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Lovesick male dog: symptoms & tips

Your male four-legged friend is about half a year old and currently very restless, he howls, whines or even barks quite often? Then it's time to say goodbye to puppyhood, dog puberty begins - and with it a cocktail of hormones that can cause some undesirable behaviour in your four-legged friend.

We'll show you how your male dog's supposed lovesickness can make itself felt and what you can do to make this stressful time a little easier for you.

Lovesick male dog: The symptoms

During puberty, the adolescent four-legged friends mutate into little machos: they feel tremendously strong, now want to set their scent mark everywhere and mark their territory and suddenly see female dogs not only as playmates, but as potential reproductive partners.

While young female dogs come into heat for the first time at this age, spring fever sets in for young male dogs. People often talk about "dogs with lovesickness", but in fact, behind the excited behaviour lies a complex interplay of hormones that turns your dog's life upside down. The love-struck behaviour can also persist into old age.

How does a lovesick male behave?

The sex hormone testosterone in particular ensures that the developmental male instincts now influence your pet's behaviour. Some signs indicate that your male dog is going crazy with his hormones for the first time. Symptoms of love sick male dogs are for example:

  • unrest
  • whimpering, yelping and bleeping
  • increased marking to set scent marks
  • increased sniffing - after all, your mating quadruped needs to keep up to date with the scent of the lady of his choice.
  • increased sniffing of other dogs up to licking and climbing on them.
  • impressive behaviour with sometimes aggressive behaviour towards conspecifics
  • learned rules are questioned
  • vomiting or diarrhoea from tension
  • loss of appetite for days - even the favourite food is refused

Antje from the We love HUNTER team:

"I always notice when there is a female dog in heat in the neighbourhood. Berni is then out of his mind, totally restless, whines, runs back and forth and if he could, he would love to hop over our garden fence. And he is already 3! The only thing that helps is good nerves and walks in remote places where there aren't so many people around."

How long is my male dog lovesick?

The duration of this phase is quite variable: If your Casanova is interested in a female dog in heat from the neighbourhood, his desire will continue until the seductive smell has passed. Usually, the sexual drive decreases after a few days. However, if a female dog that is ready to mate lives in the immediate vicinity or even together with the male dog, this phase may well last another one to two weeks.

Our tip: If a female dog and a male dog live together, your love-struck male dog may suffer a lot and the condition may last for a long time. It is possible that a physical separation from the lady of the heart could be an effective solution. Walks are only taken individually and you scout out new walking areas together, which effectively distract your four-legged friend with their completely new smells.

Lovesick male dog: What helps?

What can you do if your darling gets too carried away with his desire?

We have 5 tips for you:

  1. Rest: If your male dog is really agitated, give your suffering four-legged friend some rest. The busy dog run with other animals or walks near female dogs in heat are stressful for him at this time. Therefore, avoid them until your four-legged friend relaxes again.
  2. Patience: Concentrating on your game is a real challenge for your darling at the moment, he likes to tug at the leash and sometimes even becomes a bully. Don't take it personally and be lenient - he's not himself right now. Your mantra now is: "I am patient and understanding! Keep in mind that this phase will also pass!
  3. Consistency: Now more than ever, your pubescent wants to get his own way, tests his limits and has a hard time controlling himself. Consistent education is needed now: stick to your rules and commands and demand the learned behaviour from your four-legged friend consistently.
  4. Distraction: Try to distract your pet with games and exercise if he can get involved - this keeps him mentally and physically challenged. Your company is important: don't let your dog play alone in the garden or off the leash; the danger is too great that he will run away, driven by irresistible scents.
  5. Home remedies, homeopathy & medicines: While some dog owners swear by Bach flowers, homeopathic globules (Important: it must not contain xylitol) for calming or the regulating effect of monk's pepper during this time, others want quick help in the form of medication for their suffering dog. In most cases, these are not necessary. However, if you have doubts that your dog will survive this stressful time well, contact your vet: together you can see which way is right for your pet.

Should I have my lovesick male dog neutered?

If the dog suffers a lot when female dogs that are ready to mate are around - for example, because he can't sleep, howls at night, can't rest, is permanently stressed and doesn't eat properly in the long term - some dog owners consider neutering, because neutered four-legged friends no longer have a sex drive.

However, neutering is a major procedure with far-reaching consequences for your pet and his hormone balance - so this should be carefully considered. It is best to ask your vet for advice.

Conclusion: If your four-legged friend forgets his good manners and is consumed with longing for his lady of the heart, your care, consistency and patience are called for. Be by his side, show understanding and remain steadfast - this time will also pass! What were the biggest challenges with your proud four-legged friend during the heat of female dog friends? What has worked for you to deal with? We look forward to your experiences and tips in the comments!

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