Female Dogs in Heat: How to Handle Agression

Questions from a Reader

When a female pitbull goes into heat, does that cause them to become aggressive even if they never were before? –Janine Gennawey

Cesar Millan’s answer:

Hi Janine,

Aggression in female dogs during their heat is a common complaint. Drastic hormone changes can adversely affect a female dog’s mood and can predispose to acts of aggression even if she has never been aggressive before. These hormone changes cause irritability, nervousness and can even cause pain during ovulation. Keep in mind that instead of going into heat for a few days a month a female dog goes into heat for a few weeks twice a year which is a considerable length of time. If your dog is getting too hot to handle while in heat be sure to take the necessary precautions.

Identify the triggers that induce aggression and isolate her from these triggers while she is in heat. If she is aggressive towards other dogs, keep her away from them during her cycle. 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.

Be mindful of your actions while your dog is in heat

Be calm and assertive when picking up the pups and praise and comfort her when she is being good. 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. Do not leave children unsupervised with a dog in heat and if she displays any heat related aggression it is best to isolate the dog from children entirely.

If you have no intentions of breeding her then having her spayed will be helpful and might even eliminate the aggression entirely especially considering she has never been aggressive before. Keep in mind she may learn undesirable behaviors and continue to exhibit aggression after her heat ends if she learns that this behavior can get her what she wants. So it is best to spay her as soon as possible because while heat related aggression is usually temporary it can lead to long term problems with aggression.

Aggression is a serious problem and should not be taken lightly

Remain calm and assertive when dealing with her and please seek professional advice from your veterinarian and an animal behaviorist or certified professional dog trainer as soon as possible.

Stay calm and assertive!
-Cesar Millan

How has spaying or neutering affected your dog? Share it with us in the comments.


Comment on the Story Below

Related Posts

June 17, 2015

Female Dogs in Heat: How to Handle Agression

Questions from a Reader When a female pitbull goes into heat, does that cause them

June 18, 2015

Mental Health Service Dogs

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, service dogs originated in 1920s Germany, where

February 18, 2020

Deaf Dog Jumps For Joy When Dad Tells Him In Sign Language That ‘We’re Going On A Walk’

Dogs and walks go together like peanut butter and jelly. There is nothing better than

Comments – Rules , Boundaries & Limitations

At Cesar’s Way , we strive to be a single pack, and packs have rules, and limitations. Here are ours for the comments:

  •  No bullying or harassment of fellow commenters. Keep it civil!
  • No foul language or obscenities, please.
  • No posting of external links

Also, please note that because of volume , we are unable to respond to individual comments, although we do watch them in order to learn what issues and questions are most common so that we can produce content that fulfills your needs. You are welcome to share your own dog tips and behavior solutions among yourselves, however Thank you for reading our articles and sharing your thoughts with the pack!

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Tips From Cesar & The Pack

Don’t get left out of the doghouse! Sign up now to make sure you’re up to date on the latest happenings!

Trending Today

Trending This Week