This article will tell you anything you need to know about Great Danes in Heat (Symptoms, Stages, Info). Great Danes, a popular giant dog breed, are a prevalent choice among giant dog breed’s. They are loved for their loving nature and regal bearing. Estrus is the stage of a Great Dane’s reproductive cycle when a female Great Dane becomes fertile and ready for mating.

A female Great Dane will continue to enter the heat cycle throughout her entire life. Identifying the beginning of the heat cycle in Great Danes is crucial to ensure that they are well cared for and prevent breeding.



What is a dog heat cycle?

A heat cycle is when your female dog can become pregnant. She will be more open to mating with other dogs during this period and may experience some behavioral changes.

A Great Dane female will experience her first heat as a large breed once she is almost one year old. She will have one heat cycle every 12-18months until she is spayed or dies.

While smaller breeds may experience their first heat sooner than others, Great Dane dog’s can take up to 24 to achieve their first heat cycle. It may take as little as six months for early bloomers. Every Great Dane is unique, just like humans.

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What are the heat cycle stages?

The reproductive cycle has four stages. Changes in hormone levels mark the reproductive cycle, also known as oestrus or oestrus.


The proestrus stage is the first. It occurs when estrogen levels and progesterone levels start to rise. This indicates that her body is preparing for pregnancy. This is when your Great Dane might become more interested and lick her genital area.

Another sign that your Great Dane may be entering heat is a vulva swelling and reddening. It may contain very little blood or a lot. It can vary in color from a clear-ish to reddish discharge to brown.

You can buy reusable diapers for your Great Dane to prevent her from accidentally leaving bloodstains all over your house.


Estrus is the second stage. This stage is called “being in heat.” When a female Great Dane enters heat, her bleeding stops and slows down, which is when ovulation occurs. Her body is very fertile, and she instinctively seeks a male dog to mat with. She will urge the males by urinating more often (known as “marking”) and producing more pheromones. These can be detected up to three miles away.

She might also be able to escape from a man she is trying to find and jump over any fence that is less than six feet.  Also, she will also dig under any ground that is not too soft. She should be careful with her movements and contact with other animals during this period.

Contrary to females who become sexually activated only during the estrus stage, intact males will mate when they see a female in heat. Owners should also remember this when their female is in heat. Intact dogs can easily mate with one another on a walk. They have even been known for successfully mating through fences.

In this stage, female dogs are most likely to show the behavioral changes that come with heat. A female that is usually shy and reserved may suddenly become affectionate. As she searches for a mate, she will likely appear more stubborn and determined. However, it is important not to overcorrect her as she is just following her instincts. Great Danes can be extremely sensitive so even though she might not be able cognitively to see that you are unfair, she will still feel the unfairness of being disciplined for her behavior in search of a mate. This behavior is an instinct in unaltered animals.




This is the third stage of the dog’s life. Her uterine wall will thicken, and her mammary glands will expand to prepare for milk production and feeding—females are at higher risk for developing pyometra during this stage.

Anestrus is the fourth and final stage. This is the stage in which your Great Dane spends most of his life. The reproductive system is calmed, and hormone levels are normalized. You will see any behavioral changes in her that you observed during the heat cycle.

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When the Great Danes get their first heat?

At six months old, most dogs experience their first heat. This can vary depending on the breed and size of the dog.

Even though they are only a few months old, toy breeds can reach puberty. Great Danes, and other giant breeds, may not experience their first heat until they turn two years old.

However, every dog is different, and some Great Danes reach puberty before even a year old.

Dogs often don’t show the usual symptoms of their first estrus cycle. Sometimes, this is called silent heat.

Breeders usually wait until the second or third cycle before breeding dogs. Dogs are less likely than humans to become pregnant in their first heat. It can still happen. Be aware of the signs and prepare for your dog’s first heat.

Signs that your Great Dane is in Heat

Bleeding and Licking.

Vaginal bleeding is the most obvious sign your Great Dane may be in heat. You will notice redness and swelling around her genital region before she starts bleeding.

She may also start to lick her vulva more often than usual. This is when many dogs are more cautious about their genitals.



Increased urination.

Another sign that heat is approaching is increased urination. High hormones and pheromones are found in her urine, which may cause her to start marking more frequently.

This is her way to let nearby males know she is soon becoming fertile. Males easily spot these markings, so expect to see more male dogs around your home.

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Personality and Temperament changes.

Changes in hormone levels may also cause temporary personality changes. You may notice a change in your dog’s personality if she is more independent or less affectionate than usual.


Nesting behaviors.

Many dogs exhibit nesting behavior and prepare a space for their puppies. Some people even have a stronger attachment to toys and stuffed animals, caring for them like puppies. This happens after ovulation, during the diestrus phase.



How long does a Great Dane heat last?

The proestrus lasts about 10 days, and the estrus period can last anywhere from 5-9 days. The diestrus phase generally lasts 6-10 weeks. The phases can overlap. Proestrus symptoms may still be present in your dog during ovulation. Keep your dog away from un-neutered males for 21 days before you start the cycle.

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How to Care for a Great Dane in Heat?

Knowing how to take care of your Great Dane during her heat cycle is important.

Here are some of the options:

Give her extra rest throughout her cycle.

Make your dog feel at ease by keeping the environment quiet and free from stressors.

Do not allow her to get into carpeted or furniture areas during the bleeding phase.

Give her plenty of water to keep her hydrated and get energy from her food.

If you have any symptoms of illness, consult your veterinarian. After their cycles, the thickened uterus of female Great Danes can lead to a bacterial infection.

This is also called pyometra and can be life-threatening.

Have her spayed after her heat cycle. This is the next step if you don’t intend to breed your dog.




Great Danes in heat, completely relevant to a female matures sexually and goes through a period where they are ready to mate. This is often known as being in heat. You will begin to notice behavioral and physical changes in this stage, indicating you are in a heat cycle.

These signs are important for Great Dane owners. They will be better prepared to care for their dogs and prevent breeding. Talk to your vet about how to spay a Great Dane female dog and when you should do it.


I’m a long-time animal lover and owner of two dogs and three cats. I grew up on a farm where we had all sorts of animals, from cows and horses to pigs and chickens. My love for animals led me to pursue a career in writing about them. I have been a pet care writer for over 5 years and have extensive knowledge of animal care, health, and behavior.

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