Our two year old fawn male Labrador, Abroozi has found love. Rather, love has found him. We met a couple whose posh fawn Lab, Tequila, was petrified of other dogs. I say “posh” because she’s got quite a pedigree, certified by her British lineage which is in stark contrast to our little boy who we picked up from a pet shop in Coimbatore. The only reason I’m certain he’s a Lab is because of his profound love for the water. Be it the Bay of Bengal, my mother- in- law’s lily and koi pond or a muddy puddle, he just has to get in there. But Tequila is quite the madam – she has a raspberry flavoured bone, is pampered with Johnson& Johnsons’ baby powder and hates getting her paws dirty. Her fear of other dogs began with a frightening upbringing (before she was brought to her loving new home) and her unfortunate attack by not one but three Rottweilers whose charms she spurned. She was emotionally scarred from that experience until her nose crinkled, bum twitched and tail swished at the sight of our Abroozi. The nose and bum never lie – it was love.
Things were different for our Abroozi though. Since he was a puppy we were quick to socialise him with other dogs. He just happened to have a lot of dog friends and he was the only one with a nice big yard to romp around in. So we’ve always had a lot of dogs come visit us. Tequila was just another one of his dog friends, one of only two females he’s met. But for Tequila, Abroozi was the only male dog she could stand to be around. In fact she would get so excited on seeing him she would fall to the ground and roll over on to her back in delight and total submission. Hierarchy is big in the dog world so she was clearly saying to him that she was happy to be his bitch. When two human people are introduced for the first time, they tend to face each other, make eye contact, shake hands, maybe a namaste. When two dogs meet for the first time they never stand nose to nose but always with the length of their bodies side to side. This is their way of assessing who the bigger one is, who can probably push the other one off balance. It also allows for each dogs’ nose to be in proximity with the others’ fountain of pheromones – the bum.
When it comes to girls I don’t think our Abroozi is really in to hierarchy that much – he’s more of pluralist society kinda guy. So if he’s out on his walk and spots Tequila approaching before she does, he lies down in submission and allows her to sniff him. He would never roll over as that’s not how the males do it. She nuzzles his ears and tickles his snout and they whimper at each other. I think they are exchanging pleasantries, “lovely weather for walking” or “did you smell that patch ten yards away, nasty stuff”, that sort of thing. I doubt it’s anything more verbose than that. But some dogs can get really excited and want to have a game of ‘lets chase your tail’ right there in the street. Overall, our Abroozi is pretty slack and quite the mama’s boy/papa’s boy. Here he is on a Sunday afternoon.
After six months of casual meetings and the occasional run around in our garden, Tequila’s time to take things to the next level had arrived. She was in heat and her family wanted her to have a litter before she was spayed, and not with just any dog but with our Abroozi. Not only was he the only dog she could stand to be around but her family loved him too. They knew how visibly happy she became when they said his name.We were equally excited to have our Abroozi be “chosen”. And by this time our Abroozi was equally sweet on her. But we were always worried about whether he would actually know what to do when the time came to “do the deed”.
When parents see their little boy expertly stacking building blocks they think, architect. If he’s fascinated by mum’s lipstick they think he could be gay or when he bashes a squirrel they think, psycho. Our Abroozi is so much of a mama’s boy/papa’s boy and very clingy that we just didn’t think he’d be interested in “doing it”. More doubt set in when we realised that on both sides of our family we’ve had dogs who just didn’t know what to do when presented with a bitch in heat. One of them didn’t come out from under the bed for 3 days after the bitch was taken away. The poor chap was petrified by the whole ordeal. The other dog showed more interest in humping a cushion. So we didn’t want to put any pressure on our boy.
Dog mating is not as easy as it sounds. There are certain rules to follow. First off, if you are not a breeder but you have a bitch and are not looking for a stud dog, I feel the two dogs have to have had previous meetings. I think it helps if they are comfortable with each other if he’s not a professional ‘stud’. Stud dogs are unlike human males who think they are studs. Stud dogs get right to it and get the job done quick. There’s no preening and showing off, no peacock strutting, no alcohol required.But that’s just an aside. Regular Joes like our Abroozi like to take their time and boy do they need it. The female when she’s around 5 days in to her heat will want to be mated. Before that it’s like she’s seriously PMSing. When she’s ready she’ll offer herself, by sticking out her bum and moving her tail aside to any low life mongrel she can get her horny paws on. She’s not assessing his future prospects, whether he can provide for her or nurture her emotionally. She’s just looking for a quickie. The male on the other hand is nervous. All the pressure to perform is on him. So you have to bring the female in to the male’s territory so that he is comfortable.
This is unlike human dating/mating. I heard a joke that when men are on a night out they pack condoms hoping to get lucky. When a woman goes out she packs pepper spray and a taser – everything to prevent the man from getting lucky! Men and women do not have the same agenda.
When Tequila came over our Abroozi was very nervous. He knew that there was “something” to be done but he just couldn’t get a leg up, literally. He didn’t know how to mount her. There was much sniffing of bums, nervous wagging of tails and frantic chasing but Abroozi was still lost. Added to the poor boy’s frustration was the 35 degree heat and 90% humidity that got both dogs thoroughly exhausted. This wasn’t working – a whole 5 hours and nothing. My dear husband (DH) decided it was time for some education so he tried showing our Abroozi some dog mating videos on YouTube. He even suggested we do some dry humping doggy style so he’d get the idea. I do not recommend that these methods will have a successful outcome. Some experts suggest lifting the male on to the female or elevating the female on towels if the male is much shorter. I suggest best leave them alone to get on with it as nature intended.
After no putting out from our Abroozi we sent Tequila home and both dogs had a well deserved rest. She came back the next day and yet again our Abroozi had no clue what was to be done. He knew it was something but even his little pecker had not made an appearance which is surprising as it makes an appearance at the prospect of a chapatti. The daytime heat was much too exhausting for them so we had Tequila over at night. We put them in a room by themselves stocked with water. The dear husband even attempted some mood lighting, covering the tube light with a blue-green dupatta. But the dogs refused to stay in a room by themselves. After a couple of hours together they wailed and wanted to be let in to our bedroom where the airconditioning was on. Cheeky buggers. 18 hours later and at 5 am – he did it and they didn’t stop doing it for the next two days. Well, it was more him doing it to her. You could sense the relief from her, from all of us. Sorry for the graphic details but there you go. Here’s the happy couple all shagged out (Abroozi sitting on the left)
Now Tequila is pregnant and we are expecting little Abroozis next month. So a lesson in dog mating – patience required in abundance. “My mama said, You can’t hurry love.”