Animal Health
February 25, 2005

Canine Breeding Cycle

Theoretically male dogs acquire their sexual maturity at about six (6) months of age, while the female may manifest hers at nine (9) months.

Male and female dogs differ in their sexual behaviour and their sex cycle.{{more}}

After a male dog attains sexual maturity, his sexual behaviour is not cyclical, meaning that they mate at any time and almost any place.

A female dog (bitch) usually comes into season (heat) for the first time at nine (9) months of age. However, this should not be taken as the gospel, due to the fact that there are dogs here at home that come on heat for the first time at six (6) months of age while others come on heat for the first time after one (1) year of age.

The normal time interval between heat season is every six months. This means that if your female dog is not pregnant will come on heat every six months. This varies since there are cases at home of female dogs that came on heat four (4) months after an unsuccessful mating.

There is normally no odour detectable to a human from a female dog on heat. However, this odour is detected by male dogs even though are miles away.

A female dog or bitch’s heat lasts for about three weeks. She will show some swelling of her vulva shortly before presenting a blood stained discharge. This discharge is usually very bloody at the start of her heat and appears pale after about ten days.