Shiba Inu Heat Cycle: Common Questions and Concerns

Shiba Inus are a popular dog breed known for their unique characteristics and energetic personalities. Understanding your Shiba Inu’s heat cycle can help you make informed decisions about her health and care, ensuring she stays happy and healthy throughout her life.

A Shiba Inu’s heat cycle, also known as estrus, is the time when she becomes receptive to breeding and can become pregnant. During this period, hormonal changes will occur, and you may notice physical or behavioral changes in your dog.

shiba inu sitting weird

Familiarizing yourself with these signs can help you recognize when your Shiba Inu is in heat, allowing you to take the necessary precautions to prevent unplanned pregnancies or complications.

From the proestrus stage to the diestrus stage, this guide will equip you with the knowledge you need to navigate your Shiba Inu’s heat cycle with confidence.

What Is A Heat Cycle?

A heat cycle, also known as estrus, is the time when your Shiba Inu becomes receptive to mating. During this period, her body undergoes hormonal changes, preparing for possible pregnancy. The heat cycle typically lasts around 18 to 21 days but can vary from dog to dog.

Do Dogs Bleed The Entire Heat Cycle?

Your Shiba Inu won’t bleed throughout the entire heat cycle. The bleeding occurs mostly during the first week, known as the proestrus stage. During this time, her vulva swells, and she begins to produce a bloody discharge.

However, the bleeding can be less noticeable in some dogs. As the heat cycle progresses, your Shiba Inu will experience a change in the discharge’s color and consistency, transitioning from bloody to clear or straw-colored.

What are the signs of a Shiba Inu’s heat cycle?

In addition to the changes in discharge, you can observe several behavioral signs when your Shiba Inu is in heat. These may include:

  • Increased urination: Your dog might start marking her territory more often than usual, which is her way of signaling potential mates.
  • Swollen vulva: The increased hormone levels cause the vulva to swell significantly during the heat cycle.
  • Clingy behavior: She can become more affectionate and clingy during this time, seeking your presence and attention.
  • Attracting male dogs: Your female Shiba Inu will likely attract male dogs even from afar, as they can smell her pheromones.
  • Flagging: This particular behavior refers to your dog raising and positioning her tail to the side, facilitating a possible mating.

Remember to monitor your Shiba Inu closely during her heat cycle and ensure her safety by keeping her away from male dogs unless you intend to breed her.

What Age Do Shiba Inus Go Into Heat?

As a Shiba Inu owner, it’s essential to know when your furry friend will start going into heat. Generally, Shibas go into heat for the first time between 6 to 12 months of age. It’s important to remember that every dog is an individual, and their first heat cycle might begin earlier or later than this timeframe.

How Often Do Shiba Inus Go Into Heat?

On average, Shiba Inus go into heat around every 6 to 8 months. This means that your Shiba may experience a heat cycle twice a year. However, it’s normal for some dogs to have irregular cycles, especially during their first few years. Keep an eye on your Shiba’s behavior to identify signs of her heat cycle, such as swelling of the vulva, increased urination, and attracting male dogs.

How Long is a Shiba Inu’s Heat Cycle?

Heat cycles typically lasts between 2 to 4 weeks. This cycle is divided into four stages:

  1. Proestrus (5-7 days): During this stage, your Shiba will experience physical changes and may become more affectionate. She’ll start attracting male dogs, but she won’t be receptive to mating yet.
  2. Estrus (5-7 days): In this stage, your Shiba will be more willing to mate. Her discharge may change from red to a straw-like color, and she may become more flirtatious with male dogs.
  3. Diestrus (2-3 weeks): This is the phase after mating. If your Shiba is pregnant, this period will last until the pregnancy ends. If she is not pregnant, her body will return to its normal state.
  4. Anestrus (4-5 months): This stage is a resting period between heat cycles. Your Shiba’s reproductive system takes a break, and no hormonal activity occurs.

What Are The 4 Stages Of A Dog’s Heat Cycle?

1) Proestrus

During the first stage, the Proestrus, you’ll notice that your Shiba Inu’s vulva starts to swell, and they may experience a bloody discharge. This typically lasts around 7-10 days.

Males will be attracted to your dog at this stage, but they usually won’t be receptive to mating just yet. Make sure to keep a close eye on your Shiba Inu during this time to avoid any unwanted encounters with other dogs.

2) Estrus

Next comes the Estrus stage, which lasts roughly 5-7 days. This is the time when your Shiba Inu is most receptive to mating. Their discharge often changes from bloody to a lighter, straw-colored fluid.

You may observe your dog “flagging,” which means they hold their tail to the side, signaling a willingness to mate. It’s essential to be vigilant during this period, especially if you are not planning to breed your dog.

3) Diestrus

The third stage, Diestrus, occurs after the fertile period is over. This lasts about 6-10 weeks. During this phase, your Shiba Inu’s vulva returns to its normal size.

If your dog became pregnant, you’ll start witnessing physical and behavioral changes, such as weight gain and increased affection. However, even if not pregnant, your dog may still exhibit some false pregnancy symptoms, like nesting or lactation.

4) Anestrus

Finally, the Anestrus stage is a period of inactivity in your dog’s reproductive system. This break lasts between 4 to 5 months before a new heat cycle begins.

Your Shiba Inu won’t show any interest in mating or exhibit any physical signs of being in heat. This allows your dog’s body time to recover before the next cycle starts.

How To Take Care Of A Shiba Inu In Heat

  1. Keep a watchful eye on your Shiba Inu during their heat cycle and consult your veterinarian if you have concerns.
  2. Use doggy diapers or absorbent pads to minimize mess around your home, while also keeping your pup comfortable.
  3. Maintain a sanitary environment by washing your dog’s bedding and cleaning their living area frequently.
  4. Clean your Shiba Inu’s rear end area with a damp cloth or fragrance-free baby wipe.
  5. Always use a leash when taking your Shiba Inu out for exercise or potty breaks to prevent her from running off and encountering unwanted attention from other dogs.
  6. Be patient, compassionate, and comforting with your Shiba Inu during this time, as they may experience mood changes.
  7. Offer your Shiba Inu a safe and quiet space where she can rest and relax undisturbed.
  8. Ensure your Shiba Inu is getting a balanced diet and ask your veterinarian about any potential supplements or dietary changes that could benefit them.


Your Shiba Inu goes through a heat cycle, which involves various stages of fertility and hormonal fluctuations. It’s essential to understand this health aspect of your dog to ensure proper care, especially if you’re planning to breed or prevent unwanted pregnancies.

A typical Shiba Inu heat cycle lasts about three weeks, during which their vulva swells and they may experience bloody discharge. The heat cycle usually starts between six months to a year of age and repeats every six months or so. However, each dog may have a slightly different cycle.

During the heat cycle, your Shiba Inu enters a phase called estrus, when they’re most fertile. This phase is when their body is prepared for pregnancy, and it’s crucial to keep a close eye on them if they’re not spayed. If you want to avoid an unexpected litter, consider spaying your Shiba Inu before their first heat cycle, as it can help reduce the risk of certain health issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long After Bleeding Is A Dog Fertile?

Your Shiba Inu will usually be fertile for around 7 to 10 days after the bleeding phase of her heat cycle begins. It’s essential to keep an eye on her behavior and discharge to determine the most accurate period of fertility.

How Long Are Shibas Pregnant For?

The pregnancy duration for a Shiba Inu is generally about 9 weeks, or 63 days. However, it’s essential to monitor your dog closely and consult with a vet to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

When Should I Get My Female Shiba Inu Spayed?

It’s recommended to wait until your Shiba Inu has had her first heat cycle before spaying, which typically occurs between 6 to 18 months of age. Spaying your dog too early might lead to developmental issues. Consult with your vet to determine the best time for this procedure.

How Long Does A Shiba Inu’s Heat Cycle Last?

Heat cycles for Shiba Inus tend to last around 2 to 4 weeks. This duration might vary between individual dogs and even between cycles for the same dog. There are two main stages: the bleeding phase and the fertile phase.

When Do Shiba Inus Typically Have Their First Heat?

Shiba Inus generally experience their first heat cycle when they are between 6 to 18 months old. It’s essential to monitor your dog closely during this stage to ensure her safety and well-being.

Is It Normal For Shiba Inus To Be More Sensitive During Their Heat Cycle?

It’s completely normal for your Shiba Inu to be more sensitive during her heat cycle. You might notice that she becomes more affectionate or clingy to you. On the other hand, she might prefer to be left alone. Make sure to provide her with a comfortable and supportive environment during this time.

Colby Adkins

I am a proud Shiba Inu owner who is just looking to share any tips, tricks, or advice I have to help others.

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