5+ Signs that Your Female Golden Retriever is in Heat

If you have got a female Golden Retriever, this must be the best article you would ever come across. You will be learning about her essential event and that is the heat cycle. You need to know when your pet shall go into the heat cycle. More importantly, you must also know how long shall it last.

Heat Cycle – What is that?

Let us begin to know what a heat cycle is. Most of the times, the jargons may mislead us. The heat cycle is the period when she is in the receptive stage for her sexual cycle. In simpler terms, being in heat is the time window where she can get pregnant.

Ignorance about this factor may lead to a lot of puppies at home. Also, if she gets pregnant at a younger age, it may cause her catastrophic damage. It may put you into unnecessary expenses too.

When will Female Pup reach that stage?

Female Pup Golden Retriever

Ideally, most of the female pups do not reach this stage until 6 months. When it comes to the female Golden Retrievers, normally they reach the first heat cycle between 10 and 14 months. If you are wanting to know about the giant breeds, it may begin anywhere between 18 and 24 months.

You have to keep in mind an essential aspect. It is that any breed has its time to reach the heat cycle. It may be early or even late. As every dog is different, you must be watchful of this aspect. Also, it is always better to know the signs that the dog can show. This can help you identify if they are in the heat cycle.

The Golden Retrievers typically get into the cycle during the Spring and Fall. Also, the timing of the cycle largely depends on the period when it was born. It is also to be noted that, once the pup reaches the first heat cycle, from then on it shall get its cycle regularly. Please track the dates and periods. In this way, you can easily track and avoid unnecessary pregnancy.

How long does the Heat Cycle Last?

Well, this can be given as an average count of weeks. Normally, the heat cycle lasts between 2 and 4 weeks. Again, it depends on the dog and its breed. A Golden Retriever also falls under the same category.

You must learn the signs that the dog can show and you must start learning from those signs to be prepared. Ideally, there are 6 signs that you can watch out for. You must watch out for the signs and keep a track of it so that you can predict the next cycle effectively.

6 Signs that your Golden Retriever Can show when it is in heat

  1. Swollen Vulva
  2. Bleeding or some kind of Fluid discharge
  3. The dog shall have some abnormal mounting
  4. It may also lick its genitals
  5. They may get into nesting behaviour
  6. It may also urinate frequently

While the swollen vulva might not be painful but it is the sign to say that the dog is entering into the Proestrus Stage. This sign shall be prominent just a day or two before it starts discharging fluids. Also, the blood discharge is a clear sign to know when you can allow your pup to breed too. It is suggested to clear the discharge and wait for a day or two.

swollen vulva Golden Retriever

Once the period is over, you can introduce your female pup to the male ones. You can usually do this for a period of 8 to 10 days. Don’t get tricked with the way your female pup mounts on you. Most of the female pups have this habit of mounting and what you need to see is the increased mounting behaviour. It shall be often and abnormal too. Also, you can find the dog mounting on you in different situations.

This is something that you can easily notice and identify as a sign. A few experts claim that the dog does it to soothe itself because those areas tend to get sensitive. It is because of excessive blood flow. Further, the female dogs prepare herself for pregnancy even before it gets pregnant. When it is in the heat, it seems to do a lot. It creates a place for itself and also can find it drag some toys to its place. Don’t be surprised even if they sleep with them. The dogs tend to mark their territory by urinating. The female dogs do it to inform the other dogs that it is entering the heat cycle.

Dog’s heat Cycle – Different Stages

The timings of the heat cycle may change but not the cycle stages. There are 4 stages that you need to be watching out for.

  1. Proestrus Stage
  2. Estrus Stage
  3. Diestrus Stage
  4. Anestrus Stage

Proestrus Stage: This is the start of the heat cycle. It lasts for 9 days on an average. This being the beginning, the female dogs shall not be receptive to the male dogs even if they approach. This is the stage when the female dog discharges blood too.

Estrus Stage: This is the stage when your female dog gets receptive to male dogs. And yes, this is the stage when it can get pregnant too. Now, blood discharge shall be stopped. It starts discharging watery or clear fluids. This stage can last up to 10 to 12 days depending on the dog.

Diestrus Stage: This is the stage when your Golden Retriever cannot get pregnant. The estrogen levels remain low. Moreover, it may not be receptive to male dogs too. The levels of estrogen shall remain low for 2 months. At the same time, the Progesterone levels reach their peak. Once the Estrus stage is over, the progesterone levels remain at the top for a month and start declining.

Anestrus Stage: This is the last stage when the Estrogen levels come to the normal state. This shall remain for 4 to 5 months. After the puppies are born, this is the stage it can recover.

How to take care of your female Golden Retriever while on Heat?

Care Golden Retriever in Heat

As such, there is no special way to take care of the dog while on heat. You have to be watchful all the time. Mostly because the male dogs shall know when your female Retriever is in heat.

Also, the mess that the dog can create during the discharge is very hard to clean as well. There are modern diapers available in the market that can be used. It can serve two major purposes

  1. Saves your carpet or your house from getting dirty
  2. A make dog can never mate if the diapers are on

The dog diapers come in different sizes and you can purchase them depending on the size of the dog. Ensure that you clean it properly while you want to use them later too. On the other hand, there are disposable diapers that work wonders too. People mostly prefer one-time usage diapers.

How to Prevent Pregnancy during Heat cycle?

Golden Retriever Pregnancy during Heat cycle

As seen earlier, diapers are one option that you have to prevent pregnancy. At the same time, there are other ways too. It is suggested to keep your female dog in a kennel which is well protected. You may not want a male dog to sniff and break open the kennel right? So, keep it well covered.

The highly suggested methods begin with knowing when her heat cycle starts. When you know the date is approaching, put a while cloth beneath her where she sits. This is the best way to see if she is discharging blood.

Once the bleeding starts protect her and lock her. Of course, you must be watchful of her every time. It is a type of full-time job now.

While this being the reason, we must also be watchful of your female dog. You must keep her locked most of the time. Alternatively, you can use a morning pill. But this is a risky option considering your dog’s health. Nevertheless, this is an option too.

The last option shall be getting your female dog sprayed. Yes, you can remove her ovaries with a vet’s help. Also, the reproductive organs can be removed to avoid pregnancy. At the same time, removing ovaries shall offer you other benefits. It can help save your dog from Ovarian cancer.

You must also understand a critical fact that, please do not get into the surgical option unless your golden retriever is more than 1 year old. It may cause complication if it is done earlier.

Taking care of a Golden Retriever is an art. You must spend time in grooming her. Especially during the heat cycle. She also has a mind and may have discomfort too. Soothe her and be nice to her. Though the options of locking her inside the house sound fruitful, occasional outing other than the walk is needed for the dog.

Also, using preventive measures to avoid her pregnancy is a wise choice. But not at the cost of its health. Always, consult a vet before you take any decision when it comes to her health and lifestyle. Feeding habits also tend to change during the heat cycle. Get to know that and feed her appropriately. Also, do not get worried if she does not eat sometimes. All the more, the Golden retrievers are known for eating, but there are times when they feel a bit uncomfortable as well. Love and compassion can bring a lot of change in your dog’s behavior. They naturally give that and you must reciprocate. All the Best!!!


  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00335-019-09805-4
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1439-0442.2007.00938.x

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