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The Dog's Heat Cycle Explained

Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.

The canine heat cycle does not occur at any particular time of year or season.

The canine heat cycle does not occur at any particular time of year or season.

When Does a Dog's Heat Cycle Begin?

A dog's heat cycle may appear to be something quite difficult to understand. Unlike other species, the canine heat cycle does not seem to follow any logic (e.g., following a specific seasonality or temperature change). Rather, it occurs regardless of whether it is the dead of the winter or the dog days of summer.

Many times the dog's heat cycle—better known as the estrous cycle—seems to be quite unpredictable. The first heat generally occurs around six months in small- to medium-sized dogs and around 12–18 months in larger breed dogs. However, it is not unheard of for some giant dog breeds to go into heat at around 30 months of age.

A dog's heat cycle explained in pie chart form.

A dog's heat cycle explained in pie chart form.

Phases of the Dog's Heat Cycle

The cycle is divided into four distinct phases explained below.


This is when the dog's reproductive tissues swell and appear puffy. A bloody discharge will take place as the female carefully licks herself quite often in order to keep herself clean. Loss of appetite and irritability are not very uncommon. Male dogs may be interested in the female but she will not be interested as of yet. This phase generally lasts seven to 10 days.


This phase is also known by breeders as ''standing heat'' because this phase is actually when the female dog will stand still for the male to breed. Gradually the bloody discharge seen in proestrus will be replaced by a pink- or straw-colored discharge signaling this important phase. This phase generally lasts 4 to 14 days.


This phase concludes the mating process, as most females at this point will no longer be interested in males. Males, however, may still stick around. This phase if the dog has been impregnated lasts generally from the end of the estrus until the birth of the puppies, averaging therefore 60 days. If the dog has not been impregnated, the diestrus phase will not be any different from the anaestrus stage.


This is the longest phase of a dog's heat cycle, indeed it ranges from 100 to 150 days. It appears to be a quiet time for the dog's reproductive organs, however, the dog's pituitary gland and ovaries are in reality getting ready for the next proestrus cycle.

Heat Abnormalities

Split Heat

In this case, the dog's heat is interrupted and then continued at a later time. Basically, a female dog will exhibit signs of proestrus (including the typical bleeding), but then once estrus approaches the symptoms disappear for some time.

Induced Estrus

It appears that in some cases, the presence of a female in heat may awaken the heat cycle in other females as well.

Silent Heats

In this case, the heat is silent, meaning that there are hardly any outward signs to suggest that the heat has occurred.

Common Questions About Dog Breeding

How Often Does a Dog Come Into Heat?

Most dogs generally go into heat every six months, or better said, twice a year. However, Basenjis and wolf hybrids tend to go only once a year.

At What Age Can a Dog Be Bred?

Professional breeders know that dogs should never be bred on their first heat cycle. Rather, the second or the third cycles are preferable because the dog is more mature and makes a better mother. Of course, only top breeding quality dogs should be bred to decrease the pet overpopulation problem.

What Are Common Breeding Difficulties?

Picky Females: While males seem to have no problem breeding with the female in heat, females on the other hand may be selective at times.

Multi-Sired Pups: If the female dog is allowed to escape, she may breed with various males. This results in what is known as a ''multi-sired litter,'' where there are puppies from different fathers.


The Complete Book of Dog Breeding by Dan Rice DVM

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: Will the bleeding stop completely when she’s ready to breed?

Answer: The discharge usually turns from red to a straw-like color when she is ready to breed.

Question: My female dog discharged dark red blood once or twice a day after mating. Does this mean she is not pregnant?

Answer: It is normal for a dog in heat to continue to have some bleeding even after they've been bred. As long as the discharge isn't excessive and she's not acting abnormal (not eating, being lethargic, having vomiting or diarrhea) then you are likely simply just seeing some remnant bleeding due to the continuation of her cycle. Bleeding or not after mating has no indication of whether the breeding "took" or not. In other words, it doesn't provide any clues on whether your dog will be pregnant. The only sure way to determine pregnancy is by seeing the vet. An ultrasound can help confirm a pregnancy and that is done around day 25.

Question: At what age does a heat cycle end for a female dog?

Answer: Heat cycles never stop in dogs. In other words, female dogs do not go into menopause as people do. It is advisable to have an intact female dog spayed because, with age, they become more and more prone to a potentially life-threatening condition known as pyometra.

Question: What is a dog's gestation period?

Answer: The gestation period of a dog is approximately 63 days.

Question: When will my female dog go into heat after having puppies seventeen weeks ago?

Answer: Usually, most dogs tend to go into heat every six to seven months. There can be individual variances with some dogs going into heat as early as four months, or as late as every twelve months.

Question: If my dog is in heat, can she be spayed?

Answer: Yes, but vets prefer to have the spay procedure done after the heat cycle considering that there is more swelling (due to increased blood flow to the ovaries and uterus) when a dog is in heat which can lead to more bleeding and possible complications. It will also cost more to have a dog in heat spayed compared to not in heat. Waiting for the heat cycle to be over may be a wise choice.

Question: Can my dog become pregnant with a few 2-3 minute penetrations and no 30 minute tie with the male?

Answer: In general, a tie (when both dogs are locked together) lasts anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes. These 2 to 3 minute penetrations sound more like slip matings, especially if the male tries the whole routine all over again after slipping out. Ideally, for successful mating, the male would have to mount long enough for getting locked and discharging over a period of time. During this time, the first fluid discharged is the, 'prewash' followed by the actual fluid that promotes pregnancy, followed then by the final fluid which cleans out the pathway. However occasionally (although somewhat rarely) pregnancy can occur in matings where an official tie does not occur and this happens if the dog is discharging very shortly after penetration.

Question: Will a female dog bleed/spot after heat?

Answer: A normal heat cycle in dogs typically lasts an average of 7 to 14 days. If a female dog's bleeding goes on longer than that, then it is worthy of wondering whether something's going on.

At times, some dogs may develop ovarian cysts, and these may cause irregularities in a dog's heat cycle.

Even more worrisome, bleeding after a heat can be indicative of Pyometra, a uterine infection which may turn life threatening if treatment is not sought in time. Affected dogs though are normally quite ill.

Other possibilities include the presence of a growth or tumor in the uterus that is bleeding. If the dog has been bred or accidentally mated, bleeding after a cycle may also be indicative of a miscarriage.

If a dog is bleeding/spotting after a heat cycle, it would, therefore, be important having her examined by a vet. The vet may wish to rule out serious disorders and perhaps run some blood tests to evaluate the dog's hormone levels.

Question: Will a female dog continue to bleed if she is pregnant?

Answer: No, it is not normal for a female dog who is guaranteed to be pregnant to be bleeding. Bleeding in a pregnant dog can be a sign of a miscarriage, and therefore a veterinary exam would be needed for the investigation. In some cases, the bleeding may stem from other causes such as trauma or maybe the blood is coming from the urinary tract, as it is common with urinary tract infections. Bleeding disorders may also be a cause, as it happens with exposure to rat poison.

In an intact (not spayed) female dog who is NOT pregnant, bleeding can be worrisome, considering that this may be a sign of Pyometra. Pyometra is a uterine infection which often starts within 3-4 weeks following the heat cycle.

Question: My bulldog puppy is 7 months, can she be in heat that early?

Answer: Yes, it is very possible. Generally, female dogs go into heat anywhere between 6 and 24 months old, depending on their breed and size. Larger dogs are usually closer to the higher end of this range. With Bulldogs, you should generally expect them to go into heat going between 6 and 8 months of age.

Question: At what age does a dog stop going into heat?

Answer: They never do. Indeed, intact female dogs do not go into menopause as humans do. However, as they get older, their cycles can become very abnormal, but they still may remain to a certain extent fertile. For this fact, it's important to be extra careful with the older intact dogs as a pregnancy at an older age can be risky. On top of this, as older dog's age, they become more and more prone to pyometra which can be life-threatening.

Question: Does the discharge changing color and the female dog willing to stand for mating mean that she has ovulated?

Answer: I wished it was that easy! There is no way to tell exactly when dogs ovulate. Sure, if she is receptive that can be one sign, but to up the chances of determining the right time it may help to check vaginal cytology to look at the cells and do a blood progesterone level which with serial testing can allow you to know when ovulation should occur.


Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 23, 2020:

Hi Jovial, if she is past the estrus stage, unfortunately, yes, you will have to wait for the next cycle. This is a not a bad thing. In many dog breeds the first or even second heat is skipped on purpose so that the dog is more mature mentally and also you can see how she develops and have her checked by a vet for any possible genetic flaws that can be passed on to her litter.

Jovial on August 22, 2020:

My blood hound never mated when she was on heat this month so, do we have to wait another six months for her to be on heat?

Mike on August 19, 2020:

Hi, i notice a blood stain in my dog 21 days after mating. It's a droplet solid red. Would that be normal?

Lola on July 11, 2020:

What happens when we accidentally breed the female dog at the estrus stage where she stands at the male and start acting like a male dog?.And we skip days at there breeding time?.

Does it okay if let it stop or we should let it continue?.

Kemberly Piedragosa on June 14, 2020:

Is there possible that my male dog will be no longer interested in female dog when its heat?

Christine Joy on May 31, 2020:

Why is my dog is having a Dark red Vaginal discharge after mating 3 weeks ago? And his vulva size is back on normal size. pls help me!!! I dont know what to do, all vet around here is still not operating.

Taylor on May 31, 2020:

My dog bled for 7 days and then had yellowish/whitish discharge. Our male dog then tried to impregnate her but I don't think he succeeded. Now she is bleeding dark red blood, almost black. What's going on?

Mc lara on December 30, 2019:

My female husky once littered came into heat exactly 5months after her last litter I counted the days exactly and matted her on yhe 9th day and 11th day and 13th day all the three matting were successful ties and on 19th day I thought heat has been over and tied down the parking a stray dog had been tied up wat kind of pups may cm will it cm pure or crosd

Kim Taylor on December 06, 2019:

My 11month old Cocker Spaniel is trying to go into heat.She continously licks her space.Her private is swollen,my daughter says not that big.She is vey aggresive at night with me as trying to mount my arm.I dont know what to do lol.I am curious if she is having cycle but is so clean no blood is seen.She is trained to use bathroom outside and inside.So with it being cold here in Va she uses inside.She does have an odor bit not real bad,she is being very picky with her food.She doesnt eat alot of dog food as I make her food.She does drink water as I encourage it.Someone told me her mounting me was a sign of her trying to be dominant.Please help

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 25, 2019:

The heat cycle continues despite mating and continues regardless of whether she is pregnant or not. Expect her cycle to end in 4 to 14 days. If she has been impregnated puppies will be on their way in about 63 days. If her "cycle " is lasting longer consul with your vet. What may look like a heat cycle presenting again 1 week to 3 months after a heat cycle, may be a sign of pyometra which is life threatening.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 25, 2019:

Most female dogs go in heat every 6 months but this may vary as much as 4 to 12 months between cycles.

Vartika gupta on November 23, 2019:

After mating my dog she is still on heating period what does it means ?

Sarah on November 17, 2019:

My female american bully last cycle was on mothers day when is she going in heat again..

nikki191 on November 15, 2019:

My dog is over 10 years old and is not showing any signs of being in heat but my young male dog got locked with her is there any chance of her getting nocked up

Chris on October 30, 2019:

My dog mated and stuck and tied but she is still dripping a bit is she pregnant

Dusty. on October 11, 2019:

I rescued a little jack russel pup from a friend they just couldnr have her at the time . Anyhow shes gone into heat and im assuming its her first one cause their first one normally the longest but shes been in heat for 7 weeks which has me a little concerned ive made a vet appintment but i dont wanna waste my time and money if theres nothing rhey can do for her.

Carol on September 26, 2019:

2 year old chihuahua swells when in heat however doesn’t bleed. Progesterone proves the cycle has started. What is the cause!

martha on September 15, 2019:

my female dog just came out of hear last is it possible for her to be coming into heat again

Rakshu on July 30, 2019:

Is bleeding less or more in first heat cycle of golden retriever

Marilyn on April 21, 2019:

4yr female Rotwieller has been inciminated twice and did not take either time. How ever after the last time she discharged a large witish clump of something. I thought it may have been a miscarriage but not sure. She had a sonagram that showed no visible sighns of puppies. Wondering if she could have contracted an infection and what she passed was puss is this possible? She is bleeding again this time a lot heaver, shes never bled like this before. Any suggestions?

jeanine on April 17, 2019:

How long does a male dog stay in heat

Tom Hughes Casa Grande, AZ on April 10, 2019:

My jack russell/chihuahua mix is approx 3.5 yeears old. Ive known her her whole life and owned her for the last two years. She has always had somewhat heavy “spotting”in her estrus cycles until last Sept. (2018) when she seems to have missed her cycle completely and hasnt had one since. Is this normal or what should I be looking for, to be causing this? Thank you T.H.

Darran on April 06, 2019:

Hey I have a 5 year old female Akita that has never been bred. But I am now looking to breed her will she still bleed so I know she’s in heat?

Jolinda on February 16, 2019:

My dog is already on estrus stage with pink straw colored blood, she being breed, but after 3 days the bleeding become bright there something wrong?

Johnbosco on October 20, 2018:

Can she still cross afted the discharge?

Pammy G on October 11, 2018:

We have a female blue nose pocket pit approximately 5 years old. She has NOT been spayed. We’ve had her for two years she had at least two litters of pups that we know of before we rescued her. Since we’ve had her she has not went into heat. What could be wrong , should I be alarmed??

Ally on October 07, 2018:

What progesterone levels are the best time to breed? I have them done, then the vet speculates what day to breed based on the level. I would like to know when the best level is. 6-12? 10-15? Just an idea. Thank you

Nikki on October 03, 2018:

My female had pups about seven weeks ago. She is bleeding now and my male dog is trying to have sex with her again

Kay on September 06, 2018:

Why is my dog still bleeding, I mean passing out blood 2 weeks after mating wit a male dog.

Is possible she is pregnant and at de same time passing out blood..


Is she having miscarriage

Lindalu on August 19, 2018:

My male has been interested in my female for almost three week. today she has swelling but no bleeding. My female is ready but my male show little interest. also he goes limp and prejackulates out side of her. is something wrong with male?

Adrian on June 13, 2018:

Can a female dog get stuck with a male when she's not in heat no more

Nan on May 30, 2018:

Abby our yellow lab has been to the breeder five times they never locked up but there was a lot of action should I keep taking her back until she quit standing for the mail

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 26, 2018:

Sherri, from your description it sounds like it. However, it sounds like the males are interested in her? Maybe you can monitor closely for the first days and let her wear a pair of panties to make mating difficult in case she's not out of it completely. Some dogs in heat may snap at first and then allow mating, so I wouldn't rely totally on her behavior for future reference, but the swelling going down sounds like a promising sign she is out of heat.

Sherri on May 23, 2018:

My Chihuahua tiny has been in heat for like 3 weeks now we have had her locked up to keep from getting pregnant now her ... is smaller and she snapping at my males does this mean she's going out of heat

beverly on April 11, 2018:

my female chihuahua was mated her last heat i was so sure she was expecting she had loads of simtions but no pups i was all prepared and excited the dog was a private stud hed fathered lots of litters, so im waiting patient till june her next heat to try again couldnt understand as they tied 3 times

Kara and Cory on March 13, 2018:

Is it normal for my females to stop bleeding during their cycle? Does this mean they stopped going into heat? How do I know if she is having a silent heat?

Danielle on January 13, 2018:

Is it normal for my male husky to want to mate several times while she is in heat with her?

sharon on December 15, 2017:

I breed Germans Shepherds my female went into a silent heat which I caught it due to the reaction of my male! lol But I was planning to breed anyway. Question is after my male were tied about 5 times I took her away from him. Well I notice a few spots of blood on the floor from her. Why is she still bleeding and should I put her back with him? Please let me know soon thank you. :)

Corina on December 11, 2017:

So my 7 month old was in heat she was bleeding everywherr unlocked her inside the house with us and in the dog room...but I noticed she ain't bleeding anymore does this mean she is good to go outside's been over 3 weeks almost 4 since she's been in heat ....???

Anna on October 22, 2017:

My yorkie came into heat at the end of September , On 10-6 she got tied with another Yorkie Now 15 days later u find her stuck with my 7mnth old Yorkie! How can that happen? Is it a split heat? if so did she get pregnant at her first Tie” Help

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 09, 2017:

Your dog may be pregnant if she mated, regardless if they tied or not. The spay surgery will not allow her to have pups.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 09, 2017:

Silent heat may have little to no symptoms. The most evident sign may be over licking genital area.

Barbara on October 03, 2017:

I have a 6 month old female who came into heat without me even knowing..My male did lock up with her..What are the chances she could be with pups? She is due to be spayed in a week but they wanted because they had to wait until she was 6 months old.. Now this..I am so upset..

Tami Hughes on October 02, 2017:

what are the symptoms of he quite heat? And what can you do for it?

Pamla Sansalone on September 22, 2017:

I have a five-year-old snoodle that has never shown signs of being in heat she's been spayed at a very young age but now she's humping everything in sight how long is this going to last and why is this happening after five years I'm totally confused thank you

Enesis91 on September 13, 2017:

Hi I really have some concerns about my female German Shepherd I bred her on 9/8/2017 and on Monday 9/11/2017 she stop bleeding and now she has a yellowish green discharge with no odor on 9/13/2017 should I be worried or this is normal please help.. thank you..

dossdog on September 04, 2017:

my dog came in heat august 16 2017 when do i breed her

tim p on July 31, 2017:

I have a female and a male pit bull, the female has just came out of heat but we didn't breed her, we are going to wait till her second heat cycle, the problem is somebody told me that if she wasn't bred she would come in heat within 30 days of going out, I am just wondering because she is showing signs that she is going in heat again.

Aisling Murray on July 23, 2017:

My 4 month old pitbull puppy, who has several k9 playmates, seems to be attracting the attention of all the unfixed males she plays with suddenly. They don't seem to want to do anything but hump her, over the past couple days. Could this mean she is going through a silent heat, or is sh3 still to young?

Heather Fulger on June 12, 2017:

Is it possible for a female dog to accept a male at any point in her cycle? My GSD was not in heat yesterday and the males wasn't interested at all, now today she hasnt bled until just tonight but has let him hook her 3 times now?

Khan on June 07, 2017:

My female on heat now today is 5 days on heat but the blood fall is not gud

anuj on May 27, 2017:

I have a Neapolitan bitch about 5 year old .. before one month she is discharging white pus from her vagina after treatment she survived but now from 15 days she is not eating any thing...

Sue on May 27, 2017:

Our female is now in day 16 of being in heat. We have had her together with the male for 6 days now. She was showing interest a few days ago but now she has gone cold on the male. She is very moody and ignores the male. Could they now have mated? Or should we leave them a few more days?

Diane Abbott on May 20, 2017:

How often does a dog come in heat and for how long

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 07, 2017:

It can be you're dealing with "silent heat" where signs are not noticeable, or skipped heat, which can be caused by underlying medical conditions. on April 30, 2017:

I had a question about my 4 yr old female dog. She has only been in heat 1 time and wanted to know what was wrong with her?

Cherise codori on March 11, 2017:

Why do my breeding Jack's Russell females only cycle once a year, one has had 3 liters, other 2 liters, they run with the male year round

Cherise on March 11, 2017:

I have 2 breeding shortly Jack Russell, they only come in heat 1 time a year, is that normal, I also own the breeding male, one has has 3 liters, the other , 2 liters

LaTricia on March 03, 2017:

My lovely lady, a 14 month old Jack Russell/Rat Terror mix, had her first, and only, heat at 6 months. She has not had another heat since. She has, however, been around a very "affectionate" male around the time she should have had her second heat. My question is, if he got to her and they mated, would she have skipped her time?

Minnie on February 05, 2017:

So many people asking questions about breeding but yet our shelters are already so full of unwanted furbabies that thousands are having to be put down every single day. Please stop breeding for profit, people! If all of you who are asking questions about breeding would volunteer just ONE day at your local Humane Society or shelter, you would see where many of these (your) pups end up due to overbreeding.

I just rescued a very skinny 12 month old female living on a chain last weekend who went into heat 5 days later. I have never owned a female so I came here looking for information on the heat cycle. I must say that this article was the most in depth and explained the heat cycle with more clarity than any other articles I have read. Thank you for your helpful post.

Maria on January 22, 2017:

My pitbull is on day 12 of her cycle.. She let the boy mount her on day 10 and 11.. I noticed her blood is still there but it's like pink is this normal... Should I have the boy over again?? She is 2 1/2 years old... And is the first time breeding..

Danny on December 30, 2016:

My female dog swelled up and my male dog was all over her but never could really get going with her because she moved a lot, but was really letting him. Now she is very swelled and bleeding and neither dog looks very interested in each other. I really would like them to breed and its only been like 5 days now, will she come around and want him again?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 27, 2016:

Yes pretty normal, when it's the right time, she will allow him to mate otherwise you may need to do AI.

Arabellalor on December 26, 2016:

I have a female German Shepherd when in to heat and she seem to be ok but when my male shepherd try to made her she seem not to want to made is this normal??

ashlei on December 19, 2016:

My heeler just hit her first noticeable bleeding 2 weeks ago. I was curious, do they bleed the entire cycle? I'm worried about her first 9 days I thought she was starting heat but there was no blood. And even then, she didn't appreciate the attention our male was trying to give her. But I'd there a possibility that the standing happened before she bled? I'm confused with the whole thing.

Karissa on December 09, 2016:

I have a female terrier mix and shes on her second heat cycle. I plan to breed her for the first time.. But shes on her second day of the cycke is it bad to breed her now? Before the blood turns pink? And another question, does a dog with patches of color (the female) have a stronger gene than a dog that is a solid coltr (the male) just want to get an idea of the color of the pups

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 24, 2016:

It depends on what day she is in her heat cycle.

Huskygirl on November 20, 2016:

I have a 15 month old Siberian husky she went in to heat around the 3-6th if this month and I finally found her a male and she wont let him get on top of her but she will hump him. Can she still get pregnant if I keep him a few days with her?

Eliz on October 22, 2016:

My golden retriever is in her second week of her season, she just has a slight discharge but her tail and feathers are always soaking with urine, she had this problem the last season too, this is her 4th season she'd not great at keeping herself clean possibly because we had doggy pants and pads for her the first 2 seasons but there's no point this time or last time as she's so wet!

Shiba5 on September 11, 2016:

Hi I have a female that goes through the normal stages of heat except for the fact that her bloody discharge never goes straw coloured. It just stays the same red colour maybe a little lighter in colour but just gets less. Is it still ok to breed her?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 01, 2016:

Kristi, that does not sound normal, would see the vet, as soon as possible..

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 01, 2016:

That's not normal Ezekiel, please see a vet.

Ezekiel Guzman on August 29, 2016:

I have my dog female 7 months old she has the first heat (menstrual period ) but she is being bleeding for almost a month I think she is already weak she eats but she can't stand the dried food what can I do to help my dog??

Kristi thomas on August 26, 2016:

We rescued our pit bull about 2 months ago. She came in heat about 5 weeks ago and after the 10 day cycle she stopped and was mated by our other pit and now she has started bleeding again. It has been 3 weeks now of non stop bleeding. Any helpful hints???

Shelagh on August 19, 2016:

My female GSD has just recently started showing signs of heat and my male agrees with my thoughts. However, within 3 days he has almost completely lost interest. He is usually quite energetic in his displays with the girls, so I'm wondering, could she be done already? It's literally only been 4 days! This is her third heat, she just turned 2. Her last heat seemed short to me too, but as he wasn't allowed near her,I I didn't have his confirmation. Open to thoughts!

Jacque on June 25, 2016:

I have a 3 yr old female Rott and a male Rott, Both intact. We had tried to breed, with a full tie a couple of times each cycle, since she was 2, but no luck. Her last heat was in January and we took them in to the vet to have our male check out first. It turns out he is infertile. I located another intact 3 yr old male, that's owners have been wanting to breed. I noticed that our male was paying extra attention to her a couple of weeks ago. Her vulva had not swelled and she did not start to bleed until a week ago. I was watching our male to gestimate when she was fertile. His behavior has always been obvious. He had not tried to mount her yet, so I decided about 4 days ago to take her into the vet and have him check her. He did a vaginal smear and said she was at the tail end of her estrus. About 2 days left. He told me to take her directly to the other male, and try multiple bred dings over the next 2 days. I took her there end she seemed to be receptive to the male, but would not let him mount her. He is a little more timid than our male, and she started getting snippy with him every time he tried. He did however penetrate her for a short period, but no tie. I took her the next day, same thing, she flagged him but he seemed a little reluctant. They just hung out and played all afternoon, but we're fairly mellow. I did not take her back the 3rd day, assuming we missed the mark. Yesterday, 4th day since the vaginal smear, my male started acting anxious and trying to mount her. She was flagging him and let him mount. I pulled him off before he was able to penetrate and separated them. I took her back to the other male and she seemed receptive to him, even backing up to him, but would not let him mount. I noticed last night she was bleeding again now a little bit lighter. Slightly red in color.Today she has been hot and cold. Flags our male and allows him to mount, she has pants on so no penetration, but then later she growls if he is bugging her. This has been off and on all day? Should I try to take her back to the other male or would it be a waste of time? According to the vet....she should be done ovulating by now. I don't know if she is having an off cycle or if my males timing is off. Also could she just not want the other male because she is used to our male? She usually is not this moody. She has been sulking and acting very hormonal the last couple of days.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 11, 2016:

You should see the vet as soon as you can as it can be a sign of pyometra or a urinary tract infection.

Gill on May 08, 2016:

Hi my border terrier had a failed attempt at breading 11weeks ago, but has now started to bleed again and vulva is swollen, she normally comes in every six months, what does this mean? many thanks

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 06, 2015:

When there's a loss of interest, generally the heat is over, but doesn't hurt to keep the wraps on an extra day or two to make sure or at least supervise closely the two. A dog can be technically spayed even when in heat, but it costs more and is more complicated as there's more swelling and bleeding involved. I would give your vet a call and ask him/her directly for advise on the exact time frame as they seem to have different protocols.

Kristen on May 04, 2015:

Added to last post...I just dont want her to get pregnant!!! long after her heat is over can I take her to get fixed!?

Kristen on May 04, 2015:

I have a 4 year old schnauzer/chihuahua mix. She startes her cycle about 14 days ago. She has stopped bleeding and discharging for the most part. I also have a year old puppy which is actually her son and he was all over her for days but he has lost interest and they seem ro be back to normal. Does this mean her heat is over? Im wondering if I take off her diaper ans his wrap(diaper like thing rhat covers him up)...?!?!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 03, 2013:

Did you bring the male to her home, or the female to the male's home\? Many males won't perform much if in a different place. Can it be he has some health issue going on? Can you do artificial insemination?

rach on October 03, 2013:

I have a female we are breeding for the first time, she is over a year old and this is her 3rd heat cycle and I am a registered breeder. I noticed the stages of proestrus and then the bleeding stopped and she became very swollen. She is standing for our male and flagging and she has tied once, but the male is no longer interested in her. They are very playful and she keeps trying to interest him and he seems interested, but he is no longer mounting her. I also noticed her vulva is very dry. Do you have any idea what could be going on?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 06, 2013:

General practice is to not breed a dam that is over the age of 5. The chances for complications get higher as the dog ages. Consult with your vet to check on her.

Naynay on May 06, 2013:

I have a 6 yr old female that mated for her first time is that to old for a bitch to have puppies this was her first heat that she allowed a male to mount her

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 12, 2013:

Normally, the discharge is bloody for 7 to 10 days, but as the days go by, it changes to a watery, pinkish-red or straw colored discharge, for about 7-10 more. Generally, after this the discharge should show signs of tapering off. I would have her checked out just to be on the safe side, best wishes!

Stargirl on March 12, 2013:

i'm not sure what qualifies as a symptom. she seems healthy (now) aside from that. i'm taking her soon to get spayed, anyway. I'll ask the vet then. she's a little older than a year. the discharge definitely looks like discharge and not like she's bleeding internally. but i'm not a professional.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 11, 2013:

Do you mean the bloody discharge has been going on non-stop from Valentine's day? how old is she? Any symptoms other than the bloody discharge?

Stargirl on March 11, 2013:

I rescued my female on Valentine's Day, nearly a month a go, she was in heat then, i'm not sure for how long. She still has bloody discharge, and it is definitely red, and not pink or straw colored at all. Should I be worried?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 25, 2012:

She will stand for as long as her estrus cycle is active, once over she will no longer allow the male to mount.

Maryjo on September 23, 2012:

my female dog is still standing after she has mated. is this normal and does it mean shes not pregnat?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 01, 2012:

So dogs have what are called 'silent heats" which can be barely noticeable.

Paulina on August 30, 2012:

I have a 2 yr old southern standard American bulldog she was in heat in Feb so she should have come into heat again in August. She has not does this mean something is wrong with her?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 19, 2012:

Each dogs can have different cycles, so there are no rules of thumb. However, generally you will see bleeding for up to 10 days (proestrus) and then the bleeding should fade and become straw colored when she is actually in estrus (when she will be willing to mate) which can last another 10 days. She may still bleed a bit when she ends estrus, but she will lose interest in mating.

manys4 on July 19, 2012:

My APBT is in her first heat cycle. She is on day 19. Her bleeding has not lightened. Her vulva isn't as swollen as earlier, but the blood keeps flowing. How long does the bleeding actually last. I have been boarding my male dog to prevent pregnancy. I need to get my other dog home as soon as possible. She will be spayed once a few weeks pass from this cycle.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 26, 2012:

It varies from breed to breed. I have seen dogs going into heat as early as 6 months up to 12 or even more in larger breeds.

tommy on April 25, 2012:

Most of the dogs I own and breed have always went into season around 9 mo.And I have been breeding for 18 yrs.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 15, 2012:

This hub may be helpful to you:

You can always board here until she is ready for surgery if worse comes to worse, best wishes!

Isis on February 14, 2012:

I have a female large breed dog in heat I have the soonist appointment possible to have her spayed,and my roomate has an unneutered male but we are unable to get either of them fixed before her heat is over,are there any natural alternatives to decreasing this psychotic attraction for eachother in the meantime,it is making things very difficult, and all the world needs are more dogs without a home.Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.Thanks

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 15, 2012:

SuzieC, if she was receptive to your male calculate she is in the estrus phase which may last about 6-10 days. After this phase is over however your male may still insist on mounting her but she will be reluctant. There are no rules set in stone when it comes to the duration of the heat cycle as this varies from dog and dog, but to play it safe, perhaps keep her at least separated for a week to 10 days. If you can watch her,then you can make her wear special panties that prevent copulation but supervise. I would recommend getting her spayed once the heat is over, this hub may be helpful:

best wishes!