It’s a little nerve-wracking when your doggo’s heat cycle starts, especially if it’s your first doggo’s first heat cycle. You start to notice changes in their behavior and moods, but you might feel a little helpless and just wish your doggo could speak to you and tell you what they’re feeling at all times - we’ve been there. Emma’s second heat started this week, so we wanted to take the opportunity to openly share our experiences with Rottweilers in heat both for informational purposes as well as to give readers an update on how Emma is doing these days.
Emma’s very first heat cycle started when she was 7 months old, and last approximately 5 weeks – 3 weeks of bleeding, and 2 weeks of recovery until we felt comfortable going back to dog parks and being off-leash.
We’d heard both types of stories; dogs cleaning themselves during their heat and there being absolutely no blood in the house, and on the flip side, dogs with heavier flow and needing to constantly clean up blood stains.
We prepared for the latter, and things went incredibly well! We had purchased a set of reusable, washable diapers and practiced putting them on Emma a few weeks prior to her actual heat to get her used to wearing the diapers. Once her bleeding started, we popped on pair on and swapped them out once every 12 or so hours with a clean pair. Her bleeding was fairly consistent, so when we began to notice less and less blood towards the beginning of the third week, we figured the bleeding phase was almost over.
We are blessed to be living so close to a dog park in downtown Toronto, and Emma plays with her friends for about 2~3 hours total on a daily basis. We’re usually at the park for about an hour in the morning and then an hour and a half in the evenings, so when her bleeding started, the sudden change of not being able to visit the dog park was hard on Emma; she missed all of her friends, and quite frankly, this was the hardest part about her heat cycle.
To help keep up her mental stimulation, we figured that this was actually a great time to focus on her training, so we began to use the time we would have been at the dog park to do refresher sessions on basic commands, manners, and leash walking. With endless sources of distractions, from squirrels, to pigeons, to construction noises, and noisy streets, we found that her focus and attention to us increased in a matter of hours and the training sessions over the course of the 5 weeks were incredibly beneficial.
Now that Emma is in her second heat at 1 year and 2 months old, we’re following the same “program” if you will and things have been going just as smoothly as it did the first time. She’s got her diaper on and she’s re-gained a lot of focus and attention during training sessions.
She’s also begun to show the same changes in her behavior and moods as she did the first time.
First, she’d get up and bark a few times in the middle of the night. She’s the type to usually sleep through fire alarms, so we’re not 100% sure what the reasons for this behavior are, but it’s happening and we’re not having the best sleep this week (haha).
Second, she’d nest differently by rearrange pillows and blankets in a way that’s comfortable for her and snuggle into a specific position. Out of her heat, she sleep belly up on any surface and snore away.
Third, she has become incredibly needy for affection (which we absolutely love). She would come lie across our laps if we’re on the couch, or she’d nest between us in bed. She’s even started to put a paw on our knees when we’re working at our desks to signal that we wants to come sit on our laps – she’s totally a cuddly teddy bear at this point (a 75 lbs teddy bear).
We’re a few days into her second heat as of me writing this, so over the course of the next few weeks, you’ll continue to see updates from us!
Let us know what your experiences have been with your doggos in heat, and if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out or leave a comment!
Thanks for reading and we’ll catch you in our next update!
- Mick (Emma's Dad)