When Do Poodles Go Into Heat?

When Do Poodles Go Into Heat: What To Expect

Poodles are amazing dogs regardless of their gender. Sometimes though, females tend to get overlooked due to their periods.

A Poodle's Heat Cycle: What Every Owner Should Know
A Poodle’s Heat Cycle: What Every Owner Should Know

In fact, the thought of them can often scare a lot of people into owning them due to the maintenance they come with. Plus, their heat might make for awkward conversations in the family household, which no one wants.

When Do Poodles Go Into Heat: What To Expect
When Do Poodles Go Into Heat: What To Expect

However, heat in Poodles isn’t that bad or a taboo topic if you know when it occurs and how to manage it. Arguably, this is a small factor to put up with if you want to reap the amazing benefits of a female Poodle’s personality.

It’s relatively easy to handle their heat, and to help you today, we’re going to cover everything on this topic ranging from the signs, symptoms, stages, and more.

When Do Poodles Go Into Heat?

  • Most female dogs reach sexual maturity at six months old, when they will go into their first heat. “Heat” is the stage of their breeding cycle where a female is receptive to mating.
  • Poodles generally go into their first heat around ten to twelve months. Smaller dogs, like toy poodles, tend to reach sexual maturity faster than the more giant standard poodles.

How Often Do Poodles Go Into Heat?

After her first heat, a poodle tends to go into heat anywhere from one to four times a year. This number varies depending on the size of your dog.

A few additional factors may affect the frequency of heat in your poodle. Those factors include their size, their diet, and outside stressors.


Due to the different sizes, a Poodle can come in, i.e., a Standard, Miniature, and Toy, their heat cycle can vary.

Most of the time, smaller Poodle breeds will experience more heat cycles throughout the year than bigger Poodles like the Standard.

When will my toy poodle go into heat?

Toy Poodles are the smallest Poodle breed that exists and usually grow up to around 10 inches / 25cm if not smaller. As they are the smallest, their heat starts as early as 4-6 months, and you can expect them to have 2-4 heat cycles a year.

When will my miniature Poodle go into heat?

Miniature Poodles are smaller than 15 inches / 38cm, and their first heat usually occurs at the 10-month mark. On average, they will have 2-3 heats in a year.

When will my standard Poodle go into heat?

Standard Poodles can grow up to 15 inches / 38cm, and due to their large size, they will experience their first heat around the 12-18 month age bracket. With this type of Poodle, you can expect them only to have one or two heat cycles a year.

Diet Quality

  • Nutrition is essential for all aspects of your poodle’s health, not just for breeding. But proper nutrition can also play a role in the length of her heat cycle. A high-quality diet can help your poodle keep a regular cycle.
  • Not feeding your dog enough can cause delays in her heat cycle. Malnutrition, in general, can also cause stress and other negative impacts on your poodle’s health.


  • Eliminating stressors for your dog as much as possible is a great way to keep her happy, healthy, and reproductively cycling normally. Restricting movement, keeping her in a cage for long periods, underfeeding, and not stimulating her brain can all cause an unhappy, unhealthy dog.
  • These stressors can cause unnecessary anxiety and stress, delaying her heat cycle or preventing her from cycling correctly.

What Are Signs Your Poodle Is in Heat?

There are multiple signs that your poodle is in heat, including both physical and behavioral symptoms. Most of them are easy to spot, although the behavioral signs might be more subtle.

Most of the early signs your poodle is in heat are physical, such as a swollen vulva and bloody vaginal discharge.

Behavioral Signs Your Poodle Is in Heat

Common behavioral signs that your poodle is in heat include:

Frequent Genital Licking

Female Poodles will start licking their vulva and surrounding genital area excessively when in heat. They do this to try and clean any vaginal discharge surrounding their vulva.

Lack Of Appetite

When in heat, it can be normal for Poodles to lose their appetite for a while. Expect them to refuse the typical food they like and instead prepare for them to become more clingy to you. If you notice they still lack appetite following their heat, you should take them to a vet to see if there are any underlying health issues.

Swollen Vulva

In addition to discharge, often, a female Poodle’s vulva will swell up during the first few days of their heat. It’s only after 21 days that their vulva returns to normal size! You should also be cautious when their vulva is swollen, as it could also be a sign of vaginal hyperplasia. This is a condition that causes red or pink tissues that protrude from their vulva.

Easily Agitated

Hormones experienced during heat can have a major impact on a female Poodle’s mood. As a result of a change in hormones, these dogs will often become more aggressive and easily agitated.

They might become the slightest bit defensive when in contact with you and other dogs. Therefore you should expect a Poodle not to be as playful as usual and might try to stay distant.

Physical Signs Your Poodle Is in Heat

Common physical signs that your poodle is in heat include:

  • Bloody discharge from their vulva commonly occurs before the swelling of their vulva. This swelling may or may not be noticeable.
  • Frequent urination or marking behavior to attract male dogs.
  • Soemtimes dogs will breathe heavily when they are in heat

Should Your Poodle in Heat Breed?

  • When your female poodle is in heat or estrus, she will accept the male and is fertile. Heat is the only time during her four-period cycle that she is fertile and can become pregnant, so this is the time to breed her.
  • However, it would be best if you did not breed your poodle during her first season or heat. It is considered very irresponsible to breed her during her first heat, as she is still very young. There is a tremendous potential for health risks and behavioral impacts on her and her pups.
  • If your poodle is bred at too young an age, she may not know how to be a good mother to her puppies, leading to abandoning, rejecting, or not taking good care of them. This rejection can lead to behavioral issues in her offspring and can also be devastating to the mom.

How to Stop Your Poodle From Going Into Heat

  • The best way to stop your poodle from going into heat is to have her spayed by your veterinarian. This procedure is permanent and means that your poodle will never have puppies.
  • It is recommended that you spay your pet if you do not have plans to breed them. There are many benefits when you fix your poodle. Spaying your pet helps prevent dogs from ending up homeless or in shelters because there aren’t enough homes for them.
  • Spaying also helps your female poodle live a longer, healthier life as it decreases the risk of uterine infections, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, and cancerous breast tumors.
  • Non-surgical options include a few medications that can prevent or suppress heat cycles in your female poodle. These medications include megestrol acetate, mibolerone, and proligestone. Megestrol acetate is available in the US and approved for domestic dogs, but not for more than two cycles.
  • The other two medications listed are not available in the US. All of these medicines have several side effects, including mammary gland enlargement, possible adverse effects on uterine and mammary tissues, weight gain, and personality changes.

How Long Will My Poodle Bleed While In Heat?

At first, it might be challenging to detect if your Poodle is bleeding, as she might be doing a really good job at licking and cleaning her genitals. However, it’s always a good idea to check for signs like blood spots on the carpet, furniture, and bed.

Most of the time, though, the bleeding happens in the proestrus stage, and the bleeding can typically last on average 9 days. However, her bleeding will take around 7-10 days to complete. During the first few days of this stage, her discharge will be heavier and contain a lot of blood.

Towards the end of this stage, her discharge will get lighter and start to diminish. The color will also change and start to turn into a clear mucus.

Enjoying Life With Your Female Poodle

Learning more about your pup’s breed is an excellent way to know how to take the best care of her.

Now you have all you need to know about your poodle’s heat cycles and will know when she goes into heat, how often she will go into heat, the signs that she is in heat, and how to prevent her from going into heat.

Final Thoughts

Overall, heat is pretty much avoidable for all female dogs (unless you get them neutered). The amount of heat cycles a Poodle has depends on the type of Poodle you own and additional factors such as their diet and environmental stress.

Most of the time, though, smaller Poodles tend to have more heats around 2-4 times a year, whereas the larger ones like the Standard will only have 1-2 heats a year.

Finally, always prepare for their heat and make it a comfortable time for your Poodle. Remember to give them lots of water, keep them on a leash and provide them with frequent exercise.

Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.