When Do Border Collies Go Into Heat: A Guide For Owners

As an owner (or potential owner) of a female Border Collie dog, one of the top questions you might be asking yourself is “When do Border Collies go into heat?”. 

This information is pretty important when it comes to helping you prepare for her needs during this time and ensure that she stays healthy and happy throughout.

In this article, we’ll be answering the question of when do Border Collies go into heat, we’ll be looking at giving you some advice on what to do and some general information on what to expect. 

Knowing what to expect during your Border Collie’s heat cycle will help you in turn assist your dog, making her be comfortable and making this process be as smooth as possible for everyone.

When Do Border Collies Go Into Heat

When Do Border Collies Go Into Heat? Understanding The Heat Cycle

Border Collies, like all other dogs, go through a heat cycle, which is also known as the estrous cycle.

The heat cycle is the reproductive cycle of female dogs, and it consists of four phases: proestrus, estrus, diestrus, and anestrus.

Proestrus Phase

During the proestrus phase, which lasts for about 9 days, the female dog’s body prepares for mating. The dog’s vulva swells, and she may have a bloody discharge.

During this phase, male dogs are attracted to the female but cannot mate with her yet.

Estrus Phase

The estrus phase, also known as the “standing heat,” is when the female dog is receptive to mating.

This phase lasts for about 9 days, and the discharge becomes lighter in color. The female dog will stand still and hold her tail to the side, indicating she is ready to mate.

Diestrus Phase

The diestrus phase, which lasts for about 60 days, is when the female dog’s body prepares for pregnancy.

Anestrus Phase

If she is not pregnant, her body will return to the anestrus phase, which is the resting phase of the reproductive cycle.

The anestrus phase lasts for about 4-5 months, and during this time, the female dog will not go into heat.

When Do Border Collies Go Into Heat Initially?

Border Collies typically go into heat for the first time between the ages of 6 and 8 months, although it can happen as early as 4 months or as late as 18 months.

Every dog is different, but it’s important to know the general timeframe and be ready for when it does happen.

After the first heat, they will repeat their cycle every 6 to 8 months.

It’s important to prepare for when your dog goes into her first heat cycle. Later on in this article, we’ll be looking at the different things you can do to prepare, but for starters, you’ll want to use dog diapers or sanitary pads to manage the discharge during the cycle.

It’s also important to keep your female dog away from male dogs during the proestrus and estrus phases to avoid unwanted pregnancies, if that’s not something you want to deal with.

First Heat in Border Collies

As mentioned before, Border Collie female dogs, typically go into their first heat cycle between 6 and 8 months of age.

The first heat cycle can be unpredictable at times, and it’s quite dependent on the dog too, so it’s important to be prepared.

During the first heat cycle, the female Border Collie’s vulva will appear swollen and there may be blood or light brown discharge present.

Female Border Collies might also get agitated or become somewhat aggressive at this time. 

Spaying As An Alternative

Spaying a female Border Collies before their first heat cycle is an option to prevent unwanted pregnancies and to reduce the risk of certain health issues, if that’s something you’d want to do.

Spaying too early can also have negative effects on their growth and development, so it’s best to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best time for spaying.

To learn more about spaying, we’ve created a separate article on when to spay a Border Collie, here.

Extra Care For Delicate Times 

These are delicate times for your dog, so it’s important to provide extra care and attention during their first heat cycle.

This includes keeping them clean, providing a comfortable and quiet environment, and monitoring their behavior closely.

Spending some time with your dog, and engaging in activities and exercises together, are a great way to manage the first heat cycle. 

Overall, the first heat cycle in female Border Collies is a natural and normal process. By being prepared and providing proper care, you can ensure a smooth and healthy experience for your furry friend.

When Do Border Collies Go Into Heat 3

Signs of Heat in Border Collies

When a female Border Collie reaches sexual maturity, they will go into heat once every 6 to 8 months.

It’s important for owners to be aware of the signs of heat in their Border Collie to ensure proper care and attention.

Here are some common signs to look out for:

  • Swollen Vulva: One of the most obvious signs of heat in a Border Collie is a swollen vulva. The area around the opening of the vagina will appear swollen and red.

  • Bloody Discharge: Another symptom of heat is a brown or bloody discharge from the vulva. This discharge may start off light and become heavier as the heat progresses.

  • Unpleasant Smell: Heat in dogs come with some unpleasant smells coming from their backsides. You can help deal with these smells with a little cleaning.
  • Increased Urination: During heat, a Border Collie may experience increased or frequent urination. This is due to the hormonal changes in their body.

  • Changes in Behavior: A Border Collie in heat may experience mood swings, agitation, restlessness, and changes in behavior. They may become more vocal, pant more than usual, and show signs of anxiety.

Not all Border Collies will display the same signs of heat though, although the biological ones like the smell and the blood, will be there most of the times.

Pay attention to your Border Collie’s behavior and contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Caring for Your Border Collie in Heat

When your Border Collie is in heat, she will need special care to ensure she stays healthy, clean, and comfortable, as dogs usually are moody at these times (particularly if they’ve not become pregnant).

Here are some tips to help you care for your Border Collie during her heat cycle:

Keep her clean

Your Border Collie will produce a bloody discharge from her vulva during her heat cycle, so cleaning is a must.

Use a mild soap and warm water to clean the area around her vulva. You can also use pet wipes to keep her clean between baths.

Provide comfort

Your Border Collie may feel uncomfortable and uneasy during her heat cycles.

Provide her with a comfortable place to rest, such as a soft bed or blanket. You can also give her a heated pad to help soothe any discomfort.

Give her special attention

Your Border Collie may become clingy and demanding during her heat cycle. Give her the attention she needs and spend more time with her.

Remember that mood swings in your dog are not rare, especially if they’ve not become pregnant and has returned to the anestrus phase.

It’s a biological response that is common to have, and can be expressed as a results of “losing” the chance to have become pregnant.

Be patient 

Your Border Collie may experience mood swings during her heat cycle. Be patient with her and try to understand her behavior. Avoid scolding or punishing her for any changes in behavior.

Provide toys and activities

Your Border Collie may need some extra stimulation during her heat cycle.

Provide her with some toys and activities to keep her entertained, and you can even give her extra treats to keep her joyful.

You can also take her for short walks or play some gentle games with her, but remember that she’ll likely need special care during her heat cycle. 

When Do Border Collies Go Into Heat 2

Managing the Behavior of a Border Collie in Heat

When a Border Collie goes into heat, her behavior may change due to hormonal level changes.

You may notice behavioral changes such as mood swings, agitation, restlessness, anxiety, and changes in energy levels.

As a pet owner, it’s important to manage your Border Collie’s behavior during this time to keep her comfortable and healthy.

Here are some tips to manage your Border Collie’s behavior while she is in heat:

  • Keep your Border Collie indoors: During the heat period, your Border Collie may become more aggressive towards male dogs. To prevent unwanted mating, keeping her indoors or in a secure area, could be a good idea.

  • Provide plenty of exercise: Exercise is important for your Border Collie’s physical and mental health. However, during the heat period, you may need to adjust the intensity and duration of the exercise to match her energy levels.

  • Use dog diapers: To keep your Border Collie clean and prevent any unwanted messes, you can use dog diapers. This is especially useful during the proestrus stage when your Border Collie may produce bloody discharge from the vulva.

  • Keep your Border Collie calm: During the heat period, your Border Collie may experience mood swings and anxiety. To keep her calm, you can provide a comfortable and quiet environment, play soothing music, or use calming products such as pheromone sprays.

  • Monitor your Border Collie’s behavior: During the heat period, try to monitor your Border Collie’s behavior for any signs of discomfort or illness. Keep an eye out for her, so that she doesn’t put herself in harm’s way.

By following these tips, you can manage your Border Collie’s behavior during the heat period and keep her comfortable and healthy.

Precautions to Take When Your Border Collie is in Heat

When your Border Collie is in heat, there are several precautions you need to take to keep her safe and prevent unwanted pregnancy. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind:

  • Leash Your Dog: When taking your Border Collie outside during her heat cycle, don’t go off leash. This will prevent her from running off and mating with a male dog, which could lead to an unwanted pregnancy.

  • Supervise Your Dog: Keep a close eye on your Border Collie while she’s in heat, at all times. This means not leaving her alone with unneutered male dogs, even for a short period of time. Male dogs can smell a female in heat from a long distance away, and may try to mate with her if given the opportunity.

  • Avoid Walks in Public Places: During your Border Collie’s heat cycle, it’s best to avoid taking her on walks in public places. This will reduce the risk of her mating with a male dog that she encounters on the street. Instead, take her for walks in quiet areas where you’re unlikely to encounter other dogs.

  • Mask the Scent of Your Dog: To reduce the risk of male dogs being attracted to your Border Collie during her heat cycle, you can try masking her scent. One way to do this is by putting some Chlorophyll liquid solution in her drinking water. This is said to reduce the smell of a female dog in heat.

By following these precautions, you can help keep your Border Collie safe and prevent unwanted pregnancy during her heat cycle.

Always supervise your dog carefully, keep her on a leash, and avoid taking her on walks in public places.

Pregnancy and Unwanted Pregnancies

If the female is successfully impregnated during the estrus stage, she will carry the pregnancy for around 63 days.

During these days, it’s crucial to give your dog proper nutrition and veterinary care to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Unwanted pregnancies can be prevented by spaying the female dog, which not only prevents unwanted pregnancies, but also reduces the risk of certain health issues, such as uterine infections and breast cancer.

Consulting with a Veterinarian

If you have any concerns or questions about your Border Collie’s heat cycle, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian. They can provide you with accurate information and guidance on how to care for your dog during this time.

A veterinarian can also help you decide whether or not to spay your Border Collie beforehand. Spaying your dog can prevent complications such as uterine infections and mammary tumors.

Spaying can also cause discomfort and may have other side effects though, so your veterinarian can help you weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision.

If your Border Collie is experiencing any discomfort during her heat cycle, your veterinarian can recommend ways to alleviate her symptoms.

They may suggest using heat pads or providing your dog with a comfortable place to rest.

Overall, consulting with a veterinarian is the best way to ensure that your Border Collie stays healthy and comfortable during her heat cycle.

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