Can a Female Dog that Has Been Spayed Still Attract Males?

If you’ve had your female dog spayed, you might assume that the days of her being bothered by male suitors are over. But is this really the case? Can spayed female dogs still attract males? The truth is, it’s not so straightforward. Spayed female dogs can indeed still attract males, despite the surgery. Let’s delve into the reasons behind this and explore some solutions to discourage this behavior.

My Female Dog Still Attracts Males

The question of whether a spayed female dog can attract male mates is a complex one. I’ve done some research to shed light on why this happens and provide some potential solutions.

What Happens During Spaying

Before we can understand why spayed female dogs might still attract males, let’s clarify what spaying actually means. When a female dog is spayed, their reproductive organs are removed, including the ovaries, oviducts, uterine horns, and uterus. This procedure, known as ovariohysterectomy (OHE), halts the production of the hormones responsible for the dog’s heat cycle.

During a dog’s heat cycle, powerful pheromones are released to signal to male dogs that she is available for mating. With the removal of reproductive organs, the production of these hormones ceases.

Why Does a Spayed Female Dog Still Attract Males?

Despite the surgery, there are several possible reasons why a spayed female dog might still attract male dogs.

1. Tissue Remnants Can Produce Hormones

In some cases, a spay surgery may not successfully remove all the ovarian tissue, resulting in residual hormone production. This remaining tissue can trigger your dog’s brain to continue the heat cycle, producing estrogen, progesterone, and those enticing pheromones. It’s crucial to have your vet check if any tissue remnants remain and have them removed.

2. Underlying Medical Conditions

If there are no tissue remnants, another possibility is an underlying medical condition that causes your dog to emit a scent similar to a dog in heat. Conditions such as bladder infections, cervix infections, vulva infections, vaginitis, or unexpressed anal sacs can create pheromone-like smells that attract male dogs.

3. Misdirected Attention

If your dog is spayed correctly, doesn’t have tissue remnants, and is free from medical conditions, it’s possible that male dogs are being attracted to the scent of another unspayed female dog. They may mistake your dog as the source of that scent. Unavailable female dogs can also draw the attention of male dogs.

4. Dominance Assertion

Sometimes, mounting behavior from male dogs towards a spayed female dog is not about mating but rather asserting dominance. Dogs mark their territory through mounting, and this behavior can occur among dogs of the same sex as well. If your female dog encounters a male dog in a previously marked area or during introductions at home, mounting may occur.


Although spaying a female dog helps prevent pregnancy and eliminates marking and menstruation issues, it doesn’t always deter male attention. To address this situation, it’s essential to tackle the underlying issues. If there are tissue remnants, corrective surgery may be required. If there are medical conditions, resolving them will help diminish male attraction. While dealing with misdirected attention and dominance assertion may be challenging, you can minimize opportunities for interaction by keeping your dog on a short lead and away from male dogs.

Remember, each case is unique, so consult with your vet for tailored advice.

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