Expert Reviewed

How to Calm a Male Dog when a Female Is in Heat

A male dog is naturally drawn to a female dog in heat, as the male is biologically programmed to respond to the female’s scent. Having a male dog around a female dog in heat can be stressful for both dogs. Keeping the male separate from the female and creating a relaxing, safe environment for both pups, if they live together, can help prevent them from getting physical with each other. Additionally, both dogs should be spayed and neutered to minimize unwanted breeding, reduce some types of cancers, and make their behavior better for pets.

Method One of Three:
Separating the Male from the Female
Edit

  1. 1
    Keep the male away from the female until she is no longer in heat. The only way to keep a male dog calm is to keep him far away from a female dog in heat, as he will not be able to control his reactions to her. Put the male dog indoors or in a kennel if a female dog in heat is going to be close by outdoors, as this can help to prevent him from smelling her scent.
    • Do not let the male dog go for walks with a female dog in heat or play with her.
  2. 2
    Put the dogs in separate rooms on opposite sides of your home. If the two dogs live in the same household, place as much distance as you can between the male and the female, as the male can smell and sense the female. Shut both dogs in separate rooms as far from each other as you can manage in your home. Keep the door shut and try not to let either dog out at the same time so they are not around each other.[1]
    • Make sure there are no toys or items in the male’s room that belong to the female, as they will contain the female’s scent. Smelling the item can then cause the male dog to whine, moan, and scratch at the door.
  3. 3
    Keep the female indoors and the male outdoors if space is limited in your home. If you do not have many available rooms or are tight on space, you can keep the female dog indoors in one room and have the male dog live outside until the female’s heat is over. Make sure the outdoor area has a fence that will keep the male dog from venturing out of your yard.[2]
    • This is only an option if the weather outside is favorable and there are no local laws or ordinances in your area that prevent keeping dogs outside.
    • Do not keep the female dog outdoors while she is in heat, as she may try to escape to find a mate. She may also attract male dogs in the area with her scent.
  4. 4
    Board the male in a kennel until the female’s heat is over. Though you can try your best to keep the dogs separate at home, you may not be able to control the male dog’s aggressive behavior towards the female. If this is the case, its best to board the male at an offsite location like a kennel. Keep the dog in the kennel for the female’s entire heat, which can last around 3 weeks.[3]
    • You may prepare the male dog for boarding in a kennel by having him stay in the kennel for short visits to get used to the environment. You can then pre-book the kennel for the male dog so he can stay there while the female is in heat.
    Advertisement

Method Two of Three:
Creating a Calm Home Environment
Edit

  1. 1
    Put methanol spray on the female dog’s tail to mask her smell. Vick’s vapor rub or another methanol spray are good options, as they can overpower the female dog’s scent during heat. Apply the spray several times a day to the female to keep the male calm when he is in the same home or area as the female.[4]
    • Discourage the female dog from licking off the spray by distracting her with a toy or a treat while the spray dries.
    • This can be irritating to your dog, so talk to your veterinarian before using it.
  2. 2
    Play with both dogs separately during the female’s heat. Keep both dogs entertained and distracted by playing with them separately. Put the female in a room with chew toys so she is occupied. Then, take the male dog outside to play.[5]
    • After you have played with the male dog, play with the female inside while the male is outside in a fenced in area.
    • Try to maintain a good balance of playing with both dogs equally, in separate areas, so they both stay calm and relaxed.
  3. 3
    Walk the male dog regularly. Stick to a regular walking schedule for the male dog, making sure he gets a long enough walk for his breed and size. Walking the male dog regularly can help to keep him away from the female and ensure his energy is spent by the time he gets home.[6]
    • Avoid walking the female while she is in heat, as she can be a distraction for male dogs in her vicinity. Take her outdoors in a fenced in area in your yard and supervise her so she does not try to escape or go after any passing male dogs.
    Advertisement

Method Three of Three:
Getting the Male Dog Neutered
Edit

  1. 1
    Speak to your vet about getting both animals fixed. Both animals will have better outcomes if they are fixed. Most vets recommend getting male dogs neutered within 6 months of age so they have a lower sex drive and testosterone levels. Neutering the dog can also reduce his risk of getting certain diseases and cancers.[7] Spaying female dogs can also prevent certain types of cancer, as well as mammary tumors. It's best to get your dog spayed before her first heat, though you can still have the operation done once she's started going into heat.[8]
    • Keep in mind neutering the dog still does not prevent him from reacting to females in heat, he will just be more subdued. You should still keep a neutered male dog away from female dogs in heat as a precaution.
  2. 2
    Do not feed the dog 8 hours before the surgery. The veterinary clinic will give pre-surgical instructions, and they usually recommend no food or water for at least 8 hours prior to surgery. The anesthesia can give the dog nausea so it is best that its stomach is empty leading up to the procedure. You can still give it water so it stays hydrated.[9]
    • Follow all of your vet's recommendations to ensure your pet has a smooth surgery and recovery.
  3. 3
    Allow your vet to do the procedure. The surgery is done relatively quickly at the vet's office and should be painless for the dog as it will be under anesthesia.[10] Your vet may ask you to drop the pup off in the morning and then return in the afternoon to pick it up.
  4. 4
    Help the dog recover after surgery. The vet may prescribe pain medication, if needed. You may notice your dog is nauseous after the surgery and has very little appetite for the first 1-2 days, which is normal. Make sure the dog rests and does not move or run too much for 1-3 days after surgery, as this can cause issues.[11]
    • The male dog's scrotum may appear swollen for the first several days, but the swelling should go down once the stitches are removed.
    • If the dog keeps licking the incision, you may need to get it an Elizabethan collar, which looks like a large cone, to prevent it from licking.
    • If fluid or discharge comes out of the incision or if the dog appears to be in a lot of pain, bring it to the vet for a check up right away.
    • You may need to take the dog back to the vet after 7-10 days to remove the stitches in the incision. However, some vets use dissolvable stitches.
    Advertisement

Community Q&A

Search
Add New Question
  • I have a male chihuahua that is not yet neutered. There is a female dog in the neighborhood that is in heat and my dog is frantic, crying at the front door all day. What can I do?
    Answered by Adogandhergirl
    • Unless you're going to breed him, definitely get him neutered if he's 6 months or older. Buy yourself a few pairs of ear plugs and play soothing music in the meantime.
    Thanks! 2 0
Ask a Question
200 characters left
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
Submit

Expert Review By:

DP
Certified Veterinary Technician

This version of How to Calm a Male Dog when a Female Is in Heat was reviewed by Deanne Pawlisch, CVT on January 26, 2018.

128 votes - 80%
Co-authors: 5
Updated:
Views: 10,123
Categories: Dogs

Did this article help you?

Yes
No