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Art-Logo How Can I Tell if My Dog is Ready to Breed?

How Can I Tell if My Dog is Ready to Breed?

Dog breeding is a wonderful and exciting endeavor. But it can also be overwhelming and confusing learning everything required to keep your female dog happy and healthy.

"Breeders should allow their female dog to pass her first two heat cycles before attempting to breed her."

For starters, you might be wondering how to know when it’s time to breed your dog. This is important to understand and get right, otherwise your female dog won’t be receptive to the male and the breeding process won’t be a success.

Breeders should allow their female dog to pass her first two heat cycles before attempting to breed her. It is the third heat that begins the prime period in terms of fertility in dog breeding. During this time, her hormone levels have reached optimum level to prepare her uterus for a healthy pregnancy.

As for when is the precise moment to breed, female dogs exhibit some fairly obvious signs when they are ready. If you watch closely and notice her body changes and behavior, you’ll know exactly when she is ready.

Here is what to look for:


Observe your dog’s genital area. If she is about to go into heat, her vulva will begin to swell. Simply take a look at her back end, a swollen vulva will be very noticeable.


You will also want to watch for signs of discharge. Female dogs going into heat will begin to bleed. Typically, one week after the vulva begins to swell, you should notice bleeding begin. The discharge can range in color from deep red to white, depending on the dog. Your dog will be fertile for up to 12 days after the bleeding slows and gets thinner and lighter.

As you can see, breeding can be a messy job. But you can enjoy this time with your dog and protect your rugs and furniture at the same time by fitting your female dog with washable dog diapers.

Pet Parents® offers the widest selection of female dog diapers online so you can keep your house clean during “that time.”

Frequent Urination

Dog Diaper

Pay attention to how often your dog is urinating. When female dogs are ready to breed, they will urinate more frequently than normal. 

By the way, dog diapers can save your rugs and sanity in this potty situation as well. Basically, if you are going to be breeding your female, it’s a great idea to keep some of these dog diapers handy!

Keep an Eye Out for Male Dogs

At a certain point, your female dog will begin to give off a scent that will signal intact males. If you start to notice male dogs around your yard, it's likely she is in heat and ready for breeding.

Ready, Set, Breed

Once you have noticed all of these signs, your female can be acquainted with the male dog which you have chosen her to breed. Female dogs who are absolutely ready will willingly “do the deed.” Should your female put up a fight, give her another day or two.

Breeding your dog should be a wonderful experience. Make sure to watch your dog closely, look for these signs, and give her some extra love and attention.

"Female dogs who are absolutely ready will willingly 'do the deed.' "

The Author:

Micka V.

Micka Virtudazo is a full-time content creator at Pet Parents who lives with thirteen adorable American Bullies and a Shih Tzu-Maltese mix named Gretel. She especially enjoys writing how-to articles as she feels through this she can connect to other pet parents on a more personal level.

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