Can Male Dogs Sense That Females Are Spayed?

by Naomi Millburn
    Spaying dogs helps keep the furry population in check.

    Spaying dogs helps keep the furry population in check.

    Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    If your intact male dog has a habit of regularly going after your female pooch for mating, you don't have to allow it to go on for long. If you decide to get your female spayed, she'll no longer go into heat. Spaying generally reduces hormone-influenced actions greatly. It also helps keep the boy dogs at bay. Male dogs can sense that female dogs are spayed due to the absence of indicative smells.

    Heat Scent and Attraction

    Your male dog Niles might be smart, but he won't know that you took Lucie to the veterinary hospital across town for her spaying surgery. He also won't smell the odor that she would give off when he's in her heat cycle each six months or so, because the cycles will cease completely. Spayed females cease going into heat permanently, and therefore no longer radiate that scent that draws hormonal male dogs in from the other side of the neighborhood. Fixed female dogs, in short, no longer attract males.

    Goodbye, Heat

    If all the unneutered male dogs in your area don't seem to have a frenzied interest in mating with your pet anymore, it's because spaying surgery put an end to her heat cycles. With the surgical extraction of the ovaries and the uterus, female dogs no longer go through heat. Not only does spaying stop overzealous male dogs from smelling your pet's mating readiness, it also generally ends other typical aspects of estrus, including bloody discharge, frequent urination and unusually anxious, fidgety behavioral patterns. If a male dog doesn't seem to sense that a female dog is spayed, it could be because she's actually going through a heat cycle, symptoms and all. Spayed dogs sometimes exhibit heat signs when ovarian tissue remains in their bodies through error. If you're worried that this might be the case with your pet, take her to the veterinarian immediately. The condition is referred to as "ovarian remnant syndrome."

    Sniffing for Heat Details

    Male dogs can sense when female dogs are unfixed by sniffing their rear ends. Through this sniffing, they can retrieve information regarding everything from the dog's age to her heat situation. Sniffing her can help him figure out when she's going to go into heat in the future. When he sniffs a spayed female, however, he won't get those details, because heat just isn't a possibility anymore. The anal glands are thought to be responsible for these informative smells, according to the website

    Lasting Hormonal Behaviors

    Male pooches, for the most part, are attracted exclusively to the unmistakable smell of the female dog's heat cycle. If your male dog is intact and still behaves in a hormonal way around your spayed female, it could indicate a lot of different things. He could be attracted to a nearby female dog that actually is in heat, for example. Note, too, that seemingly hormonal and sexual displays are sometimes misleading. If your male dog tries to mount your spayed female, it could mean that he's attempting to declare his dominance over her, rather than trying to mate. If you want to curb hormonal behaviors in your male dog, consider getting him neutered. Just getting the female dogs around him spayed isn't necessarily enough to do the trick.

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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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