Owning a Labrador Retriever is a big responsibility. You will need to worry about their health, feeding them the right food, getting them into the vet on time, and making sure they get a lot of exercise along the way.
This will make sure that they stay nice and healthy along the way.
Another thing to consider, especially if you do not spay the dog, is when they are going to go into heat.
Many dog owners wonder how often a Labrador Retriever will go into heat.
How Often Do Labrador Retrievers Go In Heat?
Most female Labrador Retrievers go into heat once every six to eight months starting after their first season. While it varies from Lab to Lab, most Labs have their first heat around their first birthday and will continue to have heat cycles for the rest of their life or until they are spayed.
If you do not plan to spay your Lab, you will need to be careful during this time of heat, unless you want the dog to have puppies.
Let’s take a closer look at when the Lab will go into heat to help you prepare.
How Often Do Labrador Retrievers Go In Heat?
When your female Lab goes into heat, it means that their body is getting ready for a potential pregnancy to have puppies.
This is a time when the male Lab is going to go wild if they are not neutered and the dog is going to get pregnant if you are not careful with them.
Since this is a difficult time for pet owners who do not want puppies, it is often wise to spay and neuter dogs before this time happens.
Female Labs are going to go into a cycle that has a particular pattern unique to them.
It is not going to happen each month like it does in humans, but it will usually happen every six months for your dog.
Most of the time, they will go into heat every six months after the first season is done.
Anywhere between six to eight months for the dog.
Most female Labs are going to start their heat cycle when they turn one year old.
There are a few who may only get it once a year, but it is more common for it to happen twice a year after that, unless they are spayed or they have puppies.
Pet owners will need to monitor this cycle to take care of their dogs.
If you notice that the Lab does not have this cyclical pattern or you see that they stop going through the cyclical process, it is time to visit the vet and see what they are able to do to help.
this will save you a ton of time along the way and will make sure that the dog is healthy and nothing serious is causing them to miss out on these cycles.
Once the dog is spayed, they will not have these cycles any longer.
When Will My Lab Go Into Heat for the First Time?
When the Lab first goes into heat can be a common question for a lot of pet owners.
You want to make sure that you do not miss it and end up with a lot of puppies around the home.
As the female Lab starts to grow, there will be an age when the puppy will reach their sexual maturity.
This is meant to prepare the body for mating and giving birth to puppies.
This will then be known as the first season or the first heat for the Lab.
For some types of dogs, this can occur as early as six months.
This is most common in smaller dogs because they grow faster and reach maturity at an earlier age.
However, a Lab is a larger breed so you will notice that the cycle is not going to show up until they are a lot older.
The body of the Lab is going to be bigger and since it takes longer for them to grow, their maturity will take longer too.
Due to this, the Lab will not start their heat when they are six months old.
Instead, most Labs are going to start the heat when they are between 9 to 12 months old, though most will be closer to the 12 month period before they get things done.
There can be some variation that comes with this as well.
There are some Labs that will be older before this time starts.
Some can be 18 months old and there are even some that will take until they are 24 months before they start.
It will depend on several factors like the health of the dog, their genetics and more.
If you are concerned about the dog and when they go into heat, it is important to discuss these concerns with their vet to see if there are any causes for concern.
What Happens During the Breeding Cycle of a Labrador Retriever?
There are four main phases that come with the hormonal cycle of your Lab.
It is important for the pet owner to understand all of these so that they can get the best idea of how the heat cycle is going to work for their dog.
The first stage that they can work through is the Proestrus stage.
This is the first stage that the dog is starting to get ready for pregnancy.
It is during this stage where the levels of estrogen will be at their peak and the male dog will start to get attracted to the female quickly.
The female is often not receptive to these advances yet as that will show up later.
This first stage is going to last for around 9 days in most females, though that is going to vary depending on the dog.
You may observe that there are some physical signs that come with this one, including some swelling in the vulva and some blood discharge is going to show up as well.
Then it moves onto to the fertile stage, which can also by the name of Estrus stage.
This is the stage when the dog is actually in heat.
During this stage, the dog is going to be fertile and will start to follow their instincts to mate.
The estrogen levels of the body will reduce and this is when the progesterone levels rise high.
The bloody discharge will decrease and the color will start to change too.
Since the dog is going to be sexually receptive at this point in the heat process, there will be a stronger urge for them to mate.
They will spend a lot of time trying to find their mate and to follow some of the urges and instincts that they have.
After this stage, we will enter the dioestrus stage. This is going to occur right after the mating stage.
The discharge is often going to become red again and will finally stop during this stage.
Even though the male dog could still find the female dog attractive, the female is not likely to be ready to mate any longer.
This stage is going to last a little longer than the rest.
It can last between 60 to 90 days in most dogs, or longer if the female dog gives birth if they are pregnant.
By the end of this stage, the hormonal levels will become normal and they will be able to enter into the final stage.
It is time for the dog to enter the resting stage at this point.
This is when the dog will have no sexual activity.
This stage means that the dog is not going to be in heat and will not have any trouble along the way.
The dog is not sexually attractive to male dogs and there will be no mating.
This can last for three to four months until the next heat phase happens.
This heat phase, between all of the major parts, will last for a long time.
It is common for the female dog to have heat for between three to four weeks.
This will include the main stages where they can get pregnant, though the exact number of days will depend on the individual dog and how their hormones work.
Be prepared for a long month if you do not spay the dog and do not want them to have puppies.
Taking Care of Your Labrador Retriever
Your Labrador Retriever is an important member of the family and you need to provide them with some of the love and care that they deserve.
Taking care of their health and ensuring that they get the best from you will be important as well.
Knowing their heat cycle and being prepared if you do not want puppies can help ensure that the dog stays healthy and happy for a long time to come.