A pet dog sitting on a grassy field, illustrating the topic of recognizing sexual maturity in dogs.

When Do Dogs Reach Sexual Maturity??

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Knowing when your dog becomes sexually active is the key to managing your pet’s re-productivity. If you have a pet dog, you will want to know this thing in advance so that you can manage how your dog behaves properly.

Male puppies usually show sexual behavior at a very young age, although it is only limited to mounting behavior. The mounting behavior may disappear for some time, but it will come again when they hit puberty age. The mounting behavior can occur from 5 months ago.

Meanwhile, female dogs have their first heat between 5 and 12 months of age. Small breed dogs tend to be earlier in their first heat. Some big dog breeds will not start the heat cycle until they are 18 to 24 months of age.

So, how do you know when do dogs reach sexual maturity?

It is not hard to notice such behavior. We will discuss it briefly in this article.

Male Dog Puberty Age

Both small and big male dogs are almost similar to the puberty age. You can see adolescent behaviors when they reach 6 to 14 months old. The hormonal changes will significantly change during puberty. You will also see significant behavior changes in your male dogs sexually active. We will explain it further later.

Female Dog Puberty Age

As mentioned, female dogs can reach puberty in their 5th month. That includes puberty in bigger female dogs too. However, big female dogs tend to be open to mate between 18 to 24 months although they go through puberty at 5 months of age.

Female dogs have a stage of the reproductive cycle. Its name is Estrus. In this stage, the female dogs can get pregnant. The other term to describe this productivity is the dog in heat or season. The puberty age of female dogs can vary depending on the breed.

When Do Male Dog Sexual Maturity

Most male dogs reach reproductive maturity when they are approximately seven months old. Not to mention that at this stage they can mate with any female dog. It is just one month after the common maturity age of female dogs. But smaller breeds usually attain the maturity of reproductive much quicker than larger breeds. However, it is very relative depending on the hormone of the dogs.

The sexual activity of the male dog can be noticed easily. When your male dogs reach this, you can notice it through their unusual behavior. For instance, the male dogs sexually active in mounting their friends, regardless of their friends’ gender. We will explain it deeper later.

When Does a Female Dog Become Fertile

Female dogs can become fertile as soon as they reach puberty age. As mentioned before, the cycle of fertility is called the heat cycle. Normal female dogs reach puberty age when they are six months. But smaller female dogs can reach the stage as early as four months of age.

But the larger dogs come into the heat cycle for the first time after 2 years. The female dogs become fertile in about twice a year or every six months. However, it can vary from one breed to breed. When the first cycle begins, there are many variations of the cycle period time. Smaller female dogs come into heat cycles more often than larger breeds.

So, what is the heat cycle?

The heat cycle is the puberty or dogs sexually active female dogs that occurs firstly at six months of age. In this cycle, the female dogs are fertile and ready to mate with the male dogs.

But although they are ready to mate, the willingness to mate is a different case. Not all female dogs want to mate although they become fertile. Usually, female dogs only become sexually open in the first cycle., which is around 7-10 days.

 A male and female dog facing each other, representing the topic of recognizing sexual maturity in dogs.

Male Dog Puberty Behavior

When male dogs hit puberty, there is a significant increase in their testosterone. They are not yet adults, but they are going to change so that the drastic change in the hormone affects them so much. As the owner, you should be able to spot the behavior change of your male dogs to manage their re-productivity.

Some of the male dog puberty behavior, when the dog is sexually active, are:

  • Poor attention span
  • Marking
  • Roaming
  • Mounting
  • Chewing
  • Aggression
  • Hyperactivity
  • Wariness

All these signs can be noticed when the male dogs are 5 or 6 months old. However, the most significant signs of the male dog being sexually active are spraying, mounting, and humping behaviors.

Larger dogs are linked to aggression and worries. Smaller dogs tend to mark here and there.

Female Dog Puberty Behavior

Basically, female dogs exhibit the same behaviors as male dogs when they reach puberty. And the behavior change will last for around 21 days. On the most fertile day, your female dogs can be stinky because of the swells and sweat.

You will also notice that your female dogs sweat more often than before. It is because they are much more active. When you notice the behavior changes as mentioned, you should be really vigilant about closing your doors and gates since there’s a chance the male dogs sneaking into your house to mate with your female dogs.

How To Stop Your Excited Dog’s Excessive Behaviors?

When your dog has reached sexual maturity and is ready for it, he will show you his signs that are very easily recognizable. This is also true for bitches. Their actions are completely normal because they are controlled by sex hormones.

However, some dogs do those mounting and thrusting behaviors anytime, anywhere in the early stages of sexual development. Even their behaviors can also make you lose face when you’re outdoors, especially in males, because they don’t need to wait in heat like females.

He will usually join sexual play in the form of mounting, but in fact, your pet may not know what his actions mean. He simply feels happy and comfortable with this.

Therefore, you cannot blame your pet in these early stages. Instead of scolding or threatening, you can limit your pet’s excessive sexual behaviors in many ways. And one of the first ways to avoid getting your dog excited is early spaying and neutering procedures unless you need them to breed.

It will have a role in reducing sexual interest in pets. As for males, the incidence of roaming will be decreased along with the conflict between them. Their sexual behaviors may not go away entirely but will subside after a few weeks or months.

Another way that your dog may temporarily forget sexual acts is to distract them. It is also particularly useful for some dogs that are spayed or neutered but still want to connect with and often hump their mates.

That is when you see your dog begin to show signs of sexual acts such as panting, whining, licking, pawing, rubbing against objects, etc., give him his favorite dog toy, or let him perform a number of obedience skills that he knows.

What You Should and Shouldn’t Do!

Dogs entering the heat stage will have many factors, both outside the environment and inside the body that affect them. Therefore, you need to learn about what you should and shouldn’t do to keep your pet healthy at this stage.

Talk to the vet

Dogs at the age of pairing and breeding will have many changes in personality and behaviors due to hormonal changes. Therefore, even if you have the knowledge and experience of keeping a dog, you should still get advice from a veterinarian.

Make Sure That Your Dog Does Not Wander

This often happens in adult males because they do not go into heat like the females, and they can be sexually active at any time of the year. They may wander in search of mates, so keep an eye out for them to keep them from straying.

But Don’t Keep Them in One Place

There is ample evidence that dogs kept in captivity for long periods will be sexually inhibited and behave abnormally when mating compared to other dogs.

Therefore, you should take them outdoors often, so they are not isolated from the community. It also helps the pet with a social and pre-sexual experience to make his mating run smoothly after.

Neuter and Spay Your Dog if You Do not Intend to Breed Them

You should update your knowledge about these issues before your dog reaches sexual maturity. Most veterinarians will recommend that you should neuter your pet (in a male dog) or spay (in a female dog) to minimize the situation of stray dogs, abandoned dogs, etc.

Besides, this is also very beneficial to the health status of your pet in the future. They will always be happy, eat, and sleep well. In female dogs, it also helps reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Each dog will have a different age to do this, depending on its breed and development. However, experts always recommend that people do this to their pets early to keep the animals from being affected by the hormones that are produced when these puppies reach sexual maturity.

Additionally, there are also cases of dog owners adopting pets after they have grown up. Therefore, you need to consider with your veterinarian the optimal time to solve this problem.

Do Not Give Your Dog Mate Too Soon

Remember that sexual development in dogs is no different from humans. That is, your dog can develop genital organs early on before they are fully developed. This is due to the growth of hormones in his body, along with some external influences such as the daily composition of the food.

That’s why you should wait for your pet to reach sexual maturity before letting them mate. Otherwise, your pet may have many health problems, especially female dogs.

Products for Female Dogs in Heat

Diapers are what you need to prepare for your female pet before she enters the stage of sexual development, also known as in heat. Although there are dogs that do not need it, and they can always clean themselves, they often leave unpleasant odors and even a potential risk of disease. And diapers will also have a role in limiting the mating in dogs that make your pet pregnant. So, pay attention to this, but do not ignore it.

You should choose high-quality dog nappies that give your dog comfort and convenience. It needs to be airy so that the dog doesn’t sweat, but it must also be tight enough for her to stay clean. In addition, we recommend choosing the ones made of high-quality cotton fabric for being washable and reusable.

But first, don’t forget to measure your dog’s waist size to choose the right size product. Use flexible tape to get the most accurate results.

And here are some diaper products that you can rest assured of for your pet to use.

BWOGUE Premium Dog Diapers Female

Paw Legend Reusable Female Dog Diapers

Wegreeco Washable Female Dog Diapers

CuteBone Dog Diapers Female Reusable

Pet Magasin Reusable Washable Dog Diapers

When is a Male Dog Too Old to Breed

The answer can be relative. The bigger dog sexually active in their older years. It can be between ten to twelve years. Smaller breeds, on the other side, are too old to breed when they reach seven or eight years of age.

But you should also consider the sperm quality that can decrease as time goes by. That’s when you need to decide to stop breeding your male dog for his health’s sake. In addition, you are suggested to stop breeding if your male dog has health issues. It can worsen his condition.

When is a Female Dog Too Old to Breed?

Female dogs tend to have shorter breeding spans. The bigger breeds are too old to breed when they reach 8 years old. But they are still sexually active at that age. The smaller breeds tend to be 5 years of age to breed.


Knowing your dog sexually active behaviors is not difficult at all. You just need to pay attention to certain signs to control your dogs’ re-productivity. The challenges can be higher if you take care of both male and female dogs. But knowing the pivotal things above, you will know what it takes to treat your dog well.

A female dog with a red mark on the calendar, symbolizing the onset of her first heat cycle.

FAQs(Frequently Asked Questions)

Can dogs get sexually attracted to humans?


Female dogs often produce sweat apocrine to attract mates, and the human body also has these apocrine sweat glands. That’s why dogs are sometimes attracted to and sniff humans’ groins.

Do puppies get sexually excited?

It depends.

As we said, each dog can have different sexual maturity. It can occur very early in this dog (from 4 months old) but can also be very late in another dog (after 2 years of age, for example).

When your dog begins to mature sexually, he will have obvious signs such as poor attention span, mounting, marking, chewing, roaming, aggression, etc.

How many times does a dog have to mate to get pregnant?

It depends, also.

Similar to humans, from the first time when two mature and healthy dogs mate with each other, the female can conceive. There are also those who have to give 3-4 mates to get pregnant.

However, if your bitch is still not pregnant after a long time, maybe the condition of her partner’s sperm is not good, or she is having reproductive health problems. So you should take your pet to see a veterinarian for the most accurate answer.

Can a dog get pregnant the first time mating?

Your female pet can conceive right from her first heart, as long as she and her partner are in normal health. Therefore, if you do not intend to have her give birth early, you should closely monitor and protect your pet from the surrounding male dogs.

Male dogs may show signs of sexual development from 6 months of age, but they are most likely to become conceive when they are 12-15 months of age or older. That’s when the male dogs have fully grown physically.

Is my pet in pain when she’s in the heat?

Maybe, but this rarely happens.

You may notice signs in bitches in heat such as vaginal swelling, vaginal discharge, and even some bleeding. Sometimes, your pet can cry and make you nervous.

However, these symptoms are completely normal. Dogs have many different reactions to what happens around them. Therefore, they cry not because they feel hurt but uncomfortable when they’re in heat. And what they secrete in their vagina is because after ovulation, their uterine lining is swollen, and their uterus may have a slight cramp.

Can a female dog go into heat without bleeding?

It is different for every dog because these animals do not menstruate like humans. Some will bleed quite a lot while others will not. Therefore, you should not be too worried about this.

How many times a year does a dog go into heat?

While male dogs can mate at any time of the year, the females are only in the heat on average twice a year. For small dogs, this number can be three times, and for giant dogs, it is one time only.

How long does the heat of female dogs last?

A normal heat of the bitch will take place within 7-10 days, just like humans in period. At that time, you will notice their vulva swelling and having some signs such as vaginal discharge. Some even have bleeding there. This is because their follicles are developing, resulting in a sudden rise in estrogen levels.

However, the female dog will not allow the males to approach her in the early days. That is why they often growl threaten or sit down and evade male connections.

After the first phase, with ova production, the female will return to attract and provoke the male dogs with her tails or standing position. Along with that is their pheromone, which is secreted with urine and vaginal discharge. It acts as an attractive agent for the opposite sex.

After she catches the attention of her partner and starts mating, she will stand stably and respond to him. Such intercourse will last for 20-30 minutes.

can dogs get sexually attracted to humans

How long do dogs stay stuck together?

You will often see two dogs stuck together during sex and cannot be separated immediately. This is not dangerous for them, so you should not impact it but wait for them to separate themselves. It won’t take long.

And the reason?

That’s because, during mating, glands called bulbous, are secreted, causing the base of the male dog’s penis to erectile and expand. Besides, when the female spasms the vaginal, it will be held tight in it. Even if the male dog tries to run in the opposite direction, he will not be able to separate quickly.

After a few minutes, the bulbous glands will gradually decrease, helping the male dog’s penis to shrink in size, and thus, they can detach.

Why do female dogs hump stuffed animals?

Your pet may hump her toys for many reasons. When dogs enter heat, the sex hormones in their bodies will increase and lead to these behaviors. They do it not as a way to breed but because it provides an interesting experience for these animals. Therefore, if your puppy is still young but humps her toys, she’s just feeling good.

Or, maybe it’s because she’s experiencing stress and that’s how she responds to it. Repressed energy makes her use the toy as a way to release it. This usually happens in dogs that have just been adopted or transferred to an unfamiliar habitat.

In addition, there are several studies on the association between humping toys and animals’ health problems or obsessive compulsion.

Do animals kiss?

The kisses of dogs indicate more than dogs showing their affection. Research shows that this species often kisses and licks its mother or owner to be fed. Besides, it also describes the social status of dogs in the same herd. That is the one who licks will have a lower status than those who get kissed.

What are the signs of a dog getting pregnant?

There are 6 basic and most recognizable signs when your dog is pregnant.

  • Less active
  • Changes in appetite
  • Seek isolation and don’t want to be bothered
  • Their nipples are enlarged or discolored
  • Gain weight
  • Create a nest/Find a place to nest

How long is a female dog pregnant?

After conception, dogs will become pregnant for 58-68 days before giving birth. It may vary slightly between different dog breeds.

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