As I sit here with my little cuddly Bonnie, reading this question aloud, it almost appears as if she’s put her paws over her eyes in embarrassment!
If you are planning on adding a female whippet to your clan, then this is a very important question and not in the least embarrassing or daunting.
You are wondering, “when will my whippet have her first season?” The answer is often not clear cut for each whippet or even every breed. Her season can begin as early as six months, but typically they are still considered an adolescent at six months.
Usually, their first season will begin from six to fourteen months.
Following is an informative article about your whippet’s first season. It is neither embarrassing or scary because “knowledge is power.”
How Often Do Whippets Go Into Heat?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word meaning, “in heat” is estrus. This is ” a regularly recurrent state of sexual receptivity during which the female of most mammals will accept the male and is capable of conceiving.”
If your whippet comes into their season between 12 and 24 months, they will probably come into heat bi-annually with around six to nine months in between.
Coming into season can vary between breeds and sighthounds sometimes begin their first season later than other breeds, possibly due to minimal body fat.
If your whippet doesn’t begin their first season until they are between two and three years of age then being in heat will only occur annually, usually with 11 to 13 months in between.
Signs Your Whippet Is Coming Into Season
Before your whippet is six months old, you can be prepared for her first season by knowing what signs she may exhibit beforehand.
This stage is known as proestrus and the average length of time for this phase is about 9 days. It can last anywhere from three to seventeen days.
By the time your pup is six months old, you will know their basic temperament will be able to recognise when their behaviour has changed.
Affectionate or Cranky
Whippets are extremely affectionate and love to cuddle, but before they come into heat they may become even more loving. The opposite can also be true.
Your whippet may become a little cranky, even a little like Grumpy Cat. Sorry Bonnie; I said the cat word!
Prior to estrus, your pup may urinate more often, sometimes while raising her leg.
Your whippets vulva will become swollen before their first season and she may do a lot of cleaning and licking. This is a tip-off and it would be noticeable and out of the ordinary. Her nipples may also become swollen.
Sluggish or Stimulated
During this time, your whippet may either turn into a couch potato or seem aroused. She may lack energy or have more.
When you and your pup encounter any male dogs, she may tuck her tail and try to run away. She may also seem extremely interested in them and believe me, they will be enamoured with her!
Appetie Increase or Decrease
Your little whippet girl may not have much of an appetite or become a little picky. She may instead, become hungrier than ever.
Bleeding will then begin and it will be light at first and then may grow a bit heavier. This is when you will know for sure that she is in her first season.
By six months and older, you will know your little whippet quite well. These are all some clues that you will pick up on and help you to know that your pup is going into heat.
Changes In Your Whippets Behaviour When In Heat
Estrus is the stage when your pup is in heat. This stage also can typically occur for about nine days, but can range anywhere from 3 to 21 days.
During this period, your pup’s instincts will kick in and she will more readily accept a male suitor.
This is the time when eggs are released from the ovaries, ready to be fertilized and also when your whippet is most fertile. Some behaviour changes you may see are listed below.
When you have your whippet out during estrus, she may seek out male dogs. Just beware and always keep her on a leash. Females dogs should never be bred when it is their first season.
Keep an eye out for male dogs in your neighbourhood. They know and smell a female in heat and can be very eager beaus! A fence can never be high enough to keep them away from the prize; your whippet.
Never leave your pup unattended in the yard when in heat.
Their discharge that was originally bright red is now fading to pink and their vulva is not as swollen and beginning to soften. This is when they are the most fertile.
Rest and Exercise
During this time, your usually energetic whippet may be more sluggish and require more rest. On the other hand, she may seem keyed up and restless. You will have to gauge her mood and decide if she needs extra rest or more exercise.
How Long Will My Whippets Season Last
Your whippet’s season can last anywhere from three to four weeks. Bleeding will not occur for the entire period, usually only for the first two weeks. Bleeding will not be very heavy, so no need to panic.
For some dogs in heat, it is barely noticeable. Just be aware that just because the bleeding has stopped it doesn’t mean that your whippet isn’t fertile any longer.
You will know when the symptoms they had have subsided and your whippet will then enter the diestrus stage and they will no longer be fertile, ending their heat cycle.
The last phase is the anestrus stage and is the longest-lasting stage, lengthening out until their season begins again either annually or biannually.
Remember, never to breed your whippet during their first season. There are many health risks from breeding too early and your pup, at a young age, is not yet ready to raise a litter of puppies.
How To Help My Whippet Through Her Season
During this new time for both you and your whippet, give her more love and affection with the gift of time.
Your whippet may be confused by the changes in her body and by playing some extra games she loves or giving a few extra of her favourite treats can be reassuring to her.
Some extra cuddle time with your little blanket stealer is definitely called for at this time and will benefit both your pup and you.
Pants For Dogs
Pants for dogs are an excellent invention for girl dogs in heat. These will help eliminate any messes that may happen. If your girl isn’t on board with the pants, never force it.
Too many new things at once aren’t good. You can make her comfortable in an area that has no carpeting. Set up an area with her comfy bed, blanket and some toys. These can all be washed with no problem.
Once again I’m bringing male dogs into the mix. It’s as old as time; since Adam and Eve. Keep your pup away from any male dogs during this time period.
If you have other dogs, that are males, use a baby gate to keep them separated. Do not put your whippet out alone in the yard. Male dogs know when there’s a female around in heat.
If you run into any male dogs when walking, change your route or time until her first season is over.
Using an essential oil containing menthol on the tip of your whippets tail is a way to cut down on her scent when you’re out and about. Any males may be derailed by the menthol smell.
If, after your whippet’s first season, you are considering breeding her then you will have some homework to do.
Speak with your veterinarian about breeding and make sure she is in good health and has no underlying conditions that would complicate a pregnancy or delivery.
You can also enquire about breeders and how to find a male whippet that is in good health and has no genetic conditions. There are many aspects to be taken into consideration before breeding your whippet.
Do your research and consider every area from the time needed to your whippet’s health.
When your whippet is through with her first season, you may also consider having her spayed. If you don’t have the time or money for all that entails a litter of puppies, this is an excellent choice.
It is proven that female dogs live longer when spayed. Spaying prevents breast cancer and uterine infections and your pup will not go into heat after being spayed.
Your whippet can still be spayed even if they do have a litter of puppies, so weigh all of your options before making a decision and not only speak with your veterinarian, but other whippet owners and breeders.
Finally, there is no exact answer to “when will my whippet have her first season, ” but above is a rough idea of the timing and some clues and indicators of when it may happen.
It is not embarrassing or scary, it is the natural progression of life. I believe that Bonnie has also realized that because she is now fast asleep.
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Hello. I’m Luke- the founder of WhippetCentral. I’m somewhat of a whippet nut and have been for most of my life. In that time, I’ve owned and raised numerous whippets. Bonnie is my latest girl; she is currently eight years old and keeps me very busy! Understanding the need for whippet-specific content, I decided to create this blog to share what I have learned and to share my expertise regarding owning and raising whippets – the right way!