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Do Male Dogs Go In Heat? 13 “Mating Signs” Of Male Dogs

Do Male Dogs Go In Heat

It’s known that female canines go in heat.

So they’ll show sexual behaviors and be restless for the time being.

But what if a male pooch acts the same?

Hmm. Is he also going through a cycle?

In this article you’ll discover:

  • If male dogs go in heat.
  • 13 signs that a male dog wants to mate.
  • The answer to “How do you calm a male dog in heat?” & “How many days is a male dog in heat?
  • And much more… 

Do male dogs go in heat?

Male dogs don’t go in heat like female canines. So they’re capable of breeding all year round once they become fertile as early as 6 months old. But, they’re going to show more sexual behaviors in response to a female dog who’s in heat. And this creates an impression that they also go in a cycle.

13 signs that a male dog wants to mate (“male dog in heat behavior”)

Every month, thousands of people search for “Male dog in heat symptoms” or “Male dog in heat behavior”.

As you know by now:

Male dogs don’t go in heat.

That being said, there are signs (or symptoms) that a male dog wants to mate.

Below here we discuss the most common signs:

#1: Being so interested in a female dog (in heat)’s secretions

First love at first sight?

For canines, it’s more like first love at first smell.

“Why’s that?”

Because ‘courtship’ starts when a male dog sniffs a female pooch in heat. Either through the odor of her urine or vaginal secretions.

He’ll inspect it for seconds. Then the scent will trigger his hormones. And cause him to start doing unusual behaviors.

One study proved their attraction to the odor. And in the experiment, boys were given choices to visit either a:

  • Male canine.
  • Female in her cycle.
  • Female who’s not in heat.

They found that male dogs are more attracted indeed to the scent of a female in season. And it’s because they’ve visited them more frequently than the others.

Another research was done on 25 male canines. And it was observed that they might even:

  • Lick the urine – (100%).
  • Salivate excessively – (36%).
  • Show a certain facial muscle reaction (48%).

Dogs also spent a long time sniffing urine which belongs to a female in heat.

But apart from licking, they’ll also do a ‘flehmen response.’

“What’s that?”

You’ve probably seen cats and horses do it. But it’s also observed in some other animals – including dogs.

It’s when they curl their lips, open their mouth, and have a ‘funny’ expression.

They usually hold it for a few seconds which amuses most people. And make them think, “What on earth are they doing?!”

But according to science, they only do this to investigate a smell further.

This is because there are ducts found on the roof of their mouths. And these are linked to a ‘vomeronasal organ.’ Or also known as ‘Jacobson’s organ.’ 

This acts as a secondary nose for canines. And it’s used especially when they detect pheromones in the area.

So it’s an important tool in knowing whether a female dog is ready to mate or not.

Because pheromones will not only contain a dog’s gender, age, and mood. But also their reproductive state.

Amazing, right?

And it was said that the odor can travel for miles. So a male canine will also exhibit…

#2: Roaming

Roaming Is A Sign That A Male Dog Wants To Mate

An intact male dog can also wander outside.

But he’s not roaming aimlessly because he has an ulterior motive.

And it’s to search for a potential mate.

His hormones could drive him as he already hit puberty.

Or, he knows that there’s a female pooch in heat in the neighborhood. So he goes out to look for her.

So a female dog can have lots of canines lined up outside her house. Or a few ones lurking over at her place.

“When will they start doing it?”

According to PetMD, males could roam as early as 6 months old. This is because canines usually become fertile at this time. 

But, it’ll still depend on their size. Because smaller breeds are likely to mature faster than larger ones. 

For example, giant breeds might take up to 9 months or more. While research shows that it’ll be 7 months for Border Collies. As well as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

So with their raging hormones, males will find it hard to stay indoors. As their instincts tell them to go out.

Because of this, they’re capable of…

#3: Escaping

Once a male dog is sexually frustrated, you’ll also witness some door dashing or fence jumping.

Especially if they can smell a female in heat outside the house. Because well, girls could also roam to spread their scent and look for a partner.

So if a male pooch spots one, he might rush through the door when it’s not locked properly. Or jump off the fence if it’s low enough for him.

For this, some canines will roam for days or weeks. But others may not also return home.

This will be dangerous as males could be disoriented. Particularly if they’re deeply focused on a female. So running on the streets puts them at risk for road accidents.

The ASPCA gathered data about this. And they revealed that from 2015 to 2018, around 620,000 dogs went astray.

But luckily, shelters took them in, and their parents had also found them.

Note: If a dog has this tendency, secure your yard and doors. Avoid taking them outside without a leash. And also, if they have a microchip, ensure that it has your updated information.

#4: Focusing on a female dog

“How do male dogs react to female dogs in heat?”

Once he sets his eyes on a girl, he’ll start to watch her closely.

So he may follow and pursue her many times. And this could happen within the duration of her heat.

Due to this, he may also lose interest in everything else.

Because some sexually aroused males will hardly eat and take a rest. Plus, they’ll be less receptive to training or even simple listening.

#5: Being in constant motion

Walk here, pace there, and lots of panting.

A male dog who’s sexually frustrated might not also be able to calm down.

Due to his hormones, he’ll be uneasy and have heaps of energy. And this is because it’ll be hard for him to take his mind off from mating.

So there’s going to be a series of restlessness until the female end her cycle. Which usually lasts up to 2 weeks or even a month.

You might also like: 17 Reasons Why Dogs (Suddenly) Act Crazy + Dangers & Tips

#6: Whining excessively

An intact male dog might also constantly whine.

“But why?”

There could be a female in heat nearby. And if he can’t go to her, he’ll be vocal about his frustrations.

This will be a problematic behavior for dog parents and neighbors.

So if you have a female in heat at home, you can mask her scent by giving her supplements with chlorophyll. Or apply a lust buster on your male’s nose to weaken the odor for a few hours.

But remember, these are only temporary solutions. So don’t trust them too much. And still, keep the dogs away from each other if you don’t want pregnancy.

#7: Urine marking

Urine Marking

Vet Street says that dogs who reach puberty will also become more territorial. And it’s more evident in male dogs.

So what do they do to mark their ‘property’?

They pee on it.

Their urine contains their unique odor. So it’ll be a perfect way to label something as their ‘own.’ 

And they can do it inside the house or even outdoors. Specifically in things that stand out like fire hydrants and bushes.

But although male dogs do this more frequently, females could also ‘scent-mark.’

They’ll do this more when they’re in heat. And they might pee everywhere to spread their odor and attract boys in the area.

So what will an intact male do if he smells it?

He’ll also urinate in the same spot. Or also called ‘overmarking.’

And he may pee around it as well to show to his ‘rivals’ that he’s in charge. As this can raise his chances of mating with the female.

Or, it could be that he’s trying to mask the scent to prevent other males from finding the girl’s signals.

Note: Even a pooch who’s well trained can still urine mark if triggered. But, it doesn’t mean that you should tolerate it. So clean any urine spots inside the house as they’re prone to pee on it again. And distract them before they do it.

But what are the signs that you should watch out for?

According to experts, they’ll:

  1. Go toward a vertical surface.
  2. Sniff the area.
  3. Turn around.
  4. Then raise their hind leg.

Don’t forget to check out: Why does my dog all of a sudden pee in the house?

#8: Becoming aggressive to other male canines

Since the odor of a female in heat will allure many dogs…

It’ll be normal for a male canine to become more aggressive.

The competition is tough. So it’ll make them wary of each other. And a fight with other dogs is more likely.

So there would be a lot of barking and snapping. Even to canines and people who are just passing by.

Another reason for this is because…

One study points out that some males are able to mate with a female. Although they’re not there for a long time.

In short, they’re skipping the ‘courtship’ stage.

It’s labeled as an ‘opportune mating.’ And apart from stray canines, it’s also an observed ‘strategy’ in feral cats. 

However, mature male Fidos may also act like this due to their hormones


Because it’s known that high levels of testosterone can cause them to be aggressive. But recent research shows that one hormone might also be a factor in this.

It’s called vasopressin. And it was found that pooches who had a history of aggression have a great amount of this in their system. 

Interesting fact: Did you know that female dogs are picky in choosing their mates? They won’t entertain everyone and may only pick some. So this even adds up to why the competition is high.

They could have certain preferences. And a study about free-ranging dogs found that they prefer young males. Compared to older Fidos.

The researchers concluded that it could be due to the lower sperm count. Because as canines grow old, they also produce less of it.

Read further: Why Is My Dog Suddenly Aggressive To Our Other Dog?

#9: Running together

During ‘courtship,’ a male dog will stay around a female ‘in season.’

And if they become quite close, they may run together.

This is a known mating behavior in canines. And it’s included in a study along with mounting and sniffing.

He’ll also give more attention to the female, like smelling her ears. As well as showing playful behaviors such as a ‘play bow.’

“What’s that?”

It’s a stance where both of his front legs will be down on the ground. While his hind part is raised in the air. 

#10: Sniffing of a female dog (in heat)’s genitals

Aside from urine, an interested male dog will also smell a female’s vulva.

This is because while in heat, he’ll be constantly attracted to the pheromones she gives off. 

So compared to sniffing males and other females who aren’t in heat, it’ll be more intense. 

A male dog can also lick it to further inspect the female. Like what he’ll do in her urine as I explained earlier.

The female Fido will move away, sit, or snap if she doesn’t like him. Or if she’s still in the first phase of her heat and not ready to mate yet.

But if she accepts him, she’ll stand still. Then put her tail on one side which is called ‘flagging.’

It’s a sign that a female permits the male to mount.

#11: Mounting


This is one of the known sexual behaviors in dogs. 

But, mounting is also done by small pups ages 3 to 6 weeks. And they’re not doing it to send signals to mate as it’s only a play behavior.

However, an adult male dog can do this due to being sexually excited.

So he’ll mount on anyone or anything in sight. Like pillows, people’s legs, or even thin air

And he’ll do it to relieve the tension he’s feeling because of his instincts.

But, this behavior is also seen during courtship

According to specialists, every dog has their own way to do it.

They discovered that experienced males will mostly mount a female in heat from the rear. And it happened 97% of the time.

While less experienced ones will do it right 39%. 

And this is because they usually begin at the side or front. Then they’ll only gradually move to the back later on.

A male dog can also mount once. But it could be done many times by other canines as well. 

Once the female allows it and the mounting becomes a success, there will be…

#12: Clasping

This is when a male dog puts his front legs over the rear end of the female.

And he’ll do this to make sure that she won’t go away. Like a method to restrict her movements.

So if you notice this in action, it’s a clear sign that he’s about to mate.

Note: While mounting, other male canines may also bite the scruff of a female’s neck.

#13: Masturbating

Yup. Experts say that it’s also possible for dogs to masturbate.

They might do it when they’re sexually motivated but no one’s around. So they’ll hump anything else instead.

This is more common in ‘teenage boys’ as they’re feeling a surge of hormones during puberty. So there’s also a chance that they’ll grow out of it as years go by.

But did you know that it’s not only done by intact males?

Because this behavior was also observed in neutered, spayed, and female dogs.

“What makes them do it?”

Humping could bring some kind of satisfaction for them.

So even if they’re ‘fixed,’ they may still continue on doing it for pleasure.

You might also be interested in: Why do female dogs hump stuffed animals?

#BONUS: Ejaculating

Lastly, male dogs can also get sexually excited and ejaculate.

This could happen during an independent play or while they’re being petted.

As there are reports of them producing a ‘milky colored’ fluid after humping a few times. Or while having some belly rubs.

“But at what age do dogs start to ejaculate?”

A study reveals that male Beagles will do it when they turn 8 or 9 months old. So it can happen before or after that age for other canines.

The first few ejaculates will also have many unhealthy sperms. But if they’re 2 or 3 years old, there would be higher amounts.

Note: Aroused male dogs will also groom their genitals excessively.

3 tips to calm a male dog that wants to mate

#1: Distract him as best as you can

Mating is a normal canine instinct so you can’t get rid of it without opting for surgery.

But if you want to manage the situation…

There are many things you can do to keep his mind off from mating.

Give him enough daily exercise

First, tiring him out will help him relax and settle on his own.

Aside from having so much energy, it’ll also be a stressful time for male dogs. Especially if they sense a female in heat around.

And exercising is one of the best ways to relieve stress and release pent-up energy.

So, put his leash on and take him for walks outside every day.

But keep in mind that there are going to be other canines there. So be alert and keep a safe distance from them.

Dogs will also appreciate a game of fetch or tug of war. However, if you don’t have a secured fenced yard, it’s best to do it indoors.

This is to avoid your male pooch from getting worked up and escaping.

Because who knows, there could be a female in season wandering outside. And if your dog is off-leash, he’ll run and follow her around.

Provide him mental stimulation

A balanced workout (mind and body) can highly guarantee a satisfied and calm dog. And a bonus of a long nice sleep!

So to achieve this, aside from physical exercise, give your dog some mental games.

You can allot some of your time to:

  • Teach him some tricks.
  • Play hide and seek with him.
  • Make him find treasures or treats in a room.

Also, provide stimulated independent plays by leaving some toys for him.

Make sure that they’re interactive.

Meaning, it should be items that’ll challenge his mind and keep him focused. But still, fun and entertaining at the same time.

Toys like puzzles, kongs, and treat dispensers could distract him for hours.

And these will also give him chances to solve problems on his own. Which is fulfilling for all canines.

Divert his attention before he mounts

The third option would be redirecting his focus every time he attempts to mount.

This could be done by:

  • Calling his name. 
  • Throwing his toys.
  • Telling him to stop.
  • Tossing treats on the floor.
  • Creating a high-pitched sound (e.g., whistling).

By doing this, you’ll catch him red-handed. And if done consistently, it may reduce the behavior significantly.

#2: Avoid female dogs in heat

Prevention is still the best.

So if both male and female dogs live in the same house, separate them away from each other until the cycle ends.

Put them in different rooms. This is to reduce the stress of your male if you don’t want them to mate.

Also, be extra careful when going outside as female dogs in your area could leave some ‘signals’.

For more tips, check this out: 9 Tips To Safely Lock Your Dog In A Room + 5 Dangers

#3: Go for neutering

Keeping your male dog distracted and preventing him from getting on females will need constant attention. As well as a big portion of your time.

Even though it’s manageable for dog parents, canines will have it worse. As some have tendencies to be restless and act out of control.

So if you have no plans of breeding your pooch, neutering him will greatly reduce his hormones. Which are the reasons why he’s doing this in the first place.

What are the benefits of neutering?

Based on a study, castrating dogs will make their roaming behavior drop 90%. So you’re going to ensure that your Fido will be safe indoors.

Also, their aggression and urine marking will be lessened. And they’ll not be that bothered anymore whenever there’s a female in heat nearby.

Plus, you’re going to avoid hormone-related diseases as well. Such as testicular cancer and prostatic disorders.

The latter was studied to be common in 80% of intact male dogs ages 5 years and above. 

Note: But, consult with your vet first to see if your dog is fit to perform the surgery. Because if done too early, he could also be at risk for other ailments. Like joint issues and cancers.

Reading tip: 15 Easy Tips To Calm A Sexually Excited Dog (How-To Guide)

People also ask:

When do male dogs start wanting to mate?

Male dogs will start wanting to mate when they reach puberty. This usually happens when they’re 6 or 8 months old. But they’ll be more triggered once they smell a female canine in heat.

According to vets, teenage male dogs will have high testosterone levels. And it’s even greater than what adult Fidos have.

Because of this, they’ll start showing sexual behaviors such as:

  • Humping.
  • Roaming.
  • Ejaculating.
  • Urine marking.

They’ll also act more aggressively to other male canines. As well as become territorial and defend their area and belongings.

These are usually the first signs that they’re ready to mate. But experts say that although they can breed at an early age…

They’ll be more fertile when they’re ‘sexually mature.’ And this typically occurs within 18 to 30 months.

The behaviors listed above will also intensify if they detect a female who’s in her cycle. So they may show other behaviors mentioned earlier.

How many days is a male dog in heat?

A male dog is sexually active each day of the year once he becomes an adolescent. He also doesn’t go in heat. However, he can highly respond to a female in season for up to 2 to 4 weeks.

This results in heightened reproductive activities like:

  • Mounting.
  • Being restless.
  • Excessive whining.
  • Wanting to escape.
  • Inspecting female’s genitals and urine.

So it might look like male dogs also go through a cycle. But the truth is, they’re only triggered by the sex pheromones of a female who’s ready to breed.

Interesting fact: Specialists say that an intact male Fido usually mates once every 2 to 5 days.