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When Do Poodles Go Into Heat?

3 Poodle of various sizes and colors sitting on a brick wall.

Most female poodles experience their first heat cycle between 10-12 months of age. However, your dog’s first heat can vary from the age of 6 months to the age of 18 months. The Puppy Mag explains that some poodles may take even longer to go into their first heat. This is because several different factors determine when a poodle will go into heat.

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Factors Affecting Heat Frequency in Poodles

Poodle Report mentions that a handful of things are responsible for the timing of your poodle’s first heat. The biggest contributors among them are discussed below.

Size

Poodles come in three different sizes and the average age of sexual maturity is different for each one of them. The general rule of thumb is that small dogs mature quicker and will have more heat cycles during the year. The following table will give you a clear view of the picture.

 Size of PoodleTime of First HeatNumber of Heat Cycles
Toy PoodleLess than 10 inches4-6 months2-4
Miniature Poodle10-15 inches10 months2-3
Standard PoodleMore than 15 inches12-18 months1-2

Stress

The mental health of a female poodle plays an important role in ensuring a normal heat cycle (and its frequency). Living in a stressful environment can cause unnecessary delays in the first heat cycle of your pup. Certain actions, like restricting your canine’s movement and leaving them alone for long hours, can be disturbing for your pet. Instead, you should ensure regular walks and plenty of positive treatment to keep your pooch happy and healthy.

Diet

A balanced diet is beneficial for the overall well-being of your dog. It includes the regular heat cycle of your poodle because lack of nutrition can result in several problems. For example, unhealthy food can hamper the heat frequency in poodles by decelerating the process.

Signs of Poodles in Heat

7 poodles all in summer cuts looking at the camera over the edge of a stone wall

Poodles show plenty of physical and behavioral changes when they are in heat. It’s important to understand these cues because they can help owners to plan for the dog’s heat cycle. Read on to learn about the signs of a poodle in heat.

  • Swollen Vulva – This is one of the first signs that you will notice when your pooch is in heat. It happens during the first few days and the vulva will return to normal size within 21 days.
  • Bloody Discharge – This is one of the most obvious signs when poodles go into heat. The color of this mucus-like discharge ranges from bloody red to dark brown. It depends on the dog and the phase of the heat cycle.
  • Clingy and Aggressive Behavior Female dogs experience mood swings when they are in heat and can get irritated and provoked at little things. This aggressiveness is often accompanied by loss of appetite and frequent urination.
  • Receptive to Male Dogs – When in heat, female poodles will show a lot of interest in male canines. Frequent urination is one of the ways of attracting attention.
  • Change in Tail Position – This is one of the most noticeable changes during the first phase of heat. Poodles tend to keep the tails close to their bodies and show as if they are not interested in mating. However, this will change in the second stage of heat.  

How Long Do Poodles Stay in Heat?

Spiral bound calendar on a yellow background laid diagonally on the left of the picture

Normally, poodles stay in heat for 2-4 weeks. The entire heat cycle can be divided into different phases as your dog experiences the changes in her body.

Proestrus Phase

This is the first stage of the heat cycle and lasts for 7-10 days. During this phase, poodles are not willing to mate and can appear confused and reserved. Loss of appetite and frequent urination can also be observed. Similarly, swollen vulva and bloody discharge will also be visible.

Estrus Phase

This is the phase in which female poodles get attracted to male dogs. This stage usually lasts for 8-10 days and your pooch will show signs of hormonal imbalance. The discharge will become watery and thin and the dog will also indulge in ‘flagging’. This is a particular positioning of the tail that is used to signal male dogs she’s willing to mate.

Post-Estrus Phase

Also known as Di-Estrus, this stage lasts for about 12 days. During this phase, the physical changes (swollen vulva and discharge) subside. However, the internal changes continue to take place because the hormones are still being produced.

NOTE: After this stage, the dog goes back to the rest phase by resetting the production of sexual hormones (the Anoestrus phase).

How Often Does a Poodle Go in Heat?

Beautifully groomed standard poodle laying on a green park bench.

The heat frequency of poodles is dependent on the size of your pooch. The smaller the poodle, the more heat cycles will it experience during a year. This is because smaller canines tend to mature quickly than larger pups. Hence, toy poodles will have the greatest heat cycle frequency. You can use the table given below to find out the number of heat cycles for your poodle.

 Number of Heat Cycles Per Year
Toy Poodle2-4
Miniature Poodle2-3
Standard Poodle1-2

NOTE: Many breeders and owners are interested in breeding their poodles when they go into the first heat. According to experts, it’s a bad idea and you should wait for 18-24 months.

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