When Do Male Dogs Become Sexually Active?
If you're the owner of an unfixed, physically mature male dog that regularly has access to female dogs, then the concept of sexual activity indeed may be a reality for him. Once a dog hits the age of reproductive maturity, then he can begin mating at any given time.
Male dogs often attain reproductive maturity and capability when they are approximately seven months in age, just one month after the typical age for female dogs, according to the Circle of Friends Humane Society. However, smaller breed dogs generally reach maturity quicker than larger breeds, although there is no steadfast rule for individual cases.
As soon as a male dog is sexually mature, he essentially is ready for the mating process and sexual activity. No wait necessary for these guys. When a male dog is physically mature, many of his behavioral patterns suddenly are driven by sexual hormones. Unlike female dogs who only are ready to mate during their heat cycles, males basically are available at any time -- all of the time.
If your pooch is ready and willing to become sexually active, he probably will make it very obvious to you -- and to everyone in your neighborhood, too. Some key signs of hormonally-influenced male dog behavior include urine spraying, humping and mounting behaviors, aggression and irritability, and incessant attempts to run away from your home and go outdoors. Female dogs exhibit some of these same behaviors when they're in the midst of their "mating season," which is called both "heat" and "estrus." Irritability is a shared sign. If an intact male dog has close access to an intact female dog in season, then the chances of sexual activity occurring are very, very high, so be careful.
Neutering a male dog at a young age may be beneficial in that it may halt any of the aforementioned unpleasant "mating" behaviors, and any sexual activity that comes from it, too. The ASPCA recommends getting young dogs fixed before sexual maturity. Speak to your veterinarian regarding the safest and most appropriate time to neuter your specific pup. Lastly and importantly, remember that neutered dogs are unable to reproduce and contribute to your neighborhood's canine overpopulation issues.
By Naomi Millburn
Circle of Friends Humane Society: Spaying & Neutering
Northern Virginia Community College Loudoun: Normal Behavior
ASPCA: Mounting and Masturbation
The Humane Society of the United States: Why You Should Spay or Neuter Your Pet
ASPCA: How Will Neutering Change My Dog?
Alabama Cooperative Extension System: Canine Breeding and Reproduction
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.