As your male dog quickly matures into a teenage Adonis, you may notice flirtatious displays of sexual interest. However, since it is rather rare and bizarre for male humans to be attracted to their mothers, you may question whether dogs behave like humans in this sense.
So, do male dogs mate with their mother? Is this normal for them?
Unlike humans, male dogs show sexual interest in their mommas as any other female dogs and will try to mate them. Male dogs are more interested in the pheromone-producing females in heat, regardless of whether she is their mom or not.
During estrus, bitches often become clingy and receptive to mating with their tails raised up and slightly sideways. She is seen licking her genitals excessively and urinating more often and at different spots to leave trails of pheromones for potential mates.
Without question, intact and sexually matured male dogs can and are likely to mate with their mother, and surprisingly, the mother dog is receptive to her sons as long as she is in heat.
Breeding a mother with her son is classified under inbreeding and this act is strongly discouraged commonly due to an increased risk of congenital abnormalities and other unfavorable genetic predispositions.
Overview Of Inbreeding In Dogs
Inbreeding involves mating two dogs of direct kinship to produce a litter of puppies with a narrow gene pool. For example, between mother/son, father/daughter, and siblings.
It is one of the major biological activities that has produced mixed reactions amongst various groups of breeders and dog owners.
A small number of people believe that Inbreeding is not entirely harmful to dogs and be beneficial in maintaining and amplifying (fixing) various genetic traits and preventing them from being lost in generations. However, most people believe that various hidden genetic vulnerabilities are uncovered by the process, impacting the quality and size of the litter.
Well, both can agree that the potential risks associated with inbreeding clearly outweigh the benefits.
A mathematical probability known as the coefficient of Inbreeding (COI) is used to ascertain the chance of the litter receiving a homozygous allele from a cross between a sire and a dam. To ensure the resulting offspring is healthy and of high quality, a low COI is recommended.
What Happens If Mother And Son Dogs Mate?
The mating process between a mother and son dog is not in any way different from that of unrelated dogs. Unlike humans, mating between mother and son is nowhere near repulsive and can lead to pregnancy.
The problems associated with this type of mating are centered around the resulting litter. Dogs often carry genetic diseases in several copies of autosomal recessive alleles. Hence, any cross between closely related sire and dam can result in a homozygous recessive genotype.
When disease-carrying recessive alleles become homozygous, the disease is expressed in the individual puppies. The resulting breeds may also lack the genetic variability required to fight off a wide range of infections.
As a dog owner, if you dislike frequent trips to the vet, and high treatment and maintenance expenses, it is recommended that you opt for litters of outbred dogs.
Can Male Dogs Impregnate Their Mother?
Yes, son dogs can impregnate their momma as long as both parties are sexually mature and the dam is in heat.
The close relationship between a sire and dam does affect conception, however, it increases the risk of congenital abnormalities that can certainly cause pregnancy-related complications like spontaneous abortions and stillbirths.
Inbreeding son and mother dogs is common with unscrupulous breeders who focus on creating a beautiful line of puppies at the expense of their health. However, it is not advisable to breed closely related dogs if your ultimate goal is to create healthy pups.
Pros Of Inbreeding Son And Mother Dogs
Most people hold the opinion that inbreeding is far more harmful than it is beneficial. Let’s quickly look into some of the benefits that validate this claim.
Fixes Desired Traits
Inbreeding is very beneficial in fixing various desirable characteristics even though this often leads to the culling of the resulting puppies due to the expression of harmful genes. Another way to see it is that inbreeding can useful in uncovering and eliminating these deleterious recessive genes.
Show dog breeders and those who are focused on short-term profit often engage in inbreeding in order to uncover various attractive features of the dogs and make them more sellable or bump up the market value of the dogs.
Increases Gene Uniformity
Another important benefit of inbreeding is that it can be used to establish genetic uniformity. While this can lead to less genetic diversity or a smaller gene pool, certain genes that are usually recessive in outcrossed puppies are fully expressed.
Not only does Inbreeding helps to unmask desirable traits, but it also ensures that there is a pure line of dog with a common ancestry because the genetic traits are preserved in the pedigree. Unfortunately, this always comes at a great cost, since inbred dogs commonly have genetic diseases, birth defects, and weaker immunity leading to a low mortality rate.
Leads To High Prepotency
Prepotency is the ability of parent animals to transmit various genetic characteristics such that it shares very similar resemblance with the offspring.
Continuous inbreeding often leads to increased homozygosity and a high coefficient of inbreeding. Hence, you can expect the puppies to be highly prepotent for various genetic traits.
On the other hand, in outcrossed puppies, breeding of unrelated sire and dam often tends to mask various characteristics of both parent dogs reducing the prepotency of their genes.
Cons Of Inbreeding Son And Mother Dogs
Inbreeding ccan result in a number of consequences mainly for the offspring as explained below:
The word congenital means “born with“. Inbreeding son and mother dogs can increase the risk of defective fetal development causing puppies to be born with various congenital disorders.
Generally, all dogs carry copies of deleterious autosomal recessive alleles. However, Inbreeding involves crossing dogs with similar genetic make-up possibly resulting in the homozygosity and expression of the hidden recessive genes.
Both favorable such as thick coat, white fur, or blue eyes, and unfavorable traits like neurological defects, tetralogy of Fallot, cleft lips, and undescended testicles, can be revealed in the resulting offspring.
Genetic Health Conditions
While all congenital disorders are genetic, some genetic health problems are not necessarily congenital. However, just like congenital disorders all genetic diseases are hereditary and puppies resulting from inbreeding are at higher risk of genetic health issues.
For example, elbow or hip dysplasia in dogs is hereditary but is not present from birth rather, it occurs in the later stages of a canine’s life.
Other genetic health conditions include cancer, patellar luxation, cataracts, cardiomyopathy, diabetes mellitus, degenerative disorders, epilepsy, and more.
Genetic disorders often affect the general well-being of your dog, even though some of these conditions can be managed.
Complications During Pregnancy
While many inbred puppies have genetic issues they may have to deal with all through their lives, it’s even more unfortunate that some do not make it to the outside world.
Inbreeding leads to the expression of harmful genes that can disrupt fetal development resulting in complications such as miscarriages, stillbirths, and mummification.
The dam can suffer a great deal of discomfort or depression from these issues. She will recover over time with proper care, a healthy diet, and fresh water.
Narrow Gene Pool
In outbreeding, a sire and dam are crossed to form puppies with genetic variability and a wide range of favorable characteristics, however, close inbreeding limits the gene pool increasing the susceptibility of the resulting offspring to certain genetic issues, infections, or various environmental changes.
A narrow gene pool negatively impacts the longevity and survivability of any dog. For example, inbreeding two closely related boxers may lead to decreased genetic diversity and expression of cancer-causing genes that may be hidden normally. This is the reason why mixed breeds are generally healthier and resistant to genetic diseases.
It is important to work with responsible breeders who are hell-bent on producing healthy puppies and not just good-looking ones. Canines that fail genetic health clearances are often not qualified for registration into various kennel clubs.
We can’t fully process how detrimental inbreeding can be without considering its effect on litter quality. Poor quality litters are a result of inbreeding depression.
Inbred puppies often experience a slower growth rate making them smaller than normal pups. Moreover, these pups tend to be less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy.
At times, fertility issues arise when inbred dogs reach sexual maturity due to the expression of bad genes that can disrupt reproductive processes.
Some inbred offspring may also have behavioral issues such as aggression, phobias, possessiveness, irritability, anxiety, and cognitive dysfunction.
Is It Ethical To Breed Son And Mother Dogs
All breeders are well-informed about the consequences of inbreeding and most people believe this is an unethical practice. Although inbreeding is highly frowned upon, this practice is very much alive today and is fixing various desirable genes. Few often compare it to similar practices such as ear cropping, tail docking, or even neutering.
One of the most significant concerns with inbreeding is the risk of genetic disorders. When closely related dogs are bred, there is a small gene pool and an increased likelihood of recessive gene expression, which can lead to serious health problems in their offspring.
Another concern is that inbreeding can lead to a lack of genetic diversity, which can make the breed more susceptible to infections and other health issues. Additionally, inbreeding can lead to a lack of physical and behavioral diversity within a breed, which can make it more difficult to find healthy, well-rounded individuals within that breed.
A phenomenon known as “inbreeding depression,” which refers to a decline in overall health and fertility in a population as a result of inbreeding, can also stem from inbreeding. This can make it more difficult for breeders to maintain the population, and can also lead to increased costs for veterinary care and other expenses related to the health of the affected dog.
Final Thoughts: Do Son Dogs Mate With Their Mother
Well, dogs are not aware that such a thing as incest exists and they are equally interested in mating with their mother or son as they would with unrelated dogs. Any female dog in heat is a center of attraction for male dogs around who often respond by mounting and mating.
As dogs have natural instincts to engage sexually with their relations, you cannot turn this off automatically. However, you can prevent accidental inbreeding from occurring by neutering the son dog before he comes sexually mature or just spaying the mother dog. You can also separate both dogs when the mother dog is in heat but this is not very reliable since dogs sometimes go through silent heat or irregular cycles.