If you're the owner of both a male and female dog and neither of them are fixed, then frustration during the female heat cycle is certainly no shocker. In fact, you may even want to separate the pair during those times -- unless you're a fan of cacophony and chaos.
If your male and female doggies are both still in the very early puppy stage, you should have no real problems, and therefore no real need to separate them yet. Although it varies depending on the individual dog, male dogs typically become sexually mature somewhere between 6 and 15 months old. In female dogs, the range is usually anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Some bloom earlier while others bloom a little later, just like people. If a male dog isn't physically mature, he won't have the urge to mate. If a female dog isn't physically mature, she won't go into heat, or estrus, and therefore won't have the urge either.
Signs of Male Maturity
Once your male dog is steadily approaching full reproductive maturity, it will likely be very apparent to you. With a dog's rapid testosterone production during this key period, he may display somewhat aggressive behavioral patterns, especially when it comes to other male canines. Don't be surprised if your dog starts initiating physical fights with others. Other telltale signs are the desire to roam outdoors and headache-inducing urine marking throughout your home's interior.
Signs of Female Maturity
If your male and female dogs are both roughly the same age, they'll likely become sexually mature around the same time bracket. However, a lot of different factors come into play here. For example, smaller dog breeds, as a general rule, mature a lot faster than others. If your female dog is old enough to mate and reproduce, she'll start going into heat probably twice a year or so. Look for key indications of the cycle, including frequent urination, especially playful behavior, irritability and restlessness.
No specific and rigid time frame is in place for the age of separating male and female dogs. It depends on how old a canine is when it becomes fully sexually mature. If you want to stop unwanted pregnancy, temporarily keep your pets away from each other while the female is in heat, if possible. According to the ASPCA, female dogs remain in heat for around 18 days -- quite a long time to send your male dog away to a trusted friend's home or a doggie hotel.
Spaying and Neutering
If the idea of keeping your doggies away from each other for 18 days sounds rather overwhelming and unrealistic to you, consider getting the pair fixed. Spaying and neutering dogs not only stops them from being able to reproduce, it also cuts down on the very frustrating mating behavioral patterns, including attempts to run away, urine marking and even testosterone-fueled aggression. Consider keeping your pets comfortable, relaxed and together by spaying and neutering them at a young age. Speak to your veterinarian regarding the most appropriate time frame to conduct the surgeries. The ASPCA notes that many puppies get fixed between 6 and 9 months in age, and sometimes even younger.
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