The dog heat cycle (estrus cycle)

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Stage 4 – Anestrus

Anestrus is a non-fertile stage, usually lasting between seven to nine months until the female comes into heat again.


When will my female go into her first heat? Age of first heat cycle

The first Heat cycle can start as soon as six months of age. However, every dog is different also in this regard, and some do not get into their first heat cycle before the age of 18 months. It is said that in general small dogs come into heat sooner than larger breeds.

Frequency of heat cycles

The average female dog goes into heat about every seven to nine months (Anestrus) after the last cycle ended.
However, the time period can range even more in some individuals.
There will always be some dogs going into heat before 7 months or after more than 9 months, but it would not be accurate to call that occurrence “average.”

The last is more close to my own experience with Mila so far. Her first cycle came at the age of nine months, the next one came seven months later and the third one came ten months after the last one. For now I don’t see any regularity in that. My best bet is to keep track of her heat cycles and watch out for the typical signs.

Signs of the heat cycle

Many dogs keep themselves very clean and it can become hard to tell whether they are in heat at all.
Bull Terriers usually do not reach the affected areas very well. Therefore it is usually a little easier to notice bloody discharge, once it occurs.

Moody days

Just as the mood can vary in humans with hormonal fluctuations, dogs can get moody too. Female dogs often become a little more cuddly and sensitive right before getting into and during their heat cycle.

Read on about more signs of the heat cycle on the next page.

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sonja odell
7 years ago

My puppy Arna come into her first session on the 24th September 2016 and has only stopped bleed for 4 days since then, she humps her bed so I take it away from her, she seems fine in herself, but a few weeks ago she got a bad tummy upset and had to stay at vets, for the day, she now growls in her sleep and in the evenings, she is very friendly with other dogs she meets and people, I have had several tests done on her and nothing shows as being wrong, she is deaf in one ear so I was going to get her spad. Has anyone else had this problem with there bitch

7 years ago

Hi I have a female bull terrier that will be one year old in February she started bleeding and has been bleeding for over a week I was wondering how long do they bleed, i feel bad since i have her in her crate all day other than letting her out to use the bathroom or somedays outside her kennel.

6 years ago

My female was in heat in december 2016,her heats r 7 months apart. Shouldn’t she be in heat now?on july 11 she had a few drops tgat lasted about 3 days..i was hoping to breed her again this cycle..she is a siberian husky

Romano pesce
6 years ago

My staffie is now bleeding and she seems to be abnormally swollen

6 years ago

Hi I have a bull terrier cross staffy she is 6 months and I want to get her desexed before her first cycle. I know they say that they can get their first cycle from 6 months on but I’m just wondering if you have a rough idea of when that might be. Thanks

Christopher Pellicano
6 years ago

I have a pure bred bull terrier. AKC regiestered pet. She is 8 months old. She is exhibiting some very unusual behavior. She is highly intelligent. The vet told me that her purebred DNA could be of concern. He said she could flip out on me and get very dangerous. Watching her grow up stong and beautiful has been a real joy. He has green eyes and snow white color. Any fact behind this vets opinion that her DNA will kick in and she becomes dangerous?

Reply to  Dorothea Cornelius
3 years ago

Definitely not a purebred English bull terrier if Eyes are green, actually a purebred English bull terriers eyes are black. My girl had her first heat at 7 months, now she’s approaching 17 months and still no signs of a second heat. Is this normal?

6 years ago

Hi, I am wondering after a female heat cycle, to know when the next cycle should begin, should I count from the beginning off her last cycle, or the end? Thanks

5 years ago

Hi, I would like to ask if a dog will get pregnant in her late estrous cycle? I brought her to the vet last time and did a smear test, that’s when I learned that she was on her late estrous stage already. I wasn’t able to track the start of her cycle since I was waiting for a bloody discharge, but I wasn’t able to track a bloody discharge. Same goes on her 2nd heat cycle the difference was on the 2nd heat i bred her on her late pre-estrus and at the beginning of estrus. I was only able to know that she was on heat because of my male dog licking her private parts and trying to mount her. She is a 24mos old siberian husky.

China James
5 years ago

My Staffy ended her heat about 60 days ago but she started to present to the male dogs she is around. The dog we live with continually tries to mount her and wait s for her outside the door and she has no problem with him mounting her and she runs up to him and let’s him do it. I am concerned she could go back on heat with no visible signs because she is around an intact male. Is this true? I am wondering your opinion on what to do as he has inseminated her yesterday and it’s not a pregnancy we want. I will take her and get a prog test. I am not sure what else to do.

4 years ago

Hi there
My staffy girl is 17months and has had 2 heat cycles so far (4months apart) i have spoken to a vet and she doesnt seem to concerned as long as the blood is normal in colour which it is. As shes quiet young our vet and breeder have both said she may regulate to every 6 months as she gets older.
But can they go every 4months?

4 years ago

My girl, is 10 months old 39 days since possible breeding. Her teats and vulva are still swollen. Teats glands seem to be going down. Do you think this is possibly a false pregnancy or real?

4 years ago

My female has been in heat four weeks and a one day. Visually there are no signs that she even should be, but my female is still VERY MUCH trying to breed her. Can anyone help us? Should be bathe her to remove any residual smells? What’s the longest anyone knows of a cycle?

Nicole W
4 years ago

Hi was wondering if you could help me my girl just turned a year on the 18th of March she started her season on the 10th of March she was really swollen then she started bleeding a few days after now that’s 4 weeks up and she’s still really swollen , really red and bleeding again , she won’t stop licking herself constantly she can’t sit still without licking am worried about her could you help ?

3 years ago

Hello my girl is a pitbull 10 months and haven’t got her first heat cycle as yet. Should I be concerned?

2 years ago

My bitch has been out of season for about a week but I also have a male this was her first season since she’s come out it her nipples have gone big and teets swelled abit should I be worried she’s 8months old xl bully

2 years ago

I have a female bull terrier that turned 8 months on Christmas Eve. Her vulva is swollen and has been spotting since Wednesday. Everything else about her is normal. Could this be her first period?

1 year ago

Hi all,
I have a 20 month old beautiful EBT. She had her first (short) heat at 7 months.. She had her full heat in August this year 2022..
Its only October now and this last week she has displayed behaviour like nesting, crying nearly constantly and extremely boisterous stuff when out walking… Im wondering if she may be approaching another heat? Her vulva isn’t swollen (yet?) and shes gone of certain foods aswell..Ive read different things but was hoping someone may be able to shed a bit of light through experience…
Thank you for reading
Jennifer 🐾ebt🐾

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