New dog owners are sometimes overwhelmed when it comes to pups and their hormones. You may find yourself struggling to get control of your dog and mortified when they seem to have a sudden burst of hormonal energy every time you are in a public place!
Rest assured, other dog owners understand and spend a little time talking to more experienced owners, and they will likely share many of the tips below.
You can do several things to calm a sexually excited dog, with distraction being central to many of these tactics.
If you find yourself with a pooch who seems overtaken by urges, try out some of our methods to safely and effectively settle them down.
Tip 1: Exercise
Just as exercise is often the answer for humans when it comes to relieving stress, managing blood pressure, and creating a healthy distraction from challenges, dogs also benefit from a good dose of activity when overly excited.
Sexual frustration in animals may not be something they can vocalize, but it can create frustration and stress, which you will see in your pet’s agitated behavior.
Regular exercise, especially brisk walks, can do a great deal to help relieve the tension. In addition to walks, help your dog burn off energy by having him fetch toys, follow physical commands (such as rolling over), and practice other tricks in the yard.
The trick with exercise to calm a sexually excited dog is you want to limit interaction with other dogs, so this is not the best time for the dog park. You might need to stick with your own backyard or seek a quiet, rural setting where you would not expect to encounter other dogs and their owners.
Tip 2: Extra Attention
There may never be a better time to shower your pet with attention and affection than now, especially if you have a female dog. Female dogs tend to experience anxiety during their first reproductive cycles, and you can reassure them with plenty of love and attention, whether that means a nice belly rub, talking to them in a soothing voice, or just staying by their side for long periods of time.
An owner’s presence offers a feeling of safety and security to a dog, and this is especially important if their hormones have them feeling unsettled.
Tip 3: Introduce a New Toy
Dogs, like humans, can easily be distracted by something shiny and new. Just as we try to distract toddlers from a shot at the pediatrician’s office by waving Buzz Lightyear in front of them, a dog may also forget his sexual excitement for a time if he is distracted by a new object.
Changing your dog’s focus can stop their behavior. So, if you have a male dog that exhibits a lot of humping behavior, grab a toy.
Because you may be keeping your dog indoors more than usual during this time, try to keep his mind occupied with a new toy or treat. Interactive dog toys are especially helpful in this regard, ones that react to your dog’s movements with motion and noise, etc., (versus plush toys that provide comfort).
Playful redirection can take their focus off their sexual behavior. Play a game of fetch with a frisbee or a ball and see if it helps the humping behavior for your male dog.
Tip 4: Work on and Practice Basic Commands
There is no better time to have your pet practice responding to basic commands and learning new ones. This is also good for mental stimulation.
This works both as exercise and a distraction, killing two birds with one stone when it comes to managing your dog’s sexual urges. If he has already mastered shaking with one paw, work on the other one. If he has mastered rolling over, try adding a jump to the end or another challenge to keep your dog’s mind elsewhere.
Tip 5: It’s Okay to Have Alone Time
Even though dogs need some reassurance from their pet parents, pet owners also have a responsibility to keep guests in their home comfortable and safe. If you have small children over to visit, bear in mind that a sexually excited dog attempting to “mount” everything in his path could inadvertently injure or scare a small child.
Similarly, a larger and more excited dog could cause an elderly person or anyone with mobility challenges to stumble and fall if they engage in dog humps and other compulsive behavior. Make sure you have a safe place for your dog to stay out of the way when it is not practical for him to be around company.
Tip #6: Scent Control
One of the biggest drivers when it comes to sexually excited dogs is scent. Fortunately, there is a safe way to mask the odor of female dog scent in these scenarios, and that is with the use of chlorophyll.
Available in both pill and liquid form, chlorophyll is helpful when a female dog’s cycle starts. Typically, you would give it to her in the morning and again in the evening, and you can find it at drugstores or ask your veterinarian where to purchase and how to administer it.
Chlorophyll is safe for dogs, and in addition to helping to mask the scents associated with dogs and their hormones, it can also help with a variety of health issues, from wound healing to managing bad breath.
Tip #7: Divide and Conquer
If you have more than one dog in your household, you may need to separate them during periods where sexual excitement is causing dogs to act out. In some cases, you may have enough room both in indoor and outdoor spaces to keep your dogs apart.
However, if you are an urban dweller in a smaller and more compact space, you might need to consider temporary accommodation changes, whether that means boarding a dog or asking friends or family to help out by keeping one of your pups for a short time.
Finally, you may want to consider spaying and neutering in some cases, but this is a more serious and costly option that should be discussed in detail with your vet. Until you get to that point and aggression is involved, a combination of the tactics described above should help you calm an anxious or overly excited dog.