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Female Dog Refuses to Breed? Here’s Why & What to Do

By Aviram K.
August 1, 2022
5 min read
Female Dog Refuses to Breed? Here’s Why & What to Do
✏️ This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy.
🏥 The information in this article is not a substitute for professional help.

The day is finally here. After hours of research, you’ve selected the time, place, and male companion to mate with your female dog.

You slowly and delicately introduce the two dogs. They sniff and observe one another.

Everything appears to be going fine. Until the big moment: the male dog attempts to mount your female…and she runs away!

Wait, why is this happening?!

Is she not in the mood? Is it too soon? Is she okay?

A female dog may refuse to breed if she is not currently in heat, has suffered trauma, is struggling with a medical condition, or is not well-suited to her male companion. You can help by ensuring your pup is comfortable and physically guiding her through the process.

In this article, I will reveal the reasons a female dog may refuse to mate. I will also offer some ways to help encourage her to mate.

It may seem like your female dog’s mating experience should be as easy as 1…2…3. But just like humans, your pup has her own health issues, feelings, and preferences that come into play.

This is all normal!

Read on to discover why your female dog may be refusing to breed and how you can help her out.

Let’s go!

Table of Contents
Why a Female Refuses to Mate
Encouraging Your Dog to Mate
Gentleness, Patience, and Understanding Go a Long Way

Why a Female Refuses to Mate


If you’ve watched your female dog dodge the advances of her male counterpart, you may feel perplexed.

“They’re dogs! This should be simple and not so complicated!” You may think.

But reproduction, whether in humans or another species, is far from a simple act. The complex chemical reactions that dictate attraction and the surge of hormones that push you to action are intricate!

You’ve probably had a time when you weren’t in the mood, and there was probably a really solid reason why.

The same is true for your pup! She may be unable to verbalize what’s going on or how she feels. Still, there is undoubtedly a reason behind her reluctance to get it on.

Here are some common reasons why your pup may be refusing to mate:

She’s Not in Heat

The first and most obvious reason your female dog may refuse to mate is that she is simply not in heat!

Heat or Estrus is a window in her fertility cycle where your female dog is capable of getting pregnant.

Not only will your pup be able to get pregnant during this time, but she will also be receptive to it. When your pup is in heat, she will be friendlier towards male dogs and will even willingly allow them to mount her.

This is exactly the mindset your pup will need to be in for pregnancy to have the chance of occurring!

However, if your pup is not in heat, she likely won’t be in the mood at all. If a male dog tries to mount her, she probably won’t be having any of it! She may swiftly slide away from the male dog if he makes any advances, or she may just keep a general distance from him.

She’s Been Through Trauma

Traumatic events don’t just scar human beings. If your female dog has been through a less than desirable experience, she may be traumatized. If so, she may be reluctant to have other dogs and even people get close to her.

If your pup has been through something traumatic, she may react by running away in fear or appear hostile and even aggressive. She may not want a male dog trying to get next to her at all, much less allow him to mount her.

A professional dog trainer can help determine whether your dog may have been traumatized. They can also recommend the proper treatment to help your pup heal and become better adjusted.

Something Is Wrong with Her Health

A female dog who isn’t feeling good for any reason may not be up for breeding.

Your pup may have a tumor, infection, or another issue within her body that makes her feel like receiving any physical affection is an absolute no-go.

If your pup yelps, winces when touched, or seems tired or distressed, these could indicate that she is experiencing some health problem. I recommend taking her to the vet if physical signs or simply your intuition tells you something is up.

The Male Dog Is Not a Good Match for Her

Sometimes dogs are just not a good fit for one another! This can be due to things outside your control and the dog’s control. Things like pheromones, personality, mood, and temperament.

It’s important to allow the dogs to meet, play, and get acquainted before you try to mate them. This will allow your pups not only to feel each other out but will also allow you to see if they are suitable to mate anatomically. Dogs that are too big or too small for one another can be difficult or even harmful to try to mate together.

Encouraging Your Dog to Mate


If your female dog seems to be doing everything in her power to refuse to mate, it’s okay! There are things you can do to help her.

The biggest thing you can do to help your female dog mate is to ensure that she’s in heat. Even if you see the physical signs and you’re pretty sure that she is, you can still have your vet run some tests to confirm.

Making sure your dog is in heat will ensure she is more receptive to mating and give her the best chance to have a fruitful mating experience. In short, this is the only time she can get pregnant, so why not confirm that she’s in heat, so you’re not mating her for nothing!

After you’ve confirmed she’s in heat, do your best to ensure your dog is in a safe and comfortable environment. Not too hot, not too cold. A familiar location indoors may be best for your pup as this will help her feel more relaxed and also protect her from the elements.

Ideally, both dogs will have met before you try to mate them. So if the initial meetings have been a success, it is reasonable to move on to the breeding.

Try presenting your female pup to her male counterpart with her leash and collar still on so this way, you can control the pacing of the interaction. It may take a moment for her to be willing to let the male mount, so allow her some time to be ready.

As the male dog mounts, keep one hand on your female pup’s collar and one hand on her rib cage to help steady her. You can definitely stay nearby to physically have a hand in the process if you need to intervene, guide, or steady either dog as they mate.

Gentleness, Patience, and Understanding Go a Long Way


Breeding can be a physically draining and demanding process…it’s no wonder your female dog may not always be up for it!

Your pup may refuse to breed if she’s not in heat, has been through trauma, suffers from a health issue, or is not a good fit with the male dog.

With a little investigation, you can get down to the bottom of why your female dog is refusing to breed. The reason you find may be fixed by a simple trip to the vet and some minor guidance on your end.

You may even discover the reason she’s refusing breeding is relatable! You’re a different species, but there is some overlap with some of the things she may be feeling or going through.

With some compassion, you can dive down and correct whatever the issue may be. And it will hopefully be smooth breeding from there on out!

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