Observer on Saturday - - Analysis & Opinion - It will not pre­vent preg­nancy. ster­il­i­sa­tion.

male dog was brought to SAWS with mul­ti­ple stab wounds. He had been at­tacked in the act of mat­ing by the an­gry owner of the fe­male dog.

You would think the dog would have fled af­ter one stab wound and he prob­a­bly tried, but na­ture pre­vented him. The stab­bing was an act of sav­age cruelty in­flicted by an ig­no­rant dog owner.

Many dog own­ers have no un­der­stand­ing of the science of dog re­pro­duc­tion and this lack of un­der­stand­ing has re­sulted in ex­tremely cruel treat­ment of mat­ing dogs. To safely keep an an­i­mal in your home and gar­den, you should un­der­stand some­thing about its phys­i­cal and men­tal make-up.

Dogs are mam­mals and all mam­mals re­pro­duce sex­u­ally with slight vari­a­tions de­pend­ing on the species. In wild dogs, mat­ing oc­curs once a year to en­sure that pups are born in spring when food is plen­ti­ful. Do­mes­tic dogs have been se­lec­tively bred for thou­sands of years to pro­duce the 500 breeds recog­nised to­day.To make breed pro­duc­tion eas­ier, breed­ers have se­lected for fast and early breed­ers.

In do­mes­tic dogs sex­ual ma­tu­rity (pu­berty) oc­curs be­tween six to 12 months for both males and fe­males, although this can be to two years of age for some large breeds. Re­pro­duc­tion in do­mes­tic male dogs is not cycli­cal and they

Aare re­cep­tive to mat­ing at any time. Fe­males can come into es­trus (breed­ing con­di­tion) at any time of the year and usu­ally twice a year. Es­trus cy­cles are about ev­ery six months through to old age. Fe­male dogs do not ex­pe­ri­ence menopause, although their cy­cles will be­come ir­reg­u­lar and fer­til­ity be­comes un­pre­dictable with age.

We have cre­ated dog breed­ing ma­chines one breed­ing fe­male and her off­spring can pro­duce 67 000 dogs in six years!

The first stage of the fe­male re­pro­duc­tive cy­cle is proestrus, which lasts about nine days. Eggs in the ovaries be­gin to ma­ture and es­tro­gen lev­els be­gin to rise. Dur­ing this stage, males are at­tracted but fe­males are not re­cep­tive. Es­trus is the next stage in which es­tro­gen lev­els are high, ma­ture eggs are re­leased from ovaries and the fe­males be­come re­cep­tive to mat­ing. It is only dur­ing es­trus that mat­ing will re­sult in preg­nancy. Proestrus and es­trus can last any­where from five to 21 days.

Dur­ing the fe­male’s proestrus and es­trus cy­cles, males from miles around can de­tect her scent. Dogs can smell a thou­sand times bet­ter than hu­mans. Males will gather when a fe­male is in heat. Keep­ing an es­trus fe­male safe for 21 days ev­ery six months is al­most im­pos­si­ble.

Male canids have a unique re­pro­duc­tive fea­ture which locks the mat­ing pair to­gether for five to 20 min­utes but some­times longer. Dur­ing this time the dogs can­not sep­a­rate. Pulling them apart will cause se­ri­ous in­jury and ex­treme pain to both dogs.

Dogs will make ev­ery at­tempt to breed when driven by their hor­mones. Be­ing locked up for a large part of their lives to pre­vent breed­ing is cruel and un­nec­es­sary.

Ster­il­i­sa­tion is the easy so­lu­tion. Ster­ilised dogs do not wan­der in search of mates, they do not fight over mat­ing rights, they do not con­tract any of the host of nasty STIs that kill many re­pro­duc­tive dogs. The un­wanted stray pop­u­la­tion will de­crease, mak­ing ra­bies less of a threat. Own­ers with fewer dogs can af­ford to care for them prop­erly.

Swazi­land has a huge stray dog pop­u­la­tion with cor­re­spond­ing ra­bies, dog at­tack and cruelty prob­lems. We do not need any more dogs! The only re­li­able way to pre­vent more pup­pies is

Don’t be cruel to mat­ing dogs. Be a re­spon­si­ble owner and …

Ster­ilise all dogs by six months old.

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