Artificial insemination in dogs | Kennel Club (2024)

Artificial insemination in dogs | Kennel Club (1)

Artificial insemination (AI) is a technique used to help dogs become pregnant without a natural mating. sem*n is collected from a stud dog and, depending on the technique used, is either inserted into a bitch’s vagin* or her uterus.

Why use artificial insemination?

Breeders may choose to use artificial insemination because:

  • It allows two dogs that live long distances apart to produce puppies, eliminating the stress of travel and reducing the cost of transportation
  • It opens up new possibilities for introducing previously unused genes into a population of dogs from another country. This could be to improve genetic diversity in a breed or to introduce/enhance certain traits or characteristics
  • It enables dogs that have died, but had specific desirable traits, to contribute to a gene pool
  • It prevents the spread of sexually transmitted diseases

Cautions to using AI

AI can have its disadvantages and can, in certain situations, create welfare and ethical concerns, including:

  • Risks of complications and infections, especially if AI is performed by someone with little or no experience
  • Enabling a stud dog to father considerably more puppies than from natural mating alone. Overusing a stud dog may spread unseen genetic faults throughout the breed and will have an impact on genetic diversity and inbreeding
  • Introducing hereditary diseases or undesirable traits, especially if using sem*n from a stud dog in a different population. It’s important that all dogs be tested for breed specific health conditions before they’re used for breeding, even when using artificial insemination
  • Continuing a reliance on artificial methods of conception, especially if repeatedly used for dogs that can’t mate naturally, either for health or conformational reasons. These dogs will then pass on their genes to their puppies, reinforcing the problem and possibly affecting the health and welfare of future dogs. As such, dogs that cannot breed naturally due to conformation should not be bred from using this procedure

For these reasons AI should only be used in exceptional circ*mstances and where natural matings are not possible.

Types of sem*n that can be used for AI

There are three types of sem*n that can be used for artificial insemination:

  • Fresh sem*n – this is usually used when the bitch and the stud dog are geographically close to one another
  • Fresh chilled sem*n – chilling sem*n allows you to prolong how long it can be stored for, which means it can be transported further or kept for longer than fresh sem*n
  • Frozen sem*n – freezing the sem*n, usually in liquid nitrogen, allows it to be stored for a very long time. During the freezing and defrosting stages some sperm may be damaged. This can affect how long the sperm is viable for once it’s been defrosted

Types of AI

There are three methods of artificial insemination:

  • Trans-vagin*l (also known as intra-vagin*l) insemination - Fresh or chilled sem*n is inserted into the bitch’s vagin* using an insemination pipette. This is the most commonly used AI technique and is the least invasive. From July 2023 the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons changed its guidance and confirmed that this will need to be carried out by a veterinary professional in order to reflect the law, as an exemption for ‘suitably qualified lay people’ to carry out the procedure has not been forthcoming from Defra
  • Transcervical Insemination - Any type of sem*n can be used for this technique. During the procedure, sem*n is inserted directly into the uterus using a catheter and/or an endoscope. This technique is more invasive than trans-vagin*l insemination and so must only be carried out by a veterinary surgeon.
  • Surgical insemination - This type of insemination has been banned in the UK since 2019 by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. We do not accept litter applications for puppies that were conceived using this method.

Can I artificially inseminate my dog?

Artificial insemination should always be carried out by a veterinary professional.

You should never let someone with little experience or knowledge try to artificially inseminate a dog as this could hurt or injure them and may lead to difficulties or anxieties around future matings, or in some cases lead to a prosecution for a welfare offence.

How much does artificial insemination for dogs cost?

The price of artificial insemination varies depending on the type of technique used and who is carrying it out.

Kennel Club registration

All AI litters must meet our current existing registration regulations. We accept applications to register a litter produced by AI from both overseas dogs and those living in the United Kingdom, but the AI must be declared by downloading and completing the Artificial insemination form PDF (form 2) and send it to us together with the litter registration form.

You do not need prior approval from us to register a litter produced by AI.

Frequently asked questions

I have a maiden bitch who has not yet produced puppies - can I still mate her using artificial insemination?

Yes, we have no restrictions on mating maiden bitches by AI.

The stud dog I want to use has not produced puppies naturally – can I still apply to register the puppies?

Yes, we will register a litter by AI from a dog that has not previously produced a natural litter.

Does the insemination need to be carried out by a vet?

The law states that all artificial insemination must be carried out by a veterinary professional.

Can I register a litter if I plan to use surgical insemination?

Surgical insemination has been banned since 2019 and we do not accept applications for litters that were conceived using this technique.

If the donor dog is dead, does there still need to be a gap before the sem*n can be used?

There is no longer any waiting period required to use sem*n from a deceased dog.

The stud dog I want to use is alive, and in the UK - will the application be accepted?

Although natural matings are always preferred, we will register a litter produced by AI, even if the sire is alive and in the UK.

I have bought the sem*n and therefore it is legally mine. Who signs the AI and litter registration forms?

Our regulations require the registered owner of the donor dog to sign the litter registration form. However, if you’re able to obtain written confirmation from the owner of the donor dog that you are the legal owner of the sem*n, you will be allowed to sign the AI and litter application forms.

Do I need permission to register the litter in advance from The Kennel Club?

You no longer need advanced permission to register a litter by AI, provided that your application follows our rules and guidelines.

Artificial insemination in dogs | Kennel Club (2024)


Artificial insemination in dogs | Kennel Club? ›

Cautions to using AI

How successful is artificial insemination in dogs? ›

The conception rate is best with fresh sem*n (80%), followed by chilled (60%) and frozen (50% to 60%), but may vary according to the insemination technique used and the skill of the operator. The conception rate also depends on the proper handling of the sem*n and the fertility of the bitch.

What is the success rate of TCI in dogs? ›

In fact, our success rate for TCI with fresh or chilled sem*n is greater than 90%, and for frozen sem*n, better than 75%. For webinar presentations on related topics, see below: Insemination With Fresh, Frozen, or Chilled/Shipped sem*n – Dr. Bruce Christensen (2023)

How much does artificial insemination cost for dogs? ›

The cost can range from $200 to $500 per insemination, depending on the method chosen and the expertise of the veterinarian or breeding specialist performing the procedure. Different techniques, such as vagin*l insemination or transcervical insemination, may have varying costs.

Is TCI better than AI? ›

AI, surgical AI or Trans-cervical (TCI)? Fresh Chilled sem*n is generally meant to be vagin*lly inseminated but TCI has the potential to increase pregnancy rates and litter size. Surgical insemination is generally reserved for cases where the bitch may have fertility issues or the sem*n is low in quality.

What are the disadvantages of artificial insemination in dogs? ›

AI can have its disadvantages and can, in certain situations, create welfare and ethical concerns, including:
  • Risks of complications and infections, especially if AI is performed by someone with little or no experience.
  • Enabling a stud dog to father considerably more puppies than from natural mating alone.

How many days after AI does a dog get pregnant? ›

The high pregnancy rates with IUAI at 6 and 7 days PO confirm that many canine oocytes are fertile at 4-5 days after maturation.

How many times should you artificially inseminate a dog? ›

For most natural matings or artificial inseminations with fresh sem*n, breeding should begin 2-3 days after the LH surge, and continue every 2 or 3 days until the end of the calculated fertile period.

What is the difference between TCI and surgical insemination in dogs? ›

An advantage of endoscope-assisted TCI over surgical AI is the ability to perform intrauterine insemination without the need for general anesthesia and surgery. Another advantage of endoscope-assisted TCI is that it allows multiple inseminations during the fertilization window of estrus.

What are the chances of a dog getting pregnant with AI? ›

Whelping rates by intrauterine AI in the dog are significantly better than those obtained by vagin*l AI not only for frozen-thawed sem*n (by 51%) but also for chilled (by 44%) as well as for fresh sem*n (by 30%). Litter size using intra-uterine AI of frozen-thawed sem*n is also significantly larger than by vagin*l AI.

Can a vet artificially inseminate my dog? ›

Artificial insemination (AI) has been widely used in cattle for decades, but only in recent years has it found a niche amongst dog breeders. It is most frequently carried out by experienced inseminators or by vets in practice.

How long does sperm stay alive in a female dog? ›

Canine spermatozoa may remain motile [6] and even fertile for up to 11 days in the female genital tract [7]. There is evidence that canine sperm are stored in the utero-tubal junction and the uterine glands [8,9].

Does artificial insemination produce less puppies? ›

Intrauterine insemination is particularly important when using frozen-thawed sem*n; in one study, transcervical intrauterine insemination (TCI) yielded average litters of 6.0 pups while vagin*l insemination yielded litters of 4.0 pups.

When should you do a TCI? ›

Timing the breeding using TCI is the same as for other forms of breeding – it is based on type of sem*n used, not the delivery of the sem*n. Our recommendation is to breed 48 hours after ovulation (ovulation = progesterone 5 ng/dl) using fresh sem*n and 72 hours after ovulation using frozen sem*n.

Why didn t my dog get pregnant with AI? ›

Why would a dog fail to conceive? If the breeding is properly timed, the male is known to be fertile, and the sem*n is handled correctly (in the case of artificial insemination), physical abnormalities of the female may be suspected. Infection or inflammation of the uterus may be associated with decreased fertility.

Is TCI better than surgical? ›

Frozen sem*n

vagin*l insemination not advised due to low success rate. Transcervical insemination has equal or better success than surgical (>40-60%).

Does artificial insemination have a high success rate? ›

If it's closer to the ovary, the success rate is approximately 11.7%, but it can go as high as 38.1% when closer to the uterus. IUI can be a solution when your male partner has issues such as abnormal sperm count, morphology, motility, or blocked vas deferens.

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