How Long Does A Bull Terrier Stay In Heat [Details To Know]


Depending on personal reasons or beliefs, you may or may not want your Bull Terrier to get spayed, and that is 100% your choice.

However, if you decide not to spay your Bull Terrier, you need to understand that you will have heat cycles.

You should understand what to expect with heat cycles and how you can help your Bull Terrier during heat cycles to be better prepared to take care of your dog now and in the future.

More specifically, I want to answer one specific question: as someone who has owned a Terrier for the past few years and as an owner who has opted not to get my female Terrier spayed thus far into raising her.

Here is what I can tell you on this topic.

How Long Does A Bull Terrier Stay In Heat?

A Bull Terrier will stay in heat for 20 days. During 5-9 of these days, your Bull Terrier is ovulating and fertile and may present with discharge. During 9-10 of these days, discharge may still be present, but the Bull Terrier is no longer ovulating. 

It is also important to note that 4 primary stages make up the Bull Terrier’s heat cycle, and each stage carries its own significance and different occurrences that you need to be aware of.

The rest of this brief discussion will break down everything you need to know about the heat cycle with Bull Terriers, and here is how I intend to break it down for you today.



Understanding The Heat Cycle Of A Bull Terrier

The first thing that I would like to point out is that all dogs are different and that your dog’s heat cycle may differ from another dog’s.

While they should be relatively consistent, they may not be exact for the duration of the symptoms or behavior changes that occur for your Bull Terrier.

One of the things you can do as the owner of a Bull Terrier is to be prepared not only for physical symptoms but also for the changes that may occur with behavior and your dog’s overall mood during this time.

And, of course, try to accommodate and make the heat cycle as comfortable as possible for your dog.

Additionally, you should also understand that a Bull Terrier that is not spayed will technically be in one of the 4 stages of the heat cycle throughout the entire year.

While only a few of the stages are stages that need to be more concerning, it is still essential to understand how these heat cycles work and prepare accordingly.

Here is a look at those 4 stages.


The Phases Of The Heat Cycle For A Bull Terrier

Below is a quick look at the heat cycles for female dogs that are not spayed and currently considered intact:


Phase 1- Anestrus

The anestrus phase of your Bull Terrier’s heat cycle is the most prolonged phase where nothing much is taking place.

During this phase, your Bull Terrier is considered non-fertile or not capable of reproducing and will not experience any discharge until the next phases begin.

This phase will last 7-9 months and will happen every year that your female Bull Terrier is not spayed.


Phase 2- Proestrus

This phase follows the anestrus phase and will last 9-10 days. 

This is the first stage of the heat cycle that your Bull Terrier may experience some form of discharge, but this can vary for each individual dog.

During these 9-10 days, your Bull Terrier is still considered non-fertile.

However, this is the first stage where you may notice a shift in behavior and mood swings with your Bull Terrier depending on the intensity and the physical symptoms your Bull Terrier is dealing with.


Phase 3- Estrus

This is the first and only phase of the heat cycle that your Bull Terrier will be considered fertile and have a much higher chance of reproducing.

This is when most breeders would attempt to make Bull Terrier puppies.

The Estrus phase will last 5-9 days, and discharge (if present) will typically change to a pinkish-red color.

With some dogs, the discharge may stop during the phase, and this is also when your female Bull Terrier will be the most receptive towards male dogs.

We will cover how this phase may also impact your Bull Terrier’s behavior later in this discussion.


Phase 4- Diestrus

During the diestrus phase, you can begin breathing easy and realizing that your about to enter the calm phase 1 soon (anestrus).

Your Bull Terrier is no longer considered fertile, but this final stage typically lasts anywhere from 6-8 weeks.

Remember, all dogs are different, so it may be slightly shorter or slightly longer. All dogs may present other behaviors during this phase.

It is possible during this phase that discharge is still present with your Bull Terrier, but it should stop soon as you get closer to the anestrus phase.


What You Should Do For Your Bull Terrier During Heat

Now that you have a better understanding of the 4 primary stages of the heat cycle that your Bull Terrier will go through if they are not spayed, it is best practice to know how to prepare.

This means that you know how to care for and comfort your dog through these phases.

This also means that you need to prepare to protect your own belongings during these heat cycles.

Here are a few of my top tips you should implement or, at the very least, keep in mind to be best prepared.


Understand Discharge Is Likely, But May Vary With Your Bull Terrier

Suppose you go into your dog ownership with your Bull Terrier, understanding that discharge is likely or that it may vary.

In that case, you will be prepared whether your Bull Terrier displays any of these physical symptoms.

This allows you to prepare your home accordingly.

I do not know about you, but I certainly do not want the discharge around my house, on my carpet, and not on any of my furniture.

This may be a great time to consider gating off a separate room of the house.

Preferably a room with hard surface floors that are easy to clean.

Now listen, I also am not recommending gating your Bull Terrier off during these times like a prisoner.

However, suppose you need to leave your home or know that it is a phase where the discharge is more likely.

It may be best to allow them some hours during the day to play in this room or at least use it while you are out for work or running errands.

In my house, I use a separate formal room connected to the kitchen and use a dog gate.

She still has about 400 sq feet to roam around in, her food, water, and toys.

If I need to leave, she can remain comfortable in this room.

I do not need to worry about my furniture or belongings becoming the victim of any discharge during the heat cycle phases.


Practice Keeping Your Dog Off Furniture And Beds

You can also protect the home and belongings by not allowing your dog on the furniture or in the bed.

I know it is hard to consider not sleeping with your Bull Terrier or new puppy you adore but starting this practice with a female dog that you never plan to spay may be the best idea.

It is hard to know how much discharge and if discharge will present at all with each specific dog.

Suppose you cannot stand the thought of this being a hard enforced rule in the house for your dog.

You may be better off considering getting your dog spayed or accept that discharge may end up in the bed or on other furniture.

Some owners may have a grasp of the heat cycle and what to expect.

Especially after they have their first heat cycle under their belt.

The heat cycle that often worries most new Bull Terrier owners is the first heat cycle.

I want to share what I experienced with my Terrier during the first heat cycle and what you can expect.


What Age Can You Expect A Bull Terrier To Have First Heat Cycle?

Your Bull Terrier will likely begin their first heat cycle when they are closing in on one year old.

This is the experience I had with my Terrier, at least.

While my Terrier is a Jack Russell Terrier, a female dog’s heat cycle will typically occur in a remarkably similar fashion regardless of the specific breed.

This is also why it is typically recommended to get your dog spayed before their first heat cycle between the ages of 7-9 months old if you plan to do so.

Doing so offers a lot of health benefits as well but also has some negative health impacts so be sure to speak to a vet before ultimately making that decision.

While it is not a hard-set rule saying that you cannot spay your dog later down the road, it is just one of the best practices typically recommended by the experts that know the subject matter much better than myself, so I would probably listen to it.


How Long And How Much Bleeding Can You Expect?

As you have probably noticed thus far in the discussion, the amount of discharge a Bull Terrier will experience during a heat cycle varies with each dog.

Some dogs may have a significant amount of discharge during the 3 primary phases of the heat cycle, and others may have little to no discharge at all.

With my dog, she was on end closer to no discharge.

During phase 2, she did have some noticeable discharge that would be present on her crate bottom in the mornings after waking up.

Now that we have the primary concerns addressed about the heat cycles, I want to cover one more important part of this process.

Understanding the behavior changes that may occur with your Bull Terrier during the heat cycles and accommodating.


Will The Behavior Of My Bull Terrier Change During The Heat Cycle?

Much like the physical symptoms of the heat cycle with your Bull Terrier, behavior changes can also vary for each individual dog.

It is not uncommon for a female dog during her heat cycle to be more irritable than usual and what I would consider snippier and grumpier.

While it was never a concern for aggression, it was apparent that she may have been experiencing some discomfort.

She was not quite herself during her heat cycle.

Bull Terriers are naturally affectionate dogs so you may be shocked when the mood kicks in at first.

She did not tolerate my other dog during the heat cycle as well, and she was not nearly as playful.

While it is not a huge concern and biting should not be a concern, you still need to realize that dogs cannot talk.

It is essential to read the room and understand that they are still going through something.

They may be in pain and need comfort like you, and I would require dealing with physical pain.

Do your best to accommodate and make your dog comfortable during these times.

It will pass soon, and your Bull Terrier will undoubtedly thank you for it.


Heat Cycles Are Normal With Bull Terriers, Make Your Dog Comfortable

If you do not plan to get your Bull Terrier spayed, heat cycles are something you will encounter and that you need to be educated about.

This helps you understand what you can expect and how to comfort your dog during these times.

Whether or not this is something you will have to deal with based on your spaying decision is entirely up to you.

Nonetheless, Bull Terriers make for one of the best house dogs you can potentially adopt, and the heat cycles for a non-spayed Bull Terrier are simply part of the process.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with your Bull Terriers and the journey you have ahead of you.


Share Your Experience With Your Bull Terriers Heat Cycle

Do you have anything you can add for the community about the heat cycle for a Bull Terrier?

Any information you feel may help a new Bull Terrier owner handle the first heat cycle and be more prepared?

Be sure to share those thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.

As always, Luna and I appreciate you stopping by and reading today, and we will see you again next time.

Josh Martin- Founder and Creator of Terrier Owner

Josh Martin is the proud owner of a female Jack Russell Terrier Named Luna. Josh founded TerrierOwner.com to share the stories of owning a Terrier and to help all terrier owners with the struggles, excitement and common questions that come with being a new terrier parent.

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