If you own a female Goldendoodle puppy, you’re probably aware she will go into heat sometime during her development. However, the exact age the cycle begins can vary considerably. Goldendoodles can go into heat as early as 6 months or not until they are 18-24 months old.
Keep reading to learn why the Goldendoodle’s first heat cycle could occur at different times. We’ll also let you know how often the Goldendoodle will go into heat, how long it will last, and what to expect during the cycle. If you don’t want to deal with a heat cycle, we’ll also discuss how to prevent them, and the health benefits of doing so at the correct age.
Why Some Goldendoodles Might Go into Heat Earlier Than Others
The size of a dog is the primary factor that influences when they first go into heat. Small dogs are more likely to start early, at around 6 months because their bodies reach puberty and maturity more quickly. Large and giant-breed dogs are late bloomers and may not have their first cycle for 18–24 months.
Goldendoodles are a cross between a Golden Retriever and either a Standard or Miniature Poodle. Depending on which Poodle is used, the Goldendoodle can vary quite a bit in size. Smaller Goldendoodles typically go into heat earlier than larger ones.
Generally, if you own a “Mini” Goldendoodle, you should expect an earlier heat cycle than with a larger one. Again, this is only an estimate because other factors may influence when the heat cycle begins.
How Often Does a Goldendoodle Go into Heat?
Most dogs, including Goldendoodles, usually experience a heat cycle twice a year, but this can vary depending on the size of the dog. By that measure, you can expect a Goldendoodle to go into heat on average every 6-7 months. but this can vary slightly depending on the individual.
How Long Will a Goldendoodle Be in Heat?
The “active phases” of a Goldendoodle’s heat cycle (proestrus and estrus) generally last 2–3 weeks. There are four distinct parts of the heat or estrous cycle:
What Are the Signs a Goldendoodle Is in Heat?
When your Goldendoodle goes into heat, you’ll likely notice a combination of physical and behavioral changes.
To confirm that a Goldendoodle is in heat, your vet can perform a test called vaginal cytology, where they take a smear from the vagina and examine it under a microscope.
Tips for Managing Your Goldendoodle During a Heat Cycle
Goldendoodles can become pregnant during any heat cycle, including the first one. Always keep your Goldendoodle separated from unneutered male dogs while she’s in heat to prevent unwanted pregnancy. This includes any dogs she’s related to.
Female Goldendoodles in heat may try to escape the house or yard to search for a mate. Take extra care to shut all exterior doors and warn all family members to watch out for sudden escape attempts. Supervise your dog when in a fenced yard to ensure she doesn’t dig or jump her way to freedom.
Using a Leash
Keep your Goldendoodle on a leash when walking outside, except when supervised in a fenced-in yard. Limit walks as much as possible during the heat cycle to avoid encounters with males. Male dogs can smell a female in heat from miles away and will travel to find her if they can.
Providing Care and Support
To control the mess, consider having your dog wear protective diapers or confine her to a space with an easily cleaned floor, such as a bathroom or kitchen. Recognize that your Goldendoodle won’t feel like herself while in heat, and provide extra support or give her space as needed.
Teach children to respect the dog’s mood during the heat cycle, especially because the Goldendoodle’s patience may wear thin quicker than usual.
How to Prevent a Goldendoodle from Going into Heat
If dealing with a Goldendoodle in heat sounds like your worst nightmare, you’re in luck. Heat cycles can be prevented or eliminated by having your Goldendoodle spayed. Spaying removes the dog’s uterus and ovaries (ovariohysterectomy) or just the ovaries (ovariectomy). With either surgery, your dog will no longer have heat cycles and will no longer be able to get pregnant.
Alongside the benefit of no more heat cycles, spaying can also reduce or eliminate your dog’s risk of developing health issues like mammary cancer or pyometra (a very serious infection of the uterus). If your dog is not spayed and you are concerned about any unusual vaginal discharge, smell, lethargy or if she’s drinking more than usual, it is very important that you seek veterinary advice immediately.
If you’re interested in having your Goldendoodle spayed, talk to your vet about the best time for the surgery. Your vet can also answer any questions or concerns you might have about spaying your dog.
Goldendoodles can have their first heat any time between 6-24 months, depending primarily on their size. If you don’t intend to breed your dog, consider having her spayed and consult your vet on the appropriate age to perform the procedure. While it may be tempting to breed your Goldendoodle, remember that responsible breeding is a complicated and expensive process. If you don’t have your dog spayed, you can expect her to continue to experience a heat cycle one to two times a year for life, with the potential to become pregnant each time.
Featured Image Credit: Lopolo, Shutterstock