If you’re the owner of a female Goldendoodle it’s very important that you know the signs a Goldendoodle is in heat. Being “in heat” is the terminology used for the window of time during the year when she can get pregnant.
What are the signs a Goldendoodle is in heat? The 6 most common signs that a Goldendoodle is in heat are: 1) bleeding or different discharge, 2) a bloated vulva 3) extreme licking of the genital area, 4) weird mounting behavior, 5) increased urinating, and 6) nesting behavior.
If you’re not able to tell these signs, then you might end up with a pregnant pup, and eventually an unwanted litter of puppies. And if your dog is either too young or too old, this could put her at great risk of some serious health issues and undesirable expenses to a vet.
When Do Goldendoodles Go Into Heat?
A Goldendoodle is a mixed breed coming from Poodle and Golden Retriever parents.
Usually, a female dog goes into heat for the first time when they are six months old. Depending on whether your dog took after it’s Golden Retriever or Poodle parent, it might go into heat earlier. Small dogs tend to reach sexual maturity earlier. So a small dog might take around four months to go into heat.
How Often Do Goldendoodles Go Into Heat?
An average dog goes into heat every six months. However, this depends on the size of the dog. A small dog goes into heat earlier and more often, every four months. On the other hand, big dogs such as Great Danes take more than six months.
Similarly, your Goldendoodle’s heat cycle will depend on whether which breed’s features are more prominent.
What Are the Signs a Goldendoodle Is in Heat
Let’s have a look at the signs a Goldendoodle is in heat, to help you better determine the status of your dog.
1. She has a red and swollen vulva
When the heat cycle starts, your Goldendoodle’s vulva will turn red and swell three to four times its normal size. If you don’t know about this, it might concern you. However, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s a natural cycle. The vulva will return its normal size after the fourth phase when the heat is over.
2. She licks her genitals
When your Goldendoodle is in heat, you will see her licking her genitals more often. If you’re wondering why your dog wants to keep itself and your house clean. How? By preventing any discharge from dropping on your floor.
If you can get your dog a heat diaper, it will be a lot easier for her.
3. She bleeds from her vulva
When your Goldendoodle is in heat, you’ll find her bleeding from her vulva. This amount and color of blood vary according to which stage of the heat cycle your dog is in.
We advise you to keep track of the stages of the heat cycle your Goldendoodle is in. This way you’ll know when your dog is going to bleed next.
4. Change in her behavior
If your Goldendoodle is in heat, you might notice a change in her behavior. Goldendoodles are usually patient, loving, and not very hyperactive.
However, during heat, you might notice your Goldendoodle getting a little short-tempered and nervous. Your Goldendoodle may also be clingy, meaning she requires some extra love and attention.
5. She urinates more often
We’re sure you know that dogs urinate to mark their territory. However, a female dog uses urine in quite a different and interesting way. When a female dog is in heat, she urinates in order to let the males know that she’s ready to mate.
So if your Goldendoodle is urinating more often than usual, she might be in heat.
6. She’s trying to find male dogs
Don’t be surprised if your Goldendoodle behaves differently in different phases of the heat cycle. You might even find her escaping or trying to escape. In this phase, your Goldendoodle will do anything possible to find a mating partner. This includes emitting pheromones to find male dogs.
If you don’t want your Goldendoodle to get pregnant, you need to keep a good eye on her. If you don’t want your Goldendoodle to mate, we suggest you not take her out on walks if she’s in heat.
7. Nervous and anxious behavior
Female dogs tend to be nervous and anxious during their heat cycle. Such anxiety and nervousness can result in your Goldendoodle behaving aggressively.
During this phase of the heat cycle, we suggest you leave your Goldendoodle alone. If there are any other dogs in the house, especially males, keep them away from her. If not, the male dog might try to mount your Goldendoodle, causing her to snap at them. This could turn into an aggressive and violent episode.
8. Unusual mounting habits
Your Goldendoodle will go through several hormonal changes during the heat cycle. You might find her mounting anything, from your leg to toys and furniture.
You might be surprised at first. However, we assure you, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s natural for your Goldendoodle to behave that way. Your dog will start behaving normally once the heat cycle is over.
9. She’s behaving aggressively
Although Goldendoodle’s are not aggressive, this might change when your dog is in heat. You might find your Goldendoodle picking fights with any random animal or other dogs, or even your other pets.
The good part is since Goldendoodles are not usually aggressive, it’s easy to know there’s something going on. If your Goldendoodle starts behaving aggressively, know that she’s most likely in heat.
10. A change in appetite
When your Goldendoodle is in heat, you might notice some changes in her appetite. She will eat a lot lesser than usual.
However, there’s nothing to get worried about. It’s completely normal.
Your Goldendoodle will experience a loss of appetite for the first two weeks of her heat cycle. Once her heat cycle is over, her appetite will go back to normal.
11. She’s nesting
When we say the word ‘nest’, we usually think of birds. However, mammals tend to build nests too, or something similar to nests at least.
Dogs also dig holes which we can refer to as nests. When your Goldendoodle does so, know that she’s in heat. You might even find her taking her toys to the nests and sleeping there. What she’s doing is, preparing herself to become a mother.
12. She’s moving her tail to one side when you touch her
When your dog is in heat, it’s normal for her to feel discomfort. Thus, when you touch her, you might find your Goldendoodle moving her tail to one side, signifying her discomfort.
What Are the Stages a Goldendoodle Will Go Through During Heat Cycle?
The heat cycle has the word ‘cycle’ in it for a reason. Cycles consist of more than one phase. One phase starts and passes which gives way for the next to start. These phases eventually keep revolving and repeating. Thus, they are called cycles and in dogs, they last typically for 18-21 days.
The Proestrus is the first stage of your Goldendoodle’s heat cycle. Although it varies by two to three days, the Proestrus typically lasts around nine days.
So how will you know when the Proestrus has started? Well, you’ll find that your Goldendoodle’s vulva has swelled mildly. You should also be ready to clean the floor or clothes since there will be a bloody discharge.
When your Goldendoodle is in the Proestrus phase, she will attract males. However, she will not let them mount her as your Goldendoodle is not ready to be bred. Your dog will thus, reject all advances made by the males. After these events take place, the first stage, or Poestrus is said to end.
Once the Poestrus is over, the Estrus or the second phase begins, which lasts for about five to nine days.
So, after your Goldendoodle is done rejecting all the males, you’ll find that her discharge has decreased. It also becomes lighter and looks pinkish in color. The swelling of the vulva also decreases.
During this stage, your Goldendoodle will be more receptive to males. If you don’t want her to be bred, we suggest you keep a good eye on her.
After the Estrus comes the Diestrus, which is the third stage of your Goldendoodle’s heat cycle.
The Diestrus typically starts after twenty-four days from the beginning of the heat cycle. During the Diestrus, your Goldendoodle will no longer be receptive to males. The discharge will also change in color. It will go from straw color to red.
The scent of the discharge lets the males know that she might be aggressive. Thus, telling them to stay away from her.
If your Goldendoodle is in this stage, we suggest you not take her out on walks. In fact, it’s better if you keep her isolated till the bleeding stops completely.
The final stage is the Anestrus.
The Anestrus is the stage in which your Goldendoodle will go back to normal. You’ll find that there’s no longer any vaginal discharge. The vulva is no longer swollen and there are no more abnormalities. During this cycle which lasts from sixty to ninety days, your dog will become her own old self.
When the Anestrus is over, however, the heat cycle will start again and the entire process will repeat itself.
What You Need to Do if Your Goldendoodle Is in Heat
Your Goldendoodle will go through a variety of moods and emotions according to the phase of the cycle she’s in. If you’re not familiar with heat cycles, you might even be surprised by your Goldendoodle’s sudden aggressive behavior. She might be irritated or in pain most of the time.
Although Goldendoodle’s are very clean, you might find yours littering the floor. Know that this isn’t intentional and is only happening uncontrollably due to the heat cycle. Your Goldendoodle might even try to clean the areas where she has littered.
A heat cycle is a tough time for your Goldendoodle. She goes through difficult hormonal changes.
Thus, it is important to remember that during the heat cycle, your Goldendoodle needs your attention. Your dog will need all the love, affection, and cuddles she can get. You shouldn’t hesitate to give her that extra love she’s looking for. Doing so will make a lot of difference.
You can keep your Goldendoodle busy and distracted by playing games such as fetching or even hide and seek. The point is to keep her physically and mentally active.
Do remember to avoid taking your Goldendoodle out on evening walks during her heat cycle. If you want to prevent unnecessary fights or her getting pregnant, it’s best if you keep her at home. However, even when you’re at home, you need to make sure that none of the nearby males can get to her. If there are any male dogs around, they’ll definitely try to get to her in order to mate. We suggest you keep an eye on her.
Regarding cleanliness, hygiene, and comfort, you can get your Goldendoodle some heat diapers. Doing so will prevent discharge or blood on your carpets.
You should also keep your Goldendoodle’s bedding clean so that she can sleep comfortably and peacefully.
Want to Prevent Your Goldendoodle’s Heat Cycle?
If you don’t want your dog to have heat cycles, there is a way of preventing it. In a procedure called ‘Spaying’, the uterus and ovaries of your Goldendoodle can be removed. Since the essential reproductive organs are removed, your Goldendoodle cannot get pregnant. This will ensure that she cannot be bred and will not have any heat cycles.
You can opt for your Goldendoodle to undergo this process if you don’t plan on her to be bred. The operation is done by the veterinarian under anesthesia of course and has several benefits.
For starters, you won’t have to deal with your Goldendoodle’s heat cycles every six months. There won’t be any discharge so your house will remain clean. You also don’t have to worry about unwanted pregnancy, since your Goldendoodle cannot be bred. This way, you won’t have to keep an eye on her all the time. You can take her out any time of the year with no worries.
Spaying also has several health benefits for dogs as well. Spayed dogs tend to be calmer, healthier, and happier. Since the ovaries and uterus are removed, it lowers several diseases. Some of these diseases are ovarian or uterine cancer.
However, Spaying is a procedure and there may be some complications. We suggest you consult the vet before getting your Goldendoodle spayed. Every dog has a different body and procedures or treatments may not have the same effect on every dog. The breed of your dog might also play an important factor in many things to consider before undertaking such a procedure.
You should also ask your vet what the best time will be to spay your Goldendoodle. Although most veterinarians will suggest having your Goldendoodle spayed before the first heat cycle, it may differ. So before you make any decisions, do consult the veterinarian for professional insight and advice.
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