What Behavioral Changes Happen to a Male Dog Around a Female Dog in Heat?

by Naomi Millburn
    "We smell a female dog across the street."

    "We smell a female dog across the street."

    Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

    When an intact and sexually mature male dog is around a female dog in heat, you might notice a dramatic shift in his overall demeanor. Although he might already be influenced by raging hormones, the proximity of the fairer sex usually takes those feelings to even more intense levels. A neutered dog, on the other hand, might behave totally calmly and neutrally around a pooch in heat.

    Just Visiting

    If a male dog has the frantic urge to escape from his cozy residence, it could be due to the scent of the female's urine. Female dogs in heat frequently urine mark as a technique for drawing in nearby potential mating partners. It isn't uncommon for the odor of the urine to bring male dogs in from as far away as a mile. This urine is chock-full of hormones that convey "mating-ready" status. Being around females in heat makes male dogs anxious -- and therefore usually more than willing to do a little traveling. Breaking out of backyards isn't a rare behavior for male canines near females, and neither is lingering on strange doorsteps waiting around for them.

    Urine Marking

    As indicated, female dogs frequently urine mark when they're in heat, and so do the male dogs who share their company. If a male dog is overwhelmed by being around a female in heat, he might just respond by marking -- a sign that he simply can't contain the thrill of his current situation. Marking also is a way that male dogs initially gain notice from females in heat.

    Lack of Focus

    If a male dog is around a female in heat, don't be shocked if his brain turns into a big pile of mush. If he can't focus on anything for more than a second, acts fidgety and even seems to not have much of an interest in sleeping or mealtime, it's because his hormones have a handle on him for the time being. The poor guy simply can't think of anything else apart from mating.

    Aggression

    If two unfixed male dogs are both around one female dog in the midst of heat, don't be surprised if they behave aggressively with one another. It's a battle for the female's attention, after all, and both of the dogs want to earn mating rights.

    Neutered Dog

    Neutering is a surgical procedure characterized by the extraction of the hormone-producing sex organs. Without the strong sway of these organs at work, a male dog might behave as cool as a cucumber around a female in heat. Note, however, that these neutering effects don't always appear overnight. You might have to wait between six and eight weeks for all of the frenzied hormones to depart from a newly neutered pooch's body. In the meantime, he might be just as hyper as any intact male pet close to a female in season. Despite that, neutering male dogs often makes a major difference in how they act around females, whether in heat or otherwise. If a dog who has been neutered for a long time acts wacky around a female in heat, it could be because he was fixed at an older age and therefore held onto a lot of his previous hormonal behavior patterns.

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    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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