Has someone asked you if your male dog has come in heat already? Or has your male dog suddenly developed symptoms of being in heat? In this article, you will learn do male dogs go into heat, what male dogs do when a female nearby is in heat, and when a male dog reaches sexual maturity.
In this article you’ll learn do male dogs go into heat, what are the symptoms, what do male dogs do when a female is in heat, age male dogs become sexually active, how far can a male smell a female in heat, and how do you calm a male dog when a female is in heat.
Table of Contents
- Do male dogs go into heat?
- What are the symptoms of a male dog in heat?
- What do male dogs do when a female is in heat?
- What age do males dogs become sexually active?
- How far can a male dog smell a female in heat?
- How do you calm a male dog when a female is in heat?
Do male dogs go into heat?
Is your male dog in heat? We often get this question from our pet parents when they come into our veterinary clinic.
There’s no need to worry if your male dog has not come into heat. Why? That’s because male dogs don’t do that. Male dogs don’t come into heat like female dogs. However, if your male dog shows symptoms of being in heat (especially bleeding from something that looks like a vulva), you should take him to your veterinarian as soon as possible. If the reason you are reading this is that your male dog is going crazy, it’s more likely that there are female dogs nearby that are in their heat cycle, please read this article: How to handle your male dog, while females around are in heat.
What are the symptoms of a male dog in heat?
You may have heard that male dogs are in heat all the time. There are reasons for this sexual behavior. On one hand, males are responsive to the estrus cycle of females most of the time. Are you wondering how many times can a male dog mate in a day? Studies show that once a male dog reaches sexual maturity, they can mate up to five times a day. Five times, wow. So what do you call a male dog in heat? Normal. That is, when a female in heat is around.
You’ll notice even more symptoms from your male if you have an intact dog. Our first Labrador Retriever was from a long line of prize winning Obedience trials parents. As such, we decided to not neuter him so that one day we could have a puppy from him. Well, when he reached sexual maturity, he was more than a handful to deal with. He literally wanted to hump everything in sight. The hormonal changes he went through during puberty were very difficult for us to deal with. He would challenge my husband to be the Alpha male in the house. He would disobey commands that he had down perfect prior to this. One more than one occasion he got so excited, that he couldn’t relax his erection. It was a little painful for him as the bulbis glandis got so swollen, he couldn’t relax. Our cute puppy had become sex crazy. Please not that the bulbis glandis isn’t a gland. It’s erectile tissue at the base of the penis that is responsible for keeping the male and female in a coital tie so that mating can be completed.
On the other hand, we don’t need to ask, do male dogs go into heat. There are certain differences in how the dog heat cycle of male and female dogs works.
When a female dog reaches sexual maturity, she has four stages of their heat cycle:
- Proestrus. This is when her estrogen hormone levels are at their highest. She won’t be receptive to males. This stages lasts about 9 days.
- Estrus. This is when she is receptive to mating. This lasts about 9 days.
- Diestrus. This follows Estrus and she is no longer receptive. This last about 2 months.
- Anestrus. This is when she is recovering from her heat and lasts about 4 months.
These four stages are independent of external factors such as the presence of males, daylight hours, or weather.
Male dogs, do not have those four cycles. Their ability to breed is affected by external initiation. In most cases a male dog senses the scent of a female dog in heat. However, while male dogs can mate most any time, serious breeders would allow some time in between separate breedings.
What do male dogs do when a female is in heat?
That all being said, male dogs do not go in heat. Unlike females, they can turn their willingness to mate on and off almost instantaneously. We saw that the first time we mated our Labrador Retriever. At first, she wasn’t quite ready and didn’t let our male near her. As soon as she was receptive to him, mating was easy. After their third encounter, that was it. He wasn’t interested in her. She even tried to mount him and he wasn’t interested. Thankfully our gift, was our third puppy. Yes, we got our male dog neutered shortly after that. Note we aren’t in the business to breed dogs. We had to endure almost 7 years of having an intact dog. This was well planned as we had dreams of having one of his puppies because he came from a long line of show and obedience trial dogs. He was super smart, very well trained (went through obedience confirmation), and had a very calm, loving personality. We researched his background to ensure he had no family history of diseases (such as hip dysplasia, testicular tumors, etc.), and was very healthy 7 years of age when we bred him.
What age do males dogs become sexually active?
One amazing thing about dogs is they mature so quickly. One day you are cuddling your little ball of puppy fur with their magic puppy breath, the next day they are mounting their stuffed animals. Dogs do mature quickly. A male dog reaches sexual maturity and is able to breed between 5-9 months of age as confirmed by the American Kennel Club. So should you get your male dog neutered at an earlier age? It isn’t recommended as your puppy’s bones haven’t completed growing. Their growth plates haven’t closed which allows their bones to grow as they mature. As always, talk to your Veterinarian about neutering your male once it’s appropriate for their breed (as some giant breeds mature later), size, and health of your puppy.
How far can a male dog smell a female in heat?
When a female dog that hasn’t had spay surgery yet goes into heat, she emits pheromones along with her vaginal discharge that will drive an intact dog crazy. Even neutered males will notice her scent. It has been found that her scent can travel as far as 3 miles away. As part of the canine estrus cycle, this was helpful before dogs were domesticated. By attracting males from far away, a female dog could mate with the most prominent male in the area. This helped ensure the survival of their species. Unfortunately, that evolutionary trait makes it difficult as our four legged fur babies can become unruly because of this. This means your male dog can start mounting things and exhibiting other sexual behavior because of females in heat a few miles away.
How do you calm a male dog when a female is in heat?
Intact males can be driven crazy by the estrus and proestrus stages of a female pup. Her swollen vulva may not be within visual range but the pheromones travel long distances. So what do you do to calm your male dog that can’t stop mounting everything in sight? First, if you have the female dog that is in heat, keep your intact dogs separate from her. Like as far as physically possible far away. Separate them with physical barriers like a fence or closed doors. Nature finds a way and every male dog around will do everything they can to get to her. This can happen as we recommend not putting your female puppy through spay surgery until she has had her first heat cycle. Try to hide or mask her scent with doggy diapers. We recommend disposable diapers as they are super absorbent. As they collect her vaginal discharge, and you can dispose of them (far away from your home and in a closed container). And keep your female dog indoors as much as possible to avoid unwanted pregnancy. If you must take her outside, ensure she is on a leash at all times. Her desire to reproduce is very strong too so don’t let her out of your control.
The other thing you can do is exercise your male dogs more than normal. Ideally this should be done where they won’t encounter the nearby female that is in heat. Letting them release some energy through exercise will help them sleep more instead of mounting the couch. And above all, please be patient. It’s challenging for you as the dog owner but please understand the raging hormone levels that your male dog is having to deal with. If you aren’t planning on breeding your male, we recommend neutering him. This will go a long way towards reducing their craziness for both them and you.
You have learned do male dogs go into heat, what are the symptoms, what do male dogs do when a female is in heat, age male dogs become sexually active, how far can a male smell a female in heat, and how do you calm a male dog when a female is in heat. This will go a long way towards a long and happy life with your pet dog. And keeping your Pet Happy is what we all want.