Female in heat is attacking male … help!

Louie is a 2 year old male Basenji and Shelby is a 7 month old female that went into the heat cycle about a month ago. We planned to fix her sooner, but we were leaving on a long trip and didn't want to do it and then leave. While we were gone Shelby began attacking Loiue apparently for no reason. The attacks were viscious - Loiue bit back too, presumably just in fear and self defense. Our dog sitter had to separate them. I've been back for one day now and have been watching them closely. Shelby growls at Loiue sometimes, but other times today they played together fine. You know how Basenji's don't like to be disturbed while sleeping … well Loiue came too close to her tonight while she was laying in the chair with me and she attacked him badly. My wife was bitten badly in the process of us separating them. I have to think that this started because Shelby began trying to assume the dominate roll in my absense. I am wondering if her being in heat is also a factor in this? We also have two older dachsunds which get along with everyone fine. Neither Basenji shows any aggression toward them. Shelby is just attacking Loiue only. Do you think this behavior will lessen when she is fixed? Also, I'm not sure what to do training-wise to address it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. We don't want to have to get rid of little Shelby. Thanks everyone. --Mike

It isn't abnormal for a female in heat to react violently to a male prior to her actually being fertile. It could be a combination of a bunch of changes in her life, and being in heat that is producing this behavior. I would guess that it will improve one she is spayed, and life is settled down.

I hope you have your sweet girl back soon.
I suspect once the hormones are out of her system she will become a nicer
pet.
Just make sure she doesn't start to really "like" him and get bred.
Good luck.

Before Jazzy was spayed we could always tell when she was going to come into heat – which she was sweet enough to do TWICE a year, so even though she was only two, we'd been through three heat cycles before she was spayed 😞 -- because she got N-A-S-T-Y tempered with Gypsy. Poor Gypsy couldn't even enter the same room.
Gypsy is another {spayed} female, so I don't know why she treated her so badly; maybe because there was simply no other target in the house? But! WOW!!!!! it was something else.

My guess/hope is she will turn back into your sweet girl once her cycle is over, and you won't see this behavior again after she is spayed.

What is going on between Shelby and Louie is perfectly normal. When a female comes into season, her hormones can go "through the roof". While some girls get all "lovey dovey", most of them tend to be cranky and short tempered. (You didn't mention if Louie is neutered or not but I am assuming neutered since you left him with Shelby.) If Louie so much put his paws up on her back or rear, even just in play, that's the only reason a female needs to "tell him off". Since Shelby and Louie were not separated when this began, poor Louie has had to be a "punching bag" and he is defending himself. If Shelby is spayed ASAP, hormones should die down pretty fast and Louie should forgive her and all should be well.

Ok. Well thanks for the info, everyone. We're getting Shelby spayed next week so hopefully that will do the trick. Thanks!
Mike

I had a LOT of problems with my two females prior to their cycle, while they were in cycle and for about a month after cycle. They now play and sleep together. As Robyn said, hormones should die down fairly quickly after spaying. As for trying to get in the middle of the fight, if it ever happens again, throw a heavy blanket on them,trying to separate one in the blanket, scoop it up and separate them that way. I don't know if anyone else has tried that, but it does work if done properly-and you shouldn't get bit.

@nomrbddgs:

As for trying to get in the middle of the fight, if it ever happens again, throw a heavy blanket on them,trying to separate one in the blanket, scoop it up and separate them that way. I don't know if anyone else has tried that, but it does work if done properly-and you shouldn't get bit.

Sadly, I know about bitch fights and we've learned the hard way. We have throws placed in strategic locations for that very purpose. You don't want to stick your hands in the middle of a fight…..........throw something over them and try to pull them apart by the back legs. You can get seriously hurt in a flash.......they go to another place and pay no attention to you.

This coming season I know strategic throws will be placed as well-especially since I want to breed Sugar-baby gates, crates and separate rooms will be the name of the game.

@nomrbddgs:

This coming season I know strategic throws will be placed as well-especially since I want to breed Sugar-baby gates, crates and separate rooms will be the name of the game.

LOL…..Baby gates.....check.........separate rooms.....check..........crates...........check............strategic throws.........check.........NEOSPORIN....check.:D 😃 😃 😃

You got it check, check, and double check.

Mike, how is your wife?

you know this reminds me of a bitch fight at my house - Both these girls are over the bridge and perhaps they get along there. This was Mother and daughter - intact females of a 'mature' age. Someone wasn't paying attention and put out one bitch when one was already out. (this somebody bares a striking resemblance to me). Well they found each other and the attack was on. Being mature ladies, it wasn't too rough and tumble just grabed on to their necks and wouldn't let go - growling and snarling all the time. I was able to get them inside an outside kennel and then pry them apart and close the door - one inside and one outside. I then took stock of the closest bitch who was covered with blood - not a puncture mark anywhere so I assumend the blood was from the other bitch. Checked her out and not a mark or puncture on her. - I then thought well maybe somebody lost a tooth. Well let me tell you that it was bleeding gums. both these bitchs had held on so long and were biting and holding on so hard that their teeth wiggled a bit - which knocked off the plaque that I was taking them in for a dental in 2 days for - so while I don't recommend this method for teeth cleaning - Their teeth were squeeky clean.

The fact that they were old was the only thing that made seperating them possible - they got tired too fast and were actually just standing there holding on to each other.

RIP Katie and Ginger
Your stories still make me smile.

My wife is ok - thanks for asking. Well thanks again everyone for the info. Just knowing the aggression may not be permanent put our mind at ease. Its been 3 or 4 days now and Shelby has calmed down. There were times I had to put her in a muzzle and she really didn't like that. Afterwards, anytime she would growl at Loiue I'd just show her the muzzle - putting it on if the growling was intense or didn't stop. In just a few days she knew what it meant when I showed her the muzzle and she's now stopped the aggression. Maybe its a coincidence and her cycle is winding down now. Either way, we're happy to have her back. She gets spayed on Friday. Thanks again everyone!
–Mike

@nomrbddgs:

-baby gates, crates and separate rooms will be the name of the game.

BABY GATES for what purpose??
My boys would simply laugh at me if I thought that they could possibly keep them from a bitch in season!!

One boy we had (thankfully not in my own house) was a total escape artist and I'd put him in a vari-kennel inside of a wire crate that was clped all around it closed!

I found putting the boys in the escape-proof dog run outdoors works peachy…. girls can be indoors in crates... this will be the first year in a while I will have had to deal with bitches in season that actually live in my house... so it shall be fun I am sure 🙂

I'm not talking about intact males. I don't have any. If I did I couldn't leave them outside anyway-it's too cold where I live. And I do know my bitches. Damisi will not jump the gate-only Sugar. And Sugar will not jump if she doesn't feel good. Damisi is also crated most of the time when they are in season. But since Sugar has a tough time with the crate I don't crate her all that much.

PS I love the looks of your Max!

@khanis:

BABY GATES for what purpose??
My boys would simply laugh at me if I thought that they could possibly keep them from a bitch in season!!

One boy we had (thankfully not in my own house) was a total escape artist and I'd put him in a vari-kennel inside of a wire crate that was clped all around it closed!

I found putting the boys in the escape-proof dog run outdoors works peachy…. girls can be indoors in crates... this will be the first year in a while I will have had to deal with bitches in season that actually live in my house... so it shall be fun I am sure 🙂

Well if nothing else you will remember why you had only same sex before! …ggg

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