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With our health guarantee we ask people to keep their dogs intact until they are at least 18months due to the health benefits (see HERE).

Below are details surrounding a female dog's heat cycle! Please note this is an average. Every female's heat cycle can be different. 


Dogs will usually cycle every 6-8 months, but shorter or longer durations in between heat cycles are not abnormal. 

Expect a first heat cycle to happen anytime after 6 months. On average I feel like most of ours are cycling around a year old. 

Pre-heat: Look for signs of swelling in the vulva, interest from other dogs (female or male)

Day 1: First sign of bleeding 

Day 2-10: Bleeding will start out darker red and get almost salmon pink color as their cycle progresses.

Day 8-21: Dogs will usually stop bleeding or it will lighten. THIS IS WHEN THEY ARE MOST FERTILE and can get pregnant!!

Day 21+: Keep her away from intact males for up to 21 days at least or longer if she is still bleeding or males are interested. 

If your dog continues to have discharge beyond 21 days, I would suggest contacting your vet for a checkup- just to be on the safe side.

Resources and Tips

  • Crate training- allowing her a place to be safe away from other dogs​

  • Diapers - recommended to use only under supervision (they have reusable ones you can buy)

    • Make sure to take off when she is outside​

    • I don't recommend getting the disposable ones if they are prone to chewing

    • Make sure you wash/change diapers at least daily 

  • Fenced yard- not only to keep your female in and away from other dogs, but to keep other dogs out!

  • Avoid the dog park

  • Avoid public outings (that isn't fair to her or other dogs if she is in heat)

  • It is normal for female dogs to hump each other before or during cycles, and sometimes neutered males will still be interested 


  • Do their temperaments change during or after a heat cycle?

    • Many people notice their dog may get clingy or be more whiney during their heat cycles. For the most part if you continue your normal schedule (aside from public outings) they will get through it without too many differences in their temperament or behavior.

  • Can I have an intact male dog around her when she is in heat?

    • Breeding can happen very fast. It is important and only fair to both dogs to keep her away from intact males to avoid breeding. Utilizing a crate will help allow her a safe space when you cannot watch her.

  • Should I let my dog have a litter?

    • "A common belief is that female dogs will become more friendly and sociable if they have a litter of puppies. This is not true and only serves to contribute further to the serious problem of dog overpopulation." (VCA, 2023)

    • All dogs should be properly health tested prior to having a litter. If this is something you are considering, please reach out. 

  • What do I do if my dog is accidentally bred?

    • Reach out to us and your vet. If she has been bred then is a chance she is going to be pregnant.

  • How long can a heat cycle last?

    • Heat cycles can be anywhere from 15-28 days long. Generally, the timing above is average for most dogs in our breed. 

  • What to expect after a heat cycle?

    • For the most part dogs will go back to their normal selves after a heat cycle. If for any reason you have concerns (false pregnancy, discharge continues, or any smell/swelling) it is best to contact your vet to ensure everything is normal. 

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