Complete Guide On How Do Dogs Breed?

black and yellow dogs

The average age for a dog to reach its full sexual maturity is less than one year. The age may vary depending on the dog breed. Smaller dogs can usually be bred when they are at the age of 6 months. Meanwhile, the more giant dogs breed, the more they are ready to be bred at 1 year to 18 months. So you must be wondering about this tricky question: “How do dogs breed?” You need to do your research about your dog breed’s maturity. Furthermore, if you have a female dog, you should know about all the care you must give your pet dog.

Dog breeders with enough knowledge and experience wait for female dogs to reach the age of 18 months. You must remember that these are just average numbers, and other factors, like health and breed, also matter. A female dog has her fertility just for a specific phase, and after a few years, it loses its fertility. If you want your female dog to have puppies, you should consider the period of your pet female dog. If your female dog has health issues, then it is better not to compromise her health by getting her bred.

How Often Do Dogs Breed?

Dogs Breed

Before learning about the breeding process of the dog, it is important to know when female dogs reach maturity. Male dogs enter their sexual maturity age earlier as compared to female dogs. Suppose your female dog gets excited by the attention of male dogs. It does not indicate that she is ready for breeding.

Waiting for your female dog’s second or third heat cycle is recommended until she is fully matured. Once the dog is fully grown, it is the right time to have her bred around 20 to 24 months. There is no accurate answer to the question “How often do dogs breed?” but skipping the first one or more heat cycles is better. In addition to that, breeding your female dog at every heat cycle is not a wise idea. It may affect her health as she deserves resting phases. You will find different schools of thought regarding how often dogs breed.

Some breeders prefer giving gaps between breeding cycles. It is essential to give a female dog some time to rest and recover. On the other hand, some breeder prefers getting their female dogs bred back to back as they think there is no reason to wait for another heating season. They believe that if the female dog is bred in a row, getting her spayed at a young age is easy without waiting for any health issues. It is always better to consult your vet first if you plan to breed your dog. Your vet could tell you your dog’s condition and suggest a better time for breeding.

Signs Of a Dog in Heat?

Dogs Breed

A female dog, when in heat, experiences vaginal bleeding. In some Dog Breeds, the bleeding is heavy; in others, it is just the average amount. A female dog takes a few days to show the signs of her heat cycle. The heat cycle starts with a few signs, including genital swelling, which is probably the first noticeable sign when the dog licks herself.

Other signs of the heat cycle include the high level of attention females give male dogs. The attraction towards male dogs increases, but they don’t mate with them for more than a week. After a few days during the heat cycle, they become more receptive to the male dogs for mating. In addition to that, they leave a scent through her urine containing pheromones that attract male dogs. Do you know what pheromones are? They are special chemicals that the animals discharge to attract males.

A female dog becomes quite aggressive when she is having a heat cycle. It is best to introduce her to a male dog if you want her to breed and have puppies. If you do not want more puppies or the dog has health issues, getting your dog spayed is recommended. When the female dog is ready for mating, her attraction toward the male dogs will increase. Additionally, she will sit in a position to mate by pointing up to her tail, indicating that she is a female dog in the heat cycle. The fertility phase of a female dog can last for 5 to 6 years, after which her health may be affected, and she cannot bear pregnancy. With time, the heat cycle also declines from four times per year to maybe one time a year.

How Long is Dog in Heat?

A female dog’s heat cycle can stay for two to three weeks and includes four phases. The dog becomes pregnant at the end of the period, or there comes a resting phase. Prepare to identify the signs when your dog is having a heat cycle. The question “How long is the dog in heat?” can be easily answered with the following four stages:

  • Protesters Phase

The first phase lasts 7 to 10 days when the female dog’s body prepares for mating. During the first stage, her vulvar area swells up, and you may also notice bleeding. The good part is that dogs clean up themselves before you even notice. Furthermore, you will start seeing her clingy behaviour as she will ask for more attention than usual. The female dog attracts male dogs at the proestrus stage but may become aggressive if any dog tries to contact her for mating.

  • Estrus Phase

The second phase is called the estrus phase, lasting 9 to 10 days. During the second phase, the bleeding will stop or lessen, and the female dog will be receptive to the male dogs. In addition, the female dog will urinate more frequently and spread pheromones to attract male dogs. She will present herself for mating when the male dog is available.

  • Diestrus phase

Then comes the third stage, called the diestrus phase. This stage can last for around two months. Either the female dog carries her pups or returns to the resting phase. In this stage, her vaginal discharge stops, and she is no more in a “heat cycle”.

  • Anestrus phase

The last stage is the phase of recovery. In an anestrus phase, there is no sexual behavior. This phase lasts 3 to 5 months until the next heat cycle begins.

For How Long Can You Breed a Female Dog?

If we compare female dogs with male dogs, the mating frequency among male dogs is much higher. With each pregnancy, the tendency and frequency to carry litter become less. The period and frequency of a female dog’s pregnancy depend on her health and recovery process between pregnancy phases. It is essential to provide complete care to your female dog primarily. When she is in her heart cycle or is pregnant, it is recommended to have just 3 to 4 litters during the female dog’s lifetime to prevent any health ailments. That is all that matters as long as she is in good health.

People often ask, “How long can you breed a female dog?” When it comes to the health of a female dog. It is safe not to have more than 4 litres in her lifetime. The problem is not mating. It is what comes after that, including nursing and gestation, after delivering her pups. A female dog takes a few days to return to her usual state and recover from the pregnancy.

Right after the delivery, a female dog has to feed her pups, which is exhausting. Dog breed season can be harsh for her, especially when she gets pregnant and right after the delivery. So, after a few days, the female dog can still go into her heat cycle, but having her presume another pregnancy would not be a good idea. There has always been an argument over how long you should get your female dog bred and wait until she has fully healed. Her health comes first, so it is also suggested that she be taken to the vet regularly.

How To Provide Care To Your Female Dog While She is in Heat?

A female dog experiences a heat cycle every 5 or 6 months. Heat season can be hard on both you and your dog. This can be a phase of real infuriation, especially for pet owners, who must adequately care for the female dog. A heat cycle can stay for 3 to 4 weeks every time. As she will also be having blood secret through her vulva, make sure you are providing her proper hygiene care. Also, she will constantly attract male dogs in the neighbourhood through the pheromones in her urine. Always keep her inside the house, especially during her heat cycle. If he sees her, a male dog will try to jump off the fences to mate. Also, keeping her safe inside the house will prevent any attack from male dogs or unwanted litter.

On the other hand, if the female dog is not presented to any male dog, she can also show some aggressive behaviours. Blood spots can also be inside the house, and the discharge will create a stinky smell. Keep the female dog in a separate area while she is having her heat cycle so that it would be easy for you to clean up the place. Your female dog in heat will also become clingy and ask for your attention more than usual. Do not forget to keep her out for exercise, as it would be cruel to lock her up. Some people also prefer buying dog panties for their pets to avoid any mess created by the discharge.

If you have other pets at home, you must remember that aggressive behaviour does not affect them. Their pushy attitude, humping, and other aggressive behaviour might annoy other pets and even stress them. But you must stay patient with your pet female dog as this phase is temporary. If the female dog is bossy and pushy during her heat cycle, the other pets will either accept her attitude or fight with her.

As soon as you notice these signs, you need to provide her with proper care and try to keep her in a confined area, even just for a bit. If you want her to breed, then it is essential to keep her in contact with a male dog. If you do not need any pups, it is better to get her spayed as it has many health benefits. Before getting her spayed, visit the vet for his/her opinion on your dog’s health.

Final Thoughts On Female Dog’s Breeding Season

As your cat’s parent, you must go through the whole breeding season with your female cat. It can be a frustrating time for both of you, but you must stay patient with her and provide her with the care she needs. She might act weirdly, especially when male dogs are around the house. It is essential to keep her inside the house to avoid any attacks by the male dogs.

If you need a litter of pups, get her in touch with a male dog. You can get your female dog spayed or neutered if you do not want more pups. Dog breed season can be difficult, especially for a female dog, as she asks for attention and makes loud howling noises. She can become very clingy and might sit in a mating position. Furthermore, she can throw tantrums at the other pets in the house. Your female dog will try to escape and go outside to find a male cat for mating. She will even scratch the windows or doors.

Some veterinarians may also prescribe medication to ease your dog’s heat cycle. It may reduce the signs during the cycle. Having your dog neutered after you have the pups and you do not want your dog to mate anymore is recommended. Once you have her spayed, she will stop going into the heat cycle and even spraying or scratching around in your home. Now that you have gone through the whole guide, if someone asks you, “How Do Dogs Breed?” you will know the answer. Also, check out how Cat Breeds.


At what age can dogs breed?

This varies by breed, but females typically reach maturity between 6-18 months. Responsible breeders wait until at least the second or third heat cycle, around 18-24 months.

How often can dogs breed?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Responsible breeders consider the female’s health and recommend spacing out litters to avoid health problems. Discuss breeding frequency with your veterinarian.

What are the signs of a female dog in heat?

Look for vaginal bleeding, swelling of the vulva, increased urination, and behavioral changes like restlessness or clinginess.

How long is a dog’s heat cycle?

The heat cycle lasts 2-3 weeks, with four stages: proestrus, estrus, diestrus, and anestrus.

For how long can a female dog breed?

It’s not about how long, but how many times. Responsible breeders prioritize the female’s health and recommend no more than 3-4 litters throughout her life.

What are the benefits of spaying/neutering a dog?

Spaying/neutering reduces the risk of reproductive cancers and other health problems. It also prevents unwanted litter and pet overpopulation.

How can I find a reputable dog breeder? 

Look for breeders prioritizing health testing, breed standards, and ethical breeding practices. Avoid breeders focused solely on appearance or selling very young puppies.

What are some factors to consider before breeding my dog? 

Research your breed’s temperament, health concerns, and typical litter size. Consider your lifestyle, finances, and commitment to raising puppies responsibly.

How do dogs breed?

During estrus, the female is receptive to males. Mating involves mounting, pelvic thrusting, and a tie where they remain connected for several minutes.

What are pheromones, and how do they affect dog breeding?

Pheromones are chemicals that influence behaviour. During heat, females release pheromones to attract males.

Daniel Michael
Hello, I am Daniel Michael, who loves dogs and has extensive experience in the field. I have a passion for writing articles that help other dog lovers navigate the complexities of dog ownership and care. I have spent countless hours researching, learning, and working with dogs of all breeds and sizes, and I am excited to share my knowledge and experience with you through my writing. Whether you are a new dog owner or a seasoned pro, I am confident that my articles will provide you with valuable insights and practical advice that will enhance your relationship with your furry friend.