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French Bulldog Heat Cycle (How Often + Signs)

If you’ve got yourself a new cute little French Bulldog puppy that’s a girl dog, then it is a good idea to prepare yourself for when she goes into heat.

There are signs that you can watch for, of course.

On average, you can expect your French Bulldog to first go into heat between the ages of 6 months and 9 months. Once the heat cycles start, you can expect them to occur like clockwork every 6 months or so, or twice a year.

Below we’ll give you more details on what to expect when your little Frenchie goes into heat, as well as the signs to watch out for that signal it’s about that time for her.

How Old Are French Bulldogs When They Go Into Heat?

Though the exact age will vary from one Frenchie to the next, most pet parents of French Bulldogs will tell you that the first time your Frenchie goes into heat she will be somewhere between 6 months old and 9 months old.

black and white french bulldog

Also, if your puppy is around some older female dogs who are already experiencing their heat cycles, then she may also start her first heat cycle at a younger age.

How Often Do French Bulldogs Go Into Heat?

If your French Bulldog is not spayed, then she will average 6 months between her heat cycles.

The first few times your Frenchie goes into heat, the time period between the cycles will be irregular. But after that, you’ll notice that it comes like clockwork.

It is important for you to note how frequent the heat cycles are for your French Bulldog so that you are prepared for any potential accidents.

How Long Are French Bulldogs In Heat? (Cycle Length)

If you’ve never had a female dog before, then you may not know what to expect in terms of how long the heat cycle lasts for your dog.

You should know that the cycle length does vary a bit from one dog to the next.

However, the average time for how long a French Bulldog is in heat for is 2 weeks to 3 weeks each time.

During this entire period, there is the risk of your dog ending up pregnant because she is fertile for the entire two to three week cycle.

You’ll know when the cycle is over because her vulva goes back to its normal size and there will be no more bleeding or discharge.

It’s a good idea for you to track the cycle length of your Frenchie so that you don’t accidentally end up with an unexpected litter of puppies a few months down the road.

And remember, even older dogs can get pregnant, so don’t think your risk of puppies decreases as the old girl ages.

woman holding frenchie puppies

What To Expect The First Time Your French Bulldog Is In Heat

The first time your French Bulldog goes into heat will be like no other.

Most Frenchie owners note that there are less obvious signs that first time a French Bulldog goes into heat.

She will still be fertile during this period, but just may not show all the signs.

Your Frenchie may also experience what is called a broken heat. This is when the dog bleeds a little, then stops only to resume bleeding a few weeks later.

A broken heat is normal the first time since your dog’s body is getting use to the changes the hormones are bringing.

8 Signs Your French Bulldog Is In Heat

When I got my first female dog, I had no idea what to look for that would tell me that my dog was in heat.

Fortunately, there are a few signs that you can watch out for that definitely let you know that she is in heat.

1. Bleeding

When dogs go into heat, the first thing you will notice is the bleeding.

There will be blood and discharge, though the amount, consistency, and color varies from one dog to the next.

If you’re not expecting this, it can be scary at first because you think your dog is injured.

But rest assured, this is a normal part of life for female dogs.

2. Swollen Vulva

In addition to the bloody discharge, your Frenchie’s vulva will swell up quite a bit.

Though it will look painful, since it is 2-4 times its normal size, know that it does not hurt the dog at all.

And yes, this is completely normal and nothing for you to worry about.

3. Excessive Licking

Since this time is when the dog is trying to attract a mate, you’ll notice that she starts to lick herself clean a lot more than normal.

This is nothing to worry about as well.

4. Mounting All The Things

Even though your French Bulldog is a female, during this period she will start exhibiting mounting behavior due to the hormones she is experiencing.

It will be a lot and she will be mounting everything, including probably your legs.

While it may get annoying, this is completely normal behavior when the dog is in heat.

5. Frequent Urination

You’ll notice that your dog needs to pee a LOT more than normal when she is in heat.

This is because female dogs let male dogs know they are fertile and ready to mate with their urine.

And since your Frenchie is DTF, she wants all the boys in the yard to know it.

If you keep your French Bulldog inside your home, then expect more accidents during this time.

brindle frenchie in grass
image: Ildar Sagdejev (Specious), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

6. More Attention From Male Dogs

Since your French Bulldog is letting out pheromones to attract males when she is in heat, you will start to notice her getting more attention from male dogs.

A lot more attention from all the neighborhood male dogs.

Those pheromones are literally going to be bringing all the boys to the yard.

You’ll have to stay vigilant to prevent any unwanted male dogs from trying to mate with her.

7. Behavior Changes

When in heat, the behavior of your Frenchie will also change.

Expect both more irritability and more clinginess.

I know, it sounds contradictory, right? But you’ll likely experience periods of both moods.

She may even show some uncharacteristic aggression during this time.

Other changes you may see including whining, moaning, and loss of appetite.

These are nothing to worry about and will pass once she’s out of heat.

8. Tail Flagging

One thing that is unique to French Bulldogs in heat is what is known as “flagging.”

This when your Frenchie lifts her rear end up toward a male dog and positions her tail to the side.

Final Word

As you can see, a French Bulldog goes into heat at a fairly early age.

And once it starts, heat cycles become a regular part of life for Frenchies and their owners.

Knowing what to expect in advance helps you to prepare for this change in your dog’s life.

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