Mating behavior in the female dog and the effects of estrogen on sexual reflexes

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16 Scopus citations


Sexual responses of adult female beagle dogs under the conditions of both natural and induced estrus consisted of lateral curvature of the rear quarters towards the male, looping or arching the tail to the side and vertical movement of the genital orifice when the male began pelvic thrusting. Following complete intromission by the male and engorgement of the glans penis resulting in the genital lock, most females exhibited vigorous twisting and turning lasting 5-30 sec. Seven spayed females in which the spinal cord had been transected in the midthoracic region were studied for sexual reflexes. Electromyography was used to monitor contraction of the constrictor vestibuli (CV) muscle which encircles the vulva and posterior vagina. In 5 out of 7 spinal subjects, administration of estradiol cypionate facilitated the responses of lateral curvature of the rear quarters and unilateral contraction of the CV muscle when the skin on one side of the vulva was stroked. The estrogen did not influence a reaction characterized by rhythmic contraction of the CV muscle, moderate ventral flexion of the pelvis and stepping of the back legs when the clitoris was stimulated. The relation of these sexual reflexes in the female dog to mating behavior is discussed. When estradiol cypionate was administered to adult spinal male beagles, a lateral curvature reflex was facilitated in 5 out of 6 subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-104
Number of pages12
JournalHormones and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1970

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Psychology(all)


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