How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Rebecca Your Own Question
Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17087
Experience:  Veterinarian for more than 30 years
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Rebecca is online now

My unneutered 4.5 year old male has suddenly started whining,

This answer was rated:

My unneutered 4.5 year old male has suddenly started whining, licking at the neck and becoming very "interested" in my other 7.5 year old unneutered male almost as if he thinks she is a bitch coming into season. He is not trying to hump him but wont leave him alone.
I am sorry to hear about your dogs.

I can think of several possible reasons for this to happen.

One possibility is that there is a female dog coming into season nearby, that he can smell. If he can't get out and get to her, he may be acting out on your older dog, out of frustration.

Another possibility is that your older dog is giving off estrogen, which incites the younger dog's behavior. Tumors of a testicle, or of an adrenal gland can secrete estrogen, which is the same hormone female dogs are giving off when they are in heat. I would feel both testicles, to see if they feel the same, or if there are any firm or enlarged areas on one of the older dog's testicles.

The last possibility is that this is all a behavior problem. Your 4 year old dog is becoming fully emotionally, socially, and sexually mature. In a pack of dogs living in the wild, mounting another male is a way of telling them that a younger dog is wanting to become a dog with more social status, the "top dog". If this is the case, this behavior could be harmless unless the older dog starts to resent it, and then a fight could ensue.

If this goes away on its own, it is probably a female in heat in your neighborhood. If it gets worse, I would have the older dog checked out for an estrogen secreting tumor or some other physical problem.

Please let me know what else I can help with or answer.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Well there is no humping yet and his "bits" feel totally smooth and as they should be (actually I think he thinks he's just had a free nut-rub!!!) I also have a 1 year old unneutered male who is showing no signs of any attraction to the older male so I wouldn't think it is the way he smells or presumably he'd be reacting that way too. Re the top dog theory, the 4.5 year old doing all the whining is already the top dog so there isn't really any need for him to alter his behaviour. The dog doing all the flirting etc had an epileptic fit on Sunday afternoon (it is now Tuesday afternoon as I write this). This behaviour started the day AFTER the fit so I don't know if this has any baring on the possibilities? He has had fits before but never exhibited this behaviour

A one year old unneutered male might not yet be attuned to picking up estrogen yet, but you are correct, it does sound like something between the two older dogs. So the older dog is "flirting" and inviting this behavior in the 4 year old?

The seizure could be related to the problem, I agree. Has it been determined why he has seizures? Dogs can sense seizures, smell tumors, and if there is some internal illness in the older dog, the 4 year old may be aware of it and this is his response.

I would start with some basic blood tests to rule out reasons for an older dog to have seizures. This is probably not epilepsy, unless it has been going on all his life. Epilepsy is usually apparent by the time a dog is 2 to 3 years old. If an older dog has seizures, it is usually caused by things like hormone imbalances, low blood sugar, liver disease, or brain disease.

I do think the older dog's seizure is a clue, and that is where I would look next.

Please let me know what else I can answer or help with.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ive obviously not explained that very well.

The younger dog (Rain) has the seizures and has done so from a week after his booster at 12 months of age :(

The younger dog is doing all the flirting.


The older dog (Axl) is not interested in the advances of the younger dog at all and when Rain pushes his advances further, Axl turns round and tells him to pack it in. Axl was diagnosed with hypothyroidism age 5 - he's now 7.5 years old and very stable as a rule


Currently everything appears normal. The "attention" being paid was about a couple of hours yesterday and again today - both times commencing on our walk and continuing throughout the duration of the walk (about 1 hour) and for a further hour on our return.

Sorry I was confused.

So Rain, the youngest dog, is "flirting"? What exactly does he do?

With 3 intact male dogs, and all those hormones, and Rain's "flirting", this could be related to pack behavior, hormones, and dominance in the pack. Rain is just starting to get old enough to determine where in the pack he will fit, and there could be some "communication" going on among the three of them as Rain becomes mature.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

At 4.5 years old, Rain is already mature Id say and he is the pack leader anyway so I wouldn't think that is something he needs to assert unless the addition of our third dog who is now 1 is upsetting the balance somewhat.


Rain approaches Axl and licks the back of his neck and kind of chatters and drools a bit as you'd expect them to do with a female. He whines and cries and wants to touch him and lick him and kind of dances about around him as if trying to tease him - as you would expect a male to do to try to win over a female.


If he tries to muscle in and get his head over Axl's shoulders/neck, Axl turns round and barks at him to stop and wont entertain it at all.


All the while, Chi, the 1 year old, is completely oblivious to the whole thing

I guess I am still confused. I thought Rain was the one year old!

So Rain is the four year old, the one that has seizures, and is the pack leader.

Axl is the 7 year old, who is being interesting to Rain.

And Chi is 1. Yes, Chi is becoming the age where he will start to try to figure out where he fits into the pack. He may accept being bottom, or he may challenge Rain for the top spot. That could be part of what is going on with Rain.

I would not discount Rain's seizures as being part of his behavior to Axl.

Is Rain on medication for his seizures? Is Axl on medication for his hypothyroidism?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Rain is not on medication for his seizures as they are very infrequent. Axl has been on Soloxine for 2 years and is doing magnificently well on it - even being able to compete at agility competitions.


I think it sounds like a whole pack dynamic change issue then. I will keep an eye on Axl's testicles as you say just to be on the safe side and if it continues for any length of time, Ill have him to the vet for some bloods.


~thank you for your help



Yes, I agree. It sounds like there is no physical reason for the behavior. Pack dynamics would be at the top of my list.

You are welcome, Kerry. Please let me know if I can help with or answer anything else.

Rebecca and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for the good rating.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You're welcome, you have put my mind at rest and at the same time, given me a consideration to bare in mind, just in case. Would do anything for my boys and like to think I don't miss a trick ;)


Many thanks Rebecca


You are welcome!