How Long Does A French Bulldog Heat Cycle Last?

french bulldog heat cycle

Have you ever wondered how long a French bulldog heat cycle lasts? Dogs, both male and female, exhibit typical behaviors when they are in heat or mating period. Lethargy and nervousness can be among the first symptoms, so it is important to recognize them right away.

What does a French bulldog heat cycle look like?

During the heat cycle, dogs display instinctive behavior, although some believe that males have a stronger desire to mate than females. Here are some common behaviors that you may observe in dogs during this time:

For females, the first sexual cycle is marked by the maturation of waves of follicles inside the ovaries and a sudden increase in estrogen levels in the blood. If the male tries to mate during the second phase of the cycle, when the female is not yet ready, she will become restless, bark, and turn away.

Approximately ten days later, there is a peak in the cycle with the release of eggs and the beginning of the “heat” cycle, during which the female allows contact with the male. If the male is disinterested or distracted, the female will give signs with her tail that she wants to mate and “provoke” the male.

Interestingly, male French Bulldogs typically exhibit a desire to mate at approximately seven months of age. Proper socialization and pre-sexual experience are crucial for French Bulldogs that have not been adequately exposed to such stimuli, as they tend to display greater interest in mating behavior.

It’s important to note that mounting behavior can also occur in castrated male dogs. You’ve probably noticed that when your Frenchie ‘plays’ with a pillow or mount on someone’s leg. Despite being castrated, these actions occur as a result of brain signals and may lead to ejaculation.

To avoid any undesirable behaviors in French Bulldogs, it is imperative to recognize the telltale signs of heat and implement appropriate measures.

french bulldog heat cycle

Symptoms of French bulldog heat

If you suspect that your French bulldog is in heat, there are certain symptoms you can spot on time.

  • female’s increased moisture

One of the initial signs is the female dog’s increased moisture. If you own a female French bulldog, you will notice wet fur primarily on her head, face, down her back, and all the way to the tail.

  • specific odor

Another identifiable sign is the odor. Female Frenchies who are going through their heat cycle will have a distinct body scent.

Note: If you don’t want your female Frenchie to mate with a male, one way to prevent this is by purchasing a spray that neutralizes the scent. This will prevent males from approaching and “attacking” her. Another way is to spay your French bulldog.

How do dogs behave after mating?

When we talk about the dogs’ behavior after mating, you can notice the following:

  • a male dog can start to roll on the floor
  • a female Frenchie will seem lethargic and tired
  • some females will behave aggressively toward males

Mating process in male French bulldogs

There is a widespread belief among dog owners that male Frenchies become aggressive if they are not allowed to mate. However, this is not true and there is no need to worry about it. While a male dog may become restless if he is in the presence of a female in heat and is not allowed to mate, it does not necessarily mean he will display aggression.

Regarding a male Frenchie’s sexual behavior, it is important to note that it is simply a canine instinct that can bring pleasure, and also their physical need.

In order to get a healthy litter and avoid potential health problems, it is necessary for your male dog to reach physical and psychological maturity before breeding.

french bulldog heat

So, at what age is a French bulldog ready for breeding?

The larger the breed, the longer it takes for them to mature. For males, small breeds such as Dachshunds, Pugs, and Frenchies can be ready at 12-18 months, medium breeds at 15-18 months, and large breeds at 18-24 months. On average, it is recommended to wait until they turn two years old.

Before arranging for a male French bulldog to mate with a female, it is advisable to check his health to avoid any potential disease being passed on to the puppies. A urine test, blood test, and examination of the ears and eyes are recommended. 

You can also ask your veterinarian to perform a genetic test to find a suitable stud Frenchie for breeding, especially if your dog is not purebred. It is also important to have a fertility check, which involves examining the reproductive organs and prostate.

French bulldog heat occurs during the female dog’s reproductive cycle when she is ready for mating. It typically occurs from the 9th to the 14th day after the onset of blood discharge.

There is no specific number of times a male dog can mate; it depends on his health, physical condition, and fertility level.

What does a French bulldog heat cycle look like?

Female dogs reach sexual maturity around 9-10 months of age, with small breeds possibly maturing earlier and large breeds taking up to their second year. When they enter their heat cycle, they are ready to mate.

Typically, female French bulldogs go into heat twice a year or roughly every six months. Small breeds such as Corgis, Doxies, and Pugs may have a heat cycle interval between 4 and 12 months, averaging about seven months.

Let’s first examine the signs of the heat cycle. The most noticeable symptoms are vaginal bleeding and vulva swelling. Though attractive to males from the beginning, females usually avoid mating until the 7th-10th day of the cycle.

french bulldog heat cycle

There are four phases of the French bulldog heat cycle:

Proestrus phase of the French bulldog heat cycle

The vulva enlarges or swells, and the female bleeds and urinates more often. She may behave differently, jumping more and holding her tail close to her body to signal she doesn’t want to reproduce.

Estrus phase of the French bulldog heat cycle

The female is receptive to mating. The vaginal secretion changes to a white or brownish color, and her tail moves to the side to indicate fertility. She secretes pheromones that males can smell, and other females may become aggressive toward her.

Diestrus phase of the French bulldog heat cycle

The female loses interest in mating, her vaginal secretion disappears, and her vulva shrinks.

Anestrus phase of the French bulldog heat cycle 

This is the phase of sexual rest. Mating lasts 20 to 40 minutes, during which dogs form a copulatory tie. Although female French bulldogs can conceive as early as 5 months, it is better to wait for physical and psychological maturity, as with males.

Some dog owners believe that the size of the dogs is significant during heat, but it is not. Small and large breeds can mate, as long as the female consents.

french bulldog heat cycle

How long does a French bulldog heat cycle last?

It is important to know that some females may have a “false heat” which can make it difficult to accurately determine ovulation. The entire heat process goes through four cycles which we have previously explained.

When it comes to mating, as we previously mentioned, it typically lasts for about 20 to 40 minutes. During the act, dogs become stuck or “tied” to each other.

What else should you know about mating?

During the tie, the male moves so that the dogs move backward and can defend themselves. In some cases, mating can last only a few minutes, and the dogs can mate without being tied. The evolutionary reason for tying is unknown, but it is believed that if the male is tied to the female, it prevents other males from mating with her.

It’s advised not to separate the dogs, even if unintended mating has occurred, as this can result in damage to their genitals. However, after unplanned mating, it’s recommended to take your dog to the veterinarian.

Although the decision to castrate your dog is an individual one, it is worth noting as a potential option. This procedure prevents mating and therefore unwanted pregnancy. However, opinions on castration are divided, so it’s best to consult with a veterinarian before making this decision.

It’s also essential to understand that there are temporary and complete sterilization options. Temporary sterilization is not safe and should not be used frequently. It involves injecting progesterone into the female during the month preceding the sexual cycle. Complete sterilization involves surgically removing the female dog’s ovaries. It’s typically done between two sexual cycles.

If you decide to take this step, we recommend sterilizing your dog before she reaches two years old, as this will prevent the occurrence of breast tumors.

french bulldog heat cycle

French bulldog heat cycle and mating period: conclusion

Taking care of your Frenchie’s reproductive health, whether they are male or female, is a big responsibility as a pet owner. It’s crucial to have a good understanding of the processes happening within your dog’s body, and we’ve made an effort to provide you with some basic information and options.

For female dogs, reproductive health is especially important, and consulting with a veterinarian is highly recommended to make informed decisions about allowing your dog to go through their heat cycle or opting for spaying or neutering (for males).

If you do decide to breed your dog, it’s important to exercise control and supervision, especially if your dog is purebred. During the French bulldog heat cycle and period of mating, both male and female instincts are heightened, so it’s necessary to use certain tricks to prevent unplanned breeding, such as purchasing a spray that neutralizes the female’s scent during their cycle to prevent attraction from males.

This text serves as a starting point for understanding the heat cycle and breeding process in dogs, but we advise you to seek guidance from your dog’s veterinarian for further details and any additional uncertainties. Remember, your dog’s reproductive health is an important part of its overall well-being, so taking appropriate measures is crucial.


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