As an owner of the female Newfoundland dog, it is extremely important to learn how to recognize the heat cycle signs. And not just that. Taking care of a dog in heat can be rather challenging so it’s good for you to know what is really going on with your Newfie in these weeks, what to expect and how to handle your dog properly.
Newfoundland dog goes into her first heat somewhere between 6 and 12 months of age. Heat cycle usually repeats on every 6 months and last for approximately 3 weeks. Usual symptoms are swollen vulva and red discharge but also some behavioural as well as appetite changes.
Even though spaying procedure is generally recommended, in case of Newfoundland dogs should be prolonged for the period after the dog is fully grown ( around 2 years old).
When Newfoundland Dog Goes Into First Heat?
There is a general rule of thumb that larger breeds go into heat later than smaller ones. Newfoundland dogs usually go into first heat somewhere between 6 and 12 months of age.
Don’t be surprised though if your Newfie girl experiences heat cycle much later, as some large/giant breeds dogs might not go into first heat before 18-24 months of age.
Heat cycles can be irregular in the beginning but tend to normalize in first two years.
How Long Do Newfoundland Dogs Bleed While in Heat?
There is no big difference between large and small breeds when it comes to bleeding during heat cycle.
A Newfie girl may bleed anywhere between 4 days and 2 weeks. Bloody discharge is characteristic of this first phase of the heat cycle called Proestrus.
The body of your dog is getting ready to mate. The Newfie girl won’t be receptive to males while in this phase but you should still keep a close eye on her all the time.
Some light bleeding may continue after the first phase, when your dog passes to another phase called Estrus, but that discharge ( if there is any) will be pale in color ( yellow or pink) and less in quantity.
Unless your Newfie girls have a very heavy flow you may not see a single drop of blood. Dogs tend to lick their back parts intensively during the heat period and especially long-haired dogs like Newfoundland dogs won’t create any mess.
How To Know If My Newfoundland Dog is In Heat?
Heat signs are pretty obvious and you won’t need much effort to learn how to recognize them.
Every dog in heat goes through three major phases, Proestrus, Estrus, and Diestrus.
Proestrus is the period during which the body of your furry friend is getting ready to mate. Physical changes like swollen vulva and bloody discharge are completely normal and expected. Excessive licking of the genital area is also one of the symptoms.
Your Newfie girl won’t be in the mood to mate yet, moreover, she may show some aggression toward males.
Behavioral changes are also something you will surely notice – your Newfie girl may experience a lack of energy and decreased appetite.
Whatever you put in the bowl, she will just turn her head away. You shouldn’t worry about this as losing some pounds won’t hurt her. She will get back on track very soon. Some dogs though may have increased appetite as well.
Estrus is the most dangerous period unless you want Newfie babies. This is the phase during which your Newfie girl is in the mood to hang around boys.
Swelling of the vulva is reduced but still exists in order to make the vulva soft enough for penetration. Bleeding has been stopped or still exists but just in traces.
Actually, the most fertile period (9-12th day of the beginning of the heat cycle) for a dog is when the discharge becomes watery, this is the time of ovulation.
Your Newfie girl knows to be very loud in this period. Howling is not a sign of some pain or sadness as humans usually interpret it but a call/invitation to all males from the neighborhood.
Don’t be surprised if you notice that your dog shows major interest in one particular toy, that she is hiding or hiding that toy. Also, your Newfie girl will become needy, seeking more of your attention and time.
Don’t worry, all this strange and crazy behavior will end in 7-10 days, as this phase usually lasts that much.
Hair loss is not a typical sign of a heat cycle but can happen. The heat cycle is a rather stressful time for dogs. The female body is undergoing changes that push her to find a mate.
If your Newfie girl is unable to do so ( because you are not letting her ) she may become anxious, nervous, and even aggressive. High levels of estrogen and stress associated with Estrus may cause hair loss.
This might never happen to your Newfie or may happen once but never again.
Diestrus is the third phase of the heat cycle. The body is getting back to normal again. The vulva is not swollen anymore, there is not any discharge and your Newfie girl returns to her usual self. This phase lasts for about 2 months.
What Is A Silent Heat?
Silent heat is a rare condition in which Newfoundland dogs ovulate and can mate but the typical heat symptoms ( like swollen vulva and bloody discharge) are missing. In some, even more, rare cases dogs may suffer from an autoimmune disease that affects their ovaries and interfere with the heat cycle.
Also if your dog has a problem with the thyroid gland, that can cause irregular heat cycles.
If you have doubts about your dog and whether she is in heat or not, you should consult the vet. He/she will perform vaginal cytology and progesterone tests to determine if your Newfie girl is in heat or not.
How Often Do Newfoundlands Go Into Heat?
Newfoundlands usually go into heat twice a year or every 6 months. Of course, this can vary, especially as this a large breed and large/giant breeds may go into heat less frequently than other breeds.
When Should I Spay My Newfoundland?
Unless you tend to breed your Newfoundland you should spay her.
The right time for performing the spaying procedure is once your Newfie girl is fully grown.
Some experts say it should be done before her first heat. The procedure can be done even during the heat, even though most surgeons dislike this option as carries many risks.
Newfoundland dogs mature around 12 months of age but it might be wise to wait with a spaying procedure until your dog hits second or even third birthday.
The most reliable advice you will get from your vet, of course. The general rule of thumb that large dogs should be spayed later than smaller breeds.
If the dog is spayed earlier than it should, the problem with urinary incontinence may appear, not to mention growth and development issues ( joint problems) that also may emerge.
Spaying has many advantages though. Many studies have shown that spayed dogs have fewer chances to get mammary cancer.
Since this procedure involves removing ovaries and uterus, this means that your dog will never get cancer-related to these organs.
In terms of behavior, the experts say that spayed dogs are less prone to aggression not to mention that your Newfie girl won’t be going through all that behavioral and physical changes every 6 months or so.
Don’t forget that if you spay her, you won’t have to deal with unwanted pregnancy and litter.