The decision to have a female dog spayed is one that is often made under the assumption that caring for a dog in heat is too much work. For those who’ve decided to keep their female German Shepherd intact, knowledge and preparation are all it takes to keep things under control without it being hassle, and for those who’ve decided to take on the task of breeding, knowing your dog’s cycle becomes key to success.
The first step is being able to predict when your dog is going to be in season. Unlike some animals who enter mating season at specific times of the year, female dogs can be in heat at any time during the year. However, this does not mean that your dog is ready to mate for the entire year. In dogs, mating follows a regular cycle. It varies between breeds, and between individual dogs, but the majority of female German Shepherds will be in season approximately once every six months. Take note of the end of your dog’s last cycle, and you can predict that it will happen again another six months from that time.
You will know that your dog is in season because she will begin menstruating. Bleeding typically lasts about a week, and is followed by about three weeks during which your dog is fertile. Unless you plan on breeding, it is very important that you keep your dog separated from male dogs during this time. Nearing the end of this time, your dog may require more attention and petting than usual.
Whether you’re planning for German Shepherd puppies, or have kept your female German Shepherd intact for other reasons, knowing your dog’s cycle and knowing what to do when your dog is in season are extremely important.