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International Journal of Zoology
Volume 2011, Article ID 314216, 10 pages
Research Article

Mating System of Free-Ranging Dogs (Canis familiaris)

Katwa Bharati Bhaban, Katwa, Burdwan 713 130, India

Received 22 December 2010; Revised 1 March 2011; Accepted 14 May 2011

Academic Editor: Marcel Eens

Copyright © 2011 S. K. Pal. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Fourteen females belonging to five groups were selected for the study of mating system in free-ranging domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) All the matings occurred between August and December with a peak in late monsoon months (September to November). Both males and females differed in their degree of attractiveness to the opposite sex. The duration of courting association increased with the number of courting males in an association. The females exhibited selectivity by readily permitting some males to mate and avoiding, or even attacking others, if they attempted to mount. Frequency of mounting in courting association increased with the number of males present. There was a positive correlation between the duration of courting association and the frequency of mounting. The young adult males were more likely to copulate successfully than the old adult males. There was a negative correlation between the number of males present in an association and the number of successful copulations. In this study, six types of mating (monogamy, polygyny, promiscuity, polyandry, opportunity and rape) were recorded. Mean (±S.E.) duration of copulatory ties was 25.65 (±1.43) min. Several natural factors influencing the duration of copulatory ties were identified.