Luteolysis before the time of maternal recognition of pregnancy is one cause of low fertility in high-producing dairy cows. The objective of this study was to assess whether induction of a secondary corpus luteum (CL) late in the luteal phase would delay the time of luteolysis. Twenty high-producing Holstein cows were synchronized to ovulation (Day 0) with the Ovsynch protocol and received hCG (1500 IU im) on Day 12. Corpora lutea formation (as evaluated by ultrasonography) and plasma P4 concentrations were monitored from Days 4 to 36. hCG treatment induced the formation of one secondary CL (CL2) in 11 of 20 cows (55%) from the dominant follicle (mean diameter: 14.2 ± 0.9 mm) of two-wave (3/11) and three-wave (8/11) cycles. The maximal diameter of the CL2 (23.3 ± 1.9 mm) was reached approximately 6 days after hCG treatment and was correlated with its structural lifespan (p < 0.01). Cows that formed a CL2 after hCG had higher mean plasma P4 concentrations on Day 14 (+4.5 ng/ml) and Day 18 (+3.0 ng/ml) compared with cows without CL2 (p < 0.05). The structural regression of CL2 begun approximately 8 days after that of the CL1, and the median time at which the first drop in circulating P4 levels occurred was later in cows that formed a CL2 than in those that did not (Day 26 vs Day 18; p < 0.01). Thus, the induction of a CL2 by hCG on Day 12 might reduce the risk of premature luteolysis in high-producing dairy cows after insemination.