German Shepherd Heat Cycle Chart

The increased urination, the redness and swelling of the vulva, and the blood-tinged discharge that may or may not be coming from it are all typical signs of heat in a German Shepherd that has not been spayed.

Between 9 and 12 months, a German Shepherd will experience her first heat and cycle. Your GSD is now sexually mature and ready to breed for the first time in its life.

As a result, your dog will now enter heat every six months. There are four stages to a GSD’s heat cycle, but just a few days (4-15) of actual heat (estrus).

This may seem complicated, but if you watch your dog, you’ll see it’s not. Knowing what to expect from the initial heat and cycle will give you a much clearer picture of the evolution going place.

What this implies for your dog, when it occurs, and the symptoms you should look out for will all be covered in this German Shepherd Heat Cycle Chart.

Female German Shepherd Heat Cycle Chart

What Does German Shepherd Heat Cycle Mean?

A German Shepherd’s heat cycle occurs when hormonal changes occur. The time of first heat marks the onset of fertility, and it’s repeated every 6 months for the rest of your dog’s life. 

While some age-related variations will occur during your dog’s life, a German Shepherd’s heat cycle typically happens in four stages.

Also read: GSD Puppy Food chart

Proestrus Stage

German Shepherds spend anywhere from four to twenty days in the proestrus phase of their heat cycles. There are a few telltale signals that this time has arrived:

  • Urination occurs often.
  • The genitalia and teats have swelled up.
  • Bruising and bleeding, the presence of which may be more apparent in certain canines than in others.
  • Attractive to male dogs but not necessarily seeking mating.
  • Lack of light in the lower stomach.
  • She tucked her tail behind to hide her genitalia from potential suitors.
  • Your GSD may have “mood swings,” leading to a withdrawn or worried demeanor.

Because some dogs engage in self-grooming, you may not immediately notice if they are bleeding if they clean themselves. You kept your eyes peeled to catch any signs of the shifts.

Estrus Stage

The German Shepherd heat cycle mainly occurs during estrus. Ovulation happens during the fertile portion of the cycle, often known as the heat period or season.’ Your canine companion is now sexually mature.

  • Estrus typically lasts anywhere from 4-15 days and is defined by the following:
  • Discharge color shifting. This is not the bloody discharge of proestrus but rather a pinkish-brown fluid.
  • With its tail up and out of the way like a flag, you are exposing its vulva. Your GSD is showing signs of sexual maturity.

Looking for canine males. Estrus may manifest itself in various ways, but one of the most obvious is a heightened level of activity and aggression toward other canines.

Also read: GSD eye color chart

Diestrus Stage

German Shepherds slumber during the diestrus phase of their heat cycle. Even if your dog hasn’t been pregnant during her estrus cycle, she’ll still benefit from the rest.

German Shepherds often have diestrus for 60 days. The window of opportunity for a viable pregnancy has expired, but your dog may still smell like she’s in heat.

Anestrus Stage

Anestrus is the last phase of a German Shepherd’s heat cycle and typically lasts around 90 days. During this time, your German Shepherd is preparing for the proestrus phase of her next cycle.

Your German Shepherd should be neutered during the anestrus phase for optimal results.

Exactly what Is a German Shepherd’s Heat Cycle?

A female dog enters what is known as the heat cycle when she achieves sexual maturity. Estrus is the technical name. However, some people also call it their period or being in season. There may be a lot of various labels, but ultimately they all refer to the same thing.

A rapid decrease follows an increase in estrogen production by the dog’s body in estrogen levels, which triggers the ovaries to release eggs. When a female dog is in heat, she is fertile and ready to have pups.

A female GSD will show some rather noticeable indicators of being in heat. There are clear signs if one knows where to look for them, which you can later find in this German Shepherd Heat Cycle Chart.

Signs of Heat in German Shepherds

Increased urine frequency is a standard indicator that a female German Shepherd Dog is about to enter heat.

Her body is undergoing significant changes, which may give the impression that anything is wrong.

Nature’s approach of spreading your female dog’s fragrance and indicating her availability for mating is another reason she may urinate more often.

Most people associate estrus with a bloody discharge, so it’s no surprise that this is the symptom that gets the most attention. Many dogs can keep themselves clean throughout this period, so there is no need to worry, but others can’t.

It is recommended to provide protective clothing to prevent this discharge off of your furnishings. In hot weather, it’s common to have a swollen vulva.

To clarify this, your dog may lick at this spot more often. She won’t damage herself, and the swelling isn’t due to irritation, so it’s better if you leave her alone.

German Shepherds in heat often display behavioral changes, such as heightened apprehension or disinterest. A hormonal spike is to blame for this phenomenon.

During her first menstrual period, she may be anxious due to her uncertainty about what is occurring. However, not all canines experience this. A lot of people shrug and go on.

Flagging occurs when a female dog exposes her vulva to nearby male dogs by flicking her tail to one side. Some pets are so annoying that they get their owners flagged. Unless your dog is being bothersome, you shouldn’t discipline her for this. She has no control over the situation.

Also read: GSD Growth Chart

How long do German shepherds’ heat cycles typically last?

You may have picked up on a theme so far in this article: size significantly affects determining the length of a heat cycle. That holds for the duration of each thermal cycle as well.

Certain dog breeds, tiny varieties, only may spend a short time in the heat. Others may spend weeks at a time menstruating. Although less frequent, heat cycles lasting less than a week are very unusual.

German Shepherds typically go through one heat cycle every three weeks. Your dog’s cycle duration might decrease or extend as she gets older. Talk to your veterinarian if you’re worried.

As a precaution, they may examine her hormone levels and do a complete medical examination to rule out any potentially dangerous conditions.

It’s probably simply the effects of getting older, however.


Don’t forget to focus on your German Shepherd. Find out what her body signals are saying, as mentioned in this German Shepherd Heat Cycle Chart.

If you keep tabs on your Shepherd throughout her reproductive phases, you can prevent an undesired Sire from snatching her away and producing an unwanted litter.

Before breeding your German Shepherd, be sure she’s in good health and that you’re prepared to put in the time and effort required to produce litters of healthy pups. A male dog should be neutered if the owner has no plans to use him as a stud.