Your female German Shepherd has been behaving strangely, and her body is undergoing profound changes. Still, you don’t know what is wrong with her, as this is the first time. It’s a natural instinct to try and help it out, but you don’t even have the slightest clue about what is wrong. This article is written specifically for you. When do German shepherds go into heat? Read further!
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF “HEAT” IN DOGS?
Heat is also known as the estrus cycle. It refers to the period in the life of a female German shepherd where the estrogen level is increased, and she then becomes ready to mate with the male.
The earliest a German Shepherd can get pregnant is the first time she goes on heat.
WHEN DO GERMAN SHEPHERDS GO INTO HEAT?
For large dog breeds like the German Shepherd, their first heat period occurs around 9 to 12 months of age. Depending on the breed’s size, it may occur at various times. Miniature German Shepherds can have their first heat as early as six months.
Some female German Shepherds may start getting pregnant from 18-24 months, and these deviations are okay. The fact that your German Shepherd has started its heat period does not make it okay to start giving birth. Seasoned breeders know to wait for subsequent heat periods as this gives them enough time to enter the cycle before mating correctly.
This also provides a healthy pregnancy because, at the first heat, her eggs are not fully developed for procreation.
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR FEMALE GERMAN SHEPHERD IS IN HEAT.
The heat cycle has four stages, and the signs you will get depend on her current stage.
1. Proestrus: This is the first stage, and it begins with the appearance of vaginal bleeding, swelling of the vulva, and increased urination. This is also the stage where the males are attracted to the females, although the females may not return this. The most obvious sign of this rate is when males crowd outside your house. Fertilization cannot happen at this time. The stage lasts for about nine days.
2. Estrus: This time is also called “standing heat.” At this stage, the female will be susceptible to mating. That is, the female will allow the male to breed her. The most obvious sign of this stage is the “flagging,” where you notice your pet lifting her tail and rubbing her rear against the wall, fence, or other objects. The vaginal discharge gets lighter. It is also the stage where mature eggs are released from the ovary. This stage lasts for 4-21 days.
3. Metestrus: Metestrus is the stage that readies the uterus for pregnancy. There aren’t a lot of signs for this stage, just a bulged abdomen known as false pregnancy. This stage lasts for an average of 7 days. If fertilization does not occur at this stage, it will revert to the fourth stage, known as anestrus.
4. Anestrus: this is simply the period between the heat cycles, lasting for about six months. This stage is not an essential part of the heat cycle. At this point, there is no growth and development in the reproductive system of the female German Shepherd.
HOW LONG IS A GERMAN SHEPHERD IN HEAT?
The estrus cycle of the female German Shepherd lasts for about 4-15 days in the first heat. The German Shepherd is fertile now, and mating could lead to pregnancy. But, if the female German shepherd mates before her estrus cycle, she could also get pregnant. This happens because the male spermatozoa of canines can live for up to 11 days in the female genital canal and are also mobile.
SIGNS AND BEHAVIORS OF A FEMALE GERMAN SHEPHERD IN HEAT
• A swollen vulva and extensive tests
• A shift in the color of the discharge( blood-tinged, not pinkish)
• Frequent urination
• Tail flagging
• Loss of appetite
HOW OFTEN DO GERMAN SHEPHERDS GO INTO HEAT?
Female German Shepherds go into heat every six months or twice a year. This period only stands for the more giant breeds. The smaller breed can go into heat 3-4 times a year. Your German Shepherds cycle length can change due to the following:
When your female German Shepherd is in heat, you are advised to practice proper hygiene and clean her up at intervals or let the dog clean up after itself by licking it. You should cover up your furniture as it occasionally rubs against them. Also, try to pay attention to your female German Shepherd in heat.
Suppose you do not want your female German shepherd dog to get pregnant. In that case, you can either keep them inside when they are in heat or get them spayed when a female has its ovaries removed so that it cannot become pregnant. Spaying should, however, be done before the first heat cycle.
Now you know what to do when your German Shepherd is in heat. Knowing your dog and being able to provide for her (even when in heat) is a critical part of being a dog owner.
However, it’s okay if you do not know everything about them yet, as you can always learn every day.