Female dog behavior

Written by rena sherwood | 13/05/2017
Female dog behavior
Female dogs can be irritable when they are in heat. (Dalmatiner lachend Dalmation laughs image by Jürgen Mannshardt from Fotolia.com)

All female dogs possess their own temperament and behaviours, no matter what their breed or mix of breeds. But there are some generalities about their behaviours that can apply to most female dogs. These are good to keep in mind when choosing if your next dog should be a male or female.


Female dogs, whether intact or spayed, tend to get along better with male dogs than they do with other female dogs. Female dogs can become aggressive with each other. Being aggressive toward members of the same sex is called intra-sexual aggression. Female dogs also can become nervous, fearful or aggressive to puppies of either sex that are not their own puppies. A female dog should always be carefully observed and on a leash when meeting another female dog or puppy.


Female dogs, if not spayed, come into season about once every six to eight months. She will try to escape the home or yard in order to find a mate, although she will become a magnet for all stray male dogs in the area. She may become irritable and aggressive. She will have a bloody, messy discharge during her heat period. In order to better get a stud dog’s attention, the female will present her hindquarters directly in front of his face. Her heat will last three weeks.

Worth Knowing

Female dogs will masturbate by licking their genitals. This will happen whether the female has been spayed, is intact or ever mated. This is normal, harmless behaviour, although it can be embarrassing to any human onlookers. If the female begins licking at an inappropriate time, try distracting her with a favourite treat, toy or taking her for a walk.


Female dogs that have not been spayed are prone to going through false pregnancy. Symptoms begin from six to 12 weeks after the female dog is in heat and last for about three weeks. Symptoms include swelling of the breasts, producing milk, leaking milk while walking, bloating in the abdomen, finding a nest and collecting and guarding favourite little toys in the nest as if they were puppies. Some female dogs can become aggressive during this time. Spaying can get rid of false pregnancy.


It is a common misconception that female dogs are quieter and more fearful than male dogs. Although there are female dogs that are quiet and timid, there are also more female dogs that are friendly, curious about their surroundings and bold. A dog’s breed and the way they were raised as a puppy determines behaviour traits more than gender, according to “KISS Guide to Raising a Puppy.”

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