Dogs accomplish mating by a unique physical way and process. Unlike most other mammals, the dog’s penis has a large bulbous enlargement at the base. When the dog’s penis enters the vagina of the bitch, it must go through a muscular ring or constriction of the external opening of the vagina. The moment the penis is through, the pressure of the tube on the reflex nerve center causes a violent thrust and the dog clings to the bitch with all his strength. The swelling of the bulb prevents the dog from withdrawing his penis.
Dogs remain hung in this manner for on average twenty minutes. The male turns around and faces the opposite direction from the bitch. While the two are hung in this manner, they may get their nails into the dirt and pull with far more than their own weights, stretching the penis amazingly. Do not be alarmed when they pull this way; neither dog is being hurt. As the valve relaxes, the blood leaves the penis, usually from the bulb part first, and allows the enlarged penis to slip out.
They’re usually bound together for about twenty minutes. Quite long. In fact, in animal kingdom terms you could almost call it . . ‘True Love.’ Almost ‘commitment.’
I didn’t know this when I first saw it on the Fyvie’s Gailian farm outside Harrismith in the Free State, and I watched in fascination. It did seem a bit like, after the passion, they had turned their backs on each other and were like:
I can’t believe this; He doesn’t write, he doesn’t call;
Will she still respect me in the morning . . . ?
And Hector Fyvie said, deadpan: “Locked in Holy Matrimony.”
Another famous dog knot featured our first dog’s father: