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Semen samples are checked visually under the microscope for volume, quality, motility, forward motility and morphology. Sperm numbers are then calculated and fully discussed with the owner present. By 12 months of age most dogs are sexually mature and should provide a good sample. Semen quality can decrease after five years of age. However, many older dogs are quite capable of producing a litter of puppies and some may have semen of good enough quality to use.
A good semen sample would have at least 70% forward motility and less than 10% of the sperm classed as abnormal, again this is discussed during the analysis and examples are shown to our clients. We are able to support clients with ways to improve low scoring semen samples and advise on future matings. Semen evaluation is carried out at North West Breeding Services premises and in the most part we don’t require a bitch in season to accompany your appointment (although it does help!)
You wouldn’t believe how many times we are asked this question no joke! Unfortunately, we are canine reproduction specialists and humans aren't our forte.
Not at all! Quite often there is a reason behind a poor sample, lots of things can affect how semen performs. Often we can work with the owner and over a period of time we can build the semen quality up. It’s very rare we have to write off a male as unusable. Regular semen testing should be in place for all stud dogs to ensure the quality of the sample remains acceptable for stud use.