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A male dog is designed to respond to a female on heat.
Nature put this phenomenon in place to ensure the continuation of the canine species.
When the female goes into heat, her body produces a special scent that a male dog can smell from very far away.
When he does, hell breaks loose on his part. Every part of him tells him to hunt down the girl and mate with her.
If you happen to be around your Fido at this time, you will see all kinds of behaviors from aggression to restlessness to whining.
Most males will do absolutely anything to get to the female.
The solution? Make sure the male dog doesn’t smell the female in estrus.
How? You ask.
Here are ten leading suggestions.
1. Keep The Male Away From The Female
First things first, you want to get your male doggie as far away from the female on heat as possible.
As long as she is nearby, he is bound to lose control.
If the female is hanging around the fence, consider luring your boy into his kennel.
In the case that both dogs live under one roof, you might want to keep the male in the outdoor kennel or a safely fenced yard while the female stays indoors.
If there’s no yard, place the dogs in separate rooms, preferably on opposite sides of the house.
Select rooms that are far away from each other as humanly possible. Keep in mind that the male can smell the female from as far as three miles away.
Lock both doors and don’t let the dogs out at the same time.
The toys in the male dog’s room should not belong to the female as they will bear her scent.
When he catches the smell, he will start to whine, scratch the surfaces, and moan.
If you can’t manage to separate the male dog, take him to a boarding facility or have one of your friends or relatives accommodate him for a while.
Bear in mind that this may take as long as three weeks for a female dog to be on heat. Prepare to have the dog accommodated for that long away from home.
2. Use A Menthol Spray/Balm To Mask The Smell
Another ingenious trick to stop the male from smelling the female in estrus is to spray menthol on the latter’s tail.
Menthol sprays or balms are designed to mask or overpower the female dog’s scent and calm the male dog.
Although menthol sprays are made for the female dog, you can use some on the male too.
If he smells like menthol, he is less likely to actually smell the scent on the female as well.
To boost the efficacy of the menthol spray or balm, use it multiple times a day and follow the manufacturer’s usage directions to the latter.
And for the safety of your pup, be careful not to spray or apply the balm on broken skin or areas that she can easily lick since menthol may cause digestive upset issues if ingested.
You can discourage her from licking off the spray or balm by distracting her with some of her favorite treats or toys as the spray/balm dries.
You may also want to check: How to Make Menthol Spray for Dogs
3. Utilize A Doggy Diaper
Dogs have their own diapers too. They come in handy in many situations, one of which is trapping any discharge from the female.
The discharge bears the scent that tells the males that she’s ready to mate and reproduce.
It may be mild to you but it is certainly very strong and pleasant to the male dog.
To stop the male dog from picking it up, you may want to put a diaper on the female to catch the discharge.
The discharge will flow from her genitals to the diaper and keeps the scent from spreading.
This trick also maintains a physical barrier in case the male gets to the female and tries to mate.
Many pet stores stock doggie diapers. Get some and conceal the smell to a greater extent.
4. Hygiene Matters
To further mask the smell of a female dog on heat and stop your male pup from smelling her, you want to ensure the queen is clean round the clock.
The idea is to make sure the discharge is kept at bay.
Consider bathing her twice (if not more) per day to keep her nice and clean.
Use a good odor-control dog shampoo with a mild scent to help keep the smell level low.
Also, add a splash of white vinegar to his bathwater to mask the scent.
Don’t worry, vinegar is safe for dogs as long as you don’t use copious amounts.
5. Use Chlorophyll
Like menthol sprays, chlorophyll has been said to disguise the scent of a dog in heat.
The liquid form works best as it blends into the dog’s food better than the tablet form.
The recommended dose is one teaspoon in the morning and another one in the evening.
Use chlorophyll as soon as the female starts her estrus cycle. This can go a long way in boosting the efficacy of this remedy as it will give the herb enough time to soak a great deal of the heat pheromones.
You might want to speak to your vet before going this route to give you the proper dosage among other pieces of advice regards using the product.
There is no scientific proof that chlorophyll works. We are only basing our suggestion on anecdotal evidence. So, feeding your canine companion this herb is really up to you and your vet’s discretion.
It is also worth noting that chlorophyll may not mask the female dog’s scent completely. As such, your male dog may still want to smell her to mate.
Finally, your pup may also eliminate odd green stools after feeding her chlorophyll. She may also have an upset stomach, especially if she can’t tolerate a lot of plant-based ingredients.
6. Apply “Lust Buster” On The Male Dog
Technically, “Lust Buster” is a blend of essential oils (like peppermint) that are believed to be effective in masking certain scents.
When applied to the male dog’s nose, it temporarily masks the scent produced by a female in estrus.
If you have ever participated in the show ring, you must have come across the product.
It is used to stop the male canines from being distracted by the tempting females in the ring.
7. Apply Diluted Essential Oils
Now that we have a hint that “lust buster” is a blend of essential oils, we don’t have to look far for another potential remedy.
The powerful aromas of essential oils are not only therapeutic to our canine companions but can also be quite effective at masking heat scents.
But before applying any essential oil on your dog, there are a few precautions that you need to keep in mind:
- Not all essential oils are safe for your dog. So, if you are going to try this remedy, only opt for pet-safe options. Get a comprehensive list here: Which Essential Oils are Toxic to Dogs?
- Most essential oils are very potent and should never be used in their purest form. Dilute them with appropriate carrier oil (like avocado, olive, or coconut oil) before applying them to your dog.
- It is not advisable for dogs to ingest essential oils, so only apply them to areas your dog cannot reach like the back of her neck.
8. Doggy Deodorants or Colognes
A good alternative to menthol sprays and essential oils is doggy deodorants or colognes.
Basically, the smell of these colognes and deodorants will make it a bit hard for the male dog to sniff off the female’s heat scent.
Some male dogs may even dislike the odor of some colognes/deodorants and stay away from the female dogs.
Even better, some doggy colognes and deodorants are formulated with vitamins to nourish your female dog’s skin and boost the health of her coat.
As you have probably guessed, doggy deodorants and colognes aren’t going to mask heat scent completely. However, they are going to prevent your male dog from going haywire.
Most importantly, only opt for dog-exclusive colognes or deodorants that are free of alcohol and parabens.
9. Exercise The Dog
If you are looking for a natural, chemical-free, and simple remedy for a male dog who has smelled a female dog on heat, try exercise.
A busy and tired canine is less likely to drive himself up the wall thinking about mating.
What’s better than exercising your pup to the extent that he will be too tired to bother about hunting down a female on heat?
Before you attach the leash and walk out of the door, you might want to take a step back and plan your strategy well.
For one, don’t use the same route the female dog uses during her walks.
Your male dog will certainly smell her scent and go bonkers. In the end, this will cause more problems.
Use a completely different route. If you are exercising in the yard, be sure to keep him away from your female’s favorite spots.
10. Have The Dog Neutered
This is a rather permanent solution to the problem of controlling your male dog from mating.
If you are not planning to breed, don’t take any chances.
Organize with the vet to have the dog neutered to avoid drama and unwanted pregnancies.
Neutering your dog also has the added benefit of reducing his risks of getting certain diseases, including cancer.
Here are a few frequently asked questions that many dog owners ask, especially when the question of how to keep male dogs away from females in heat comes up:
I. Why do male dogs freak out when the female is in heat?
As hinted at beginning of this post, a female dog produces pheromones and other hormones during a heat cycle.
These hormones are what make your male freak out as they are indicators that there is a viable mate around.
The male dog is biologically programmed to respond to these hormones.
II. Do Neutered Dogs Smell or React To Females in Heat?
Yes, even if your male dog is neutered, he is still going to smell and mate with a female in heat.
Neutering is only going to subdue him. In other words, he will have reduced sexual drive and is less likely going to obsess over the female in heat.
So, your neutered dog is still going to smell and even mount your female dog in heat.
But he’s not going to get her pregnant as he no longer has the testicles where the sperms come from!
That said, if your goal is to prevent the male dog from smelling your female dog in heat, you still need to use the above-highlighted strategies to mask her scent.
III. How long will a male dog be attracted to a female in heat?
The short answer is: for the duration of the heat cycle.
Typically, the estrus period in dogs lasts about 18 days.
The male dog is going to be attracted to the female dog in heat for these full 18 days.
However, the female is only receptive for about half this duration.
There you have it – ten ways to stop a male dog from smelling a female in heat.
There’s no fun in watching your doggie suffer because he wants to mate.
You can solve the problem by using a combination of the simple how to stop a male dog from smelling a female in heat home remedies suggested herein.
Sable M. is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.