Missy and Roxy were my female dogs, as all my others had been Male. This, in a way, was an eye-opener as to how stressful it can be for everyone when they come into season. This article provides tips and advice on exercising a dog in season when its hormones are all over the place.
How often and when will my dog have a season?
As a general rule, a bitch will have two seasons a year, approximately six months apart (there are rare exceptions, and they can have three seasons)
When the dog is in season, also known as being on Heat, it will last around three weeks. The most dangerous part when they are most fertile is around 5 – 14 days But be aware she will be attractive to Male dogs the entire period.
So I can’t walk my dog for weeks? This isn’t true, although I would certainly ditch some of the walks, especially if you have a safe, enclosed garden.
How to walk a dog in season safely.
Keep your dog on a lead.
Do not let your dog off the lead at any time, even if they are well-behaved off the lead. This will prevent your female from getting scared and running away. It will also allow you to have control should she get aggressive due to all the unwanted attention from males.
I can guarantee the males in the area will know that your dog is in season
Make sure your dog is never on her own
Keep an eye on your dog when they are in season, even if it is just a visit to the garden.
When Male dogs pick up the scent, they will do anything to get to your dog, even jumping over fences.
Don’t walk at busy times.
During the three weeks that your dog is in season, it is essential that you walk early in the day or late at night when it is going to be quitter, and the chances of meeting other dogs are greatly reduced.
Take the car to where your walk begins.
One tip is to put your dog in season in the car and drive to where you will exercise here. Even if it is not that, this will stop male dogs from following any trail back to your house and potentially camping outside your door.
Be mindful of other dogs.
If possible, try and walk in quiet spaces away from your house, and this will make life easier for other dog owners whose Males will try and follow the urine scent trail.
Failure to prepare – prepare to fail.
Even the best-trained Bitch will become suddenly deaf and ignore your command as their hormones are all over the place.
This is also the case with local entire male dogs who will have one thing in mind.
Avoid parks and other busy places.
Just like you should walk your dog in season at quiet times, such as early in the morning, you should also avoid busy places such as parks. Even if your dog is on a lead, this will create problems for other dog owners who have male dogs.
Male dogs will naturally be attracted by the smell your dog is giving off and will run over to check it out and probably ignore any calls of recall their owners are trying to give
Not only can this be dangerous, but it may also make your dog nervous and stressed.
Use a long line.
If you still want to give your dog some freedom, then why not consider using long training like (DO NOT use a Flexi lead) so that you still have control of her, but she has some freedom to sniff.
Hide the scent
You can buy various sprays from the pet shop to help mask the scent. I have never used these personally, so I don’t know if they work or not. I have heard that using Menthol on the dog’s tail can also help.
Ditch the walk
When my dogs are in season, we probably only go out every day or two to provide them with some new scents and a change of scenery. The rest of the time, we play brain games, scent games, etc. Games are great as you can do a quick 3-minute game whilst the adverts are on or waiting for the kettle to boil. Games such as Find It, hide and seek etc are easy to do. This is also why I ditch the bowel.
Consider getting your bitch spayed.
It is generally recommended that you allow your dog to have her first season so that the hormones develop. However, unless you are into breading, then having a spayed
The advantages of having your dog spayed
- Being more relaxed without being led by hormonal fluctuations
- Your dog will no longer leave blood spots on carpets and furniture when in season.
- Pyometra (pus in the wound, which is a vet visit) is significantly reduced
- Much far less likely to get mammary cancer
As a dog walker and trainer based in Finchley who owns female dogs, I am happy to walk dogs in season as part of my One 2 One solo dog walks.