"A dog knot becoming stuck is a problem is unique to dogs. A dog"smode of reproduction and reproduction anatomy iscomparatively unique to other animals and humans, which is why dogspossess a different physiology as well. The normal process of mating indog couples has different stages, of which the last stage is called“tying” or "knotting". This tying results from a swelling of theventral part of thevascular bulb on a dog"s penis, generally called the “dog penis knot”.

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A dog knot tying is a normal occurrence and may persist for 2 – 30minutes. If the dog knot is tied for a longer period of time it isreferred to as the dog knot being stuck. In such cases, both partnersmay experience severe injuries and bruises, which may leave a dog withsecondary complications in later stages of the problem.

Overview: Act of Breeding and Tying

Once a male and female dogare convinced that they are suited for each other, a female becomescalm and allows the male dog to mount the female. The dog penis remainssemi erect or the erection is practically non existent. The bone on thedorsal side of the canine penis makes the penis appear erect andfacilitates copulation.

Thenormal posture of mounting is described as the male stepping forwardand placing both fore legs on either side of the rib cage of thefemale. The male steps forward with its hind limbs and positions itsprepuce (fold of skin that covers the penis) behind the proximity ofthe female"s vulva. At same time, the female elevates its hind quarterand front quarter of her tips downward. The act of breeding or matinginitiates with the entry of the sensitive glans penis. The male holdsthe female tightly with the fore limbs, just below the hind limbs ofthe female. The intro-mission continues with thrusting and the femalemight experience discomfort, particularly in cases where she is underage or is experiencing any health problem in the reproductive tract.


A Dog KnotStuck Problem Occurs When Tying Lasts More Than 45 to 60 Minutes

In the normal act of breeding, tying is a normalphenomenon, in which the bulbis glandis or “knot” at the ventral sideof penis swells in the vagina due to the high blood supply it contains.At the same time, the muscular band of the vagina, “ConstrictorVestibuli Muscles” constricts and during thrusting both get tiedtogether. This physiological character of dogs is thought to happen inorder to allow for the complete ejaculation of sperm into thereproductive tract of the female. After tying, the male brings one ofhis fore legs over the female and stands beside her, with the genitalorgans still copulated. One of the two swings and they come into aposition where they are facing the opposite direction of each other.This state of union continues till the ejaculation is completed indifferent stages.

The first portion of canine ejaculation is semen,which is usually 0.5 cc in volume, which is produced by the prostategland and takes half a minute to complete. This dog ejaculation isfollowed in a second stage by thick and white sperm rich semenejaculated in 1 cc volume and takes a couple of minutes to completelyejaculate. The third and final fraction of semen is produced by theprostate gland and is usually measured as more than an ounce of thinfluid, which takes 6 – 45 minutes to complete ejaculation, dependingupon the age, breed and size of the dog.

Knot tying is anormal process during the act of mating and may persist for 10 – 30minutes before both male and female are set free. But, in some cases,it may happen that the knot may get stuck and cause pain, injury,trauma and stress for both male and female. Dog knot becoming stuck is unusualand can be affected by existing pathological conditions (healthproblems) and any abnormalities in parts of the canine reproductivesystem.


A Dog penis knot which isstuck is an abnormality in a normal act of dog breeding. It isgenerally indicated in cases where the tying persists after 45 – 60minutes of copulation. Symptoms of discomfort, torsion (twisting), pain,blood discharge and aggression in both the male and female surelyrepresents a serious dog knot stuck problem requiring a veterinarian"sattention. Complications from injuries on and in the reproductivetract, high blood loss, self injury due to discomfort and secondaryinfections are common due to a stuck dog knot.

Management and Treatment

A stuck dog knot  usually occurs due to anatomical defects in the reproductivetract of either male, female or both dogs. Females, when at a youngerage, may more commonly experience the condition, therefore immaturefemales should never be preferred for breeding. Similarly, male dogswith health problems related to hypertension and the cardiovascularsystem may more often experience a dog knot problem due to prolongedswelling of the knot or bulbus on the ventral side of the penis.

Somebreeds and middle aged dogs may have characteristics such as aprolonged ejaculation of the third fraction of semen, therefore tyingmay persist for more than an hour. During this, both male and femalemay feel discomfort due to the long duration and pretend to beexperiencing a dog knot stuck. Such cases of dog knot stuck usuallyresolve on their own.

Thenormal act of breeding involves excessive thrusting, pressure, swingingof the body and a fair amount of action and changes in posture. Suddenswinging of the body, pressurized thrusting and an abnormal change inposture may cause torsion twisting) in and/or injury to the caninepenis, leaving the couple with a dog knot stuck, which cannot beresolved on its own and which may require minor to major medical andsurgical attention.


Some normal acts of dog breeding mayappear to be a stuck dog knot problem, which is why any reproductionissue should be carefully examined. Sometimes blood discharge thatoccurs during copulation may be misunderstood, but mostly these bloodfractions are shed by the female reproductive tract, which is a normalmechanism. Similarly, cases of dog knot stuck should be attended to bya veterinarian for proper handling. Forceful pulling apart the male andfemale or throwing water on the female or both during copulation canlead to a dog knot stuck problem and serious complications. However, anowner should only interfere or call a veterinarian if the time of tieis extended well above the norm.

Both male and female should be checked after theact of mating for any injuries and complications that affect thereproductive organs. Minor injuries and bruises are normal over thefemale vulva and the male penis may become inflamed and sore for a fewhours after copulation due to intense tying. Other symptoms, except theminor inflammations and bruising described should be immediatelyreported to a veterinarian and proper treatment/management should be carried out.

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How Long For a Dog Knot To FormMy mom and dad have rotties and I was wondering how long it takes for the dog knot to form. We have to hold the female because she just doesn"t want to …
Treating Dog Penis Infection After Tie
Not rated yetMy 1 1/2 yr old Maltese dog sustained a penis infection after his first successful tie. He was treated and placed on 2 weeks worth of medicine and a cone …

MerckVeterinary Manual (Merck & Co. 2008)

Dan Rice, “The complete book of Dog Breeding” (Barron"s EducationalSeries, 2008)