Dog In Heat Aggressive Behavior
Edward R. Forte
November 24, 2021
Training & Behavior
When a female pitbull goes into heat, does that cause them to become aggressive even if they never were before?Unspayed females will sometimes compete for a male dog’s attention by fighting.If she is overprotective of her pups use extra caution when dealing with the puppies.It is common for the maternal instinct to go into overdrive during this time.Let her hear in your voice that you mean no harm to the pups and do not touch the pups until she is relaxed and comfortable with your presence. .
Delaying a Spay: Dog Behavior While 'In Heat'
Especially if you have a female dog going into heat, you'll want to prepare for what that means and have supplies on hand to make your (and her) life easier.Read on for our tips on how to know if your dog is going into heat and what you should do.If you're not sure when you should spay or neuter your dog, consult with your veterinarian to evaluate when would be best for your dog's health, lifestyle, and situation.Discharge during this time tends to become lighter in color and the dog becomes more flirtatious.Discharge during this time tends to become lighter in color and the dog becomes more flirtatious.You'll see most behavioral changes during the proestrus and estrus phases of the reproductive cycle.Dogs that aren't spayed go into heat about every six months.When Do Dogs Go Into Heat For The First Time?PRO TIP: Ask your breeder when their dogs typically went into heat for the first time, as they can give you an idea of when they usually see females in their breeding lines have their first cycle.Prior to the physical signs of heat, Clover's owners had also noticed she'd become more intense in her interactions with other females at the dog park, but didn't show the same kind of attitude with the males she encountered.By using disposable pads inside her heat pants, they were able to cut down on how often they needed to launder the cloth diaper.How Will Your Dog's Behavior Change When They're In Heat?In some cases of a dog's first heat cycle, they can also experience what's called a "silent heat.".Many owners don't notice the more subtle changes in behavior as their dog gets closer to going into heat, only to realize what's happening when they see bloody discharge during the latter part of the proestrus phase and the estrus phase.Here are some behavioral changes you might notice when your dog is going into heat:.More Irritable or "Cranky" With Other Dogs: As their hormone levels change, you might see your dog become less tolerant of other dogs in your home.During the first phase of the heat cycle, female dogs are not receptive to mating and might act more aggressively than usual in telling other dogs to give them space.You might see aggressive behaviors towards both female and male dogs during proestrus, but as your dog moves into her estrus phase, you'll see her act more "flirty" with males.As their hormone levels change, you might see your dog become less tolerant of other dogs in your home.During the first phase of the heat cycle, female dogs are not receptive to mating and might act more aggressively than usual in telling other dogs to give them space.You might see aggressive behaviors towards both female and male dogs during proestrus, but as your dog moves into her estrus phase, you'll see her act more "flirty" with males.Flirtatious Behavior: Once a dog enters the estrus phase of her cycle, she is receptive to the attention of male dogs and might seek it out.Once a dog enters the estrus phase of her cycle, she is receptive to the attention of male dogs and might seek it out.Desire to Escape and Seek a Mate: When a dog goes into estrus, she will want to follow her instincts in seeking out a male to mate with.When a dog goes into estrus, she will want to follow her instincts in seeking out a male to mate with.If your dog is starting to urinate more frequently and in smaller amounts, this could be a sign she's "marking" as she goes into heat.What You Can Do When Your Dog Is In Heat.When your dog begins to have discharge during her proestrus and estrus phases, having wearable "heat pants" or diaper can help keep your home clean.Vet's Best Comfort-Fit Disposable Diapers.When your dog isn't wearing a diaper or as their flow lessens, putting down absorbent pads in your dog's normal resting areas (such as their crate) can help contain any messes.In case your dog does find their way out of your home as they follow their instincts to mate, make sure they are microchipped and the contact information on their microchip is up-to-date.If you have an intact male in the home, they should always be kept separate from a female in heat to prevent mating.Ask your breeder if they are able and willing to board your female during her proestrus and estrus phases.This is especially helpful if you have an intact male dog in your home.Challenges of Having an Intact Dog (Male or Female).If you have an intact dog, taking your dog to the dog park to play comes with different risks and more responsibility for you to manage play and interactions.By learning what the signs of going into heat are, knowing what to expect, and having needed supplies on hand, your dog's first heat will be easier for you and your dog. .
Dog Behavior Problems
There are multiple reasons that a dog may exhibit aggression toward family members.They provide companionship, share experiences, nurture, amuse and enrich our lives so the decision to share your life with a dog that is aggressive to you cannot be taken lightly.Complex cases may require the experience of a board certified veterinary behaviorist to evaluate and prioritize this assessment.Other bites may bruise, pinch, or indent the skin without creating bleeding.Then it is essential that these situations are avoided to prevent further injury and learning.A properly fitted basket muzzle is even more effective at preventing bites and may be useful in some situations.If there are frequent safety lapses, accidental bites or new bites occurring in new and unforeseen circumstances then the decision to keep and treat this dog must be reassessed.This is a common misconception, which can lead to inappropriate treatment strategies and perhaps worsening of the aggressive behavior.It follows that if underlying anxiety and fear is causing aggressive responses then training programs designed to enforce the human family members as alpha or dominance using confrontation or intimidation-based interventions will increase rather than decrease anxiety and associated aggressive responses.See www.AVSABonline.org for guidelines when selecting someone to help you with your pet’s behavior problem.As a pet owner, it is important to provide consistency, patience, persistence, routine and predictability.When your dog looks away, lowers its head or avoids you, especially when you are reprimanding it, this is deference, appeasement and submission and an attempt to end the encounter (see Canine Communication – Interpreting Dog Language).Remember, just because the dog defers once does not mean he will in another setting.It is essential that the owner avoid any confrontation or situation that might lead to injury or where the owner may not be able to safely gain control.Instead, in each situation evaluate whether or not compliance can be achieved.What is the prognosis for dogs that show aggression toward their family?Certain family situations may make it impossible to safely rehabilitate an aggressive dog and keep people from harm. .
It’s also the number-one reason why pet parents seek professional help from behaviorists, trainers and veterinarians.Aggression encompasses a range of behaviors that usually begins with warnings and can culminate in an attack.Dogs may abort their efforts at any point during an aggressive encounter.Mouthing, as though to move or control the person, without applying significant pressure.Dogs don’t always follow this sequence, and they often do several of the behaviors above simultaneously.They bark and charge at people or other animals encroaching on their home turf.Territorial behavior usually appears as puppies mature into adolescence or adulthood, at one to three years of age.Dogs may show aggressive behavior when they think that one of their family members or friends is in peril.This is classified as protective aggression because the dogs are protecting one of their own.Like territorial behavior, protective aggression usually appears as puppies mature into an adolescence or adulthood, at one to three years of age.But some dogs will hide their cherished things around the house and guard them from unsuspecting people or animals who have no idea that they’re anywhere near a valued object.For more detailed information about food-related possessive aggression and how to treat it, please see our article, Food Guarding.But if escaping isn’t an option, most animals will switch to a fight response.Some dogs will cower at the prospect of physical punishment but attack when a threatening person reaches for them.Fearful dogs sometimes run away from a person or animal who frightens them, but if the person or animal turns to leave, they come up from behind and nip.A fearful dog might not show her teeth or growl to warn the victim off.Motivated by fear, defensively aggressive dogs decide that the best defense is a good offense.Defensively aggressive dogs are still motivated by fear, but instead of trying to retreat, they decide that the best defense is a good offense.Dogs who are defensively aggressive exhibit a mixture of fearful and offensive postures.They may initially charge at a person or another dog who frightens them, barking and growling.It’s slightly more common in adults than in puppies simply because dogs need to have some confidence to use this defensive strategy, and puppies are usually less confident than adults.A dog who perceives herself as high in status may show aggression toward family members.The relationships between people and dogs who live together are certainly more complex than this simplified description, but it’s still important to know that a dog who perceives herself as high in status may show aggression toward family members.But if they feel that someone in the pack has overstepped his or her bounds, these dogs can quickly resort to aggression.Social aggression usually develops in dogs between one to three years of age.It’s important to realize that the complexities involved in social aggression are poorly understood and hotly debated by behavior experts.When consulting a professional, make sure you’re comfortable with her treatment recommendations.If the professional’s suggestions consist of techniques for instilling fear and respect in your dog, such as alpha rolls, scruff shakes and hanging, there’s a very good chance that your dog will get worse rather than better—and you might get bitten in the process.Punishment may be appropriate, but only when it’s well planned and limited in application.The judicious use of punishment should always be embedded in a program that’s based on positive reinforcement and trust.A dog who’s excited or aroused by something but is held back from approaching it can become aggressive.This is why people are often bitten when they try to break up dog fights.Another example is when two dogs are barking at someone from behind a fence.Expand to read more An otherwise gentle, friendly dog can behave aggressively when in pain.Fighting can also erupt between males living together in the same household.Dogs who were neutered or spayed as adults may still show this type of aggression.If sex-related aggression happens, the dogs involved are usually at least one to three years of age.Some pet dogs show classic canine predatory behaviors, including chasing and grabbing fast-moving things.Predatory behavior can be especially disturbing if it’s directed toward a human baby.It’s less common for dogs to direct aggression toward family members or other pets in the home.If you’re deciding whether to live with and treat your aggressive dog, there are several factors to consider because you, as the pet parent, are ultimately responsible for your dog’s behavior.Dogs who have already bitten are a known risk and an insurance liability.Dogs who have already bitten are a known risk and an insurance liability.As counterintuitive as it might seem, it’s easier to live with a dog who always reacts aggressively when, for instance, every time you push him off the bed than a dog who does so only sporadically.As counterintuitive as it might seem, it’s easier to live with a dog who always reacts aggressively when, for instance, every time you push him off the bed than a dog who does so only sporadically.Some aggressive dogs behave the way they do because of a medical condition or complication.Geriatric dogs can suffer confusion and insecurity, which may prompt aggressive behavior.Certain medications can alter mood and affect your dog’s susceptibility to aggression.A qualified professional can develop a treatment plan customized to your dog’s temperament and your family’s unique situation, and she can coach you through its implementation.She can monitor your dog’s progress and make modifications to the plan as required.If appropriate, she can also help you decide when your dog’s quality of life is too poor or the risks of living with your dog are too high and euthanasia is warranted.If you choose to employ a CPDT, be sure that the trainer is qualified to help you. Determine whether she has education and experience in treating canine aggression, as this expertise isn’t required for CPDT certification.Pet parents of aggressive dogs often ask whether they can ever be sure that their dog is “cured.” Taking into account the behavior modification techniques that affect aggression, our current understanding is that the incidence and frequency of some types of aggression can be reduced and sometimes eliminated.However, there’s no guarantee that an aggressive dog can be completely cured.Pet parents are responsible for their dogs’ behavior and must take precautions to ensure that no one’s harmed.Even if a dog has been well behaved for years, it’s not possible to predict when all the necessary circumstances might come together to create “the perfect storm” that triggers her aggression.It’s true that some breeds might be more likely to bite if we look at statistics gathered on biting and aggression.One likely reason is that most dog breeds once served specific functions for humans.Despite this, it’s neither accurate nor wise to judge a dog by her breed.
interdog aggression, sibling rivalry between dogs
Dogs in the same household can become aggressive toward each other for a variety of different reasons.These dogs typically fight over owner attention and many times have problems when they try to greet the owner simultaneously.Up to 20% of interdog aggressive dogs also show aggression toward owners, indicating that owner conflict is often also a problem.Owner behavior that may inadvertently contribute to aggression includes: interference with normal social rituals, reinforcement of aggressive behavior, frequently scolds/yells/gets upset (increases dog’s tension and arousal), owners that respond inconsistently to dog’s behavior, and lack of training/control of dogs.The overall safety of the situation should also be evaluated.If severe bites have occurred to humans or dogs, aggression triggers are unpredictable, or the home situation is such that treatment would be difficult, then re-homing may be recommended.5) Medication, such as fluoxetine, to reduce anxiety and aggression.Resources may include food, treats, toys, preferred resting places, owner proximity or owner attention.In some cases, dogs must be completely separated then gradually reintroduced with desensitization and counter-conditioning training.Every interaction should be initiated and stopped by the owner, not the dog.By learning to sit or lay down in the presence of a resource, dogs learn to remain calm in a situation that may have previously triggered a fight.Another helpful approach is to select one dog to consistently receive first access to resources such as food, treats, favorite resting places, toys, having the leash put on first, access to door ways, and attention.If no improvement is seen after 6 weeks, try switching preference to the other dog.When used in combination with the Nothing in Life is Free program, dogs learn the order in which each will receive a resource, and the dog that receives the resource second must wait until the first dog has the opportunity to earn the resource.This program involves gradually exposing the dogs to each other in such a way that they learn positive experiences occur when the other dog is near.If the dogs are not aggressive on leash or during walks (most are not unless aggression is severe), walking the dogs together is a good way to help the pets bond and release some energy.The most common medication prescribed for aggression is fluoxetin.Fluoxetine should be used cautiously with Tramadol or in patients with a history of seizures.If aggressive behavior or fighting occurs, the trailing leashes can be grabbed easily and used to separate the dogs.Basket muzzles can be considered, but all dogs in the household must wear them.Traditional muzzles that close the mouth should not be used in this situation.If fighting is severe, dogs should be completely separated until conditioning and other treatment protocols can be put in place. .
DogSpeak: Understanding The Different Types Of Canine Aggression
Keeping this in mind, here are some terms commonly used when labeling aggressive behavior:.Mother dogs may react aggressively when a person or animal approaches her puppies, for instance.It happens when a dog reacts to some stimulus that they can’t interact with.This happens when something prevents a dog from doing what they need or want to do, and it can overlap with misplaced aggression.These dogs display aggressive behaviors when afraid, and may actually bite if cornered with no escape.This type of aggression includes behaviors designed to increase the dog’s social status among peers.Medical conditions, such as thyroid imbalances or even ear infections, can cause aggressive behaviors in dogs.A dog trained to attack people would be an example of intentionally learned aggressive behavior.For instance, when a dog growls and shies away, their human tries to calm them by petting, which accidentally reinforces the behavior.They may be driven to attack wildlife, other pets, or even children playing a game of chase.However, for dogs who come into the family or get adopted later in life, that may not be an option.That said, if your dog exhibits aggressive behavior, try not to label it too quickly.Often there is more than one root cause, so it is best to make an appointment with an experienced canine behavior counselor or behaviorist and give them a thorough history of your dog’s past behavior.With careful diagnosis and time, these behaviors can usually be trained out of your dog. .
Do Male Dogs Go Into Heat?
A dog's breed and size plays a role in when she first goes into heat, but generally speaking most dogs will reach sexual maturity at around 6 months — some dogs can go into heat as early as four months, while large and giant breeds may take up to two years before their first heat cycle.If an intact male dog catches the scent of a nearby female in heat, she will become his entire focus.Be sure to take your male dog out for lots of independent exercise and activity and keep him distracted as best as you can. Certain pheromone sprays can also be helpful during these times, particularly if there's some distance between the two dogs to start.Neutering your male dog can help curb many of the negative behaviors associated with sexual maturity, such as marking, mounting and roaming.Neutering may help reduce the possibility of benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate gland), perianal tumors and hernias.
Should I Separate Female Dogs When One Is in Heat?
Unspayed female dogs are often particularly truculent toward those of the same gender, indicates authors Terry Albert and Debra Eldredge. .
Chaining and tethering dogs FAQ
Most people who do this are unaware of the harm it can cause to their dogs.The pet owner comes from a family that always tethered dogs and may not realize there are better options.Tethered dogs may also suffer from irregular feedings, overturned water bowls, inadequate veterinary care and extreme temperatures.During periods of extreme heat, they may not receive adequate water or protection from the sun.What's more, because their often neurotic behavior makes them difficult to approach, chained dogs are rarely given even minimal affection.Tethered dogs may become "part of the scenery" and can be easily ignored by their owners.Dogs unable to retreat from perceived or real threats can act out aggressively when approached.It is important for people with tethered dogs to understand these risks. .