? It can be due to sudden movements, a lack of experience, the female experiencing pain during mounting, or disinterest as well as medical issues on the male’s part which may cause less swelling and thus no locking.

While you shouldn’t interrupt dogs that are tied, you can definitely prevent a dog who is about to mount the female from ejaculating, thus drastically reducing the chances of successful mating.

Slip Mating Success Rate

There’s no hard and fast rule for a slip mating success rate and even if the ejaculation has taken place, the likelihood of a successful mating is reduced.

Two mating dogs are tied which drastically increases the mating success rate.
Photo by srckomkrit on Adobe

However, the success rate of any mating – slip or not – depends on various factors such as:

The clear fluid that is produced around the time the male starts mounting has no to very little sperm in it.

But in the second phase, the male dog already produces enough sperm to make the mating successful, with the peak being reached at the end of thrusting, right before the tie.

When it doesn’t reach the third step (the locking or tie), some semen will spill when pulling out and the reduced amount of semen might cause a mating to be unsuccessful.

How Many Times Do Dogs Mate To Get Pregnant?

Many breeders try to increase this slip mating success rate by just repeating the process.

Naturally, the more often you try, the higher the chances of successful mating.

However, there’s a cap to this meaning 2-3 matings every other day with a female in heat should do the trick and is generally considered healthy.

Stud Dog Keeps Missing – How Can I Help The Stud?

If your stud dog keeps missing the mark, the only thing you can do to encourage a successful mating is to choose a good breeding partner as well as make sure both dogs are healthy.

It’s not recommended to physically interfere with the process to encourage tying.

Either it happens, or it doesn’t.

As mentioned, slip mating can happen due to inexperience or medical issues and these are essential to rule out.

In case the male slips out too early due to a lack of experience, the only thing you can do is hope it did work and/or try again with the same female.

You might be tempted to try and mate your male dog with another female and while it’s okay potentially having offspring from two females, this should never be attempted with the female and a second male partner.

Since conception might have been successful, mating the same female with another male excludes registry from most major kennel clubs.

Besides, it’s morally questionable if not downright unethical according to experts, especially considering you should have a well-laid-out breeding plan instead of rushing mating.

Signs That a Male Dog Wants To Mate

Signs that a male dog wants to mate include roaming, urine marking, interest in the females’ vaginal secretions, mounting, thrusting, and ejaculation in that order.

If slip mating occurs, many dog owners think that it’s due to the male’s disinterest, but sometimes it’s just out of your hands and in their paws.

Mounting the female already means that the male has taken interest in the female.

However, it can definitely happen that the male mounts the female – no medical issues whatsoever are preventing a successful tie – and yet the male pulls out before tying occurs.

Why is that? Sometimes, the male might not be as erect and it doesn’t always have to be medical issues, it can be due to any number of reasons including disinterest or issues on the female’s part.

That being said, maybe you’ve never tried letting your male mate with another dog and still want to know the signs that your male is ready to be announced as the sire of a litter.

Can Male Dogs Be Frustrated When Not Allowed To Mate?

Hormonal imbalances or excess testosterone can make it seem like dogs are unbalanced and become frustrated when not given the chance of mating with the female of their choice (especially when in heat).

However, letting them give in to this urge definitely will not fix the issue in most cases and can worsen it instead.

Consult your vet, possibly alongside your trainer if you experience behavioral issues and suspect medical issues.

On the other hand, neutering isn’t always a viable choice either so make sure you weigh all the options.

Definitely don’t expect your dog to calm down after mating.

Behavioral issues need to be addressed by finding the cause which is rarely the lack of a female partner to mate with.

Always make sure your dog has all health checks (hips, heart, eyes, breed-specific conditions, etc.) before even considering mating your male.

Just because the male might be ready doesn’t mean it makes sense to start breeding.

A lot goes into breeding programs, including matching temperaments, adhering to a physical type that’s healthy, and so on.

Disclaimer: This blog post does not substitute veterinary attention and does not intend to do so. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any sign of illness, call your vet.

About Danielle

Equipped with 5+ years of expertise as a Rottweiler owner, I partner with licensed veterinarians and trainers to share research-backed and actionable advice for you and your furry friend.


Tuesday 27th of June 2023

It's our female's first heat and we've been keeping them apart in the house but it didn't work. She just went out of sight into the next room when I heard her yelping. She was trying to escape but it seemed like they had locked. My hubby heard too and we put them in the shower and doused them and she was finally able to separate. I know you're not supposed to interrupt but she really was in pain. Afterwards she ran in circles frantically trying to sooth her rear end. Could that be enough to get pregnant? The whole thing was 5 minutes, tops. She's still on her period. We were hoping to mate them when she's 2, she's only 8 months. Am thinking now of getting him desexed and then we can control things a bit better. Any advice would be welcome.


Friday 30th of June 2023

Hi Celeste, please visit your vet to see if anything can be done. This just should not happen and while I don't know whether she was in pain or not, she certainly might be after the separation.

Rule out any injuries and discuss with your vet if there are any options regarding the potential unwanted pregnancy. Yes, pregnancy is possible in 5 minutes which is quite a lot of time to mate.

Talk to your vet what you can do right now, have her checked, and how you can prevent that in the future.

Kim hatton

Saturday 18th of February 2023

Will a female still want to mate even if it was successful a few days ago


Sunday 26th of February 2023

Hi Kim, it's possible that a female wants to mate even though the last one was successful in hindsight. That's why multiple matings with different partners are not advised.


Tuesday 31st of January 2023

Our cocker spaniels are doing everything they should to mate but he’s just not getting the spot is there any help we can give them as he’s trying so hard and we are running out of days they have been trying for 3 days now with no success of a tie or should we just give up Andy help or advise


Tuesday 31st of January 2023

How do our dogs not tie he’s trying so hard but nothing first time for both


Friday 3rd of February 2023

Hi Pamela, if both dogs are inexperienced, it might take a while. It's best not to rush the process and instead focus to make sure both dogs are healthy and that there are no underlying health issues.


Saturday 16th of July 2022

Hi we are trying to breed to GSD. First time for both. There’s lots and lots of mounting and the female is standing but the male doesn’t seem to get close to the mark ? Is there anything we could do to help things?


Monday 18th of July 2022

Hi Zena, this can happen if both are inexperienced and it's usually no issue. Just don't rush it, provide the space and time, and try a couple of times. You really can't do anything else except by exposing them to each other and providing the right place and time. Make sure breeding both is a good idea (health testing, age, etc.) and everything should turn out fine.

Cheers, Danielle