Cowdog Heat Cycle
June 30th, 2010
The heat cycle can vary widely but normally a female cowdog will have her first heat cycle around one year of age. Normally, she will cycle every 6 months.This too can vary depending on a number of things such as her body condition, whether or not she bred during her last heat cycle and her age.
The cowdog heat cycle begins with the female having a vaginal discharge (bleeding). Sometimes it is difficult to notice the bleeding because some females will keep themselves clean. She will also have increased urination. During this time, male dogs will be attracted to her but she will not be receptive to mating. This period prior to mating usually lasts around 9 days.
Next, the vulva will become swollen and the discharge color will be getting lighter until it is a light yellow color. At this time, the female is receptive to male and will often raise and flag her tail to the side in front of him. This will normally last 5 to 9 days.
If she breeds successfully, she will whelp (have puppies) 60 to 64 days after conception.
If you want to leave less to chance, it is possible for your veterinarian to check the progesterone level in the female. As the level rises, she is getting closer to ovulation. The ideal time to mate is 1 to 2 days past ovulation. This can be a helpful way to get a female bred if you are travelling a long distance to take your female to a stud dog. The vet can indicate the best days to take her to the stud dog in order to have her successfully bred.