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Artificial Insemination for Dogs

Would artificial insemination be a good idea for your dog? Here's more about its pros and cons.
DogAppy Staff
The method of artificial insemination (AI) for getting viable characteristics in breeds was most commonly heard of only in cattle. But since the last decade or so, veterinarians and dog breeders have also started using this technique to produce superior dog breeds. They do this to get much sought after characteristics such as intelligence, strength, and ability to reproduce healthy offspring. It is also done by private individuals at home, though this is not recommended without proper and complete information. A male dog of the desired breed with the above traits is selected. This male dog is called the stud. The stud's semen is then obtained and can be stored by freezing for further use, or can be transported to the necessary location to be then artificially implanted into the female dog.
Process of Artificial Insemination
Semen Collection
This is done by exciting the male stud, by bringing him in contact with a female dog in the heat period. When the dog tries to mount the female, she is replaced by an artificial vagina, which is placed over the stud's penis, and the semen is then collected by using a syringe. In some cases, if a female dog in heat is unavailable, then vaginal swabs which have been taken earlier when rubbed on to a neutral female also produces the same results.
Sperm Examination
The semen thus collected is checked to see if the sperm count is adequate, and if the sperms show any kinds of deformities. Once this is done, the sperms are ready to be implanted, and are frozen for use.
Artificial Insemination
When the sperm has been found to have no irregularities, then it is artificially inseminated into the female dog, using a long plastic or glass tube. The sperm has to be deposited at least till her cervix. If the female dog is not immediately available, the semen can be stored for up to twenty four hours, and can thus be transported in a frozen state too.
Advantages
It is an easy and affordable method of maintaining and developing breeds with good genes. It can help avoid any undesirable characteristics in a breed, hence, allowing selection of the best. The cost is a lot lesser than raising or even hiring a stud and then transporting both dogs together, and that too within the heat cycle of the female which could be a short and limited period. Frozen sperm can be easily transported to any part of the world for use. This process also offers more options between dogs, and when semen is stored in liquid nitrogen, it can be stored for years, making it possible to develop bloodlines of studs even years after they have died.
Disadvantages
The main problem with taking dogs for artificial insemination arise, when it is done with a lack of adequate information. Amateur pet breeders often use poorly bred studs, which causes a weak gene line to develop. Before using your dog for a stud, make sure he has undergone a complete health check up, and is certified by an experienced vet or breeder. If it is a female dog, then it is recommended that you gather all the details of the stud, and whether he has been fully tested. If not, it could lead to the spread of disease to your female dog, or could cause undesirable characteristics in the litter. The cost of getting your dog certified and then getting the semen can be reasonably expensive. Add to that, the fees of having this done by a professional (which, by the way, is safer and has a greater success rate), will also have to be taken into consideration. If you are not sure of any of the above details, then it is better to get your pet spayed or neutered.
Artificial insemination in dogs, is therefore an efficient method of maintaining a desired gene pool or bloodline, but should be done only with expert supervision, and after taking all the necessary facts into consideration.