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When Do Shiba Inus Go Into Heat: (Complete Heat Guide)

It’s essential for any Shiba Inu owner to understand the ins and outs of their furry friend’s heat cycle.

I know it can be a daunting moment, especially if you haven’t dealt with a dog in heat before.

Don’t worry, I’m going to break everything down, answer all of your questions and provide important tips to help your Shiba Inu get through her first heat cycle with ease. After this guide, you’ll be ready for your Shiba’s first heat.

Let’s get into it!

When Do Shiba Inus Go Into Heat?

Every dog breed is a bit different, and the Shiba Inu is no exception.

Typically, Shiba Inus experience their first heat cycle when they’re between 6 and 12 months old.

Rarely would it come before 6 months, but it’s definitely possible that it comes after 12 months and this is still considered perfectly normal.

It’s important to remember there’s no set-in-stone moment for your Shiba to enter her heat.

However, if your Shiba goes past the 12 month mark without her heat, it’s best to consult with your vet just as a precaution.

The Signs That Indicate Heat

When your Shiba Inu goes into heat, you may notice several changes in her behavior and physical state. Knowing these signs is the best way to be prepared, so her heat doesn’t surprise you.

➡️ Here are some of the FIRST signs you might notice:

  • Swollen vulva: This is one of the first signs and can be quite noticeable.
  • Spotting or bleeding: This could be light or heavy, depending on the individual dog.
  • Behavioral changes: Your Shiba Inu might act more affectionate or, conversely, be more grumpy than usual.
  • Increased aggression towards male dogs: she’s not ready to mate but they’ll show her more attention
  • Increased urination: This is your dog’s way of spreading her scent to attract mates.

How Long Are They In Heat For?

The heat cycle of a Shiba Inu generally lasts about 2 to 4 weeks, with 3 weeks being the average.

However, every dog is unique, and this duration may vary.

It’s also worth noting that during the entire heat cycle, your dog might not be receptive to a male’s advances all the time. There’s typically a fertile period within the cycle, often during the second week, when she’ll be most receptive. I’ll explain this more below.

Four Heat Cycle Stages Explained

Understanding your Shiba Inu’s heat cycle means recognizing the four stages involved:

  • Proestrus (1st stage)
  • Estrus (2nd stage)
  • Diestrus (3rd stage)
  • Anestrus (4th stage)

Let’s explain each one below.

➡️ Proestrus (7-10 days)

This is when your Shiba may start to attract males but isn’t yet ready to mate. During this time she’ll be more aggressive to the male dogs around her to keep them away.

Her behavior will start to change and she’ll likely have some level of bleeding with a swollen vulva.

➡️ Estrus (7-10 days)

This is the second stage and is when your Shiba is fertile and could mate with any intact male around her. During this stage she’ll be more aggressive towards female dogs, and her discharge might become extra watery, this signifies she’s at her most fertile.

This is also the period when owners need to keep her secure whenever she is outside, as she could take it upon her self to escape or run off in order to find a mate. Yep, this happens often and poses a significant risk. (more on this later)

➡️ Diestrus

This is the post-heat period, where your Shiba Inu is no longer receptive to mating. Pregnancy will occur in this stage if mating happened successfully. After about 7 days her body will return back to normal with her bleeding coming to an end and her vulva returning to it’s regular size.

➡️ Anestrus

This is the resting stage and lasts until the next heat cycle begins. During this time, there are no signs of sexual behavior or attraction to males.

How Often Do Shiba Inus Go Into Heat?

Shiba Inus usually go into heat twice a year, approximately every six months.

However, it’s not uncommon for some dogs to have a heat cycle only once a year. Though, this is unlikely for Shibas.

It usually takes two or three heat cycles before a regular pattern establishes, so until then it can be hard to predict when her next heat cycle will be.

How to Care for a Shiba Inu During Heat

Taking care of your Shiba Inu during her heat cycle is an important responsibility.

While we have to understand that this is a natural process which your Shiba can handle herself, there are also some things we can do to ensure the process go safely and smoothly.

Here are some aspects to focus on in more detail:

➡️ Be understanding of mood swings:

Shiba Inus, like other dogs, can have mood swings during their heat cycle. One minute they might want all your attention, the next, they may prefer to be alone. It’s essential to understand that these mood swings are a normal part of the cycle.

So, provide affection when she seeks it, and give her space when she wants to be alone. Providing her favorite toys or a comfortable space can help her feel secure and relaxed during this time. It’s important for all family members to understand this, especially the young ones!

Popular: When Do Shiba Inus Calm Down (Important Advice)

➡️ Keep her secure when outside:

Your Shiba Inu’s scent during her heat cycle can attract male dogs from quite a distance. It’s crucial to supervise her closely while outside to avoid unwanted breeding or confrontations with other dogs.

Make sure your yard is secure and consider leash walks instead of letting her roam freely. Also, avoid dog parks or other public areas where off-leash dogs could be present.

➡️ Be prepared for extra mess:

When a Shiba Inu is in heat, there may be spotting or light bleeding. To manage this, you can use special doggie diapers, puppy pads, or protective covers for furniture.

Make sure to change the diapers or pads regularly to keep your dog comfortable and prevent any odor buildup. It’s also a good idea to keep some pet-friendly wipes on hand for quick clean-ups.

Additionally, your Shiba will probably shed a little more after her heat… Thankfully, we have a full guide on Shiba Inu Shedding here!

➡️ Be ready to tackle food refusal:

Sometimes, a dog in heat may lose her appetite. It’s important to ensure she still gets the nutrition she needs during this time. Keep offering her regular meals, and consider adding something extra enticing, like a bit of chicken or a special dog treat, to stimulate her appetite.

However, don’t overdo it with the extras, as a balanced diet is key. If she consistently refuses food or loses a significant amount of weight, it’s best to consult your vet.

Can Shiba Inus Be Bred On Their First Heat?

It’s technically possible for a Shiba Inu to get pregnant during her first heat, but it’s not advised.

Dogs are still growing and maturing at this age, and pregnancy can put a lot of strain on their bodies.

Moreover, young dogs may not have developed the necessary maternal instincts, which could complicate things when the puppies arrive.

A good rule of thumb is to wait until at least the third or fourth heat cycle before considering breeding. Always consult with your vet and a responsible breeder to ensure the best outcome for your Shiba Inu and her potential puppies.

Final thoughts

Understanding your Shiba Inu’s heat cycle is crucial in ensuring her well-being and, if you wish, planning for a successful breeding.

It may seem complicated at first, but with a bit of observation and patience, you’ll soon get the hang of it.

Remember, every Shiba Inu is unique, and what’s most important is giving her the care, love, and support she needs during this time.

Don’t hesitate to seek advice from your vet if you have any concerns. After all, your Shiba Inu’s health and happiness are what matters the most.


The advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice in any context. Before making any decisions that may affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. For the FULL disclaimer Visit Here

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