So, your always energetic and lovable female spaniel has become tired and lethargic and showing signs of being needy and clingy! If this is not her usual temperament, and she is older than 6 months, could it be that your English Springer spaniel is in heat?
Female English Springer Spaniels come into Estrus (heat) between 6 to 15 months. Females have a heat cycle twice a year, lasting up to 28 days per cycle. Bleeding lasts for 7 to 10 days. During the 4 stages of this natural life cycle, female spaniels show signs of physical and behavioral changes.
Read on for more interesting facts about the 4 stages of a female Springer spaniel’s heat cycle and how to care for your dog during this period.
Signs That My English Springer Spaniel Female Is In Heat?
Your lovable female Springer spaniel, good at showing her emotions, will let you know when she is in heat. Usually, Springer spaniels are energetic and playful, but when your female is coming into season, her temperament could change. Some signs will alert you to your female coming into heat.
Physical Signs That A Female Springer Spaniel Is In Heat
The physical signs that your female English Springer spaniel is in heat are:
- Swelling around the genital area (vulva) is the most common sign that your female Springer spaniel is coming into season.
- She will also have a blood-tinged discharge from the vulva and will urinate more frequently.
- Female Springer spaniels usually bleed between 7 to 10 days. If your female is bleeding for longer, consult your veterinarian.
- Your Springer spaniel female will show signs of being tired and sleepy.
- Some Springer spaniel females may be overexcited instead of being tired. This will depend on her estrogen levels.
Behavioral Signs When A Female Springer Spaniel Is In Heat
Your female dog may show the following behavioral signs during her heat cycle.
Female Springer Spaniels Look For Affection When In Heat
Your female English Springer spaniel will become needier for affection and attention when she comes into heat. She may also show distress when you leave the house and she is left alone.
Female Spaniels Initiate Sexual Contact When In Heat
When your female spaniel is in her heat cycle, she will be receptive to male dogs and may initiate sexual contact. She will do this by raising her rear toward the male dog. At the same time, your female will also deflect her tail to one side. This sexual behavior is called ‘flagging.’
The female Springer spaniel will actively court any male dog during this time and will continue until her heat cycle is over.
What Age Do Female Springer Spaniels Come Into Heat?
Although a female dog will reach sexual maturity at about 6 months old, the time of the female’s first heat cycle can vary. Springer spaniel females usually come into season for the first time between 6 to 15 months.
How Long Does A Female Springer Spaniel Stay In Heat?
A female spaniel will stay in heat for about 21 to 28 days. You must keep track of the duration of this period. This is to ensure your dog has regular heat cycles and stays healthy.
How Often Does A Female Springer Spaniel Come In Heat?
After the first heat, your female spaniel should come into season twice a year. Your female will continue to come into heat throughout her life. However, as she ages, the length of time between heat cycles will increase.
Can I Breed A Spaniel The First Time She Comes Into Heat?
You can breed your female the first time she comes into heat, but it is not recommended. Here are the reasons why veterinarians and breeders consider it not the best practice to breed a female Springer in her first heat cycle.
- The female spaniel is very young when she has her first heat cycle.
- At this age, your female Springer spaniel is not physically or mentally ready to have her first litter of pups.
- Although she can conceive at this age, you should wait until your female spaniel is more mature.
- It is considered best to wait until her third heat cycle, when she is 18 to 24 months old, before breeding with her.
- Your veterinarian can perform genetic testing to determine when your female spaniel is ready for her first litter of pups.
The Estrus (Heat) Cycle Of A Female Springer Spaniel
The canine Estrus (reproductive) cycle has 4 different stages. Each stage has hormonal, physical, and behavioral changes that a female spaniel will go through during her heat cycle.
The Proestrus Stage Of A Female Springer Spaniel In Heat
This is the beginning of the heat stage when you will notice the first changes in your female. This stage usually lasts 9 days, but in some females, it can last up to 27 days. This is when the vulva begins to swell, and your female spaniel will begin to bleed. She will start attracting male dogs during this stage, but she will not be ready to mate yet.
The Esrus Stage Of A Female Springer Spaniel In Heat
At this stage, your female spaniel is receptive to males and is in the fertile period. This Estrus stage will last for an average of 9 days but can last between 4 and 24 days. You will notice that the vulva, although still enlarged, is a bit softer, and the blood discharge will decrease. Your female dog’s estrogen levels will drop during this stage.
The Diestrus Stage Of A Female Springer Spaniel In Heat
During this stage, your female Springer spaniel is no longer receptive to the male. This stage will last 2 months, and hormone levels will level out.
The Anestrus Stage Of A Female Springer Spaniel In Heat
This is the final stage of the heat cycle and will last for 4 months, but it could be longer in some breeds. Your female spaniel’s vulva will not be swollen, and there will be no more vaginal discharge. The female’s body is at rest as it prepares the uterus for the next heat cycle and possible pregnancy.
Caring For A Female Springer Spaniel During Her Heat Cycle
Taking good care of your female spaniel during this natural life cycle will keep her strong and healthy. Here is how to keep your female happy during this stressful time.
- Separating your female – if you have other male dogs in the home, it is a good idea to keep your female in an area on her own while she is in heat. Other males in the vicinity will be attracted by her smell, so don’t leave her alone outside where they can get to her. Remember, she will also be attracted to the males at this stage.
- Add Menthol to the tip of her tail – dabbing your female’s tail with a small amount of Menthol will help mask the smell attracting unwanted males to your home.
- Spend special time with your female – give your female Springer spaniel plenty of love and attention during her heat cycle. If she is spending a lot of time indoors, she can become restless. Play games with her or give her a special soft toy to cuddle.
- Take her for a walk – choose a quiet time to take your dog for a walk on a leash. Where possible, walk her where there is little chance of other dogs being around.
- Keep her bedding clean – she will be messing blood on her blankets or bedding, so put down old sheets or blankets that you can discard when she stops bleeding. Or you could keep washing her bedding.
- Use special dog pants – if your female does not mind wearing dog pants, it will help to keep her bedding and your home clean.
- Consider sterilization – if you are not going to breed with your female, consider sterilizing her after her heat cycle. Consult your veterinarian for the best time to do this procedure.
Female Springer spaniels come into heat between the ages of 6 to 15 months. A heat cycle can be a stressful period for your female. She will display a few physical and behavioral changes during the 4 stages of her heat period. Springer spaniel females come into season twice a year and can stay in heat for up to 28 days per cycle.
Caring for your female companion during the heat cycle will keep her healthy, and giving her lots of attention will keep her happy. She will attract and be attracted to males when she is in heat, so it is best to keep her in a separate space during this time.
Veterinarians and breeders agree that it is good practice to only breed your female Springer spaniel at 18 to 24 months. This is when your female will be physically and mentally mature and ready for her first litter of pups.