Can A Sterilized Dog Still Mate?

will a neutered dog still try to mate with a female in heat

Your dog is sterilized, and yet you observe strange behavior? Does it rub against objects, people, or other animals? Know that these sexual urges are quite normal. But, rest assured, if your neutered dog can mate, It cannot have puppies.

explaining your dog’s sexual urges 

Wondering if your neutered dog can mate? The answer is yes. Technically. Several reasons can explain the sexual urges of a sterilized dog.

An instinct anchored since birth

The sterilization of a male dog consists of removing Its testicles: this is called castration. In female dogs, on the other hand, a procedure called oophorectomy is generally performed. This is the same as removing the ovaries.

These two surgeries make canine reproduction impossible and suppress the production of hormones, which are partly responsible for sex drive. However, these reproductive instincts may already be ingrained in the puppy’s brain, which may engage in sexual behaviors as they grow older. This is why your neutered dog may try to mate, but he will not have puppies.

If sexual urges are rare, they, therefore, exist in the sterilized dog. An American veterinary study has shown that only 25 to 40% of sterilized dogs saw an almost total disappearance of sexual behavior (urine marking, overlapping, etc.). In most animals, certain impulses remain present, although they decrease very sharply.

A meeting with a female

Impulses can also resurface at very specific times. Especially if your dog meets a female during the heat. The latter releases pheromones, small molecules that stimulate the sexual instinct of males.

The low testosterone level still present in the dog’s body can then be enough to excite It, even if It’s neutered. The sterilized dog, therefore, starts mating with the female in heat, even if this will not give birth to puppies. Your sterilized dog can therefore mate well, but rest assured, this is very rare. Castration greatly reduces sexual behavior.

A game of domination 

Does your dog straddle your leg, another animal, or a toy? This behavior is not necessarily sexual. Even a sterilized dog can perform such an act. This is an instinct that prompts It to show Its dominance over other animals and people around It.

When they are in packs, some males assert their dominant status over other dogs by overlapping them, without attempting to mate.

A way to attract attention

The overlap of the neutered dog can also be explained by an education problem. Very young, your doggie indeed notices that this behavior provokes a reaction on your part, that you start to play with It to distract It for example, or that you simply talk to It. In this case, It will tend to reproduce this sexual behavior to get attention.

A reaction to manage Its emotions

Some canine behaviorists also explain sex drive and overlap as a mixture of emotions. Faced with a new situation – the arrival of guests for example – your dog experiences contradictory emotions: excitement, joy, stress, worry. Result: the overlap serves to “evacuate” this too strong and sudden stimulation.

will a neutered dog still try to mate with a female in heat

How to react if my sterilized dog wants to mate?

Overlapping or mating attempts by your neutered dog can be difficult for handlers to deal with. Fortunately, it’s possible to reduce these behaviors.

Try to understand the trigger 

The first step in calming an excited dog is understanding the origin of Its behavior. For example, if your pet gets excited as soon as It encounters a female dog in the neighborhood, move It away while it does. This is usually sufficient to prevent mating.

Intervene quickly 

In order for your dog to understand that this behavior should be banned, you must react very quickly. A firm “no” or a small jet of water on the muzzle may be enough to make It stop Its behavior.

Don’t get upset, and don’t try to distract Its attention with hugs, or playing with It. The dog might believe that Its behavior is triggering games and attention.

Make It exercise

If your dog regularly straddles your guests’ legs, give It exercise before your guests arrive. As soon as you know an event might turn It on, try to exhaust It by running with It, playing, or taking It for a walk. Your doggie will have no more energy to try to mate with the slightest soft toy!

Make an appointment with a behaviorist 

When your neutered dog’s sexual urges are too frequent, even in an older animal, it’s time to seek professional help. Seek advice from your regular veterinarian: They will be able to direct you to a competent canine behaviorist to help you resolve this annoying behavior.

About Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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