Will Male Dogs Mate With Their Offspring?

by Naomi Millburn
    Fixed dogs are often less aggressive than intact pooches.

    Fixed dogs are often less aggressive than intact pooches.

    Janie Airey/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    If you're looking after a male dog and his offspring, don't assume that the father won't be able to impregnate his daughters once they reach reproductive maturity. Since dogs don't have the same understanding or attitude toward family members as do many human beings, it isn't at all uncommon for male dogs to mate with their offspring.

    Canines don't acknowledge family ties in ways that are typical to many people. They often view their family members as they do any other dogs, and they readily breed with their kin as a result. Male dogs, for example, have no hesitation in mating with their daughters. This doesn't apply only to father and daughter dogs. When boy dogs reach sexual maturity, they frequently mate with their siblings. They also may do the same with their mothers.

    The thought of a male dog mating with his offspring might be cringe-inducing and weird to you, but the problems go deeper than that. Inbreeding in dogs can often lead to puppies with medical problems such as birth defects. Reduce the possibility of this happening by simply not allowing male dogs to live alongside their sexually mature daughters. You can also do this by spaying and neutering your animals; this can prevent inbreeding and therefore minimize the chances of puppies with birth defects. The surgeries can also help control the canine population.

    Talk with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate time frame for spaying or neutering your dogs. Generally, they should be at least 8 weeks old before they're considered old enough for surgery and anesthesia, according to the ASPCA. It's usually beneficial to fix dogs before they get to the age of about 6 months, at which point young dogs are often capable of becoming pregnant.

    While male dogs might act like sweet cuddle bears to their favorite humans, they don't appear to be fatherly in the way that male humans frequently are. They generally don't display innate paternal tendencies toward their offspring. Male dogs are in stark contrast to female dogs in this department. Females typically are highly nurturing and attentive to their litters, handling everything from feeding to grooming duties. While male dogs aren't usually hands-on parents, they rarely harm their puppies, according to author and canine aficionado Gino Pugnetti. They sometimes defend them from the threats of outsiders, too.

    Photo Credits

    • Janie Airey/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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