All it takes is just one whiff of an unspayed female dog in heat and your normally well-behaved, intact male can become a hyperactive preoccupied Romeo on a mission. You can prevent your pooch from becoming a parent and reduce the number of unwanted puppies in the world by taking a few basic steps.
"Grounding" Your Dog
If you know that a neighbour's dog is in heat, you must keep your male dog in the house as much as possible, with the windows closed. If you leave him outside, he may jump, break or dig under your fence in search of his companion. In addition, he may get hit by a car or become lost while tracking the scent.
A male can detect the odour of an in-heat female from several miles away. If you don't close your windows, your dog may jump through them or be incessantly bothered by the smell. He may also try to run through your door and constantly try to escape.
Separating the Lovebirds
It can be particularly tough -- almost impossible -- to keep your male dog away from an in-heat female if the lovebirds both live under your roof. A male can try to break through walls to get to his honey. Never let the two spend time together, as mating will constantly be on their minds, even if you are around. You even risk the chance of getting bitten if you try to separate them, once the act has been initiated. If it seems too hard to keep separated, you may want to consider having one of the dogs stay at a friend's house or taking your male to a kennel until your female's cycle is over.
Tricks of the Trade
Putting a small amount of Vick's VapoRub or petroleum jelly on your dog's nose may help his passion to subside, as it will help block out odours. Because a dog's nose is quite sensitive, it's a good idea to consult with his veterinarian before applying such products. If the female who is in season is your own, you can also apply Vick's around her tail area to help mask her distinct scent.
Neutering Your Dog
The most sure-fire method of keeping your male dog away from in-heat females is neutering him, because he won't be interested anymore. However, even after you neuter your pet, he will still have those hormones running through him for a few weeks, so he still may have the urge.
Neutering your dog will also decrease his chances for health problems later in life. Unneutered male dogs have higher risks for anal, testicular and prostate cancers than neutered dogs. Additionally, your dog will not have to mark his territory as much and will be generally less aggressive if he is neutered.