Artificial Insemination also known as an AI is a valuable tool with dog breeders and veterinarians. This method is a great way to increase the quality of a breed by overcoming limitations of time, size, distance and aggression. A chosen male can continue to produce offspring long after his death or be mated with females from 1,000s of miles away. By storing semen he may be able to breed with more females than would be physically possible through natural mating process. In cases where a stud dog is no longer able to mount a female the AI process can give the ability for the male to continue producing. In certain situations the female may be aggressive and try to injure the stud dog, to protect the health of both animals an AI is a great method to prevent physical damage. The technique of artificial insemination is relatively easy and done by many private individuals and most veterinary clinics.
Insemination should take place immediately after semen is collected from the male. The goal is to deposit semen directly in front of the cervix or as close to the cervix as possible. You will need a penis sheath(plastic bag), syringe, non-spermicidal lubrication, non-latex gloves and pipette(length depends on size of dog). Collecting from a stud dog is very simple process the use of a female or manual stimulation may be used. When the male attempts to mount the female his penis is redirected into a semen collection receptacle (plastic bag, sheath, cone). The presence of the female is useful to excite the male and makes collection easier but is not required. Manual stimulation can be performed by placing a semen collection receptacle over his penis and applying pressure behind his bulbus glandis often called a knot.
The males collection should be clean, white and cloudy in appearance, red or brown tint indicates blood and the male should be evaluated for a penis laceration or possible underlying health issue. Yellow tint indicates urine and should not be used. If performed by a veterinarian they will proceed to evaluate the sperm to ensure that they are sufficiently concentrated, adequately motile, and appear anatomically normal. Once collected draw up the semen in a syringe and using a long plastic or glass tube called a pipette gently insert into the females vagina and deposit the collection at the entrance to her cervix. It’s strongly recommend the female not to urinate or be active for 1 hour after the insemination process.
Canine Artificial Insemination
If not used immediately the semen may be chilled or frozen to prolong the life. Chilled semen is mixed with an extender which can extend the life of the semen 3-10 days depending on type used and if temperature is properly maintained. This Chilled method allows breeders to overnight stud dog collection to anywhere in the country or even overseas and is cheaper and less risky as frozen semen. Semen can be frozen in liquid nitrogen canisters and stored for many years. This allows stud owners to breed their males long after they have died, this method of storing semen requires continued costs to maintain and ship.
Many breeders believe that diseases cannot be transmitted if artificial insemination method is used which is not true. The male is protected from contracting a disease but the female may be exposed coming in contact with the semen. Although an AI has many benefits to breeders it must be remembered that artificial insemination doesn’t have the same level of success as natural mating. Ovulation testing can increase your chances for success drastically. The best success rate is achieved with fresh semen and varies with the skill of the breeder but mirrors natural breeding. When using semen that is fresh and has been chilled the success rate is 60% to 80%. Frozen semen placed in the vagina beside the cervix holds a low success rate of only 50% to 60%. Surgical insemination may greatly improve success rate when using frozen semen.