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Doberman First Heat: A Survival Guide for Pet Owners

First-time owners of female Doberman puppies may worry about their first heat cycle. Since my family always had male dogs, I wasn’t sure what to expect with my first female puppy’s first estrous cycle.

Dobermans will enter puberty and begin their first heat cycle between 8 and 9 months old. It’s when ovulation takes place, and dogs will mate. After that time, most Dobermans will go into heat every 6 months. The heat or estrus phase typically lasts from 6 to 10 days.

Your Doberman’s first heat cycle won’t scare you. In this article, I’ll discuss how to aid your dog in heat and what signs to watch out for.

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A Doberman Resting. Doberman First Heat

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First Heat Cycle of Your Doberman – What To Expect

The Doberman Pinscher is a muscular and powerful dog instantly recognizable by its sleek black and tan coat. It is an intelligent and loyal breed that is highly trainable.

Dobermans are a unique breed in that they have an elegant and noble appearance of a fierce protection dog. After all, their breeding purpose was to protect the German tax collector who bred him – Karl Dobermann.

Dogs are also unique in that they have one heat period every season. Wild animals’ heat cycles depend on climate and temperature, but your Doberman can go into normal heat cycles at any time of the year.

One thing to note is that professional breeders advise against breeding during the first heat cycle because your dog is still physically and intellectually underdeveloped.

Doberman Estrous Cycle – What Happens?

Researching your dog’s first heat cycle may confuse you due to two similar words- estrus and estrous. They sound alike yet mean distinct things.

  • Estrous is the female’s four reproductive stages, proestrus, estrus, diestrus, and anestrus.
  • Estrus is the second phase of the estrous cycle, known as the heat period.

Your female Doberman will exhibit specific symptoms and behaviors during the four estrous cycle periods.

Phase 1 – Proestrus

The first estrous cycle phase occurs before your dog’s first heat. This is known as proestrus and lasts from  2–27 days but usually 7–10 days.

Due to increased estrogen levels, your dog will alter physically. Her vulva swells, her reproductive tissues thicken, and her genitalia turns red.

Bloody discharge is normal at this phase. Your dog probably licks her genitalia a lot. These symptoms can be scary at first, but they’re typical.

Other proestrus symptoms are:

  • Nervousness
  • Appetite loss
  • Irritable with other animals
  • Escapes confinement to find a mate
Brown Doberman

Phase 2 – Estrus

Estrus is the second stage of the estrous cycle. This stage is often referred to as “standing heat” or the “heat cycle.” From 2 -21 days, your Doberman Pinscher can stay in this cycle, but it generally lasts 6-10 days. Ovulation occurs at this time, and dogs mate during this period.

The red, bloody discharge changes to a pink or beige color during estrus. This indicates that your dog is about to ovulate.

Your Doberman will exhibit the following behaviors while she is in her first heat:

  • Backs into male dogs to flirt with them
  • Flagging tail in front of a male
  • Often urinates, acts seductive
  • Mounts males

One to three days after the first heat starts, ovulation takes place

Additionally, your Doberman may become more aggressive with other females and show heightened interest in male dogs. Additional indications that a dog is ready to mate include spraying (urine marking), arousal, and frequent genital licking.

If you have an intact Doberman Pinscher and do not intend to breed her at this time, keep your dog on a leash when out for walks because your pet will be aggressively searching for a sexual partner.

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Phase 3 – Diestrus

If you are familiar with the estrous stages, you may have heard this stage called metestrus. However, diestrus is the current name for it. During this third phase, which lasts for roughly two months, your dog’s progesterone levels rise in the blood and will peak after 3-4 weeks. Estrogen levels are low.

Diestrus starts when the female dog starts to refuse males and continues until the end of pregnancy. If you don’t mate your dog, her appearance doesn’t change during diestrus.

Phase 4 – Anestrus

Anestrus is the last stage of the estrous cycle. There are 100 to 150 days in this phase. During this time, your dog’s reproductive system lies inactive.

Your Doberman won’t exhibit any “heat” symptoms while she is in anestrus. Her genitalia’s color returns to normal, and the swelling goes down – additionally, the vaginal discharge ends.

Your dog’s demeanor will likely improve, and she won’t show any interest in male dogs. Her reproductive organs recover and stabilize throughout this time.

Doberman Resting on the grass.

At What Age Will My Doberman Enter Her Heat Cycle?

When female Dobermans reach adolescence, they begin their estrous or heat cycle that lasts the rest of their lives. All estrous cycles are stopped if you have your female spayed.

“I had my dog spayed after her first heat cycle, but if you’re thinking about neutering your dog, you should consult your vet.”

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Every dog reaches puberty at different times. While gigantic breeds can take up to 30 months to reach puberty, many toy breeds begin the process as early as five months of age.

Your Doberman Pinscher will typically reach puberty and start her first heat cycle between the ages of eight and nine months. The majority of Dobermans go through estrous cycles twice a year after that.

How Long Does The First Heat of a Doberman Last?

The first heat of a Doberman lasts for 2-21 days, but it normally lasts 6-10 days. The estrus phase of the heat cycle is equivalent to this phase of the cycle. Currently fertile, your Doberman could become pregnant if you mate her.

However, keep in mind that if a female Doberman mates before the estrus period, she may still conceive. This is because canine spermatozoa are mobile in the female genital tract and may live for up to 11 days.

How Often Do Dobermans Go Into Heat?

Every six months, or twice a year, Dobermans go into heat, which is typical of large dog breeds. Smaller dogs may go into heat three to four times a year, whereas giant breeds only do so once a year.

Your Doberman may go into heat more or less frequently depending on the following variables:

  • Age: After the first season, following heat cycles may be erratic but will eventually become more regular. There will be fewer heat cycles in older canines.
  • Pregnancy: The interestrus interval is extended after whelping.
  • Seasons: Seasonal variations in estrus frequency are possible. In this study on large breed dogs, it was discovered that there were fewer estrus occurrences in the summer and, as a result, fewer instances of conception.

Are There Any Conditions That Influence the Doberman Estrous Cycle?

The following conditions can influence when your Doberman Pinscher begins her estrous cycle:

  • Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Injuries
  • Diseases
  • Fitness
  • Parasites

All of these conditions can cause problems during the reproductive cycle.

Adolescent Doberman. Heat Cycle in Dobermans

How Can I help my Doberman Calm Down During Her Heat Cycle?

When your Doberman goes into heat for the first time, her personality and behavior change. She starts acting in a strange way you’ve never seen before, becoming irritated and grumpy.

When she seems so stressed, your priority should be to make her feel at ease. Here are a few things to calm your dog down in heat and make her more comfortable:

  • Spend more time with her. This can involve relaxing together, playing, or hugging. To help her forget her anxiety, speak to her in a soothing tone and offer her a light massage. Give her the additional affection and assistance she requires.
  • Allow frequent walks. But watch out for intact male canines, as they might make her more anxious. Instead, try to limit your walking to quieter, less busy areas, and always keep a careful eye on her.
  • Play with her favorite toys to keep her occupied. Toy puzzles are excellent for diverting her attention and mentally taxing her. I suggest the Outward Hound Dog Brick Puzzle Toy from Amazon. It is made to test your dog’s capacity for problem-solving and foster critical thinking.
  • Make sure she has a peaceful, secure place to slumber. This may entail creating a special area for her to unwind in, like a box or a tiny room with a cozy bed. It’s also crucial to ensure that this area is secure so that she can’t flee or cause trouble during her season.

Are there any Hygiene Products I Can Use During My Dog’s First Heat Cycle?

Pet supply stores carry a range of hygiene products for dogs in season. Dog diapers or pants help absorb your dog’s bloody discharge. If you prefer online shopping, check out Simple Solution Disposable Diapers from Amazon. These ones are really popular as they have a good fit and are fur-friendly when putting on and taking off.

Simple Solution True Fit Disposable Dog Diapers for Female Dogs | Super Absorbent with Wetness Indicator | L/XL | 30 Count

Doggy diapers also provide additional protection in case your female Doberman comes in contact with an interested male.

How Can I Tell if my Doberman has Developed a Uterine Infection after Her Heat Cycle?

Because of all the hormonal ups and downs during the estrous cycle, a uterine infection, commonly known as pyometra, can occasionally happen. Her uterine wall may secrete fluid that promotes bacterial development if it is still thick from her heat cycle. Infected dogs are often between 6 and 10 years old.

Pyometra is a medical emergency, so if you notice any of the following symptoms two to three months after your dog finishes her heat cycle, contact your veterinarian immediately:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • No appetite
  • Thirst
  • Fever
  • Frequent urination
  • Painful abdomen

Through blood tests and ultrasound imaging, your veterinarian can identify whether your dog has a uterine infection.

FAQs on Doberman First Heat and Cycle

Let’s Wrap This Up!

Your Doberman’s first heat can be a difficult time for both your dog and you. To safeguard your dog’s health and safety at this time, it’s key to be prepared and take the appropriate precautions. This includes containing your dog to avoid unintended breeding.

Your Doberman Pinscher can survive her first heat comfortably and smoothly with the right attention and care. As always, if you have any specific queries or worries about your dog’s heat cycle, you should speak with a veterinarian.


  • Sharon Waddington

    Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Find her on Linkedin!