Hi everyone! I have a 9 month old american bulldog who i believe is getting ready to go into heat. She is swollen, cleans herself more often and is acting very odd. I was curious as what her temperament should be while she is in heat as well as before. She hasn't started bleeding as of yet, but she barks a lot more than normal, she pants a lot at night and is definitely trying to be the more dominate one in the household.
We do plan on spaying her after she is done with her 1st cycle. Our breeder as well as our vet said it would Benefit her growth if we let her go through her 1st cycle.
Some females get more clingy, more territorial, more cranky or domineering before or during their heat cycles, but others really don't have much change in behavior, it depends on the individual; much like with people. You need to have a solid, fail-proof plan to confine her and keep her away from males for no less than 21 days, 28 may be best in your present situation. If I were you, I would start right now! She may begin bleeding within a few days or a few weeks and have a full-blown regular, "normal" heat cycle or she could just as easily have a "silent heat" and you would not see any bleeding. She may already be bleeding very lightly and keeping herself clean enoough that you don't see any blood. So do not assume "heat starts with you seeing blood". That is most often the case, but exceptions are VERY COMMON! You must be vigilant to prevent a canine pregnancy. That could be very unfortunate or even dangerous given her age and breed. Don't let her out of your sight or off leash for any reason!!!! You have your work cut out for you, but you are now informed, so no excuses : )
Thank you for the information. We live in an apartment so whenever we go out she is always on a leash. She isn't trained to be off of it either so there isn't any chance she'll be away from us unsupervised.
If you are walking her on leash, males may still approach her, since they will be able to smell her scent from VERY FAR away. Be prepared to fend off unwanted suitors even on your walks, they can be very persistent. Dog parks are off limits, of course.
Oh yes. I have already started crossing to opposite sides of the street when a dog and their owner approaches. She marked in our apartment today.. which she never does! So i'm hoping she's started or is almost there so we can move on to spaying her.