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When Do Australian Shepherds Go Into Heat?

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By Nicole Cosgrove

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The Australian Shepherd, or Aussie, is a herding dog that—contrary to its name—was developed in the western United States. They are medium to large-sized dogs with a moderate amount of energy. Aussies are intelligent and trainable dogs that can make great family pets—as long as they have been well-socialized from puppyhood.

If you have a female Aussie dog, one of your key priorities will be managing their reproductive health. Females will normally have their first heat cycle between 6 and 18 months of age, with the average being around 12 months.

There are many factors that can affect when a female Australian Shepherd will reach sexual maturity, including health, nutrition, and environment. Let’s take a closer look at the topic of estrus in Australian Shepherds and explore it in more detail.

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How Will I Know If My Aussie Is in Heat?

There are a few physical signs that you can look for to determine if your Australian Shepherd is in heat. One of the most obvious signs is a change in her vulva—it will appear swollen and red. She may also urinate more frequently and have a bloody discharge. Behavioral changes, such as increased restlessness, may also be an indication that she is in heat. She might seem nervous or distracted.

It is likely that she will be receptive to male dogs and may initiate sexual contact with them. She might communicate her fertility by deflecting her tail to one side, which is referred to as “flagging.”

sick australian shepherd dog lying on grass
Image Credit: EvitaS, Pixabay

How Often Will My Australian Shepherd Go into Heat?

If you’re the proud owner of an Australian Shepherd, you’re probably wondering how often your furry friend will go into heat. Unfortunately, there’s no one answer to this question since every dog is different. However, we can give you a general idea of what to expect.

On average, most Australian Shepherds will go into heat two times per year. Some Aussies may only go into heat once a year while others may go into heat every few months. At the beginning of their lives, they may go into heat more frequently as they mature and settle into a regular cycle. There’s really no way to exactly predict when your dog will go into heat so it’s important to be prepared at all times.

How Long Will My Aussie Be in Heat?

The timeframe for an Australian Shepherd’s heat cycle is usually 2 weeks to 1 month in duration, with the average being 3 weeks. Some female Aussies are receptive to male dogs earlier in the cycle than others. It is a sign that the cycle is over when her vulva returns to its normal size and there is no longer any bleeding or discharge coming out of her. It is important to remember that your dog is most fertile during the 5 days immediately following when she goes into heat. The possibility exists, however, that she could become pregnant until the end of her cycle.

Red tri Australian Shepherd in the snow
Image Credit: ralfdeon, Pixabay

How Long do Australian Shepherds Bleed When They Are in Heat?

Female Aussies can bleed from their vulvas throughout the period when they are in heat. The amount of bleeding can vary greatly from dog to dog. In most the bleeding is for a few days and is not constant. Some may have only a small amount of spotting, while others may bleed more regularly for the entire 3 weeks. The bleeding is caused by the shedding of the lining of the uterus.

Most dogs will be back to their normal selves once their heat is over and they no longer bleed. However, some may experience discomfort or moodiness during this time. If you are concerned about your dog’s health during her heat, please consult your veterinarian.

At What Age Can Australian Shepherds Get Pregnant?

Technically, Aussies can get pregnant at their first estrus. However, when it comes to finding the perfect age for your Australian Shepherd to get pregnant, there are a few things to consider. While it is possible for an Australian Shepherd to get pregnant before they are 1 year old—even as early as 6 months old—most reputable breeders will not impregnate immature females. In most cases, responsible breeders will not breed a dog on her first heat or even on her second. It is recommended that you wait until she has had her third heat, which is typically between 18 and 24 months.

It is important to talk to your veterinarian about the best age for your dog to have puppies. There are a few health risks associated with breeding too young—or too old—so it is important to find the right age for your dog. Ultimately, you want what is best for your dog and her puppies, so make sure to do your research before making a decision.

Black and White Australian Shepherd
Image Credit: PxHere

Should I Spay My Australian Shepherd?

There are many things to consider when trying to decide whether or not to spay your female Australian Shepherd. One of the key considerations is whether or not you want your dog to have puppies. If you do want your dog to have puppies, then spaying her is not an option. However, if you do not want your dog to have puppies, then spaying her may be a good choice. There are both risks and benefits associated with spaying your dog.

The risks of spaying your female Australian Shepherd include the possibility of developing certain health problems later in life. These health problems include cancer of the reproductive organs and incontinence. In addition, there is also a small risk that your dog could die during the surgery itself.

The benefits of spaying your female Australian Shepherd include preventing unwanted pregnancies and helping to reduce the number of homeless dogs.


In conclusion, it is important to know when your Australian Shepherd will go into heat in order to be prepared for the physical and behavioral changes that will occur. The average heat cycle for an Aussie is every six months, but this can vary depending on the individual dog. Paying close attention to your dog’s behavior and keeping track of when their last heat was will help you anticipate when the next one will occur. Heat typically lasts for 3 weeks and during this time, it is important to provide to manage your dog’s fertility in line with your desired results. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to speak with your veterinarian.

Featured Image Credit: torstensimon, Pixabay

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