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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

With the beginning of sexual maturity, which depends on the size and breed of your dog, the first heat is usually initiated. If you are a newcomer in this field and a bit unsure how to help your beloved dog during this time, TOBALIE would like to help you with tips and tricks as it is a new situation for you and your honey.

When does the heat start?

If your young female dog suddenly shows unusual behaviour and males start courting your sweetheart, then the probability is high that your darling will soon become a “woman”. This process varies from dog to dog, but on average the first heat starts between 6 and 12 months and is divided into certain cycle phases. With some races, usually very big dog-races, the first heat begins even after 24 months even. Afterwards, the female dogs usually become in heat once or twice a year. Sometimes the so-called silent heat occurs the first time. In spite of hormonal changes you do not notice any external signs, such as bleeding. Also that you will notice typical signs of heat and discharge, which can then subside and reappear later. This is called split oestrus.

How long does the heat last?

The heat phase lasts about three weeks in total. You can find information about the cycle here.

Enter the days and the behaviour of your dog in the pet profile. Create a post with the #heat. This way you can monitor this phase and know in the future when your dog will be in heat again. It is also easy to find out about irregularities and typical behaviour.

Which behaviour is most typical now?

In general, there is nothing that does not exist, but the most common behaviors are:

  • So far obedient dogs apparently don’t know a single command anymore.
  • They move further away from you or run away.
  • Restlessness
  • But also an increased need for rest and sleep can occur.
  • The dog licks more at its vulva or slips with the rear part at the ground (also a full anal-gland could cause this behavior).
  • Some female dogs begin to mark like males at corners or bushes (with raised hind leg) or deposit urine more frequently.
  • Some start to “bite” other dogs when they want to sniff their butts.
  • “Bitchiness“
  • Some are particularly in need of love, others can become more irritable.
  • Increased whimpering, yelping, barking
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What can you do?

For some female dogs, especially the first heat, can mean a lot of stress. It’s not just a hormonal change, of course. In this phase the dog also gives off certain scents (pheromones), which can make some males lose their mind and it can be an enormous challenge for her to keep them away. Of course, owners are also challenged during this time if they do not want to have puppies in the family. Afterwards TOBALIE would like to give you important tips how you can support your sweetie in this exciting phase.

  • It is advisable in any case to avoid dog zones or places where many dogs are at the same time. It would also be unfair to male admirers and is stress for all involved.
  • Lash her! You can’t look that fast, she’s gone in no time and looking for her Romeo or fleeing from admirers.
  • A GPS tracker can help you locate your dog in case she should ever run away.
  • If you meet any other dogs, let me know that your dog is in heat. A yellow ribbon can also signal to other dog owners that they are better at keeping their own dog with them.
  • Some female dogs are particularly clean during this phase and clean themselves regularly. However, if your baby doesn’t take cleanliness too seriously or bleeds a lot, you can put a pair of panties on her. However, you should train the putting on of the panties before, otherwise it is quite fast down. Watch out, a panty won’t protect her from a cover! Some males can be very imaginative. Sleeping places or carpets can be laid out, for example, with sheets.
  • Some female dogs are particularly trustful in this phase, some however somewhat grouchy. Respect their needs.

Attention: If the blood becomes thin liquid and lighter your dog is ready for copulation. In this phase pay special attention not to encounter a male dog. If it should happen that a dog covers your dog (mating) try not to separate the dogs in any case! That can cause bad injuries.

Hund läufig


When a female dog gets in heat (for the first time), it can be challenging for both human and animal. If you do not want an unplanned offspring, you should think of a few things so that you do not have an unwanted pregnancy. And of course dogs have special needs in these exciting times.