A Bernedoodle is a new breed of dog introduced in 2003. It’s a mixture of a Bernese Mountain dog and a Poodle. They inherit both traits from their parents. That’s right. Bernedoodles are intelligent as well as goofy and fun-loving and loyal. It’s probably why this breed is emerging as the most popular companion dog in the United States.
What are the signs a Bernedoodle is in heat? The 6 most common signs that a Bernedoodle is in heat are: 1) bleeding or other discharge, 2) a swollen vulva 3) excessive licking of the genital area, 4) abnormal mounting behavior, 5) increased urinating, and 6) nesting behavior. But there are more signs you should be aware of.
People with families prefer to adopt Bernedoodles as they think they’re perfect for the kids. Also, they shed less, decreasing the effort of keeping the house clean.
What Is the Heat Cycle of a Bernedoodle?
If you’re talking about the first time, then a Bernedoodle typically goes into heat at six months of age. How early or how late your dog goes into heat depends on its size. If your dog is small, the cycle will begin faster. You can expect the first heat cycle before six months say in four months on average.
Bigger-sized dogs such as Great Danes begin their heat cycle slower than small or average-sized ones. If your Bernedoodle is a big one, it will probably go into heat only after eight months or so.
It’s also important to know that a heat cycle is a recurring event in a dog’s life. Starting from the first six months of its life, your Bernedoodle’s heat cycle doesn’t stop after that. The heat cycle in dogs is what makes them mate. So your Bernedoodle will experience heat every four, six, or eight months, depending on its size.
Stages of a Bernedoodle’s Heat Cycle
As we’ve already mentioned, the heat cycle is a recurring event in a dog’s life. Your dog going into heat may sound like a simple, one-day affair when you read about it. However, apart from the mating part, there’s a lot of information that you might need to know, in case you don’t already.
Firstly, a dog’s heat is an entire cycle consisting of four stages. One stage starts and ends, giving way for the next to start and end as well. The entire cycle keeps repeating itself every four, six, or eight months, according to the size of your dog. Do remember that your Bernedoodle will behave differently in each of these stages.
So what are the four stages of a Bernedoodle’s heat cycle? Let’s find out:
The first stage of your Bernedoodle’s heat cycle is called Proestrus. The first stage or phase typically lasts around nine days. However, it may vary by two or three days,
You might be wondering how to tell when the Proestrus has started? When it starts, you’ll find that your Bernedoodle’s vulva is a little swollen. There will also be a bloody discharge, so you should also be ready to clean the floor or clothes.
Your Bernedoodle will attract males when it’s in the Proestrus phase. However, she will not let them mount her as she isn’t ready to be bred yet. Therefore, your Bernedoodle will reject all advances made by the males. The Proestrus or the first stage ends once these events take place.
The Estrus or the second phase begins after the Proestrus is over. This stage lasts for about five to nine days.
After rejecting all advances by the males, you’ll find that your Bernedoodle’s discharge has decreased significantly. The swelling of the vulva decreases and the discharge becomes lighter and looks pinkish in color.
During the Estrus, your Bernedoodle is ready to mate and will be more receptive to males. If you don’t want your dog to get pregnant, we suggest you be extra cautious.
Once the Estrus is over, the Diestrus or the third stage of your Bernedoodle’s heat cycle begins.
This phase usually starts after twenty-four days from the beginning of the heat cycle. When your Bernedoodle is in the Diestrus stage, she will no longer be receptive to males. The color of her discharge will also change from straw to red.
Smelling the scent of your Bernedoodle’s discharge, the males will know that she might be aggressive. This will keep them away for the time being.
When your Bernedoodle is in this stage, it’s best not to take her out on walks. Better to keep her isolated till the bleeding stops completely. Wait for this phase to end before you take your Bernedoodle out, or let any other dogs near it.
Anestrus is the fourth and final stage of your Bernedoodle’s heat cycle. In this stage, your Bernedoodle will go back to normal.
There will no longer be any vaginal discharge. The vulva will no longer be swollen and there are no more abnormalities. The Anestrus usually lasts from sixty to ninety days. During this time, your Bernedoodle will go back to being herself again.
The Anestrus marks the end of the heat cycle. The end of the Anestrus, however, also marks the beginning of a new heat cycle.
What Are the Signs a Bernedoodle Is in Heat?
Her Vulva Is Red and Swollen
Once the heat cycle has started, your Bernedoodle’s vulva will swell three to four times its normal size. It will also turn red during this period.
It might concern you if you’re not aware of this phenomenon. We assure you that it’s a natural cycle and there’s nothing to worry about. Your Bernedoodle’s vulva will return to its normal size after the fourth phase when the heat is over.
Your Bernedoodle Is Licking Her Genitals More Than Usual
Your Bernedoodle will lick her genitals more than usual when she’s in heat. In case you’re wondering why, allow us to explain.
Well, it’s simply because your dog wants to keep itself and your house clean. She does so preventing any discharge from dropping on your floor. So, the best way your dog knows how to do this is by licking her genitals.
Getting your Bernedoodle a dog diaper will make things easier for her.
Her Vulva Is Bleeding
Your Bernedoodle will bleed from her vulva when she’s in heat. The amount and color of the blood vary according to the stage of the heat cycle your Bernedoodle is in.
If you keep track of the stages of the heat cycle your Bernedoodle is in, you’ll know when she will bleed next. This can help you in keeping the house clean.
There’s a Change in Her Behavior
You might notice a change in your Bernedoodle’s behavior. Know that when this happens, she is in heat.
Although Bernedoodles are intelligent and not very aggressive, things might change when she’s in heat. You might find that your Bernedoodle is more short-tempered and nervous. Your Bernedoodle may also become clingy, demanding more love and attention.
She’s Urinating More Than Usual
It’s common knowledge that male dogs urinate to mark their territory. Females dogs urinate for a different purpose though. It’s quite interesting how female dogs use urine.
When your Bernedoodle is in heat, she will urinate in order to let the males know that she’s ready to mate. The scent of the urine is what signals and attracts males, letting them know that she’s ready to mate.
Your Bernedoodle urinating more often is a sign that she’s in heat.
Your Bernedoodle Will Try to Find Male Dogs
Your Bernedoodle will behave differently in different phases of her heat cycle. You might even find her escaping or trying to escape. That’s because, in this phase, your Bernedoodle will do anything she possibly can to find a partner to mate. She will thus emit pheromones to find male dogs.
If you want to avoid your Bernedoodle getting pregnant, we suggest you keep a good eye on her. If you don’t want your Bernedoodle to mate, don’t take her out on walks during her heat cycle.
She’s Nervous and Anxious
Your Bernedoodle will get nervous and anxious when she’s in heat, causing her to behave aggressively.
When she’s in this phase, don’t leave your Bernedoodle alone. Keep her away from other dogs, especially males. If you leave her near a male, he might try to mount your Bernedoodle. This can cause quite a reaction that could turn into an aggressive and violent fight.
She’s Displaying Unusual Mounting Habits
When dogs are in heat, they go through several hormonal changes. You might find your Bernedoodle mounting anything, from your leg to toys and furniture.
Although you might be surprised, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s natural for your Bernedoodle to behave this way. She will start to behave normally again once she’s through with the heat cycle.
Your Bernedoodle Is Behaving Aggressively
Bernedoodle’s are not a very aggressive breed. However, the heat cycle might change this. Your Bernedoodle might pick fights with any random animal or other dogs, or even your other pets during this period.
Since Bernedoodles are not usually aggressive, it will be easy for you to know there’s something going on. You’ll know your Bernedoodle is in heat if she starts behaving aggressively.
Her Appetite Has Changed
When your Bernedoodle is in heat, her appetite will change. She might be eating a lot lesser than she usually does. Don’t worry though, it’s completely normal.
This loss of appetite may last for the first two weeks of her heat cycle. Once your Bernedoodle is done with her heat cycle, her appetite will go back to normal.
Your Bernedoodle Is Nesting
Although not the same as birds, mammals tend to build nests too. Dogs dig holes that are supposed to be a nest for them to give birth.
When your Bernedoodle displays a nesting behavior know that she’s in heat. If she’s in the house, she will probably take her toys to her nest and sleep there. She will do so in preparation for motherhood.
Your Bernedoodle Is Moving Her Tail to One Side When You Touch Her
When your Bernedoodle is in heat, it’s normal for her to feel discomfort. When you touch her, you might find her moving her tail to one side. It’s her way of signifying that she’s in discomfort.
How to Take Care of Your Bernedoodle When She’s in Heat
According to the phase of the heat cycle, she’s in, your Bernedoodle will go through a variety of moods and emotions. If you don’t know much about heat cycles, you might even be surprised when your Bernedoodle suddenly behaves aggressively. That’s because she is probably irritated or in pain most of the time.
Although Bernedoodle’s are usually clean, you might find yours littering the floor. If and when she does so, remember that it isn’t intentional. It’s only happening because of the heat cycle and she can’t control it. You might even find your Bernedoodle trying to clean the areas where she has littered.
A heat cycle is a tough time for your Bernedoodle as she will go through difficult hormonal changes.
It is important for you to remember that during the heat cycle, your Bernedoodle will need your attention. She will need more love, affection than usual. Don’t hesitate to give her a lot of extra love. Doing so will make a lot of difference for your Bernedoodle.
A good way to help your Bernedoodle is by keeping busy and distracted. You can play games such as fetching or even hide and seek. You need to keep her physically and mentally active in order to distract her from the troubles she’s facing.
Avoid taking your Bernedoodle out on evening walks if she’s in heat. If you want to prevent unnecessary fights or her getting pregnant, keeping her at home is the best option. But even if you’re at home, you need to make sure she isn’t with of the nearby males. If there are any male dogs around, they’ll try to mate with her. It’s important to keep a good eye on her all the time.
You can get your Bernedoodle some heat diapers if you want to keep her and the house clean. This will prevent your Bernedoodle from discharging blood on your carpets.
Last but not least, keep your Bernedoodle’s bedding clean so that she can sleep comfortably and peacefully.
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