It’s a pretty crazy time when your dog’s in heat.
Or when your male dog senses another dog in heat.
Your pooch can go berserk trying to please their sexual excitement.
Without the proper tools, it can be a stressful experience for you.
So how do you keep the stress away for both you and your dog?
Continue reading and find out:
- 5 exercises to calm your pooch.
- Easy tricks to distract your dog from humping.
- 13 safe tips to calm down a sexually excited dog.
- The effects of neutering and spaying on their sexual behaviors.
- And much, much more…
How to calm a sexually excited dog?
You can calm a sexually excited dog by giving them more exercise and attention. You can tire them out with interactive toys and redirect their attention using basic commands or tricks. You can encourage your dog by reinforcing calm behavior. Neutering or spaying your dog also takes away the urge.
13 tips to calm down a sexually excited dog
#1: More exercise
Sexually excited dogs have pent-up energy.
They’re also stressed because they have no outlet for it.
Exercise helps your dog spend their excess energy.
And it makes them calmer because it releases the feel-good hormones in your dog.
But with sexually excited dogs you may need to do more.
Add more time and variety to your exercise sessions.
If you have both sexes of dogs and the female is in heat, exercise them separately.
You don’t want them anywhere too near each other.
Having them near each other will only result in more stress for the dogs.
And more stress for you.
As they will have a tendency to be more vocal or try harder to get around barriers.
“What exercise can I do with my dogs?”
Keep the exercise inside as much as possible for female dogs.
Taking them out for walks in the area around the house will increase the risks of other dogs sensing her heat. And following you to your house.
You can do indoor exercises like:
- Hide and seek.
- Interactive puzzle toys.
With male dogs, take them out for longer walks outside of the house.
You can also do high-energy dog sports with him.
According to the AKC, these are the five most popular sports any breed can try:
- Trick dog.
- Fast CAT.
- Farm dog.
- Scent work.
You might also like: Why Do Dogs Hump The Air? 9 Real Causes + What To Do
#2: Give more attention
Being in heat plays havoc with your female dog.
Their body’s going through physical and hormonal changes.
They can be:
Calm your pooch down by giving her positive attention.
Petting sessions and cuddle time are great for calming your dog.
This releases the hormone oxytocin into your dog’s system and calms her down.
The role of oxytocin in dog-human interaction
This study proves that human interaction increases oxytocin content.
The researchers did the experiment on 23 female dogs and 15 male dogs.
Humans had 10 minutes of friendly interaction with ½ of the dogs.
While the other half rested in a barricaded part of the same room without interaction.
The dogs who had interactions with humans had higher levels of oxytocin. Which the researchers measured in their plasma and saliva.
Stay near your pooch
Finally, make sure to stay near your dog as this is a confusing time for her.
Keep her away from loud environments. Because loud sounds can stress her even more.
Further reading: 10 Natural Home Remedies For Dogs In Heat (Fast & Cheap)
#3: Leave puzzle games or toys
Aside from physical exercise, your dog also needs mental stimulation.
For this tip, you can leave puzzle toys around the house for your dog.
This tires them out by making them use their brains to solve a problem.
Here are a few interactive puzzle toys to give your dog:
#4: Neuter or spay your dog
This is a permanent solution for sexually excited dogs.
It is a surgical procedure that inactivates your dog’s reproductive system.
Doing this will take away the heat in females. And take away most of the urge to mate in male dogs.
Vets use 2 procedures for spaying female dogs.
The first is ovariohysterectomy. The vet surgeon removes the ovaries and uterus.
Next is ovariectomy. In this surgery, the vet will remove only the ovaries.
But why do we have to spay?
In the table below, you’ll find what’s great and what’s not when spaying:
– Better behaviors.
– Removes heat cycle.
– Prevents unwanted litter.
– Helps fight overpopulation.
– Your pet can live 23% longer.
– Prevents UTIs in 50% of dogs.
– Reduces the risk of mammary cancer and other illnesses.
|– Possible weight gain.|
– Increases risk of hypothyroidism.
This is a process done to male dogs where the vet removes their testicles.
According to PetMD, the procedure takes away reproduction ability.
But the behaviors related to breeding like humping and mounting can still happen.
|– Less risk of aggression.|
– Lower chances of roaming.
– Reduced territorial behaviors.
– Helps prevent testicular cancer.
– Reduced risk of enlarged prostate gland.
|– Anesthetic and surgical risks.|
– Increased risk of orthopedic disease.
– Decreased metabolism.
One of the myths about neutering is that your dog will grow fat. Their metabolism will slow down.
But according to the VCA, the main cause of obesity in neutered dogs is overfeeding and lack of exercise.
Neutered dogs will need adjustments in their caloric intake and regular daily activity.
#5: Distract your dog
If your dog’s sexually excited, a distraction can stop the behavior in your pooch.
You can distract the dog with a “Watch me” command.
Here’s how to teach it:
Step 1: Have your dog in a “sit” position. Get a treat and hold it in front of your dog’s nose. Your dog will have his attention on the treat.
Step 2: Bring the treat between your eyes.
Step 3: If your dog follows the treat and looks at you, mark the behavior with a click or a “Yes”.
Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3 until your dog looks at you automatically.
Step 5: Do steps 1 -3 with an empty hand and reward with your other hand. This becomes the hand signal for “Watch me”.
Step 6: If it becomes automatic for your dog to follow the hand signal, introduce the verbal command “Watch me”.
Note: If at any time your pooch doesn’t seem to understand, take a break and start from the beginning. Reinforce the behavior by making it a daily exercise.
Loud noises/ fave word
You can also distract your dog by saying their favorite word in a loud voice.
If your dog turns to look at you, call them to your side and present a treat.
Then you can either go on a walk or direct them to their place.
#6: Redirect their attention
Move your dog’s attention to an appropriate object or activity.
- A chew toy.
- Game of tug.
- Basic commands.
A game of fetch or tug gets your dog’s attention.
It tires them out. And lessens their excitement.
While a chew toy also allows them to direct their energy onto the toy. And not at other dogs or people.
You can fill chew toys such as Kongs with:
- Peanut butter.
- Cream cheese.
Stuff the toy and freeze it for a few hours. It lets your dog spend more effort getting the food out.
Having your dog do basic commands when they’re excited straightens their focus. It gives them a job to do.
A “Sit”, “Stay”, or “Place” can do so much to redirect their attention.
Learn how to get your dog to give you unprompted attention. It will reinforce the behavior of looking to you for guidance.
Watch this video for a tried and tested training method to get your dog’s attention:
#7: Trick training
Trick training equips you with commands to get your dog’s attention.
It’s like using basic commands but it’s more extra.
You get to teach your dog new things. And it serves as a great bonding opportunity for you and your pooch.
For this trick your dog needs to learn “Down” first.
Step 1: Have your dog in a”Down” position. And determine the most easy direction for your dog to roll over. If they’re lying on their right side, the roll over is on the left and vice versa.
Step 2: Hold a treat in your hand. Let your dog sniff and follow it to the side.
Step 3: With your dog still engaged with the treat, move your hand to the other side of their body. It may take several tries before your dog does a roll over. Be patient and repeat from the start.
Step 4: Reward your dog if they show the slightest hint of rolling over. Until you can get a full roll over from your pooch.
Step 5: Repeat steps 1-4 until it becomes automatic for your dog.
Step 6: Do steps 1-4 but without a treat in your hand. You can reward with your other hand. This lets your dog know the signal for “Roll over”. Repeat until your dog does the trick with only slight prompting.
Step 7: Introduce the verbal command before doing the hand signal and repeat a few times.
Step 8: Try only saying “Roll over” and if your dog does it without the hand signal reward with a treat. If not, repeat step 7 a few more times.
Note: Reinforce the behavior by teaching this command in segments. If it seems like your dog doesn’t get it, take a break, and start again.
#8: Use the “Leave it” command
This command is so important for your dog to learn.
It could save their lives when they’re eating something dangerous during walks.
But for this article, it will stop them from humping everything on sight.
The goal of the command is to have your pooch:
- Back away from an object.
- Drop things from their mouths.
- Reduce unnecessary destruction.
Here’s how to do it:
“Take it” & “Leave it”
Step 1: Teach your dog “Take it”. You can use toys or treats for this one. Say the command and let your dog have the toy or treat.
Step 2: Once your dog learns the “Take it” command, you can start with “Leave it”. Cover the treat with your hand and don’t uncover it no matter what your dog does.
Step 3: When your dog learns that they aren’t going to get a reward, they’ll stop. Mark the behavior with a click or a “Good job” and let them take the treat.
Step 4: Next put the treat on the floor and cover it with your foot. If your dog ignores the food, mark it with a click. Remove your foot and say “Take it”
Step 5: Keep increasing the stakes by dropping food on the floor. If your dog ignores the food, you can now introduce the verbal command.
Step 6: Say “Leave it”, then drop the food on the floor. If your dog doesn’t pay attention to it, mark the behavior with a click. And reward with high value treats (not the one on the floor.)
Step 7: Repeat it a few times. So that your dog learns that ignoring the fallen treat allows even yummier ones from you.
#9: Help your dog calm down
Did you know that dogs benefit from a timeout?
You’re telling your dog to chill out in a safe space.
If your dog gets sexually excited, lead them to their crate or a nice quiet place.
Leave them alone for a few minutes with a treat stuffed chew toy.
Fun fact: You can also use a bit of Bach and Beethoven for your excited pooch.
A 2020 review of 9 experiments documents the effects of classical music for stressed dogs.
Each study had similar results. They showed that exposure to music caused significant behavioral changes in dogs.
#10: Separate male dogs from females in heat
It’s a stressful time for both male and female dogs.
Males feel pressured with the need to mate. They might even ignore their food because they’re too preoccupied.
For females, they’re bombarded with hormonal and physical changes. And this can make them anxious.
Coupled with males trying to mate with them, it’s a rather stressful experience.
To illustrate, here’s a story of a dog parent on the Internet.
Keeping male dogs near females in heat
She shared a very loud experience when her female pooch went into heat.
Her male dogs went berserk as you can imagine.
She tried barricading them in different rooms but her dogs could still sense each other.
They wouldn’t stop howling.
Or caterwauling would be the right word.
The dog owner described the sound as “high-pitched screams that never end”
It went on for days until the owner started keeping the male dog in the attic.
And letting him out for walks and drives far away from their house.
#11: Alternative therapies
These are products that may help calm a stressed or anxious dog.
And these therapies can mask the scent of the heat.
According to the CCSPCA, you can combine these treatments or use them alone for your dog.
Here are some alternative therapies:
Warning: If improperly applied, alternative therapies can cause great danger for your dog. So BEFORE you try it, consult your veterinarian if the treatment is right for your pooch.
“How does homeopathy work?”
This treatment uses the theory of similars.
It states that the body can cure itself. But with the help of natural substances that can start the healing process.
It can be an option for your dog. But little evidence is found supporting its effectiveness.
In this study, only 2 out of 18 dogs treated for atopic dermatitis had a less than 50% decrease in symptoms.
The researchers gave two treatments: commercial homeopathy and a placebo.
And only 1 of the 2 dogs actually responded to homeopathy because the other 1 only responded to the placebo.
Another experiment also yielded no significant results on the effectiveness of the treatment.
10 atopic dogs received commercial homeopathic medicine for 3 weeks.
Only 1 dog showed slight improvement with itching and coat quality.
“What supplements can calm my dog?”
These usually come in the form of dog treats that contain the following:
- L- Theanine.
- L – Tryptophan.
PetMD states that serotonin and dopamine levels increase when they use these supplements.
These are the feel-good hormones that help calm your dog.
But these supplements will only be effective on mild to moderate cases of anxiety.
“How does aromatherapy calm my dog?
This treatment makes use of essential oils to treat:
- Skin problems.
- Tick and flea infestations.
This is a branch of homeopathy that has seen a surge of usage in recent years.
There aren’t a lot of studies on the effects of aromatherapy on dogs. But the ones available suggest that it can be beneficial.
But take these with a grain of salt.
As vet websites suggest that companies who produce essential oils, have sponsored research teams to try out their products in their experiments.
Aromatherapy for dogs with travel anxiety
This study states that lavender essential oil can help dogs when traveling.
The researchers did the experiment on 32 dogs with a history of travel anxiety.
They exposed the dogs to 2 environments.
In environment 1, there was no application of the essential oil.
While the next environment used the oil.
The owners drove the dogs to a regular walking spot.
In the 2nd environment, the dogs displayed fewer signs of anxiety such as moving or vocalizing.
Instead, the dogs spent more time sitting and resting.
Essential oil treatment for fleas and ticks
A study done in Cairo University proves the use of essential oils.
It can be a treatment for external parasites.
The researchers used an essential oil blend (Lacecca®). They used oral administration followed by water for 3 weeks.
Treatment eliminated the infestation by up to 100%, 12 hours from the 3rd dose.
Note: These are preliminary studies on essential oils and aromatherapy. Their results may not apply to your dog. Always consult with your vet before doing this treatment. Because “natural” does not always mean safe.
According to the AKC, improper application of essential oils can cause:
- Skin irritation.
- Gastrointestinal upset.
When you’re using them:
- Keep oils out of reach.
- No topical applications.
- Use expert formulations.
#12: Mask the scent of heat
The AKC says that the heat period can last up to 4 weeks.
That’s going to be a long time to keep male dogs off your female pooch.
And in some cases, you can’t avoid them meeting.
But there are products that help to mask the scent of the heat pheromones.
Some of these products contain essential oils that may be irritating for your dog. Use with advice from your vet.
This is a product that contains a blend of essential oils. It’s sprayed on the male dog’s nose to mask the scent.
The effect is temporary so dog parents may need to apply it again. Or only use it for emergencies.
This product is used by dog handlers in show rings to keep male dogs from sniffing females in heat.
This is a natural pigment that gives plants their green color.
According to the FDA, companies producing medicines with chlorophyll make either of these claims:
- Prevents mating or conception.
- Masks and prevents estrus odors.
- Complete control of breath and body odors.
Veterinarian, Dr. Liz Hanson, adds that it can also prevent bad breath in dogs.
Chlorophyll also offers other health benefits. It helps in fighting infections and wound healing.
It can come in liquid form or tablet form like Johnson’s Bitch & Deodorant Tablets.
This product discourages excited male dogs from going near your female pooch.
It masks the smell of the female’s estrus.
But it may not be effective when the female is at the height of her heat.
#13: Give special attention when they’re calm
If your dog has calmed down after doing the tips above, it’s always important to reinforce the behavior.
They love to get your attention.
And it can come in the form of:
You can also give them a combination of the three.
The point is to let your dog learn that being calm gives them rewards.
Remember that it is a stressful time for male and female dogs.
Let them calm down and reward their behavior.
People also ask:
How can you tell if your dog is sexually frustrated?
You can tell that your dog is sexually frustrated if they hump things, vocalize a lot, or want to be near a female in heat.
Humping is a sign of sexual excitement.
The ASPCA states that dogs who aren’t allowed to mount a female in heat will often hump or masturbate. They will do it to other things or other dogs.
Male and female dogs will vocalize a lot if near each other. And they aren’t allowed to go and mate.
Male dogs can track females in heat through the smell of their urine.
It’s a biological urge that they can’t ignore.
So if you take your female for a walk around the area of your house, male dogs can appear at your gate.
How can I calm my male dog’s hormones?
You can calm your male dog’s hormones through neutering or exercise. Both have different effects on your dog.
Neutering is a surgical procedure that removes your dog’s testicles and takes away their ability to reproduce.
This procedure reduces aggression in your dog. It also lowers the possibility of testicular cancer.
But sexual behaviors such as mounting or humping can still happen.
Exercise is a great way to calm your dog. It allows your dog to spend their energy on an appropriate activity.
You can do the following exercises with your pooch:
- Dog sports.
- Long walks.
- Mountain climbing.
Note: Consider your dog’s age, health condition, and exercise needs before choosing an exercise.
Swimming is a great exercise for older dogs. And mountain climbing is great for adventurous dogs with perfect recall.
How do you stop a male dog from getting aroused?
You can stop a male dog from getting aroused by not rewarding the behavior. When a dog’s penis gets erect it is because of excitement.
Your dog can get excited when meeting other dogs or people. And they become aroused.
It even happens to neutered males.
Given time, the penis will go back to its original state. So it’s best to ignore an aroused dog.
This prevents your dog from thinking:
“Oh? Hooman laughs when I do this. Must do it again!”
Because you don’t reward the behavior by accident.
Aside from laughing, you can also encourage the behavior by:
- Petting them.
- Pushing them away.
- Talking in a high voice.