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Top 7 Ways to Calm a Male Dog When Female Is In Heat

Last Updated: December 10, 2023

As any dog owner knows, dealing with a male dog’s reaction to a female in heat can be a challenging experience. From incessant barking to destructive behavior and even aggressive tendencies, finding ways to calm your furry friend down and keep everyone safe and happy is essential. So, how do you calm a male dog when a female is in heat?

To calm a male dog during a female’s heat cycle, use behavioral modification and training techniques, hide the female’s scent using natural remedies such as essential oils, provide lots of mental and physical stimulation, utilize crate training, or use calming aids.

This article will explore how to calm a male dog when a female is in heat (estrus). So, if you’re struggling to keep your male dog’s hormones in check, read on to discover some helpful tips and tricks!

How To Calm a Male Dog When Female In Heat

How to Calm a Male Dog When a Female Dog Is In Heat

When a female dog is in season, it can be challenging for male dogs around her. Male dogs can become agitated, restless, and even aggressive when they sense the presence of a female in heat.

The best way to prevent your male dog from getting agitated is to keep him away from the female by separating him in a room or area of the house where he cannot see or smell the bitch.

But this solution only applies if you have a male dog in the home. What if you’re taking your dog out for a walk? Your main concern will be to keep your boy under control when he senses a female in heat.

Let’s explore the 7 ways how to calm a male dog when a female is in heat.

1. Teach Your Dog to Focus

Training your dog to focus on you can be an effective way to help him stay calm and relaxed when a female dog is in heat. By diverting your dog’s attention away from the source of his arousal and onto you, the owner, you can help reduce his anxiety and reactivity.

One way to teach your dog to focus is through positive reinforcement training techniques. Start by teaching your dog basic obedience commands like sit, stay, and come. Reward him with praise and treats when he responds correctly.

You can gradually increase the difficulty level as your dog becomes more proficient in basic obedience training.

“This will help to challenge your dog’s focus and discipline in more distracting environments.”

World of Dogz

Another technique to help your dog focus is to use the “WATCH ME!” command. This involves getting your dog to make eye contact with you on command, which can help break his fixation on the female dog’s scent.

To teach your dog to “watch me,” start by holding a treat in front of your dog’s nose and slowly moving it up to your eye level. Say “watch me” and reward your dog with the treat when he makes eye contact with you.

2. Distract and Redirect Energy

Another way to calm your male dog when a female is in heat is to use distraction and redirecting techniques. The idea is to engage your dog in activities that redirect his energy and focus away from the female dog’s scent.

One way to do this is through playtime and exercise. Taking your dog for a walk or run, playing fetch, or engaging in other physical activities can help to burn off excess energy and reduce his anxiety.

Happy Dog

Another technique is to provide your dog with interactive toys and puzzles. These can keep him mentally stimulated and entertained, which can help to reduce his fixation on the female dog.

In addition to physical and mental stimulation, you can use noise distractions to redirect your dog’s attention. Playing music or white noise in the background can help distract your dog and reduce his anxiety.

3. Use Soothing Herbs, Essential Oils, or Calming Aids

Natural remedies can also help calm your male dog when a female is in heat. Soothing herbs and essential oils can provide a calming effect and help to reduce your dog’s anxiety.

One herb that is commonly used to calm dogs is chamomile. Chamomile has a relaxing effect on the nervous system and can help to reduce anxiety and promote sleep.

Another herb that is often used to calm dogs is valerian root. Valerian root has soothing properties and can also help to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.

Furthermore, essential oils can be used to calm your dog. Lavender oil, for example, has a calming effect on the nervous system and can help to de-stress and promote relaxation. You can apply lavender oil topically or use a diffuser to disperse the scent in the air.

Other essential oils that can calm dogs include bergamot, cedarwood, and frankincense. However, it’s important to note that not all essential oils are safe for dogs, so consult your veterinarian before using any new oils.

You can also try other dog calming aids, such as calming treats.

They can be a real lifesaver if your dog just won’t settle down. However, you must read the instructions carefully and not overdo it, as some calming aids can have negative side effects if given in excess. 

I like Zesty Paws Calming Treats. These soft chews help promote relaxation and are handy to have around to calm your boy. I also trust this brand, and they come in a range of flavors, from turkey and bison to peanut butter.

4. Burn off Excess Energy

Exercise and playtime can be effective ways to help calm your male dog when a female is in heat. Engaging in physical activity can help to burn off excess energy and reduce your dog’s anxiety and frustration.

Taking your dog for a walk or run is a great way to provide exercise and mental stimulation. It can also help to distract your dog from the scent of the female dog in heat.

Playing fetch or other games with your dog can also be beneficial. These activities can help to redirect your dog’s energy and focus away from the female dog.

In addition to traditional exercise and playtime, you can also try agility training or other dog sports. These activities can help to build your dog’s confidence and provide mental and physical stimulation.

It’s important to note that the amount of exercise your dog needs will depend on his breed, age, and overall health.

Border Collie

5. Provide a Safe Haven

Crate training can be valuable for giving your male dog a haven when a female is in heat. By introducing your dog to the crate in a positive way, you can help him feel relaxed and secure in his own private space.

Start by making the crate a comfortable and inviting space for your dog. Use soft bedding and add toys to create a positive association with the crate. Ensure the crate is appropriately sized for your dog, with enough room for him to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

If your dog is still anxious when a female is in heat, consider using a crate cover or blanket to create a den-like atmosphere. This can help reduce your dog’s stress and give him a sense of security.

Remember, the crate should never be used as punishment or confinement. Instead, it should be a positive and comfortable space for your dog to retreat when he needs a break from the outside world.

6. Use Calming Collars

Specialized products such as calming collars and supplements can also be effective ways to help calm your male dog when a female is in heat. These products or providing natural supplements to help chill out your dog.

Calming collars are a type of collar that release pheromones that mimic those produced by nursing mothers. These pheromones can help to reduce your dog’s anxiety and create a sense of security, as found in this study of hospitalized dogs.

An alternative to pheromone-based dog calming collars is a herbal or essential oil collar. These collars rely on the same relaxation-inducing benefits of aromatherapy. Natural soothing collars typically contain lavender, which has a naturally calming aroma.

Remember to consult your vet before using calming collars or supplements.

7. Consider Medication and Professional Help

In some cases, veterinary options such as medications and professional help may be necessary to calm your male dog when a female is in heat.

One option is medication. There are a variety of remedies that can be used to help calm your dog, including anti-anxiety medications and sedatives.

Another option is professional help. A canine behaviorist or certified dog trainer can work with you to develop a behavior modification plan tailored to your dog’s specific needs. This may include desensitization, counter-conditioning techniques, and other training methods.

Two Dogs Sniffing


What Causes Male Dogs To Become Agitated When A Female Is In Heat?

When a female dog is in heat, she releases pheromones that can be detected by male dogs, even from a distance. These pheromones can cause male dogs to become aroused and agitated, leading to excessive barking, marking, and restlessness. 

How Do I Train My Male Dog To Focus On Me Instead Of The Female In Heat?

You can use positive reinforcement techniques to train your male dog to focus on you instead of the female in heat. Begin by practicing basic obedience commands, such as “sit” and “stay,” in a quiet and controlled environment. 

Gradually increase the level of distraction by introducing the scent of a female in heat, and continue to reward your dog for focusing on you instead.

How Long Will A Male Dog Be Attracted To A Female In Heat?

The length of time a male dog will be attracted to a female in heat can vary depending on the dog’s breed, age, and temperament. Typically, the attraction period can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Male dogs may display excessive barking, marking, and restlessness during this time. 

You should closely monitor your male dog and ensure his safety by keeping him on a leash outside and providing him with a safe and comfortable space to retreat to when needed.

How Do You Cover Up The Smell Of A Dog In Heat?

To cover up the smell of a dog in heat, use scent-blocking products such as menthol or pheromone sprays or essential oils. You can also use dog diapers to reduce discharge and neutralize smells with a pet deodorizer. Regularly washing your female dog with mild dog shampoo can also help mask her scent.

Let’s Wrap This Up!

Dealing with a male dog’s reaction to a female in heat can be challenging, but utilizing the tips and tricks above can help to calm your furry friend down during this challenging time and prevent unwanted pregnancy.

You can also consider neutering your dog, as this can help to reduce his desire to mate.

Sharon Waddington
Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Recently, Sharon has become deeply passionate about the plight of rescue dogs and is an active advocate for dog rescue, striving to make a difference in the lives of dogs in need.

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