Ask the trainer: What to do when your dog's in season

By Nadine Steele

This week's topic arises due to an incident a reader encountered while enjoying time at the lake with her children.

She was letting her young son enjoy a paddle while two dogs played nearby.

All was well until dog number three entered the mix and attempted to mount the female dog of the pair.

A dog fight ensued with a very frightened young boy within a few metres of the attack.

Her request was that this week I make readers aware of the impact that having a female dog in season in your region can have on the mental state of your dog.

The management of entire dogs is an increased responsibility for owners who choose not to neuter or spay their dogs and as a breeder I appreciate the amount of skill required for successfully keeping the peace in my own pack during the seasonal periods.

For owners of the girls out there the buck lies with us.

There are a few ground rules to follow to ensure we do not add to the tension that the scent of an in season dog creates.

1 - Do not allow your girl to toilet at the front of your property. This will only ensure suitors from the neighbourhood will come knocking.

2 - Do not walk your dog in a public place during her season, she will deposit scent in her urine which can cause a sensual overload and create tension among males who travel the same route.

3 - Substitute her physical walks with a backyard activity such as fetch or obstacle's and make the most of the opportunity to refresh her commands to keep her mentally stimulated.

4 - If you have bred your girl make sure that you also keep her home for her entire season period as she may stand for another dog even if she has been to stud.

For owners of the boys there are a few cues your dog will give you that an interesting girl is about.

Howling and whimpering, increased attempts to escape the yard and decreased focus on you indicate that the girl is within your neighbourhood.

Keep your dog secure within your yard as an escape may lead to a street fight with another male.

To avoid escalation of ownership of the scent left behind by the girls ensure you distract your dog if they are more focused than usual on "pee mail".

Walking your dog on leash will ensure they do not rush the female if they happen to come across her. Keep greetings short and controlled.

Avoid male to male greetings if possible as the lure of competition for mates is a time when your dog may act aggressively when they are otherwise good natured.

Paw point of the week

Many females are in season over the summer period so be aware of your dog's signals during this time to successfully manage behaviour with distraction and reward.

Contact me for the chance to have your question selected for publication at for further information on Dog Guru visit


- Rotorua Daily Post

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