Lapdog Ltd.
PO Box 145
Marton 4741
New Zealand

Dog Breeding Pre-Mate Test Pads

When to mate?  Test at home for ovulation and get results in less than a minute !


The Dog Breeding Pre-Mate Test Pads are:

  • Low Cost and effective

  • Provide immediate results in approximately one minute

  • No need to take the bitch to the vet and expose her to bugs

  • Tells you when the bitch is ready to ovulate.  The LH turns the pads purple (burgundy) during the LH rise which is just prior to ovulation.

  • The Fertile-Focus kit is a good complementary re-useable test kit that will indicate when the eggs have ripened and the bitch is fertile.

"Having had a bitch that was late coming on heat and then in season for 28 days, I had spent $350 on 5 progesterone tests to accomplish the mating ... and then I discovered Dog Breeding Pre-Mate Test Pads and immediately ordered some so I wouldn't have to go through the expense again of having bloods done.  There are other ovulation indicators such as a good stud dog, tissue touch, and colour of blood, etc. which I have written about in my book on dog breeding, but the more positive signs and indications of the actual ovulation day, the better.  If it is an important mating, I still like to rely on the more sure methods that pin-point the ovulation day.   As it normally happens with me, the ovulation day usually falls over a weekend, meaning the blood tests have to be done on Friday and / or Monday and guessing at which day was the ovulation day.  Recently the bloods were not as accurate at indicating the ripening of the eggs as the Fertile-Focus ferning kit, also available through Lapdog.  With both testing methods, there is no more need for bloods !!   Now I can pin point the expected time of ovulation and the mating days."

How do they work?
The pads change colour from Pink to Purple/Burgundy during the Luteinizing Hormone (LH) surge produced by the anterior pituitary gland; this LH surge is normally just 2 - 3 days per season. You can start testing with the pads as early as day 1 of her season.
We suggest an early start in case you have missed a few days of bleeding or colour, or if your bitches have silent seasons. For best results you can test morning and evening, wipe the vulva area clean, open the vulva, and gently place the pad about 1 3 cms inside, place the pads sideways into the vulva so the pad soaks up vaginal fluid and hold in place for a count of 10 to 15 seconds. Do not touch the pink part of the pad; this may lead to a false or incorrect result.  For those who have tried the electronic ovulation meters with the metal probe, you will be happy to know that the pads are not cold and give a far more accurate reading on the LH surge that triggers ovulation.  They do have sharp corners, so insert carefully.
After 10 to 15 seconds remove the pad and ensure it is soaked with vaginal fluid, wait for 30 to 120 seconds*, if the pad remains pink with no colour change at all, your bitch has not released her LH yet. If the pad starts to turn colour from Pink to Purple/Burgundy even if there is just one small spot or corner change of colour this is a positive result and your bitch's LH has started to surge.  The pad colour change normally lasts for 3 days and the 2nd day is when the LH spike occurs.  You can expect that she will ovulate during the next 24 to 48 hours after the LH spike and plan her mating. If left longer than a few minutes the pads will naturally go darker in the air.  Take note of the initial change only. Continue to test your bitch so you know exactly the day of ovulation. From the day of ovulation, the pads will remain pink with no colour change confirming the LH surge has passed.

* With shipments that are really fresh from the manufacturer, the change of colour may take 2 to 3 minutes.  With pads that have been stored for awhile, the reading should occur in 30 to 60 seconds.
Ovulation is triggered by the LH surge which causes the ovaries to release the developing eggs.  The eggs cannot be fertilised upon immediate release from the ovaries. However, normally during the 24 - 96 hour period after the eggs are released they become sperm friendly and are ready to be fertilised.  The fertilisation will normally last for 72 hours (3 days).  Mating 3 days in a row from the first day of fertilisation will give the best reproduction results.  Do note that not all females run to the "normal" cycle.  The charts below will help you to understand when to mate your bitch for optimum results.

For a "normal" bitch the best mating days will be 4th, 5th, and 6th days after the LH spike (the day the pads turn very dark all over).  Our chart below shows mating on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th days to cover the cases where the bitch's ovulation and ripening cycle is may be 24 hours shorter.  Because the male sperm can live up to 5 days in the bitch, we feel that in providing  general guidelines for breeders, mating a day earlier is better than mating too late.  To check the actual days of the fertile days, we suggest purchasing a Fertile-Focus kit along with the Pre-Mate Pads.  The Fertile-Focus kit measures the saline in the saliva and will show a thickening of ferning on the days the bitch is fertile.  So whereas the Pre-Mate Pads tell you when the bitch is about to ovulate, the Fertile-Focus kit will tell which days the eggs are ripe and ready to accept the sperm.  For more information on the Fertile-Focus kits CLICK HERE.

Note that in dogs, the LH surge is prior to ovulation.  Although the LH factor has a very close behaviour in humans and canines, LH is specific to each species due to chemical differences between species -- these Pre-Mate Test Pads are specific to dogs.  In other words, the pads only work on dogs and respond to the vaginal fluid.  Human LH testing is done with urine and only works on humans.


 Fig 1

Note: some bitches rise quickly and ovulate 24 hours after the start of the LH surge and some take longer and ovulate 48 to 72 hrs after the surge of the LH surge.

The ripening of the eggs is 12 to 96 hours after ovulation. This is when the eggs become sperm friendly.

Note: the ovulation and egg process may only last as long as 24 to 36 hours in some bitches. Normally it will last 48 - 96 hours.

Many vets and scientists have attempted to show the breeding pattern of the canine over the years.  Below are three of the charts we think clarify the mating cycle.

Chart from Modern breeding management in dogs; September 2000 Veterinary Medicine

Fig 3

Note:  Some bitches rise quickly and ovulate 24 hours after the start of the LH surge and some take longer and ovulate 48 to 72 hours after the surge of the LH spike.  The ripening of the eggs is 12 to 96 hours after ovulation. This is when the eggs become sperm friendly.  The ovulation and egg ripening process may only last as long as 24 to 36 hours in some bitches - these bitches are difficult to get successful mating from because of their narrow window of opportunity.

The figures for ovulation and follicle rupture in Fig 3 are from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Book of Dogs. Please bare in mind that each dog is an individual and that the cycle for your dog may vary from these chart.   A note on the two mating patterns shown in the chart. In a natural mating with a good tie, the male sperm normally lives up to 5 days.  Chilled semen usually lives 24 to 48 hours and frozen semen normally lives up to 12 hours.  It is for this reason that a natural mating will produce the best chance of pregnancy in a dog.  The term normal is used with the meaning that it is the most frequent occurring in the canine world as a whole.  Again, your dog may be normal within itself, but not normal in comparison to other dogs.  It is best when you do not have a reproduction history on a dog to start testing early in the cycle.  The Pre-Mate Test Pads are reacting to the LH surge -- the days marked in purple.  Each day is counted as a 24 hours period.  If your girl first shows a change in colour on the pad on the morning of day 12, then 24 hours would be the following morning.  48 hours would be the morning two days from the first change, etc.

A further note, some "natural ovulation detector dogs" will not mate a girl until the day she ovulates.  LH surges and ovulation mean nothing to them.  They react to a specific chemical change in the urine when the egg follicles start to ripen.  If you happen to have one of these natural ovulation detecting dogs, do not expect them to mate when the pad first turns colour, but rather between 48 and 96 hours later.  This type of dog is great for being able to mate on the days the bitch is most fertile and will normally produce the best litters possible based on the quality of the sperm and eggs.  A stud dog that may have been dependable in the past, may be less dependable if another male is brought on the property as it may result in a "I'll get her first" attitude rather than a reaction to the actual chemical changes in the bitch.  Also if there are more than one bitch on the property in season, using a male dog as a detector may present some problems.
Note: Some bitches can ovulate as early as day 5 and as late as day 21 or even later if the season lasts for 28 days or so.
WARNING! DON'T TOUCH THE PINK PART OF THE PAD, this may affect your results.  Keep unused pads in the re-seal bag they come in and store out of sunlight, preferably in a dark place.


Here are some photographs showing a Golden Retriever being tested


Left side - pink pad before insertion   Right side - pad inserted 1 cm to 2 cm in vulva for 10 seconds

be careful with insertion as corners can be sharp


Left side - gently press sides of vulva to ensure vaginal fluid is on pad
Right side - a positive result for LH

Tracking the results in a journal

Tracking the results in Excel in journal form provides a history for that bitch which is valuable for reference in future mating.  This example is a normal cycle.  To see the CASE STUDIES of NORMAL and ABNORMAL cycles CLICK HERE.

Date Cycle Day Notes Pad colour AM Pad colour PM
Monday, 5 July 8 Heavy bleeding  - Pre-Mate Pad small line of purple at top of pad


Tuesday, 6 July 9 Heavy bleeding.  Pre-Mate Pad purple on edges in AM.  More over all purple in PM.


Wednesday, 7 July 10 Heavy bleeding - red.  Pre-Mate Pad overall purple colour AM, not as much PM.    
Thursday, 8 July 11 Bleeding slowing down some, still red.  Hint of purple on Pre-Mate Pad in AM.  Tissue above vulva still firm.


Friday, 9 July 12 Bleeding red, slowed down.  Touch of purple AM.  Stayed pink PM.  Tissue above vulva soft. Ovulation.  Blood Progesterone 4.9 at 10 AM / Thyroid T4 - 19 (normal range 10 to 36)  
Saturday, 10 July 13  
Sunday, 11 July 14 1st Mating
Monday, 12 July 15 2nd Mating
Tuesday, 13 July 16 3rd Mating    


1. Wipe the vulva area clean and wipe away any access blood.  If the girl is bleeding heavily, you may need to open the vulva slightly and blot up the blood just inside the vulva.  See illustration below.
2. Slightly open the vulva and insert the pad sideways with the pink pad inside the vulva about  2 3 cms.

3. Hold the pad in place for a count of 10 to 15 seconds seconds.  Can massage around the outside of the vulva area to be sure the vaginal fluid goes onto the pad.
4. Remove the pad and ensure the pad is damp with vaginal fluid.
5. Results should be notable between 30 seconds and 3 minutes after removing the pad.  Compare the results with the pictures below if you are unsure.  Note that if the pads are left in the open air for more than a few minutes they may naturally turn dark from the air.

6.  For the un-used pads, be sure you re-seal the poly bag and put back in a dark space like a drawer.

Below are 3 photos explaining positive and negative results.

Photo 1 on the left is a no change negative result, on the right of the same photo is a positive result, where the pad has changed colour.
Photo 2 is a close up of the result, you can see how the pad has changed colour
Photos 3 shows how sometimes colour or spots just appear purple/burgundy around the edges of the pad, this indicates a positive result, results can vary from one small spot of colour to the whole pad colour change.


Too Much Blood?


Too much blood may make it difficult to see the colour change.  Using a soft cloth dab inside the vulva to absorb some of the excess blood, then insert the pad.  The pad on the left was inserted without dabbing inside the vulva.  The pad on the right was after removing the excess blood and shows that the LH is still present.

Please telephone or e mail if you have any queries or questions.
The pads tell you when the LH surge begins and then you can expect her to ovulate during the next 24 to 48 hours, although if her season is running long, it may be 72 hours before she finishes ovulating.  Remember the stud dog's sperm normally will live up to 5 days, so mating sooner rather than later will ensure that a female with a short ovulation / fertilisation cycle will produce a litter of puppies.


The only times the pads give missed or false results are when...

They are not used correctly
Your bitch has an illness or infection
Your bitch is on medication
Your bitch has not ovulated
Your bitch has a false or split season
Your bitch has been brought into season artificially or given fertilisation treatments
You have more than one bitch in season at a time and one goes into a holding pattern to wait for the other (see case studies)

NOTE:  This product can be purchased by overseas buyers and is not restricted to New Zealand only.  However, Overseas Buyers must use the BUY NOW buttons on the right side to purchase the Pre-Mate Test Pads.  Pads are shipped via normal Air Mail.  They are not tracked.

New Zealand buyers MUST use the NZ Orders Only which will take you to the shopping cart for processing by credit card or internet banking.  NZers using the overseas buttons will have their orders delayed by forcing a refund and repurchase as they are bound by GST laws.  NZ orders are shipped either Fast Post or Courier Post depending on size of order.




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