As your dog develops sexually, it’s common for them to hump other animals and even people. It’s common in their teenage years. But, at times they get sexually excited in public places and that can lead to an embarrassing situation. So, how you can calm a sexually excited dog? Let’s find out.
How To Calm a Sexually Excited Dog?
To calm a sexually excited dog is not simple. You’ll have to put in lots of effort as they are going through a difficult transition. So, you need to handle this situation with care because they also tend to get aggressive from sexual frustration.
Following are some useful tips you can use to calm down a sexually excited dog.
#1 Help them burn off some energy
Sexually excited dogs have lots of energy and they get frustrated if there is no release. They get aggressive and making them exercise helps in bringing out this aggression and frustration. In addition, it also helps in making them calmer because it releases the feel-good hormones in your furry friend.
Take them for a stroll every day. Also, put a leash on them to avoid possible contact or interaction with other dogs.
Get them to do stimulating indoor activities. Because playing off-leash outside is probably not a good idea as there are other canines around.
Here are some activities that you can consider:
- Ball fetch
- Tug of war
- Finding treats
- Teaching tricks
- Shell games and so on…
These activities will surely help your furry friend get some relief. You can also adjust activities according to the energy levels of your dog.
#2 Give them more attention
This is probably the best situation where you can give ample attention and love to your canine friend than ever, especially if you have a female dog. Female dogs are known to experience anxiety during their first reproductive cycles, and you can comfort them with plenty of love and attention.
You can comfort your dog by – giving them a nice tummy rub, talking to them in a soft voice, or just staying with them for a long period of time.
#3 Divert their attention
You can use toys or engage them in some activity. Divert your dog’s focus to a task that demands immediate engagement. To redirect your dog and interrupt their instinct to hump, simply ask them to lie down, sit, stay, or roll over. Not only will this disrupt their behaviour at the moment, but over time, it will also train them not to act on their instincts to hump and mount.
Further, you can also use train them using different tricks. For example, use a treat for a rollover exercise. The following are the steps:
- Instruct your dog to sit down on the floor. Hold a small treat in your hand and allow your dog to sniff. They will follow the smell and switch to the side where you hold the treat.
- Now, while the dog tries to engage with the treat slowly move the treat to the different side.
- If your dog starts rolling while doing this exercise, reward him with a treat.
- Repeat the exercise until it becomes a reflex for your dog. This means it voluntarily starts rolling while you use the treat in this exercise.
- Afterwards, you can associate a phrase such as “Rollover” to ensure they know what to do next time you call out that phrase.
#4 Use puzzle games or toys
Apart from physical exercise, your dog also requires mental stimulation. You can leave different puzzle toys around the house for your dog. This will utilise lots of energy as they will use their brains to solve a specific problem.
#5 Train them to obey commands
It’s crucial to train your dog to obey certain commands. Because while you are using treats or toys to distract them, it’s possible that they won’t obey. Hence, teaching them commands like “take it” and “leave it“ will help you distract them from their urges.
The point of this training is to meet the following goals:
- They accept the treat you offer while you use the “take it”, this will help you feed them and distract them while they get sexually excited
- The “leave it” command will make them drop the stuff
#6 Time outs
Every now and then it’s crucial you give your dog time-outs. As doing so can help them deal with their sexual urges. Take your pet dog to their crate or a nice quiet place.
It’s possible that such timeouts can put make them uncomfortable. This happens because they are not used to it, but, it will make them stop acting on their urges i.e. humping or mounting. If they respond well, you can give them special attention and offer rewards.
Further, professional dog trainers suggest associating cue words such as “enough” or “time-out” while giving your furry friend a break.
#7 Acknowledge their calm behaviour
Whenever you are using different techniques or exercises to control the sexual excitement in your dog, it’s important to acknowledge their behaviour. This means, offering them a treat or spending some more time with them.
The acknowledgement of calm behaviour can help your furry friend know that if they control their urges they get rewarded and you’ll spend more time with them if they behave.
#8 Separate the dogs
When male dogs get sexually excited they feel pressured with the need to mate. In fact, they might even ignore their food because of the excessive excitement.
In addition, female dogs, are also experiencing hormonal and physical changes. These changes can make them anxious. So, in such scenarios when a female canine is going through hormonal changes (referred to as heat) male dogs try to mate with them, it’s a rather stressful experience for female dogs.
Thus, if you have more than one dog, at your home, it’s best you separate them when they start showing behaviour indicating humping or mounting. Also, make sure you separate the male dogs, because they may fight amongst each other if they sense a female dog in close proximity.
Additional methods to calm a sexually excited dog
We saw some of the common ways you could deal with sexually excited dogs. Here are some additional methods that you can use to calm a sexually overexcited dog.
- Hire a professional dog trainer: a professional dog trainer will use efficient techniques and get you quick results without any hassle. So, if any of the suggested methods don’t work or you are having difficulty training your dog, hiring a professional is an idea.
- Enrol the dog in a boot camp: enrol the dog in a boot camp or a training camp. This will allow your dog to get complete professional training through different exercises. Make sure to request a specialized instructor.
- Take them to the Vet: when your furry friend is not responding to the training and reward techniques, take them to a vet. The vet will give you the underlying cause as to why they are not responding to activities, or whether your dog is suffering from any serious health issues.
Now, if the behaviour is not getting under control, then the vet may suggest a surgical option. These options are referred to as spaying or neutering. The common notion surrounding these surgical options is that they are permanent solutions, but, are they? Let’s find out.
Spaying Or Neutering Your Dog
Spaying or neutering in dogs is a surgical procedure which prevents dogs from reproducing. Bluecross the charitable organisation in England, informs that in males the procedure is known as castration and in females, it’s known as spaying.
For male dogs, a vet removes both testicles. This takes away their main source of the male hormone, testosterone. Neutering makes a male dog incapable to reproduce and discontinues their breeding instincts such as humping or mounting.
However, there is a slight possibility that humping or mounting behaviour may occur. These can happen because of a variety of factors, especially age.
Benefits of neutering
- Helps control the aggressive behaviour
- Limits sexual interest
- Less risk of prostate enlargement
- Prevents testicular cancer
- Territorial behaviour is reduced
Risks of neutering
- Surgical and Anesthetic risks
- The risks of getting orthopaedic disease get higher
- Decrease in metabolism
A spaying surgical procedure is meant for female canines. It is also known as an ovariohysterectomy. In this process, the ovaries and uterus are completely removed in order to neuter a female dog. However, many vets are now only removing the ovaries while performing an ovariectomy.
Benefits of spaying
- Controls mating urge by stopping heat (estrus)
- Eliminates hormonal fluctuations which can lead to false pregnancy following the heat cycle
- Reduces risk of ovarian cancer
- Stops unwanted litter
- Increases life expectancy
Risks of spaying
- Anaesthetic risk
- Low Metabolism
- Risk of hypothyroidism
- Urinary incontinence
In addition, if the spaying is done before your furry friend attains maturity, it can result in unusual behaviour like nose phobia. Likewise doing the procedure before bone growth is complete can result in a cruciate ligament tear.
Now, before we conclude the article, let’s analyse the sexual behaviour variation in male and female dogs.
Sexual Behaviour in Male Dogs
At approximately 5 months of age, Testosterone levels rise significantly in young male dogs. Also at this time, the mounting and thrusting behaviour start bothering their owners. At 7 months, dogs may also seek to mate, this urge is a result of pheromones put off from the female dogs.
One such luring element is methyl p-hydroxybenzoate (methyl PHBA). This chemical is found in high concentrations in the urine and vaginal secretions of female dogs in estrus.
Generally, mating occurs for the first time when the dog hits one year mark.
Further, during mating, an erectile section at the base of his penis, the bulbous glandis, extends and is held firmly because of the contracted vaginal muscles of the female dog. They are now literally inseparable. Two dogs can only separate when the bulbous glandis shrinks in size.
Sexual Behaviour in Female Dogs
Female dogs have their first estrus i.e. “heat” at the age of 6 to 12 months. Smaller dogs come into heat relatively earlier, while larger dogs take more time to mature.
Also, the onset of the first heat generally points to the maturation of a wave of follicles within their ovaries and a sudden elevation in blood estrogen levels. This stage is referred to as proestrus. It indicates a sign of readiness and reflects an interest in, mating. However, there is progressive vulval swelling and some bleeding during this time.
Further, if males try to mount a female dog in proestrus, chances are that she will growl or snap to overlook their efforts. Roughly, ten days of proestrus lead to the climax, the internal release of ova, and the start of true or “standing” heat, in which the female dog will allow herself to get mounted.
The majority of the time female dogs are well attended by competent dogs but, at times, their choice is limited. So, to draw the attention of other potential mates, they will often back into them, deflecting their tails in a suggestive manner.
They do this so that the male dog finds it difficult to ignore them. When the dog mounts, the female dog stays strong and even moves her hips. Following introception, the female dog tightens her vaginal muscles around the male’s penis and settles in for the duration of copulation, which lasts about 20 to 30 minutes.
Post-pubertal female dogs come into heat cyclically. They are receptive and fertile between one and 4 times per year. The average number of heats in female dogs annually is 2.
When your dog gets sexually active, you can use different forms of training and distractions to help them control its urges. Still, if you cannot get your dog to overcome their sexual excitement you can use a spaying or neutering procedure.
But, whether to spay or neuter your dog is probably one of the most important decisions you will ever make for your furry friend. If you have no intention of allowing your dog to reproduce, many vets suggest spaying and neutering. However, timing is a significant constraint here. This means it can only get done within a specific age period.
Generally, when your dog is sexually frustrated, it will hump things, vocalize a lot, or wish to be near a female in heat. You can also consider the following signs to confirm this frustrative behaviour :
2. Escape Behaviour
3. Marking their territory by licking female urine
4. Indoor restlessness or grumpiness
5. Grooming of genitals
6. Continuous Erection
Options such as – Physical Exercise, Tug of war, Obedience training, Brain games (puzzles), or Treat-dispensing toys care, etc. are a few you can consider for relief for sexually frustrated male dogs.
If you wish to control the sexual urges of a male dog, you can try neutering him. But, it doesn’t always stop them from humping or mounting because the presence of a female dog who’s in heat can trigger such a response. So, even if you get the procedure done, you’ll have to use other methods to control those urges.
Final Comments On How To Calm a Sexually Excited Dog?
While sexual behaviour is common in dogs, it’s important that your furry friend realises that acting on those urges i.e. humping and mounting are bad behaviours. You can use different strategies and training methods, to resolve such behaviour. In addition, you can also seek the help of professional dog trainers to control the sexual behaviour of your canine dog. However, consulting a vet can help you get proper insights into how to calm a sexually excited dog.