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Being in heat is one of the phases of a dog. It’s also a challenge to many pet owners who would have to deal with all the humping and butt-sniffing. For newbie dog owners, a dog in heat and a male canine attracted to it spell a disaster. This is the case, especially if neither of the dogs is spayed or neutered. In this post, we will help you with how to calm a male dog in heat so you wouldn’t be left clueless.
Do male dogs really go ‘in heat’?
Technically, male dogs don’t have a specific “in heat” phase. They can reproduce all year round as long as there’s a female in heat. Technically, only female canines go in heat, a reproductive phase where the canine becomes more attractive to male counterparts.
If a male dog senses a female dog in heat, it will attempt to mate. This is the reason why some adult dogs will start to hump a female canine.
In short, it’s the female dog that triggers males to be in heat.
But why does my dog keep on humping my legs? Well, according to experts, it can be sexual or non-sexual behavior. Young dogs under one-year-old and still not neutered will have sexual humping. This is usually an instinctive response as their bodies enter sexual maturity.
For older dogs, humping a person’s leg is less likely to be sexual. Usually, it’s their way of showing dominance or a knee-jerk reaction over an exciting stimulus.
Surprisingly, leg humping isn’t reserved for male dogs. Even female canines do it. Dog experts explained that dogs don’t know that leg humping is a bad behavior because no one tells them that it is. On the other hand, humping gives an enjoyable feeling, so the dog keeps doing it.
How male dog interacts with a female dog in heat
No matter how behaved or well-trained your dog is, there’s a chance that it will react differently around a female in heat. It’s always a dog’s instinct to mate whenever an ovulating female dog is around.
If you let your dog roam the neighborhood, it’s best to keep them at home if there’s a female canine in heat.
Take note that a male dog that’s trying to hump a female dog may show aggression if you decide to pull them away. Also, whenever a female dog is in heat within the neighborhood, your male dog will become more territorial. Marking will be more prominent at this point.
How to calm a male dog in heat
Calming a male dog whenever an in-heat canine is around can be difficult. But if you’re proactive, you can prevent yourself from being caught in that situation. We recommend the following points:
-Tire the dog out
If your dog is always trying to hump a female dog in heat, you can tire them out so they wouldn’t have the energy to do so. Take the male pooch for a long walk and give it extended playtime. This way, when a female dog in heat comes around, your pooch will be less interested. Most likely, your pet will be sound asleep.
For those with female dogs in heat at home, it’s best to walk the male dog on a different route. This way, the pooch won’t pick up the scent of the female canine. Also, avoid bringing your male dog to places where your female pooch has eliminated or stayed. As much as possible, you’d want to keep the male dog out from sniffing the scent of female wiles.
Be as creative as you can, so your male dog remains interested in your playtime.
-Distract with toys and playtime
Another thing that you can do is to distract your male dog with lots of toys. It might be the best time to purchase new chew toys, which will keep your canine busy and calm. There are also chew toys that can be filled with treats, making it a more interesting choice for a doggo.
Before you go to work, give your pooch a short playtime. This will drain their morning energy and allows you to put the pooch in the crate easily.
However, healthily distract your dog. Avoid giving too many treats or keeping them chewing on a worn-out toy. From time to time, you also need to bond and have physical interaction with your canine. Most of all, you have to be watchful, especially if you have a Houdini dog. The pooch might be busy playing, then up to your female dog by the time you walk away.
-Consider using odor maskers
One of the most effective ways on how to calm a male dog in heat is by masking the scent of the female dog. Keep your home clean and remove any traces of your female dog’s heat phase.
However, the challenge here is when the male and female dog lives in one house. With strong sniffers, it’s almost impossible to keep your male dog’s nose out of your female’s tracks.
Some pet owners use menthol sprays, or they diffuse various oils to mask the scent of a female dog in heat. This can or can’t be effective depending on your dog’s breed. These scents don’t remove the smell of your female dog. It only masks at a certain level.
You can also use a blend of various scents to make this method more effective. However, be careful with the oils you diffuse as it can irritate your dog.
-Separate male and female dogs
If you really want to calm your male dog, the most effective way is separating it from your female dog in heat. Some dog owners will board the male canine in a kennel until the female is out of heat. This is the safest option, though it will surely cost a fee. Still, it’s a great choice if you don’t have anyone to watch over your canines when you’re at work.
If you don’t have the extra money for that, you can simply contain your dogs in separate rooms. However, this wouldn’t be easy if you have large and destructive canines. Also, keeping an overzealous dog away from the target can be a tiring task. We recommend having someone to watch over the dogs while you’re away.
Your best bet is asking a friend to accommodate your male dog until your female dog is out of heat. This way, your male pooch will not go bonkers over following a female dog.
-Use doggy pants
If you’re more worried about accidental breeding, doggy pants are one of the most feasible solutions. Putting both your dogs in doggy pants will help reduce the bloodstains around the house. Although your male dog can still hump the female canine, fertilization will not take place.
If you don’t want to spend money on specialized dog clothes, you can use an old underwater to create doggy pants. For the female in heat, you can even put a small sanitary napkin inside the pants to absorb fluids and limit the smell.
Overall, DIY or commercial doggy pants are both useful as birth control. Make sure that you change the sanitary napkin you put on your female dog every day.
Take note that doggy pants may not be feasible if your dog is a chewer. If this is the case, your last resort is putting them in dog cones so they wouldn’t chew the pants off.
-Change your walking routines
Mixing things on your routine is a good way on how to calm a male dog in heat. You can take a different route, so the pooch will smell new things and explore new places. Take your time and make sure that the dog is tired once you get home. Also, bring a bottle of water so you can fresh up your dog during the neighborhood outing.
There’s also one rule you have to follow. Don’t walk your male dog on the same route where you bring your female dog in heat. Canines have a very strong sense of smell, and your pooch will surely detect the female scent. When this happens, your dog may react aggressively or become extremely excited. Worse, your pet may hump you while in public.
-Consider neutering the dog
Neutering is always the best solution if you don’t want your dog going after female canines in heat. Also, a neutered dog will give you peace of mind that it will not cause accidental breeding.
Neutering a male dog will also reduce aggressive tendencies, though it will not erase their sex drive. Neutered dogs exhibit a calmer behavior and enjoy a lower susceptibility to various health problems.
Depending on where you’re going to bring your dog, neutering may cost between $55 and $300. Take note that blood work and further tests will potentially inflate the bill. Before the veterinarian sterilizes a dog, in-depth checks will be done to ensure that the canine is in good health.
Also, dogs aren’t supposed to be neutered until they reach a minimum age of eight weeks. However, some vets will recommend waiting for your dog to reach sexual maturity so its body will mature fully prior to neutering.
What if my female dog at home is the one in heat?
It would be very challenging if you have a male dog, and your female canine is in heat. It would be difficult to keep the two canines away from each other. Take note that the heat cycle of female dogs may last for up to four weeks.
The first thing you have to worry about is bleeding. Some dogs tend to bleed so much that they are leaving streaks all over the house. In this case, doggy diapers will come handy.
Moreover, you have to come up with a plan on how you can separate your male dog from your female dog. If the canines are large and can hop over a baby gate, it might be ideal to crate both the dogs. Also, feed the two dogs separately and clean up the bleeding of your female doggo.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: At what age can I expect my dog to start humping?
A: Usually, puppies will exhibit sexual maturity once it reaches 6 to 8 months old. Humping can be a part of it as they explore and experience sexual maturity. For much younger pups, humping could be a play behavior, especially if it’s the only way they can get their owner’s attention.
Q: Will a neutered male dog still hump?
A: Yes, because neutered male dogs can still have an erection. Neutering a dog doesn’t wipe out all their sex drive. Aside from that, the humping might be the dog’s way of showing dominance over their masters.
Q: Why does my dog bites and licks its private parts?
A: This is often a sign of a urinary tract infection. If you see your dog chewing or licking its private parts, you must take it to the veterinarian right away. The dog doctor will run tests to identify what’s causing the behavior.
Q: Do male dogs have periods?
A: The answer is no. Like humans, only female dogs experience menstruation as part of their reproductive cycle. However, female dogs don’t get it monthly. Usually, they go in heat every six months, which is equivalent to twice a year.
Q: Can a dog get pregnant on the first try?
A: Yes, so if you don’t want your dog to become pregnant or your male dog to impregnate another canine, you must avoid contact. A single try can lead to accidental breeding.
Knowing how to calm a male dog in heat should be every dog owner’s skill. It can be frustrating and challenging once you’re in the situation, but a few tips will make a big difference. Enough playtime and exercise will help a lot as well as keeping the male pooch away from the female in heat.
Do you have something to add? Let us know in the comment section!