Unlike humans that mature over years, maturity in dogs seems to happen in the blink of an eye.

The transformation from being a little puppy to behaving like a ‘teenager’ seems so drastic.

Different behavioral changes and sexual maturity set in and, as a responsible dog owner, you must understand and be vigilant.

This article contains what you need to know about your dog’s sexual maturity.

Specifically, you’ll learn about what happens when your dog attains maturity. You’ll also find out whether your 7-month-old male dog can produce semen. 

And you’ll even discover how to determine your male dog’s fertility.

So, without further hesitation, let’s begin with a discussion of when your puppy attains maturity.

When Do Puppies Reach Sexual Maturity?

At the stage of sexual maturity, dogs undergo important hormonal modifications that change their behavior, but these changes vary from male to female puppies.

Sexual maturity in dogs is determined by factors including their sex, size, and breed.

Male pups reach sexual maturity at 5 months old while bitches experience heat between 6-12 months.

The small and tiny breeds are prone to coming into heat a little earlier, while very large breeds can have experienced heat as late as 18-24 months. 

Your female puppy can get pregnant or display pseudo pregnancy without your knowledge, so where you do not appreciate such, you need to take certain steps like neutering or spaying to control it.

However, according to research, when they are neutered too early, their long-term health may be affected.

Many veterinarians also believe that it’s harmful to spay or neuter your dog before the end of the growth phase.

The reason is that such procedures can distort hormones, which are significant to proper bone growth.

Also note that in both males and female dogs, roaming is a behavior that is usually rampant as they become sexually mature. 

How Old Does A Puppy Have To Be To Get A Female Dog Pregnant?

At 5 months, the male dog becomes sexually active and can sire puppies, but is fertile from 12 to 15 months after he attains physical maturity.

At this age, his testosterone level is increased, and it exceeds that of adult sires hence, the adults are usually hostile towards younger male dogs. 

Onward, the male dog is active and able to get female dogs pregnant throughout the year.

They show their dominance and mark their territory as they become sexually mature, which you might consider an undesirable trait. 

When a female dog is sexually mature, she goes into heat two times a year.

At proestrus, which is the beginning of the heat period, she exhibits very vivid changes as her vulva swells, and she licks it often.

She also urinates more frequently. Another development is that she has a reddish vaginal discharge for about 7-10 days and her fertility spans through two to three weeks. 

How Old Are Male Dogs When They Can Mate?

For mating reasons, as soon as the male dog is sexually mature at 5 months old, he is likely to roam about in search of a bitch that would take in because, at that age, he is old enough to mate. 

He only might not be fertile yet, hence, reproduction is less likely to occur. 

Therefore, if you are mating your dog for breeding purposes, ensure that he is old enough to breed as he cannot reproduce if he is too young. 

A male dog reaches puberty at six to eight months of age and can get a female dog pregnant from that point but after one-year-old.

You can be assured of his sexual maturity and, for absolute fertility, you can wait till he is at least one year and a half old.

To achieve this, you would also need to consult an experienced breeder from a reputable breed club and a veterinary doctor to reproduce healthy puppies that would be in demand from reliable dog parents and make up a good part of the welfare of the breed at large.

Can A 7-Month-Old Dog Produce Sperm?

A male puppy can produce sperm from about 5 months of age and this makes him able to produce even at 7 months of age.

A dog requires about 60 to 62 days to produce a sperm cell, which takes another two weeks for the sperm cells to be fully mature, and this process occurs throughout the year.

Sperm production in dogs is usually controlled by several factors. Most male dogs produce sperm at 10 months when they attain sexual maturity.

The specific age when this happens varies from breed to breed, with larger breeds producing sperm later than smaller breeds.

Consult your veterinarian as soon as possible about spaying or neutering your puppy.

Spaying or neutering your pet reduces the likelihood of unintended pregnancy, roaming inclinations, and certain aggressive behaviors, as well as helps to prevent the development of many common reproductive cancers. 

It is extremely harmful to breed an adult dog. As he gets older, the male dog’s sperm decrease viability, motility, and liveliness. 

Sperm count is low at the beginning and conclusion of a dog’s sexual maturity.

Similarly, when a dog reaches the end of his breeding season, he generates genetically poorer litters than when he was younger.

How To Know If A Male Dog Is Fertile

Fertility in a male dog is the ability to produce a successful pregnancy in a fertile female, with multiple breedings about the time of ovulation.

To confirm that your dog is fertile, your veterinarian will carry out several checkups on your dog.

Including a rectal examination and a general physical examination which will be done to examine your dog’s prostate gland. The examinations to be carried out include:

  1. General Health

The first step in determining whether or not your male dog is viable is to ensure that he is healthy. If he has any serious health issues, these could affect his fertility.

Ensure that your dog receives annual checkups and that any abnormalities discovered are effectively treated.

Mobility issues that impede the capacity to complete sexual intercourse or injury to the dog’s reproductive organs are two examples of general health disorders that could interfere with reproduction.

  1. Test For Viral Infections And Genetic Problems

A dog’s infertility can be caused by a variety of diseases and genetic disorders.

If you’re serious about breeding your male dog, you should have him tested for diseases that might cause infertility and genetic abnormalities that can lead to infertility or genetic problems in progeny.

For example, genetic issues in dogs could include chromosomal abnormalities or the possibility of polygenic illnesses if he is mated. 

  1. Complete Blood Cell Count And Biochemistry Panel 

These blood tests examine your dog’s internal organs to confirm that are immune to diseases and keep the dog fertile ground.

  1. Urinalysis

Examining the chemistry and microscopic appearance of your dog’s urine may show the presence or absence of infection.

The absence of infection makes your dog test positive for fertility.

  • Semen testing

The semen can be examined to know the sperm’s health, analyzing the sperm structure, sperm movement, and sperm numbers.

He might also test for bacterial infection. If absent, your dog is fertile.

  • Besides, measuring levels of certain enzymes present in the semen can indicate reproductive health.
  1. Ultrasound

Ultrasonography is often used to examine the internal structure of the prostate gland and the testicles to check for any evidence of infection, benign disease, or cancer.

The absence of all these would mean that your dog is fertile.

Understanding when puppies reach sexual maturity and what it entails for your dog will help you be a more responsible dog owner.

This knowledge enables you to make more informed decisions about your dog’s health. 

Also, knowing the reasons behind sexual maturity in puppies will also help you better comprehend your puppy’s roaming and perhaps perplexing behavior.

There are chances that a six-month-old dog can get a female dog pregnant.

However, for maximum results, wait till your dog is one and a half years old to ensure that he is fertile and can reproduce a female fog in heat. 

If you wish to breed your male dog, make sure it is fertile before starting the mating process.

This can be accomplished through a veterinary examination of the animal’s overall health, which can range from a general examination to particular reproductive testing.

However, if you have attempted to breed your dog but have been unsuccessful, you will need to investigate the cause of the sterility. 

Sources:

Wikihow: How to Know If a Male Dog is Fertile

American Kernel Club: Sexual Maturity in Puppies: What to Know and What to Expect

MvOrganizing: How do you know when your male dog is ready to mate?

Vetstreet: Your Puppy: What to Expect at 7 to 9 Months

Breedingbusiness: How Much Sperm Does A Dog Produce?

Vcahospitals: Infertility in Male Dogs