When to expect first heat???

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


Pretty Middie
Barked: Sat Jan 13, '07 9:52pm PST 
Middie is almost 9 months old and has yet to have her first heat. What is the usual time that it happens? One pup already had her's at around 6 months.....

Just want to be prepared and keep her safe from neighboring dogs that run loose.

Soafie Loafie
Barked: Sat Jan 13, '07 9:57pm PST 
Sofia had her first heat at 6 months. The heat cycle lasts for 21 days and occurs every 6 months.

Are you sure she hasnt had her first heat yet? It isnt always very obvious. Sofia was constantly cleaning herself and our male, Wexford had a new found interest in her! LOL

ETA: I was spayed yesterday!! So, that was my first AND last heat cycle.

Edited by author Sat Jan 13, '07 9:58pm PST

Roswell,- CGC, NPC

Cancer sucks :(
Barked: Sun Jan 14, '07 12:42am PST 
Dogs generally go into heat between 6-12 months of age. In bigger breeds, the heat cycle can be delayed even more than that, up to 2 years in some cases.

Kiona CGC

The Prettiest- Princess

Barked: Sun Jan 14, '07 7:56am PST 
Usually by the end of the first year, your girl should have her heat. It varies from dog to dog.

She is old enough to spayed- I suggest doing that, and then you will never have to worry about keeping the neighborhood dogs away.

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
Barked: Sun Jan 14, '07 12:42pm PST 
You should definitely be expecting her first heat any time now, though it's not that weird she hasn't started yet. You can expect this heat to be anywhere from hardly noticeable to a pretty major ordeal.

If you're not yet familiar with what is happening in a dog's body during a heat cycle, you might want to pick up a book, find a good webpage about the subject and/or call your vet. Knowing the human "facts of life" isn't going to be enough to understand what your dog is going thru and how to keep her healthy and not bred.

While most likely she will have her heat without incident, you should be on the lookout for abnormal discharge or other signs of being ill, especially as the heat cycle comes to an end. It is possible for a dog to get internal infections related to heat cycles. There is also the possibility of her going through a false pregnancy, which you should be aware of. A false pregnancy will cause her to go thru the actions as if she had been bred, but with no actual puppies. False pregnancies can be really mild or rather severe.

Knowing now that you have other dogs in the area that are allowed to run loose, I suppose you are actually at an advantage over other people who learn in unfortunate ways that just because your female dog's routine hasn't changed during her heat doesn't mean she's safe from getting pregnant. Male dogs can and will go to amazing lengths to get to her during her heat, whether she's in the phase where she's accepting male attention or not. To be totally safe during her heat, she should NEVER be unsupervised anywhere that isn't 100% secure. This means no backyard time without a human watching, even if she's in a kennel or just running out to pee real quick. The best fences aren't always fool-proof. Even if she isn't actually capable of getting pregnant during a certain phase, males getting to her may still cause problems -- namely fighting.

Remember that she will be going thru hormonal changes that will affect how she feels both mentally and physically. In your profile you mention that you have young human children. As a human who has had children you can probably sympathize with the power of hormones! While a heat shouldn't cause major personality changes, it will mean that she will probably be more sensitive to being touched, and her priorities will shift from playing and being the family dog to those of following her body's cues that she needs to work on getting pregnant and taking care of puppies. Hopefully you are teaching the human kids important lessons about living with and respecting dogs, but during her heat you may want to be even more careful than usual to make sure both dog and kids are comfortable and safe.

Do you plan for this to be her only heat, or is she being kept in-tact for future breedings?

Pretty Middie
Barked: Sun Jan 14, '07 5:56pm PST 
First off thank you everyone for all your help!

Because she is a pure breed with a rare gene (red and white) we have not yet desided weather or not spay or breed her. I would love to breed her at least once with another border collie that has that gene.

We have been keeping an eye out for any signs of a heat... have not noticed anything. I was raised having this breed of dog as a pet, in fact Middie is the offspring of 2 of these pets! Middie's mom had many false pregnancies, the litter Middie is from was her first and last, because it didn't go well and Middie was the only surviving pup.

Not only do we have loose dogs in the area (mostly my neighbors dogs that he lets run free), but other people in the area have warned us to watch out for foxes and other wild dogs that may become attracted.

I was planning on keeping her indoors during her heat to keep her safe.
thanks again for all the help!

Happy Birthday- Mama!!
Barked: Mon Jan 15, '07 2:59am PST 
I could be wrong but sometimes rare genes are rare for a reason. I'd recommend doing a little research and trying to see if there is a carrier-tag-along gene along with the rare one. If that be the case then her pups would be at risk of having something seriously genetically wrong with them.
For example (straight from my boring old Genetics textbook.)
In mice there are two different alleles for fur color AW and AW. If an individual has an AW and an AX (one from their mom and one from their dad) Their fur color is what is called agouti (its like brown and blackish color.) If the mouse has AW and an AY it's fur color is yellow. But if you breed two together with the rare yellow gene approx. one forth of the offspring will inherit an AY and an AY--those offspring die.
This is because the AY gene is a mutated version of the AW gene and so the AY gene is missing a big chunk of itself. It's fine if it's with an AW gene because the animal has at least one copy of the genetic material that needed. But with two AY the missing DNA is missing on both genes and since it is essential for survival and the mouse does not live. Granted if there was a wired thing like that connected to the rare gene, it might not be fatal, but after reading alot of my genetics book, I've decided there are worse things than fatal genes that cause the animal to die as an embryo.
Granted, I know nothing about dog genes (yet) but it's just something for you to research. In theory, you should be able to find information, if I'm not mistaken, they've mapped the entire dog genome, surely their is somebody that'd know about these genes!

Edited by author Mon Jan 15, '07 3:19am PST


The world- belongs to me!
Barked: Mon Jan 15, '07 4:46am PST 
It is not uncommon to not have your first heat by 9 months. Like was said in this thread every pup is different. I had my first season at 8 1/2 months and then my second season almost exactly 6 months later. I can't be spayed because I am being shown for my championship. There is no hard and fast rule about when the second sessions comes either. The rule of thumb is six months but we have known pups that were every 3 months and others that were every 9 months.

Teeth kisses for- everyone!
Barked: Mon Jan 15, '07 1:36pm PST 
I had a small dog once who could not be spayed (anesthetic reaction) and her first heat did not come until she was 10 1/2 months old, and then she bled for almost a full 30 days, with only a few days break from the bleeding somewhere in the middle of that. When she passed away at the age of ten, we had only experienced 5 more heats. This may have been because she was epileptic. We don't know.

I am telling you because heats are soooo different from dog to dog, and especially if you are considering breeding, you have to monitor and learn your dogs specific heat rythm. It is not unheard of for a first heat to be at 5 months, or 11. They can last 9 days to a full month. Please google "dog estrus" and you will come up with lots of info. On average, though, first heat is at approx. seven months and lasts three weeks, with the fertile period starting about 5 days in.

Little boys underwear worn backwards does wonders for keeping drips off the furniture and floor. Good Luckwink

Pretty Middie
Barked: Mon Jan 15, '07 8:38pm PST 
Thanks for the underware tip!!! My mom (owner's mom) bought some doggie britches for their pup and it was really expensive!!!