Whether you’re planning to breed your Doberman or want to keep her safe during her cycle, understanding what’s happening is crucial.
That’s why we’ve created the ultimate guide to female Dobermans and their cycles.
Based on research and personal experience, this comprehensive article will help you determine when to expect your Doberman’s season and what to expect during this time.
So, let’s dive in and learn all about your Doberman bitch’s cycle.
If you want to jump to a specific section, feel free to use the following table of contents.
When Will Your Female Doberman Have Her First Season?
Congratulations, new owner of a Doberman bitch! At some point, you will have to deal with her first season. This will be tricky if this is your first time as a dog owner.
Although this depends on the individual dog, most female Dobermans have their first cycle or season between 8–12 months of age, while some take as little as six months. Others don’t get their first season until they are over a year old. Furthermore, some young Doberman bitches may experience “silent heat.”
But, if you own a purebred Doberman, their first season will most likely start at around 8–12 months of age.
Most veterinarians recommend waiting until after a Doberman’s first season before spaying them. This means that no matter whether you decide to have her neutered or not, you will still have to deal with at least one season.
Of course, there are several benefits of having your Doberman neutered. Consider that the chance of developing ovarian cancer decreases by a considerable factor.
But there are also a handful of benefits of waiting until after her first season. One such benefit is allowing your female Doberman to grow and develop more normally.
However, we will discuss spaying Dobermans in another comprehensive article.
But for now, let’s focus on her season.
What Should You Know Before Your Doberman’s First Heat?
First and foremost, you should be roughly aware of when her first season will start. It would be best if you stood ready from around the six-month mark.
The time range can vary a lot, so you have to be ready from six months to a year, and maybe even longer.
No matter how old your Doberman puppy is, start educating yourself now to prepare for her first heat. This can allow you to take the necessary precautions to avoid trouble.
Keep a Close Eye on Her
When your dog hits the six-month mark, this is the time you should start taking things seriously by keeping a close eye on her all the time.
Don’t forget to observe her for signs of her first season.
Educate Yourself About the Signs
Awareness of these signs is critical to recognize if your dog is starting her first season. Try to see if she shows the following signs:
- Aggressive behavior mixed with nervousness and agitation
- Frequent urination
- Swollen vulva
- Frequently changing her tail’s position
- Responsive to male dogs
- Check for bloody straw-colored discharge from her vulva
- Excessive licking of the genitals — Click here to read why Dobermans lick so much.
Be Prepared With Essential Supplies
- Keep some dog diapers on hand if your Doberman is used to living indoors and you don’t want her to leave a bloody mess.
- In particular, use washable dog diapers that are much cheaper in the long run.
- You can also use human diapers by cutting a hole for the tail. We will discuss the bleeding and discharging issue in detail further on in this article.
- Keep your Doberman in a secure enclosure, separated from other dogs during her first season. This will avoid unwanted and insecure pregnancies and some hormone-related aggressiveness.
- Ensure your dog has everything she needs in that enclosure, especially a water bowl and comfortable bedding. Moreover, read this to understand how much water a Doberman should drink.
Don’t Attempt to Get Her Neutered
Since we discussed this a bit, I won’t investigate it again. If you want to learn more about spaying Dobermans, follow this link.
Get Ready to Track Her Cycles
If you have yet to experience this, this will seem strange, but you should start tracking her cycles from the first day of her season.
There are tons of mobile apps available that you can use to accomplish this.
How Often Do Dobermans Go into Heat?
Regarding the pattern of their season, the female Doberman cycle is consistent. But there are clear distinctions we can expect from different dog breeds.
Usually, female Dobermans experience their season two times per year. These are expected in early fall and spring. However, genetic disorders and hormonal imbalances can lead to slight imbalances in their cycle. Other reasons include hypothyroidism, ovarian hypoplasia, an ovary tumor, and malnutrition.
- Due to these effects, the interval between seasons may last 6–12 months.
- Sometimes, female Dobermans cycle every three to four months if they have other issues.
- The time between two of your Doberman’s cycles may be as regular as clockwork, while others have seasons once per year.
- An 8–12-month period between two cycles can be considered abnormal.
Although some form of variability in the cycle can be considered normal, the time intervals between each season can indicate health issues. Dealing with these potential issues sooner rather than later is critical.
So, please consult your veterinarian when you notice changes in your dog’s cycles, as this may indicate underlying health issues.
How Long Are Dobermans in Heat?
Knowing how long your Doberman will stay in heat is crucial to managing and protecting her and maintaining her hygiene throughout her season.
The average cycle lasts about 24 days. Assume a range of 3–4 weeks, as every Doberman is different. A bright red discharge can be expected for the first ten days. After that, expect a few days of lighter-colored discharge, and finally, she will discharge darker-colored blood.
But the fact is, young Dobermans sometimes follow a different timeframe than expected. So, it’s better to chat with your vet and figure out your girl’s timeline.
First, it’s more beneficial if you are aware of your female Doberman’s cycle. Here’s a table that can be quickly scanned for reference.
|Pro-estrus||Usually lasts nine days, but can last anywhere up to 27 days.||Exhibits signs of heat so her owners start noticing. |
Male dogs will attract your female Doberman, but she won’t be responsive to them.
The vulva is usually swollen with a bloody discharge.
|Estrus||Usually lasts nine days, but can last anywhere between 4–24 days.||A slightly enlarged and softened vulva can be expected. |
|Di-estrus||Lasts about two months.||Your female Doberman no longer seeks out or accepts male dogs.|
|An-estrus||Lasts about four months.||There won’t be any discharge and the swelling should have gone down.|
How Long Does a Doberman Bleed When In Heat?
When your Doberman is in season, you must be mindful of several things to keep her hygiene in order without making her prone to health issues like infections.
To do that, you need to be aware of this timeframe.
Usually, female Dobermans’ bleeding will last for 10–21 days. But it’s better to chat with your veterinarian if the amount of blood is not reduced after 15–18 days. Manage your dog correctly to prevent health issues like urinary infections, vaginal infections, and violent diarrhea.
Several Things to Look Out for During Your Doberman’s Cycle
- You can use normal doggy sanitary pads for your Doberman. Still, the problem is that they tend to overflow.
- Usually, nappies and pads should be changed every two hours, usually when letting your Doberman go out to pee.
- It would be best if you didn’t allow her to clean herself to prevent health issues like violent diarrhea.
- Wearing diapers could make your dog anxious, and sometimes you must deal with accidents like poop escaping and spreading everywhere.
- Expect that diapers won’t completely contain urine or fecal matter. You should have a plan to clean up their mess in this case.
- By wearing diapers, some dogs may be prone to urinary infections.
- Your Doberman should be supervised and kept away from male dogs for about four weeks to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
- During your female Doberman’s cycle, always take her outside and supervise her for pooping and peeing.
What Behavior Can You Expect From Your Doberman During Her Season?
You will see temperament changes in your female Doberman a few days before her season. When you experience this for the first time, it will be odd!
Life will be much easier throughout her season if you notice these behavior changes.
So, here are the possible behavior changes:
- Increased urination: While your Doberman is getting ready for her season, you will see an increasing frequency of urination.
- Lethargy: You will notice your dog is weaker or less energetic than she used to be. Sometimes she will refuse to play with you and seem unusually tired.
- Acting flirtatiously: When your female dog enters her cycle, she will “flirt” with male dogs. You should prevent this, especially if this is her first season.
- Attempting to escape: This is why you should closely supervise your female Doberman. Generally, when a dog comes into season, she naturally tries to escape from you and find a mate.
- Unusual and excessive self-grooming: You will notice that she continuously tries to groom herself and stay clean.
- Restlessness: Your dog will start to pant unusually and increasingly drool.
- Change in appetite: Your Doberman may become a picky eater and significantly change her appetite.
How To Protect Your Female Doberman During Her First Heat
It would be best if you avoided unwanted pregnancies during her first season. It’s tough to get pregnant while she is still a baby, and complications are more likely if she does get pregnant.
If you have kept reading, you know a lot about their cycle and all other related stuff. So, now, let’s worry about protecting her.
- Your Doberman should be kept away from male dogs at the beginning of her season. Even though this cycle will last three weeks, a good rule of thumb is to keep her at home or on a very short leash from day 1 through to day 30.
- Dog panties can give some protection.
- Male dogs will start to follow her, and male dogs can easily detect the scent of hormones given off by your female Doberman, even from far away. So, you must supervise and monitor her all the time when outside. Keep reading this article to learn how to provide activities during your Doberman’s season.
- Male dogs may act aggressively as they sense the scent of a female dog in heat. Watch yourself and the dog as you go for walks.
- Note that the cessation of bleeding doesn’t indicate the end of the cycle; there is another phase yet. More importantly, female Dobermans will be highly fertile during this stage. If you look closely, the vulva will still produce some discharge.
- Always pay extra attention to changes in her health, as she is more prone to health issues like urinary infections, vaginal infections, and violent diarrhea during this time. If you feel something odd, call your vet right away.
- If your female Doberman is your running partner, you might have to change your schedule for about one month, taking her safety and health into account.
How To Exercise Your Doberman During Her Heat
It doesn’t matter whether your dog is in her season or not. They will likely stay incredibly energetic and require a lot of regular exercise. They should be exercised to avoid boredom, anxiety, and depression.
So, when your female Doberman is in her season, avoid locations where you’ll likely encounter many other dogs.
That means you should consider avoiding beaches or dog parks for these few weeks.
- Going for a walk in your backyard is ideal.
- Playing ball games or fetch for about 15 minutes should be sufficient.
- If it’s rainy outside, you can use your stairs for exercise.
- If she gets distracted during this time, consider providing a chew toy, as Dobermans love to chew.
Can a Doberman Have Puppies in Her First Season?
Even though I wouldn’t recommend you breed her during her first season, some people prefer to do that. So, the essential facts, pros, and cons of getting pregnant during the first cycle are worth considering.
In general, Dobermans can have puppies in their first season and give birth to a litter of 6–8 puppies. Since Dobermans have a lower maturity rate than other dogs, breeding an 8–10-month-old dog is really not advisable. An early pregnancy can result in a much-increased chance of complications.
Dogs Are Mono-Estrous Creatures
This means that even though your female Doberman has two cycles yearly, they only have one breeding season per year.
Since their first cycle begins at 8–10 months of age, on-purpose or purposeless mating can make them pregnant.
Think about this. Usually, Dobermans take about 12–24 months to reach full maturity. Getting pregnant as early as eight months… Is that really acceptable? Is she responsible or grown-up enough to be a mama?
So, When Can You Breed Your Female Doberman?
Usually, female Dobermans should be bred later than males (for males, the breeding can be done at 6–12 months of age). Waiting until she reaches 18 months of age is what responsible breeders should do.
- Getting pregnant early as 8–10 months of age can negatively impact their bone structure and development. This is overly true for larger dogs like Dobermans.
- Since she is not fully grown, she might suffer problems when breastfeeding.
Things to Be Aware Of
You now have a great understanding of female Dobermans and their cycle.
However, trust me — as a responsible owner, you must be aware of many more things:
- As we discussed, you can expect many odd behaviors during her heat. In pseudopregnancies, some female Dobermans exhibit nesting behavior during their season. This means they attempt to protect small items like shoes, believing they are her litter. Note that your Doberman’s mammary glands will enlarge during pseudopregnancy and may produce milk.
- You have to set aside extra time just for your Doberman during her season, as they tend to get cuddlier during this period.
- If you want to give her a bone to chew on during her season, chat with your vet first to see if they think it’s ok.
- Never scold your female Doberman puppy for a bloody mess on the floor. Just calm down and clean it up.
- Ensure that your female Doberman is drinking enough water and eating proper food.
Thank you for reading this ultimate guide for managing a female Doberman during her heat cycle. Being prepared and informed about your dog’s reproductive health is essential as a Doberman owner. We have covered a wide range of topics related to Dobermans in heat in this comprehensive guide, and we hope you found it helpful and informative. As always, we encourage you to consult your veterinarian for any specific concerns or questions. Have a great day!