Every female Boston Terrier that has reached sexual maturity ( after 6-12 months of age )will go into heat 2-3 times a year. This will happen of course if you didn’t spay her before.
The most common signs of Boston Terriers being in heat are :
- Vulva swelling
- Vaginal bleeding ( discharge)
- Nipples enlargement
- Appetite changes ( more common is appetite loss)
- Behavioral changes( clinginess, flirting, raising her leg around male dogs, nesting behavior, the dog may become nervous, alert)
- Male dogs become very interested in your Boston female
- Excessive urination
- Excessive licking of private parts
- Lack of energy
How To Know My Boston Terrier is In Heat?
This is an important topic especially for novice owners or for those who have handled only desexed dogs so far.
Fortunately, the heat cycle has some very visible signs so you don’t need much effort to spot them.
Every Boston Terrier goes through 3 main stages – Proestrus, Estrus, and Diestrus.
Proestrus is the initial phase of the heat cycle. Swollen vulva and bloody discharge are the most well-known symptoms. Excessive licking of the genital area and increased urination are also something that you will spot often during this period.
Your Boston girl is not in the mood to hang out with boys, even though her body started to attract them. She may show signs of aggressive behavior toward males but she still has a friendly attitude towards females. This is about to change soon.
In this phase, your dog may become a bit skittish, nervous, or develop clingy behavior. She may have reduced appetite and low energy. Don’t be surprised if your Boston becomes a real velcro dog!
Note that some behavioral changes during the heat cycle depend on a dog’s personality and vary greatly from dog to dog. Some Bostons may become aggressive, expressing pushy and bossy behavior.
Although Boston Terriers are generally affectionate and good-natured dogs, some of them may become grumpy and nervous during the heat cycle. All of these changes are temporary and the result of hormonal changes. Don’t worry, your dog will soon get back to her old self.
The Estrus phase is the most dangerous period, especially in terms of breeding. So if you don’t want to have a bunch of Boston babies, you should especially take care of your dog during this period.
This is the time when your Boston girl becomes receptive to males, her bloody discharge almost vanishes but not entirely as it becomes pale in color and very thin.
Once it becomes watery it means that your dog is in her most fertile phase. This is the time when your dog may become hostile towards other female dogs. All other females represent competition for your Boston girl!
Note that the Estrus phase is rather a loud period although this breed is considered unusually quiet. Your dog might be howling or whining. Don’t worry about this, she is not in pain or anything.
The purpose of that noise is to alarm the males from the vicinity and inform them that there is one female ready to breed.
During this phase, your Boston girl may become more needy, seeking more of your attention. She may insist on playing with one particular toy, hiding it all the time, or leaving it only during a potty break. This behavior is entirely normal and it will stop after 7-10 days, no worries.
Diestrus is the third phase of the heat cycle. Things slowly get back to normal. Your dog’s vulva is not swollen anymore, there is no discharge, and she returns to her usual self.
When Do Boston Terriers Go Into Heat? And How Often?
Boston Terrier female will most probably experience her first heat at the age of 6 months. But this also can vary from dog to dog, so you shouldn’t be surprised if the first heat happens later, around 9 or even 12 months of age. Any time between 6-12 months is normal for a Boston Terrier to go into her first heat.
Heat cycles should repeat every 6 months but be aware of the fact that younger dogs may have irregular heat cycle at the beginning. Usually, it needs to pass at least two years in order to heat cycles to become predictable. It’s recommended to keep a record of the date of your Boston Terrier’s first day of bleeding.
This will help you know in which heat stage your dog is and what will happen in the next two to three weeks plus will help you to predict the time of the next heat cycle.
How Long Do Boston Terriers Bleed When In Heat?
Boston Terriers heat lasts for 2-3 weeks. You can count on your Boston Terrier’s bleeding for at least half of this period so 7-10 days in total.
Bleeding in dogs during the heat is seen at the beginning of the heat cycle, during the Proestrus phase mainly. This phase may take approximately 7 days. During the next phase – the Estrus phase, a bloody discharge starts to subside, becomes pale in color, and is almost watery. When this happens, your Boston Terrier is the most fertile ( between the 9th and 10th day of the heat cycle)
So as you can see bleeding doesn’t last for long. The general rule of thumb says that larger dogs bleed more ( in terms of quantity of blood) than smaller dogs but this also may vary from dog to dog.
If you would like to read more about Boston Terriers in the heat cycle and how to take care of them during this specific period, do read our article ” My Boston Terrier is In Heat, What To Do?”