Labrador Heat Cycle: Guide to Understanding it

Labrador Heat Cycle

Congratulations, it’s a female Labrador puppy. She is undoubtedly adorable and loaded with an outstanding level of energy that is endless during playtime. 

Female Labradors are great friends, and at the same time, they are more responsibility. It is worth mentioning that female Labradors require more care and love as compared to male Labradors. 

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A yellow Labrador sitting in a field of flowers.

If you have a female Labrador and have decided to not sterilize them, then you need to understand the details of its heat cycle. 

A female Labrador puppy will get into the first heat cycle at the age of 6 months. 

Know that it’s not uncommon for large breeds to take up two years for this process. So we can clearly say that the Labrador breed goes into the heat cycle twice a year.

For Lab parents, it’s crucial to know about the Labs heat cycles of their darling pup to read her mind. That’s the time when your pup needs more care because she may face some health changes. 

How often do Labradors go into heat?

Soon after the first heat cycle, it should not be too long to return to their regular schedule.

The Labrador heat cycle is almost the same thing that humans go through, but not as often. Comparing Labrador’s heat cycle with humans, they typically go through the process twice a year.

Importantly, not all dogs and breeds are the same in their heat cycle; some go into the cycle once a year. While on the other hand, some specific dogs may have it more than two times a year.

Therefore, the dog parents need to log their Labrador heat cycle. Due to the regular logging of what’s happening with the pattern, dog parents can identify the odd changes. 

Sudden changes may lead to a trip to the vet to ensure that everything is going fine and is in tip-top shape.

The overall heat session itself lasts up to 3 to 4 weeks. Know that, during the cycle, your Labrador can be very fertile and even ready to pounce on any stuff it sees. 

Whether it’s a human, male or female Labrador, even if you offer a stuffed animal, a female Labrador will want it.

How do I know when my Lab is in heat?

The more you are aware of your Labrador’s heat cycle, the more you will be attentive to notice physical changes. 

You can see clear evidence to know when your lab is in the heat, along with the behavioral changes.

Signs your lab is in a heat cycle

Following are the standard and clear signs that your lab is in a heat cycle.

  • Swelling at the vulva is a clear sign that your Labrador is in the heat cycle
  • Blood passing out from the vulva or some straw-colored discharge. Showing receptive behavior toward male dogs
  • Frequently licking the genital area
  • Aggressive or irritating behavior
  • Passing urine more often than normal
  • Change in the position of the tail is also a heat cycle symptom

Stages of Female Dog Heat Cycle

Furthermore, there are some different stages of the heat cycle.


Proestrus is the beginning of the warmth time frame where your canine’s body gets ready to mate. 

Signs seen during this stage incorporate a swollen vulva, blood-touched release, excessive licking of the genital region, tenacious conduct, and hostility toward male canines. 

Your canine may likewise hold her tail near her body. 


The estrus stage is the mating stage where your female canine will be responsive to guys. 

You may see that your dog is, by all accounts, peeing more often than ordinary, as she is checking spots to show her availability to raise. 

Even though she might be leaving pee marks in regions, her vaginal release will ease back and may change to a straw tone. 

Since your canine is prepared to mate, she will move toward guys with her tail held aside; however, she will be forceful toward different females.


This stage happens straightforwardly after the “in heat” stage and permits your canine’s body to one or the other to get back to business as usual or form into pregnancy. 

Her vulva will get back to a standard size, and vaginal release will vanish. 


Anestrus is an idle stage, and no indications of hormonal or sexual conduct are taken note of.

How long do Labs bleed in heat?

The heat cycle in female dogs means bleeding, but owners are not sure how long Lab bleed in heat. This bleeding time can be different for each female Lab depending on their health and body.

Mostly, female Labradors will cease bleeding soon after the end of Proestrus. While on the other hand, some labs continue to discharge blood material throughout the estrus time.

However, you can arrange a trip to the vet to know more about this normal bleeding. Again, each female Labrador is different, but the general bleeding time for each is about 7 to 10 days after the initialization of the bleeding season. 

So please don’t panic about the bleeding in heat because it is pretty standard for your Labrador.  Moreover, if your Labrador is still bleeding after the completion of 10 days, it can be a point of concern. 

In this case, you must take some advice from the vet and should arrange a complete body analysis to know about the actual reason. A complete understanding of your Labrador heat cycle is crucial if you are willing to let her breed.

However, experts always advise you to avoid male dogs when it is the first female Labrador heat cycle. Because they believe that your female Labrador is not fully developed, she may get some bone issues or other body problems.

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How long does a Labrador stay pregnant?

Do you think that your Labrador is pregnant and you are going to be the brand new parent of two or more Labradors? 

Of course, you are excited but worried at the same time because your dog needs more care than before. Labrador’s pregnancy is usually 63 days which is about 9 weeks in total. 

However, it is crucial to mention that the overall duration of Labrador’s pregnancy can vary anywhere from 58 to 68 days.

Depending on their heat cycle, the overall pregnancy time may vary from lab to lab depending on their health condition and body functioning.

If your Labrador is going to be pregnant soon, you must contact the veterinarian to find out about the special care you need to provide for them. Before they get pregnant and by the 3rd week of their pregnancy, you must visit the vet. 

At that time, your vet will perform a detailed ultrasound along with some X-rays depending on the technology.

There are a couple of changes you should make to deal with a pregnant canine. First, the eager mother will require a wellspring of nourishment that upholds development.

You will likewise have to visit the vet a couple of times to screen your canine’s well-being.

Second, exercise should be acclimated to ensure the pregnant dog isn’t overexerting herself yet not getting inactive. The duration of your Labrador pregnancy is going to be pretty quick. 

However, you should know what to expect in each week of your Labrador’s pregnancy so that you can provide her with proper care and love. 

It is crucial to mention that consideration is essential in these 9 weeks and after your Labrador gives birth to the baby.

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