How to Keep Male Dogs Away From Females in Heat
When your female dog is in heat, all the intact neighborhood male dogs will likely be the first to know. In the canine world, there is no need to join a website like eharmony.com or read through romantic classified ads to find love. The news simply travels through the air for several miles, reaching the male dogs' noses and turning them from calm and relaxed to hyper dogs attempting to escape.
Owners of female dogs in heat may therefore wonder how to keep male dogs away from a female in heat, while owners of male dogs may wonder how they can calm a male dog when a female is in heat.
Owners of female dogs should expect admirers to show up on the front porch, waiting anxiously for the princess to come outside. Owners who happen to live in a remote part of the country where there are no farm dogs may even see some coyotes lurking nearby. And just to get facts straight, although female dogs may appear safe and well-contained in a yard, there have been instances of dogs being able to mate even through chain link fences!
Owners of male dogs may be concerned about their dog's strong desire to escape the yard, reluctance to eat, and inability to concentrate on anything other than the scent. Owners of male dogs are often put to blame for showing up in the yard trying to gain access to a female in heat. However, the male dogs would not be there if there was no female in heat.
Ways to Keep Male Dogs Away From Female Dog in Heat
The most obvious way to keep male dogs away from a female dog in heat is by keeping the female dog away from all male dogs, but this is easier said than done. Dogs have a strong sense of smell, and male dogs are willing to travel great distances and overcome many obstacles to find their soulmate.
Supervise the Female Dog
Of course, just as the males are eager to meet your dog, your dog will be eager to meet her admirers. She may whine, pace back and forth near the door, and even howl. Keep an eagle eye on her, as she will attempt to escape. And although your dog may have a flawless response to the recall command under normal circumstances, this is a time where she may decide to disobey.
When going out to do business, always keep her leashed and carry a spray bottle or a stick to threaten male dogs away if you don't have a fenced yard.
Keep Her Separated
If you own several dogs, you must keep the males separated from the female. This can be done by crating, keeping them in separate rooms, boarding the female or having a friend temporarily keep the male dogs. If you rely on barriers, a double barrier is the best option; in other words, two doors should be shut between them.
Not only must you keep the males separate from the female, but you should also keep males separated from one another, because a female dog's heat may provoke terrible fights.
Close All Windows
While there is not much that can be done when ''love is in the air,'' owners can minimize the flow of female dog perfume by closing the windows. It is believed that male dogs can smell a female in heat from as far as a mile away, but possibly even 5 miles away.
There are reports that chlorophyll may help mask the smell of heat. There are generally two forms: tablet or liquid. The liquid form may be found in health food stores in 100 mg. Generally, one tablespoon in the morning and one in the evening poured on the female dog's food may do the trick. To work best, it should be given on the first day of heat. Ask your vet about this and for exact dosing instructions.
This is not a complete solution! Chlorophyll will only mask the smell a bit, so male dogs may still want to mate. Also, expect odd green stools after administering chlorophyll.
Use "Lust Buster"
This is a special product that can be applied to the male dog's nose in an attempt to temporarily mask the smell of a female dog in heat. It is often used in the show ring, so that male dogs don't get too distracted from the tempting scent of girls.
Lust Buster contains a blend of essential oils, including peppermint that can help mask other smells.
Put Her in Britches
Britches are special panties for dogs that may help prevent unwanted pregnancies when worn properly. However, always keep dogs supervised, as they are not mistake-proof, and many female dogs have gotten pregnant despite wearing these. Britches can't prevent pregnancy, but they can make things a bit more challenging so that you have time to intervene quickly.
Get Acquainted With Her Heat Cycle
A female dog generally tends to go into heat twice a year. The estrus stage of the heat cycle is the one dog owners need to be most aware of. During the estrus stage, female dogs are receptive and tend to be fertile. The estrus stage in dogs tends to start after a week to 10 days after noticing bloody discharge and roughly lasts anywhere between 4 and 14 days. Recognizing the signs of the dog's estrus stage is important so you know how long you have to separate her from other dogs. Usually, once the female dog has lost interest in male dogs, she is coming out of heat.
What About Medications?
Male dogs can be kept calm by giving some Benadryl. However, this is not a quick fix, as the male dog will still want to mate, but he may be a bit sleepy. Veterinarian Dr. Gabby suggests giving 1 mg per pound of weight.
While there are hormone drugs that that can postpone a female dog's heat cycle, these can cause her heat to only come back at an unpredictable time: sometimes just a month later, sometimes even for a year or more.
The use of hormones should not be used more than once or twice in a female dog's lifetime. They require a perscripton from the vet.
Spay and Neuter
Of course, the most obvious and highly recommended solution is to spay and neuter dogs. This way, you will no longer have to endure the howling, clean up the messes, or deal with the unwanted pregnancies in an already overcrowded and overpopulated dog world.
On top of this, spaying female dogs offer the advantage of preventing false pregnancies and potentially dangerous uterine infections.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
My male dog is constantly crying and shouting the whole day because my female dog is in heat. What I can do?
If both dogs are housed together it's a difficult situation. When a female dog is in heat she releases a powerful scent under the form of pheromones, that becomes particularly distracting when she's ready for breeding. If you're not planning on breeding, it may help to have your male neutered or female spayed or both. For the time being, you may need to find a friend to watch one dog or the other, or you can board one of them until your female is out of heat. I know several breeders who plan on doing this when they skip breeding their females on certain cycles..Helpful 148
How can I calm down a male dog during heat?
Male dogs respond strongly to female dogs in heat. You can try separating them either by a gate or placing them in separate rooms, however, your dog will still want to be out since he will still smell the female. Even better, have your male dog boarded at a kennel or vet's office during the duration of the heat cycle. If that's not possible, if you have a friend who can keep him, that's another option. In worst cases scenarios, you can ask your vet for something that can calm him down.Helpful 65
What happens if my male dog mates with his female offspring?
This would be considered line breeding. Line breeding is allowed by most registries in the U.S. Line breeding is sometimes purposely allowed by breeders as a way to intensify certain traits.
Line breeding entails breeding father to daughter, mother to son, brother to sister or more distantly related dogs such as cousin to cousin.
While the purpose is to intensify desirable qualities, line breeding may also sometimes intensify negative traits which are genetically inherited such as hip dysplasia, heart murmurs, eye defects, etc.
There are certain risks and therefore should not be carried out by the average breeders and left to the experienced ones who health test their dogs and screen for hereditary defects.Helpful 50
How can I mask pheromones' scent?
Dog noses are pretty powerful, so many things crafted in hopes of decreasing the drive to mate in male dogs may not work. Some dog owners report some success in giving their female dogs chlorophyll, but there are mixed reviews. The ideal option is to board the male dog with a friend or at a kennel, as detecting a female in heat and being unable to access her, can be pretty stressful.Helpful 48
My female dog is spayed. I want to keep male dogs from trying to mate with her. What can I do?
If your female is spayed, the males should not be interested in mating with her. If they seem interested, you need to evaluate whether they are just humping as part of play, bullying or if they are really trying to mate. In any case, this form of interaction should be discouraged. If they are truly trying to mate, there are chances your female may be emitting some odor that resembles a dog in heat. This can happen at times if your female has a urinary tract infection, or if her glands under the tail are infected. Sometimes, although rare, even though a female dog is spayed, the vet doing the surgery may leave some ovarian tissue behind and this may cause her to still go in heat. The best way is to keep them separated until you can find out why they are so interested in her.Helpful 47
© 2009 Adrienne Farricelli