Skip to Content

How Do Male Dogs Act Around Females in Heat? Male Dog in Heat

A male dog might have his world turned upside down or act as if nothing unusual is happening when a dame of the same species lures him in with specific smells and movements.

Even though restlessness is more likely to happen, the behavioral shift depends on the male’s health and socialization status.

A dog with health problems won’t show any interest in a female in heat. Unsocial and naturally fearful male dogs won’t attempt to approach a heating female no matter how much the smells provoke them.

The specific smells so inviting to gentlemen dogs are because of the presence of pheromones. The most important pheromone females emit is called Methyl p-hydroxybenzoate.

It’s so powerful that dogs can sense it from 2-3 miles away and start the mating trip instantly.

Only after receiving the scent of a female in estrus does a whole cascade of hormonal and biochemical processes take part in the male’s body and that’s when the circus comes to town.

Can a Male Dog Go into Heat?

No, a male dog cannot go into heat. After he becomes sexually mature at around 6 months of age he can mate at any time of the year whenever there is a female in heat. The dog’s sexual arousal is much more expressed when he can smell female pheromones.

The reason why many people think that males do go into heat is that they see no obvious reason why their pet has a dubious sexual interest in different periods of the year.

As stated before, the female in heat doesn’t have to be nearby for the male to feel her.

Over time – once you get to know your dog a lot better – you will start understanding when nature calls him according to the most common symptoms and alterations in behavior.

Male Dogs in Heat Symptoms and Behavior

Male dogs have the urge to escape their homes, start urine-marking excessively, lose focus, and sometimes become aggressive whenever they want to mate.

Male Beagle mounts a female Beagle.

The closer the female pheromones that provoked this behavior are, the more acute the symptoms become.

Taking sudden escape routes is what most owners firstly notice in males that went to seek one of their many female soul mates.

Breaking out of the yard is not at all unusual for canines but should be avoided by placing a digging-proof fence inside your yard.

To get the female’s attention two or more males can behave aggressively towards each other, but rarely go too far as causing fatal blows.

The male hormones will keep him active and thinking only about one thing. During this time, the male spends time around the female without sleeping or eating whatsoever. One of the few activities still interesting to him is marking as a way to gain notice from the female.

Male Dog Behavior Around a Female In Heat

With females in heat around, an aroused male dog’s beavhior can be very difficult to manage. Besides getting aggressive they can also get antsy, agitated, and won’t stop whining.

Although these behaviors are completely understandable considering a dog’s nature, for most it’s annoying or even embarassing when other dog owners are around.

An intact male on a leash is ready to do just about anything to get to his potential bride. That’s the time you will learn that a mild-mannered pooch can behave erratically making it impossible to control him.

Even dogs that were properly trained by a professional can suddenly stop obeying commands and break out of the ordinary.

Some people get so worried their dogs are not drinking, eating, or sleeping properly they decide to get them to the vet to rule out other medical issues.

How to Stop a Male Dog From Smelling a Female in Heat?

If there is no chance to get your male dog far away from the female in heat, you can try using safe essential oils or menthol spray to mask the smell of the female pheromones which will calm your male dog down.

For maximum effect, these sprays are usually used on females not to attract other intact males around their homes.

But it’s also useful for males because when you cover your dog in essential oils or menthol he won’t be able to catch most of the pheromones emitted by the female.

The spray can be used multiple times a day according to the instructions.

If you have both female and male dogs in your home, you should clean more often with vinegar, bathe your female with appropriate shampoo or think about doggy diapers to mask the female’s scent.

The living area must be cleaned more often and using vinegar as a cleaning solution is a good option because it overpowers the pheromone scent.

During the 2-3 weeks of the heat cycle, increase the frequency of baths you give the female. Use a mild shampoo and in the usual amount.

You can also add small amounts of apple cider vinegar to the bathwater for the female as well.

If a male dog acts antsy around a female in heat, dog diapers might solve the problem.

Sometimes adding a physical barrier like a doggy diaper on a female dog can hide the scent a bit, but don’t get too comfortable doing only this.

Dogs despise citric smell because of their high concentration. They can be cut and used as a repellent if you put them between the area where the male and the female dog are residing.

How Do You Calm a Male Dog When a Female is in Heat?

One thing that can calm a male dog when a female is in heat is good exercise. Getting him out of the house as much as possible will eventually make him tired and more obedient.

Exercise can get his mind off the things that make him change his behavior. If the female making him crazy is also yours, you shouldn’t take both of them outside because the more time they spend together the worse it becomes.

That doesn’t mean the female shouldn’t get enough attention. Every cycle she goes through a tough time and avoiding playing with her will provoke serious anxiety problems.

Enhancing the meal game might just help you control the male’s behavior. Your male’s favorite yummy and healthy treat might just get his mind off the female.

Be careful when you are using diet as a way to calm a male dog. A sudden change of diet can result in digestive issues and also your dog might become picky and refuse to eat his regular food.

While in the house, both of the dogs need to be held separately until the female’s heat cycle is over. Simple crating and fencing won’t do the job because you need separate wider areas for each dog. Switching between areas is not a good idea because the deciduous female scent will drive the male crazy.

Think about your in-home constellation, especially if you have one unneutered dog before getting another to avoid awkward situations where you have to kennel the male for a couple of weeks (unfortunately, people do that).

Neutering and spaying are common solutions to most of the problems regarding dog sexual behavior. When you get your female spayed she won’t go into heat. There will be no scent to tell the male’s brain to alter his character.

However, neutering doesn’t come without serious health risks.

In males, however, even though neutering does remove most sexual behaviors, not all of them are lost without a trace. In puppies, testosterone causes permanent brain changes that masculinize them in the long term.

A neutered male won’t be as nearly as interested in mating as he was before or become aggressive and a general nuisance, but the habit of humping legs and even mounting other dogs may remain.

How Long Will a Male Dog Be Interested in a Female in Heat?

A normal estrus period in female dogs lasts for about 3 weeks. During this whole time, intact male dogs will be interested in the female, although she will only let males mate with her for half or less of the time.

The female becomes receptive to males around the 9th-11th day of the cycle. That’s when the estrogen levels reach their peaks and once the eggs are released (ovulation) the levels drastically drop.

Keep a close eye on your dog to avoid spotting surprising signs of dogs going into labor a couple of months later (yeah, it happens that people notice this pretty late).

A female can have her first heat at around 6 months of age. For some females, it takes up to 24 months for their first period to happen. Bigger dogs tend late first estrus compared to smaller dogs.

About Danielle
I am the founder of PawLeaks where I share weekly tips on dog training and behavior. Sharing a passion for dogs and helping owners to solve problems through understanding canine behavior and modification is my number one goal.