The Breeder Blog

Shipmate Guide For Breeders

by Phenyx Media on Jan 23, 2023

Shipmate Guide For Breeders

One of the most common ways that semen is utilized and transported nowadays is chilled. The term "chilled" refers to the semen being collected, chilled down, or kept at refrigerator temperature (40° F), using ice packs, throughout overnight transportation.

As a result, the semen action is slowed down, conserving energy until after insemination, when it is warmed up within the uterus. There are three types of semen 

Fresh ejaculated canine sperm has the longest vitality. Semen from young, viable male canines can live in the bitch's reproductive system for up to 5-7 days. 

Fresh-chilled sperm is made by diluting ejaculated sperm in specific canine extenders that contain egg yolk and buffers that preserve the sperm during the chilling procedure.

The expanded sperm is then gradually chilled to 4 degrees Celsius, where it can survive for up to 3-4 days. (It has been found that sperm from some stud dogs retains viability and fertility after being stored at 4 C for 10 days.) Chilling sperm conserves its energy and hence increases its lifetime and viability. 

Shipmate uses a double-walled stainless-steel flask that is surrounded by ice packs inside an insulated foam shipping box. It can be used to efficiently transport your semen for artificial insemination. 

The Shipmate: 

  • Double-walled stainless-steel flask. 130mm tall, 90mm in diameter. 
  • The flask holds 350ml, enough for many samples shipped together 
  • Powered by a D-sized alkaline battery.

A microprocessor, temperature sensor, heater, and memory are the secrets to successfully shipping chilled semen. The specimen temperature is measured and a small amount of heat is added to the flask thereby controlling the cooling to the ideal rate of 0.5 °C / minute until the sample reaches 18 °C.

Then the sample is cooled very slowly at a rate of 1 °C every 20 minutes to exactly 5 °C, this slow cooling rate is necessary to prevent Cold Shock. For the remainder of the trip, the sample is held at 5 °C the optimum temperature.

It takes about 4.5 hours to properly reach the 5 °C plateau. 

Why Shipmate Is Important For You

Shipmate offers several advantages that will interest and appeal to every dog owner, regardless of whether you are a breeder or just a pet owner. 


The Shipmate progressively cools down and maintains the temperature at precisely 5°C/41°F in comparison to other systems that do not actively manage semen temperature. Even for shipments that take up to 3–4 days, this significantly impacts semen viability. 


Because of its modest size, shipping fees for overnight and return delivery is significantly lower, which helps you save money. Also, the cost of shipping the bitch to the stud or vice versa is expensive compared to the use of Shipmate in transporting semen to the bitch. 


When mating naturally or through chilled artificial insemination, the dog's sperm is given exclusively to one bitch or, in the case of chilled semen, is shared among bitches in accordance with demand, with any extra semen being destroyed after 24 hours.

With Shipmate, canines can break one ejaculate into many breeding dosages that can be frozen and preserved forever, minimizing semen waste and allowing you to make better use of your stud dog. 


Your ability to successfully transport chilled semen will significantly improve with Shipmate. A passive system is used as the standard transportation technique for cooled semen. The specimen is chilled by ice packs in the shipping container, but it is impossible to regulate the pace of cooling or the temperature at which the specimen is cooled. 


Shipmate automates the entire procedure; no setup or technical knowledge is necessary; all that is needed is to load the box with ice packs and a new D-cell alkaline battery. For a longer trip, additional ice and a larger insulated box would be needed.