How to Recognize and Calm a Dog in Heat

This is not a subject that is discussed very often, but nevertheless, it is interesting to understand the functioning of your dog and his sexual cycle, to calm and control him better. If your dog is in heat, you will observe a sudden change in his behavior. Do not panic! This is completely normal. This sexual cycle only occurs once or twice a year. And if your dog is in this state, it is certainly due to the presence of a female dog in heat in the surroundings. How to react? How to calm him down? We explain how to recognize and calm a dog in heat.

Why is my dog ​​in heat?

In many animals, the heat period is cyclical, but not in the male dog. The latter is instantly in heat as soon as it perceives the pheromones sent by a female in heat. His testosterone levels increase in the blood and influence his behavior.

In a young dog, these sensations are unknown. He does not understand what is happening to him and does not necessarily associate this energy he feels with the fact that he has met a dog during the heat. He can therefore ride anything he meets your leg, his basket, another companion, etc. It is for him, the learning of sexuality and not a need for domination as one can sometimes hear and which remains simply a received idea. 

The older dog, on the other hand, is agitated but knows very well what is going on. He will gradually resume normal behavior as soon as he no longer perceives the pheromones emitted by the female. 

How to recognize a dog in heat?

As puberty approaches, your dog’s behavior will change. He will still be nice but will act abnormally (for you!) when he smells pheromones from a female dog in heat.

What is the behavior of a dog in heat?

You will be able to observe several behaviors if your dog is in heat, including:

  • He will insistently ask for walks and outings. Beware of the risk of running away which is greater in these conditions
  • He runs in circles and urinates frequently
  • At home, he may be more agitated than usual and moan, bark, or even howl
  • He watches the females and sniffs the air. If he sees a female dog in heat, he will sniff her, lick her and urinate around her.

In fact, it is the higher-than-normal testosterone level in his body that increases this type of behavior.

Don’t worry, this is completely normal. Your animal is not in pain and all of this will be fine in a few hours or a few to calm a dog in heat

Is there a rutting season for male dogs?

There is no rutting season for male dogs. They react instinctively to the scent of a female in heat.

We can rather speak of “first heat” in the male dog or sexual maturity. As with female dogs, this can vary depending on your dog’s size, breed, and metabolism.

Typically, a male dog reaches sexual maturity between 6 and 9 months. To know if your dog has his first heat, just observe the changes in behavior that wake up at the end of puberty.

For some owners, this period is complicated, and many wonder how long a male dog’s heat lasts. You should know that the dog itself does not have a fertile cycle like the females. A male dog, once sexually mature, can be in heat as soon as he smells a female in heat.

How to calm my dog ​​in heat? 

As a master, this kind of situation is not necessarily easy to manage. So how do you calm a dog in heat? What solutions to adopt? Here are some tips for controlling your furry friend.

Keep him away from the female 

This is one of the first things to do: keep him away from the female dog in heat and from the place, because the pheromones “contaminate” an area for several hours. Take your dog much further, by car or on another route. 

Divert his attention

You have to play with him: it’s a very good way to divert his attention. In addition, by having fun and running, he occupies his energy and his mind and will no longer have the strength to do anything else. By paying attention to it, your dog will calm down.


Many owners of male dogs wonder if castration is a solution against heat

It is a recommended option if your dog shows an aggressive character towards other dogs or has already run away while in heat. It also limits untimely overlapping and urine marking.

This decision is to be made, of course, after consulting your veterinarian. A dog can be sterilized from the age of 6 months. It is also advisable to do this before adulthood because, for a dog that has already been impregnated by the pheromones of a female dog in heat, castration will not be enough to completely modify its behavior. Attention, 

NOTE: A neutered (castrated)dog = gains weight quite fast. So think about getting him to move a little more and maybe change his diet.