If your pregnant female dog is on the verge of giving birth to a litter of puppies, then you probably want to keep any intact males in your home away from her. Male dogs often get extremely stressed out when in the presence of expectant females, specifically when they're going through labor. This is a result of their not being able to do anything about their attraction at the time.
Yes, They're Attracted
Male dogs are often extremely attracted to females during whelping. If a male is in close proximity to a female giving birth, he might act in an anxious and distressed manner -- a reaction to the stress of not being able to mate with her at the moment. He might make his unhappiness loud and clear by whining. Male dogs whine like this when they're close to females during parturition, and also when they're close to other canine duos engaged in mating acts. They also frequently whine when females in heat reject their mating advances.
Always Ready to Mate
Male dogs are attracted to whelping females because they, for the most part, are always ready to mate. When it comes to mating, male and female dogs are often like night and day. When female dogs aren't in heat, they simply aren't open to mating with males. Pregnant dogs don't go into heat. Heat only happens about twice a year in female dogs. Male dogs, on the other hand, are basically ready to mate no matter the time. Even if mating is the last thing on a busy and occupied female dog's mind, whelping or not, there's a good chance the male will be up for it.
Neutered Male Dogs
Don't assume that neutered male dogs aren't capable of seeming "attracted" to female dogs, regardless of whether they're pregnant, whelping or in heat. Fixed dogs are frequently still interested in females, especially when they're in heat. Their interest, however, is generally not as strong as that of their intact buddies. More importantly, nothing can result from their interest in mating with females. Since neutered males are sterile, they're totally incapable of getting females pregnant and fathering litter after litter of newborn puppies. If your neutered dog acts attracted to your pregnant dog, he's not an anomaly.
Male Dogs and Fatherly Behaviors
If you have a pregnant female dog, Dad doesn't have to be around while she's hard at work giving birth to her pups. Male pooches don't generally display indications of paternal feelings, and because of that usually don't help look after their growing offspring. Many canine mamas find the company of father dogs somewhat bothersome when they're busy taking care of their babies -- nursing them, cleaning them and teaching them key social skills. If you wish for the father to at some point get acquainted with his puppies, wait until they're about 4 weeks old. Don't allow the father to meet them without your constant attentive supervision, either. Weaned puppies, with proper monitoring, often enjoy playtime with dad.
- Canine Behavior; Bonnie V.G. Beaver
- Play it Again, Tom; Augustus Brown
- Dogs - The Ultimate Care Guide; Matthew Hoffman
- Dogs; Rebecca Stefoff
- Family Pet Animal Hospital: Why Should I Neuter My Male Dog?
- The Everything Natural Health for Dogs Book; Elaine Waldorf Gewirtz and Jordan Herod Nuccio
- Do Dogs Dream?; Stanley Coren
- Simon & Schuster's Guide to Dogs; Gino Pugnetti
- Lake Huron Veterinary Clinic: Spay/Neuter Reasons
- ASPCA: Estrus or Heat
- Thinkstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images