My 3 year old german shepherd dog is intact. This was on the recommendation of my veterinarian, who suggested if I am not having a problem with my dog’s behaviors, his reproductive hormones actually come with a host of benefits. I’ll let you google all that, but recently I noticed a potential downside.

We were out walking in the woods, and he began sniffing around in a manner that I’ve never noticed before. It wasn’t the way he sniffs when he is checking our a squirrel or deer poop. And a thought flicked through my mind. “I wonder if a coyote in heat might leave scent that is fascinating to a dog.”

Kind of a scary thought. I definitely don’t want my dog to discover that he could take off on me to find a coyote or wolf in heat.

So I did some research and it turns out that wolves and coyotes typically go into heat January through March. It’s near the end of January now.

Fortunately M’Ocean has been really good at sticking with me, and when I see him start to sniff around and drift in his thoughts, I clip a long line to him. The issue I get is when I start heading home, and he doesn’t want the walk to end. So I’ve added a new trick, which is leaving a raw beef bone in a container just inside my gate when we head off into the woods. He seems to remember that I left it there, and it has a different impact than the treats I carry, that poor sad unguarded bone, hanging out all by itself. This seems to make him more interested in getting home, less interested in diversions that might prolong his walk.

Published by

Jenny Ruth Yasi

author, sailor, animal trainer,rally, agility and freestyle competitor, owner/proprietor Whole Dog Camp, now located in Freeport, Maine. For 31 years we lived on Peaks Island Maine. Now we are sailing with our 2 dogs in the Bahamas, and will return to Maine in 2017

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