The lucky man was one "Abe fan it Roekebosk"....and what a gorgeous dog he is!
Mieke was fairly late ovulating in her season, we needed up travelling across on day 16 of her cycle, almost a week later than we had originally expected. That's one reason why the progesterone tests are so great, it gives us a really good indicator of when she will be ready, and we can be given a "best day" to have the mating done, which if you are travelling a distance - even in the UK - is a really useful thing to know.
If you're mating a dog for the first time, it can be a strange occasion! Most people thin that you just pop the dogs in the garden, and nature will take care of itself! This can happen of course, though it's not advised! First time bitches - or "maidens" can be snappy and scared when the male tries to have his way, or can get frightened during the "tie" because they can't get away from the male. The dogs are "tied" together for often up to half an hour - longer is possible but not common - as you can see in the picture at the top. This is necessary for all the little swimmers that have been released to be flushed fully into the uterus, but for some bitches it's a strange and possibly uncomfortable experience. It's essential to keep hold of both dogs during this time, as if one of them gets frightened and sets off, serious damage can be done, especially to the male.
It can of course go perfectly smoothly :) and many have mated two first timers with success! But it helps to go prepared with what can happen....Mieke was fine for the first bit - stood like a rock - but when he got off she obviously expected him to wander off - not be stuck to her! She freaked out, but we were ready for her and had her calmed down in a minute or so. We knew it wasn't pain, just fear at the unknown, and once she calmed down, she was fine.
Next time...So You Want to Breed? Where to start...