4 min read


Why Don't Dogs Flirt



4 min read


Why Don't Dogs Flirt




Dogs don't flirt? That's not exactly true with all dogs. Although it may seem as if your dog doesn't flirt, she probably does, but in a very different way to how we humans do it. No, you're not going to catch your pup batting her eyelids at that cute dog who lives next door. Nor are you going to see them smooching through a hole in the garden fence. It's also very unlikely the cheeky mongrel from down the street will wolf whistle at your dog when you walk by with her. Though, given the unusual talents some dogs have, don't be too surprised if he does. Whether or not your pup responds to his attention is quite a different thing. So why don't dogs flirt? Or do they?

The Root of the Behavior

Dogs have very different ways of expressing their sexual interests in another dog. That also varies greatly between the male and female of the species. The way they do it might not look like flirting as we know it. But, when the time is right, they have their own signals which they use to show the other dog that there's a mating possibility in the offing. Dogs are not like humans in the way we need a long courtship to build trust and respect in a relationship. They don't have the necessity to know the ins and outs of their prospective partner's personality to see if it suits their own. While male and female dogs are quite happy to reside in the same household without a flicker of sexual interest passing between them most of the time, if the female dog hasn't been neutered, then that can all change very swiftly. While we humans are genetically designed to maintain sexual relations on a very regular basis, our canine friends are different to us and the female pup is only happy to mate about twice a year. 

And they say it's a dog's life? Well, not on the sexual front, it's not. The male can't get a look in until the female is physically ready and producing the right hormones which stimulate both their interests in having relations. When that happens, you will see your pup flirting. When a female pup is ready to attract the attention of a male dog, the first thing he'll notice is the smell she's giving off. No, it won't be Chanel No 5 or the shampoo you used last time you gave her a bath. It'll be her natural odour which is getting him all excited. That scent is all part and parcel of the process and precedes the moment the female will begin to show actual physical signs of the desire to go on a doggy date. When your pup really does start to flirt, you may notice her turning her back on the male dog and moving her tail aside, so that he can sniff and lick at her private parts. That's the way dogs flirt.

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Encouraging the Behavior

Dogs can only do what comes naturally. They don't need or want to have relations with other dogs unless the time is physically right. Then when the time is right, well, pretty much nothing will get in their way. If you have a female dog which hasn't been neutered, you may just find several interested males queueing up on the doorstep or even trying to get in. Although we can't smell it, the scent your female dog gives off as she's coming into heat is noticeable by male dogs from quite some distance away.

What if your dog is ready to flirt with a male dog in their own peculiar canine fashion, then it just isn't going to happen? What can happen during the time leading up to your pup's heat is that even though the male dog is interested and can get seriously excited enough to try mating, your pup isn't going to let him. The same as many hormonal females, your pup's temper can be quite short. She may become aggressive in the manner she rejects the male dog's advances and they could end up fighting. We all love the thought of having a houseful of adorable puppies. Though it's not always practical. A litter of puppies takes a lot of looking after and having too many puppies just isn't good for a female dogs health. Not to mention the worry of finding good homes for them all. 

Other Solutions and Considerations

If you're not sure whether or not getting your female dog neutered is a good thing, consider consulting with your veterinary provider. They will be able to advise you on the pros and cons and also what health benefits it will have for your dog. If you think your pup might have been doing a bit of serious canine flirting with a male dog and you're worried she might be pregnant, the best thing to do is make an appointment at the vets. They will be able to give her a proper check up and if babies are on the way, advise you on the correct way to care for your dog.


So it is not exactly true that dogs do not flirt. Most of them do but in their own special way. If your dog comes into heat and attracts half the males in the neighborhood, just tell them she only accepts suitors who are wearing tuxedos and carrying flowers and a box of chocolates.

By a Chihuahua lover Liz Correal

Published: 03/22/2018, edited: 01/30/2020

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