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When to Breed your Dog 

(Ovulation Timing)

Determining the most fertile time for insemination or breeding is very important to ensure the highest chance of conception. The technical term for this process is ‘Ovulation Timing’ as we are determining what day/s the girls ovulate (release their eggs). It actually takes dog eggs two days after ovulation to mature enough to be fertilised!




At VRC we provide expert advice on breeding timing by assessing one or all of the following tools:

  • Progesterone hormone (blood test): Levels of Progesterone correlate with the day of ovulation in bitches and continue to rise and provide information on heat progression

  • Vaginal cytology: Taking a sample of the top layer of vaginal cells can help us determine how close your girl is to her optimal day/s for breeding. It also allows us to check for infection.

  • Vaginoscopy: This big word means looking at the walls of the vagina with an internal camera. This means we can visualise the changes that take place throughout a heat cycle and confirm the progesterone and cytology results.




The ideal day for breeding or insemination is influenced by multiple

factors including the type of semen used (fresh, chilled or frozen), the

age of the bitch and stud, prior fertility history and semen quality.



There is an ever-increasing availability of Progesterone testing

machines BUT it is very important to realise that there is a huge

variation in testing procedure and therefore quality of the result.


This means that results given from one machine are often completely

different to a result from another machine.


Because of this huge variation and the obvious requirement for an

exact result for breeding timing, testing at a specified laboratory is

required prior to any insemination being performed at VRC. This

ensures complete analysis of results and the highest degree of

accuracy possible, therefore enhancing the probability of success. 


At VRC we also have an in-house Progesterone analyser which is

available for early heat monitoring, ovulation timing for natural

matings and testing emergencies (weekends!). 




VRC and S.A.S.H are committed to the ethical breeding of all species and breeding advice will be reserved for those clients following recommended breed testing protocols. 



Ovulation timing is included as part of any insemination consultation at VRC.


If you are planning a natural mating or AI with your regular veterinarian and would like advice on breeding timing an Ovulation Breeding Timing consultation is the way to go.


Please contact us on your bitch's first day of heat regardless of your breeding plan to ensure we can proceed with ideal scheduling and preparation. 

Click here to download our comprehensive PDF information sheet on insemination at VRC

Vaginal cytology.JPG

Viewing vaginal cytology on microscope screen

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