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How Do I Know If My Female Springer Spaniel Is In Heat?

How Do I Know If My Female Springer Spaniel Is In Heat?

Do you have a female Springer Spaniel and want to know what to expect when she goes into heat? Maybe your Springer is behaving out of character and you want to know if she’s about to come into season? Here’s everything you need to know about the heat cycle of Springer Spaniels.

How Do I Know If My Female Springer Spaniel Is In Heat? You’ll know your female Springer Spaniel is in heat when you notice her swollen vulva, see bloody discharge, and she starts licking herself to keep clean. She may also need to go potty more than usual and have other behavior or appetite changes.

Read on to find out what other signs to look out for when your Springer Spaniel goes into heat, how long each season lasts, and what you can do to help your Springer through this difficult time.

Never use the advice in this article as a substitute for professional veterinary advice or treatment. I am NOT a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist. This article is based on research, personal opinion and experience of owning dogs over the last 12+ years. 

What Does It Mean If My Female Springer Spaniel Is In Heat?

When your female Springer Spaniel is in heat, she’s fertile and ready to mate with a male dog.

Being in heat, or in season as it’s also known, is an entirely natural part of your female Springer’s life, if she’s not been spayed.

You’ll need to keep a close eye on your Springer while she’s in season, because she can easily become pregnant if she spends any time with entire males! 

When Will My Springer Spaniel Have Her First Season?

Springer Spaniels tend to have their first season between 9 and 15 months of age.

Although, some come into heat for the first time before or after this point. It basically varies between individual dogs.

Speak to your vet if you’re concerned about your Springer’s first season. 

What Are The Signs Of A Springer Spaniel Being In Heat?

If your Springer Spaniel shows any of the following signs, then it’s likely she could be in heat:

Bloody Discharge or Blood

The most noticeable sign of your Springer Spaniel being in season, is her having bloody discharge or blood coming from her vulva.

She may have spots of brownish colored bloody discharge, bright red blood, or pinky colored discharge, depending which part of her heat cycle she’s in. 

Excessive Licking

Most female Springer Spaniels will want to keep themselves clean, by licking their vulva. So if you notice her trying to clean herself more often, she could be in heat.

Although it might seem a bit gross to us, it’s perfectly natural for your Springer to lick herself clean down there!

The more she can keep on top of the discharge and blood herself, the less you’ll need to clean up after her – this is nature’s way!

Swollen Vulva

Your Springer Spaniel’s vulva’s likely to be swollen when she’s in heat, particularly during the start and middle of her heat cycle.

It may be hard for you to notice this though, if she’s got long hair.

If you can, try to get her to roll onto her back so you can take a look.

Springer Spaniel on a blue background with a speech bubble that says 'Am I having my season?'
Springer Spaniel In Heat

Needing To Urinate More

Many Springer Spaniels who are in heat feel like they need to go potty more.

So make sure you keep a close eye on her and give her extra chances to pee if she needs to.

She basically wants to wee more to let male dogs in the area know she’s in season, so she can try and attract a mate!

The scent and pheromones from her urine can travel huge distances, so dogs the other side of town will know she’s in season! 

Changes To Appetite

Your Springer Spaniel’s appetite may change when she’s in season. 

Some go off their food altogether, while others can feel much hungrier than usual!

It very much depends on your individual dog. 

Changes To Behavior

Behavioral changes can vary between different Springer Spaniels when they’re in heat.

Some may become clingier than usual, whereas others may want their own space more.

Some can seem more lethargic and less interested in exercise or playtime. Others may want to be on the go more than usual to keep themselves busy. 

How Long Will My Springer Spaniel Be In Heat For?

A Springer Spaniel will be in heat for between 21 and 28 days.

They can get pregnant at any point during this time, but they’re usually most fertile around 9-10 days after their season begins.

This highly fertile period lasts for another 9 days and is the real ‘danger zone’ for unwanted pregnancies.

Speak to your vet if your Springer’s season lasts longer than 3-4 weeks. 

How Often Will My Springer Spaniel Be In Heat?

Springer Spaniels will come in to heat roughly twice per year, but this can vary slightly between individual dogs. However, there’s usually at least 6 months between seasons.

It’s a good idea to note when your Springer’s last season started and ended. This way, you can roughly estimate when she’ll next come into heat.

Just bear in mind, it can take up to 18 months for your Springer to settle into a regular heat pattern, and some may always have erratic seasons. 

What Is The Heat Cycle For Springer Spaniels?

Here are the four stages of a Springer Spaniel’s heat cycle:


This is the beginning of your Springer Spaniel’s heat cycle, and it usually lasts about nine days. Some may be as short as 3 days or as long as 17 days.

During the Proestrus period, your Springer’s vulva will become swollen, and she’ll start having bloody discharge.

Male dogs in the area will start to realise your female Springer’s in season, but she’s not likely to want to mate with them just yet.

In fact, some can be aggressive if a male dog tries to mount her during this time! 


The second stage is called Estrus and this also lasts around 9 days on average. Your Springer’s bleeding may lessen or even stop entirely during this stage.

This doesn’t mean her season is over and she can’t get pregnant! In fact, it’s the opposite, as this is her most fertile stage.

She may actively seek out males and approach them with her tail to one side. This is known as ‘flagging’, and she’s letting the males know she wants to mate.

Males will persistently approach her too and they can both be very determined to get to each other. So, you can’t take your eyes off her during this time! 


The Diestrus stage happens directly after the Estrus stage. Your Springer Spaniels vulva will no longer be swollen, any discharge will stop, and her body will return to normal.

This stage lasts for around 2 months. At this stage, a rush of Progesterone will be produced by your Springer’s body, whether she’s pregnant or not.

These hormones can sometimes cause a ‘phantom pregnancy’ even if she’s not actually pregnant.

This is where your Springer’s body is tricked into thinking she’s pregnant so starts changing to accommodate puppies.

Speak to your vet if you believe your Springer’s having a phantom pregnancy as it can be a distressing experience for them. 


The final stage of your Springer Spaniels heat cycle lasts between 2 and 4 months.

There are no hormonal changes during this stage, while her body prepares for the start of the next Proestrus stage. 

When Do Springer Spaniels Stop Having Seasons?

Springer Spaniels never stop having seasons, even in their senior years. Although, the length of time between seasons can increase as they get older.

As your Springer ages, she can be at an increased risk of developing Pyometra following her season.

This is a potentially life-threatening womb infection, so monitor her closely for symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, increased urination and feeling uncomfortable.

Pyometra is most commonly developed 2 to 8 weeks after their season ends. 

The only way to stop your Springer Spaniel having seasons is to spay her. But you’ll need to discuss that with your Vet.

Springer Spaniel laying on a cyan blue background with a speech bubble that says 'Am I having my season?'
Springer Spaniel In Season

How Can I Help My Springer Spaniel When She’s In Season?

Here’s how you can help your Springer Spaniel when she’s in season:

Separate Your Springer Spaniel From Your Male Dogs

If you have unneutered male dogs in your home, you need to make sure you keep them separated when your female Springer is in season.

Baby gates won’t be enough as they can easily be jumped over. They need to be completely separated to avoid her getting pregnant.

Even if they’re related, it won’t stop a male from wanting to get to her when she’s in heat!

Consider Exercising Your Springer Spaniel At Home

Don’t walk your Springer in busy areas where there are lots of other dogs around.

If possible, avoid walking her at all and play in the garden or do enrichment activities at home instead.

Entire males can be very quick and determined to get to your female Springer. This makes walks potentially stressful for you both and increases the risk of an accidental mating. 

Reassure Your Springer Spaniel

Being in season can be a confusing experience for your Springer Spaniel.

So reassure her that everything is okay and give her plenty of love and attention if she’s feeling needy.

It’s likely she won’t be feeling herself so be patient with her if she’s behaving differently from normal. 

How Do I Stop My Springer Spaniel Going Into heat?

The only way to stop your Springer Spaniel going into heat is to have her spayed.

Some dog owners prefer to wait until their dog is fully matured before spaying, but it’s best to speak with your Vet for their professional advice on the right age.

So, there you have it! You’ll know your female Springer Spaniel is in heat when you notice bloody discharge, her swollen vulva, she starts licking her vulva, weeing more than usual, any changes to her appetite and behaviour. To help your Springer get though this difficult time, give her lots of extra fuss and attention when she wants it, and allow her to have plenty of quiet time too. 

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