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When will first heat cycle occur?

Dr. Mike:
We have a Sheltie that is turning a year old this Feb.. When will she start her first breeding cycle, and what signs should we look for ?

Good question but I'm afraid only your Sheltie knows the answer. Most dogs come into their first heat between 6 months and a year of age. Smaller breeds of dogs tend to come into heat earlier than large breeds, I have seen some big dogs not come into heat until almost 2 years of age. Usually the first thing you will notice is a swollen vulva and a bloody vaginal discharge that last 7-9 days. That is followed by 7-9 days of a very swollen vulva but not much discharge and is usually the time the dog is fertile and ovulating, Finally. it takes another 7-9 days for the dog to go completely out of heat.....welcome to 3 weeks of hell.

Dr. Mike

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