What do you need to know when it comes to freezing dog sperm? Are you ready to have a successful breeding process? Can you freeze dog sperm? Read on and get your answers in this article.
When it comes to breeding dogs, breeders take breeding as a serious procedure to deal with it.
Breeding dogs isn’t for everyone and shouldn’t be taken as a hobby, or a fast way to earn extra money.
After all, dealing with living beings, and helping create new life demands certain planning, ethics, and specific knowledge.
As a process, breeding dogs can is pretty much straightforward, from natural to non-so-natural.
Did you know that breeders can impregnate a female dog? Or that this process can vary from natural insemination to artificial insemination?
When it comes to the ways of nature, there are many variables, which is why the breeding process may be often successful or not too successful.
This is the main reason why many dog breeders choose to go the artificial way. What does it mean? It means that for a successful artificial breeding process freezing dog sperm is a must.
Actually, freezing dog sperm makes it possible for cross-country insemination between two dogs that have never made introduced before.
It is also possible for a female dog to become pregnant with puppies sired by a male dog that has already passed.
How To Freeze Dog Sperm
Freezing dog sperm does mean that it can last for decades. In a way, it can, but it won’t be as efficent as it can be when used at the right time.
In other words, dog semen has a ‘use by’ date. That being said, it’s important to note that the best time to collect teh semen is when the dog is between the ages of 18 months and 4 years, and there is a good reason behind this practice.
Once the dog turns four years of age, the higher the chances of the dog having prostate disease increases, which often results in poor quality semen.
Poor quality semen isn’t as effective as high-quality semen. Semen of the older males can still be used, but the sperm quality is much higher in younger dogs opposite to adult dogs.
If for whatever reason might be, someone decides to freeze the sperm of an adult/older dog it’s highly advised to have an evaluation of teh semen first.
This is something that every professional will advise before a large amount of semen is stored.
Once the semen is collected, a sample is checked under a microscope to determine the following features of the semen:
- The forward motion of the sperm
If the semen is marked as semen of poor quality, the cause for it shall be determined.
For a better understanding of the whole process, it’s important to know that the dog semen consists of three parts:
- Prostatic fluid
If the sperm sample meets the minimum requirements, the sperm (from the ejaculate) is separated from the rest, and is mixed with an ‘extender.’
Now, you may ask what an extender is? By its default, the extender protects and nourishes the sperm during the cooling, freezing, and thawing process.
By its structure, the extender contains egg yolk, antibiotics, and certain chemicals that can keep the sperm protected for an extended period.
Once the semen and an extender are mixed, the sperm is then cooled slowly over a few hours to 4ºC.
Once the sperm is cooled, the next phase may begin. Cooled sperm is then loaded into straws and frozen to -196ºC in liquid nitrogen.
Once the freezing is completed, a single straw is thawed. This is how the sperm can survive the freezing process and handle the thawing process.
Thanks to a microscope, the sperm is assessed on two factors: mobility and forward motion. This is conducted immediately after thawing and again at 10 and 30 minutes.
There should be an average of 5 to 10 straws. The number of frozen straws will vary from breed to breed, but this minimum of 5 to 10 straws should be fulfilled.
Once frozen, the semen can be stored indefinitely in liquid nitrogen.
Liquid nitrogen (LN2) is mandatory to keep sperm alive in the long term. Still, some sources claim that freezing dog semen using a -80 °C ultra-freezer (-80°C-UF) showed no differences in sperm quality after thawing.
Yet, this is something to discuss with a breeding expert.
Once the semen is frozen successfully, it can be used to inseminate bitches in every area in the world, and at any time in the world.
Well-frozen and well-storage semen can be used after decades and decades.
There are already puppies walking this Erath who have been created using artificial insemination.
When it comes to successful breeding and freezing it’s important to note that some breeds may have very small gene pools, while others may be richer in gene pools.
This is something to have in mind when it comes to freezing semen.
Freezing your dog’s semen while he is young, healthy, and physically fit enables producing puppies later on, even if he becomes infertile or goes through a specific injury or accident.
Plus, frozen semen enables you to create his genetic material and potential for future generations of puppies.
Did you know that the freezing process and the transport of frozen semen are more expensive than the processing of frozen semen?
Yet, experienced dog breeders know that this price is justified because it allows the collection at a time that is convenient to you.
Plus, the semen can be transported on a scheduled date, making it logistically more pleasant and effective.
It also means that you can avoid summer when semen quality is generally of poorer quality.
When it comes to artificial insemination, it’s important to note that frozen semen must be inseminated directly into the uterus.
Collecting Frozen Semen Sucesfully
Freezing dog semen is a long and serious process that should be left to professionals.
Still, a big influence on this process comes from the dog owners. If you are a dog owner already, and you are thinking about freezing your dog’s semen, you should know that the initial expense will be significant.
This is why dog owners should do their best to do whatever is in their power to make this process successful.
Here are some information (or tips) that should make the process easier:
- Semen quality is much higher during the wintertime
- Do your research on the best dog supplements that can enhance fertility. Make sure that you discuss every product with your veterinarian first
- Think ahead. One month before the collecting occurs walk your dog for a minimum of 30 minutes around the block, either at night or in the morning. This way the dog will mark the territory as his and the females in the area should be able to smell him. This marking of territory should signal the brain to signal the testicles to start producing semen
- If you are buying semen make sure that you ask about thaw motility %
- If possible, use a young bitch
- Start progesterone timing at day 10 or 11 from the first signs of a heat cycle
- Know that bitches ovulate when progesterone is between 5 and 8
Last but not least, if you are a dog owner already and you have a prized male, you should freeze their semen early.
If possible, search for an AKC-approved permanent storage facility. Any serious and reputable storage facility will ask you to provide the papers on the dog, also known as the stud’s individual registration papers.
This identification includes a microchip or tattoo and in most cases a current photo.
Once the semen is collected and properly stored, the owner will receive information on collection statistics and commonly a yearly bill.
What Is The Success Rate For A Breeding With Frozen Semen?
When it comes to freezing semen it’s important to note that success is a very individual thing.
In fact, the success rate will vary depending on three big factors:
- Semen quality
- Bitch fertility
- Breeding procedures
When there are parameters that are of high quality and when they are properly aligned with a bitch’s heat cycle a success should be pretty high.
It’s also important to advise not to use semen (if not mandatory for some reason) while the dog is alive.
As a general rule, dog semen is most frequently used when the stud dog is deceased or cannot provide fresh semen for any reason.
Can I Freeze My Dog’s Sperm At Home?
Frozen semen can be stored indefinitely. At least, that is the case when the freezing process is done properly.
Some companies have come up with some kind of at-home sperm freezing kit that may enable you to collect semen at home rather than going to the clinic.
It’s crucial to be fast when it comes to using these kits as the semen may die at a high rate in the first 48 hours.
Artificial insemination isn’t a new thing and for years it has been done successfully all across the globe.
Thanks to great logistical efforts and proper protection of the frozen semen the positive outcomes of artificial breeding are beyond successful.
Thanks to this possibility, it’s possible today to successfully breed with semen from every corner of the world.
With this approach, the bitch does not need to leave home and can avoid stress related to travel. Plus, to some dogs, new surroundings can be stressful, and any strange environments can lead to stressful situations.
Also, travel can decrease conception due to stress.
The Bottom Line
If you are thinking about breeding your dog, learn what you need to know when it comes to breeding a male dog and what breeding is.
The right knowledge will help you understand the breeding process much better and do your best to deliver the best outcome possible.
Canine breeding and reproduction can be a complicated process, which is why the right knowledge can be so helpful.
Semen collection is a great way to preserve both genetic lines and diversity within a breed. Plus, collection from the studs while they are young can guarantee the healthiest sperm possible.
Also, frozen sperm can be used on the dog is long gone, making the dog’s line still alive. The best thing that you can do to create a great experience with collecting is to get your dog comfortable with physical handling.
If you need more information and guidelines on this, make sure that you talk with your veterinarian.