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Having a dog as a pet brings you a lot of joy. However, choosing the dog is not that easy. Each breed has its own characteristics and personalities. In some cases, natural mating may be very difficult and hazardous. This is when artificial insemination (AI) is required.
AI is an assisted reproductive practice that is commonly used in animal breeding and gradually getting popular among some dog breeders. Even though some purebred breeders maintain the convention of natural mating, AI has to be inevitably applied from now and then due to the following 5 reasons.
1. Breeding across the world
Breeders can choose semen from everywhere in the world or even a deceased dog. This allows them to increase the quality of a breed by choosing semen from dogs that are intelligent, well-behaved, and with good genetics. Shipping semen is much more convenient and cheaper than traveling a dog, due to the increase of the dog’s stress level and risk of injury from travelling. Moreover, taking a male outside of his normal environment can cause insecurity and lead to his attention wandering.
2. Less concern in behavior problems
When in heat, dog behavior is unpredictable. They might behave extremely timid or aggressively, which can obstruct successful breeding and tieing. AI helps reduce animal stress by minimizing the risks incurred through direct contact, which can provide more successful inseminations. It also makes it easier to breed dogs that are simply uninterested in mating. It allows breeders to collect and evaluate semen to make sure each insemination comes with sufficient live sperm counts prior to insemination.
3. Prevent sexually transmitted diseases and infections
No physical interactions are involved in AI. Therefore, it prevents both dogs from sexual transmitted diseases, such as CTVT, Brucellosis, and CHV. These diseases can cause cancer, miscarriages, or sterility. It also helps prevents infections out of injuries during mating. However, there is still a risk for some diseases that transmit through semen. Thus, semen analysis or evaluation is required prior to insemination.
4. Prevent diminished gene pools and enhance genetic diversity
A small gene pool and low genetic diversity can cause reduced biological fitness and an increased chance of extinctions. A small gene pool allows genetic diseases to pass onto offspring easier, given that it is highly probable that two dogs with same genetic diseases will be mated. AI makes it possible for breeder to diversify dog genetics.
5. Friendly with both dogs and their owners
As one ejaculate can be dispensed into multiple semen doses for AI, those doses can be used to repeat breeding or breed many bitches without risking exhaustion of a stud dog’s semen quality. For owners, using chilled or frozen semen allows them to breed their dogs whenever it is convenient.
Though most AI breeding tends to produce smaller litters, most breeders consider this as an acceptable compromise compared to the advantages gained from AI. Furthermore, AI technologies are advancing due to the widespread use of AI. The popularity of AI in canine reproduction keeps growing.
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