Filed in Dogs, Safety
Unless you plan on breeding your female dog, you should strongly consider having her spayed. When a female dog is in heat -- in season -- she emits pheromones that attract male dogs from miles around. You'll even find the most well behaved dogs in your neighborhood doing whatever they can to pay a visit to your pup.
If you think that locking her up in the yard will keep her safe, think again. This chemical attraction is so strong that male dogs will dig under fences, jump over walls, and do whatever is necessary to get at a female in heat.
Thankfully there are some steps (aside from sterilization) you can take to alleviate this problem.
For starters, there are bitch heat-suppressant hormone treatments that take care of the problem. If you're not interested in giving your dog hormones (they can cause health problems if used too frequently) there are alternatives. You can carry your dog out of the house and take her to an isolated area where she can relieve herself. This way there will be less of a scented trail leading to your home, which should keep male dogs at bay. "Bitches britches" are also a popular method to use. These are like little diapers that the female wears to suppress the powerful odor.
This seems like a lot of trouble, which begs the question: How often does this happen? For some dogs it only happens once a year. However, if you're really unlucky it can happen two or even three times a year. Every breed of dog is different. Because of this hassle, you should spend a lot of time determining whether or not you want your female to breed.
However, if your dog manages to break free from your grasp and does end up copulating with a male dog, it's best to let it go. They will stay locked together for about 15 minutes. Since insemination occurs relatively quickly you should just let them finish and not separate them prematurely. Doing so could cause serious injuries to both dogs involved.
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