Dog Penis - What You Need To Know But Are Too Embarrassed To Ask

Dog Penis - What You Need To Know But Are Too Embarrassed To Ask

Author WDF Staff


Owning a dog means dealing with their best, and their worst behavior. Living with a dog indeed has it’s “less glamourous” part like picking up after your dog, sniffing your guest’s private parts, eating garbage, and of course, the occasional appearance of their penis.

We are very well aware of that as I am a dog owner whose dog decides that the most appropriate time for his “red rocket” to make an appearance is when I had guests at home. He thought that sitting in the middle of the living room surrounded by my family and friends and licking himself would be completely appropriate.

Redirection is a great way of taking your dog’s mind off bad behavior. Why not get them an interesting dog toy that can occupy their mind and attention - KONG Classic Dog Toy.

It’s a shame that dogs can’t feel shame, he just casually walked away and left me blushing like I did something embarrassing. That was the moment I decided to make a little research about my dog’s behavior and why he does what he does.

A dog’s penis can be a topic that might be uncomfortable to talk about, but it is something that you will need to be acquainted with if you are becoming a dog parent of a male dog. We will try and cover the basic things you should know and we would encourage you to ask your vet any additional questions you may have. So let’s begin.

What exactly is a dog’s penis?

Most of us are not comfortable saying the word penis, so the dog owner community invented the term “dog lipstick” and “red rocket”. These two terms are widely used as a reference to a dog’s penis.

It is the male sex organ that all male mammals have, and your dog is one of them. As a dog owner, you need to know how it looks and especially how it normally looks, so if anything out of the ordinary happens, you can react quickly and call your vet.

shy dog

What does a normal dog’s penis look like?

A normal dog penis is mostly covered in a prepuce or sheath. The sheath is the name of the tissue and skin that surrounds the non-erect dog penis. It is usually covered with fur, but not in all dog breeds. Some breeds have no fur on their sheath.

The actual dog’s penis should have red or pink coloring. It is covered with a membrane and that is what gives the penis it’s coloring. Dogs have a bone located in their penis and it is called the “os penis” or "baculum" in Latin. All male placental mammals have this bone and it helps the males penetrate the females during intercourse, even if the penis is not erect.

Why does a dog’s penis get erect?

You probably already guessed the answer to this question. Dog’s penises can get erect if they are aroused and excited. Though not the exact excitement you might think about. The “red rocket” can even make an appearance when your dog gets excited about non-sexual things such as training, dog park, or just you returning home from work.

This can be frustrating and rather embarrassing for some people so a good technique to manage that is simply by ignoring it. If you ignore the dog during that time, you are not rewarding the dog’s reaction and directly teaching them that their energy should be channeled in another way. Once the excitement wears off, your dog’s penis will get back in the sheath.

What are the situations when a dog’s penis can make an appearance?

Some people hate when this happens and would like to know what situations can cause your dog’s penis to show. If you (like me) are one of these people, we prepared some situations that can get uncomfortable so you can prepare yourself.

One of the most common situations a dog’s penis will show is when your dog tries to hump other dogs. Humping doesn’t mean sexual behavior, more often than not, it is a showing of dominance and play. It doesn’t mean your dog is trying to copulate with the other dog or masturbate. It is usually just a showing of dominance and playing.

Humping can also occur if your dog gets overly excited or anxious. Your dog will start humping if he hasn’t learned the proper ways to channel these emotions and then it starts humping things.

shy dog

Canine copulation (intercourse)

If you are planning on breeding your dog, you should be aware of basic things about canine copulation. A dog’s penis has a bone in it and in the middle of that bone there is a gland called “bulbus glandis”. This gland swells up during the copulation and “ties” a male dog to a female dog.

A dog will usually remain tied for a couple of minutes until that swelling goes down and the penis can safely exit the female’s vagina. However, if you are not planning on breeding your dog, it would be a good idea to spay or neuter them.

Can a spayed dog still get erections?

The short answer - yes. A spayed male dog cannot impregnate a female dog but it can still get an erection and the penis will show. Like we already said, arousal is not always tied to copulation and your dog might show it’s penis if it gets excited about walking, training, or playing.

Dog’s penis discharge

If you have a male dog, every not and then you will encounter a sort of discharge on your dog’s penis. Some might think that this is another one of the gross parts of living with a male dog but that doesn’t mean you should not know what this is.

There is a possibility you will see a pus-like (greenish-yellowish) discharge on the end of your dog’s steath and this is usually not a reason you should worry about. It is a mixture of lubricant and cells that keep the dog’s penis safe while tucked in the steath.

You shouldn’t see this discharge too often and in large quantities. However, if that does happen, that can be a sign that something is wrong with your dog. If you notice your dog is trying to lick its privates a lot and the discharge happens more often, that can be an indication of a medical problem like a urinary tract infection or even canine cancer. If that happens, take your dog to your vet as soon as possible.

Now you are familiar with the basics of what might be an uncomfortable topic. Make sure your dog is healthy and happy and we are sure that whatever problematic or uncomfortable behavior you are experiencing will soon stop.

World Dog Finder team