As owners we have so many questions about our corgi’s first heat! From when it will come, how long it will last, and the signs to look out for… There’s a lot.
Thankfully, I’ve helped owners of all breeds, including corgis, to prepare for their pups first heat and make the whole process simple and easy to deal with. ✅
This corgi heat cycle guide has absolutely everything you need to know! Let’s get started…
When Do Corgis Go Into Heat? 🐶
Corgis go into their first heat between 6-12 months of age.
While some corgis may experience their first heat earlier than this, the majority will fall between 6 and 12 months.
It’s important to know right away that it varies for every corgi!
And there is no correct age their first heat should happen. Some will be “early”, and others will push it all the way up to 12 months or even later (although that’s rare).
I would say, however, If your corgi is over 12 months and hasn’t had her first heat, it’s worth a vet appointment to ensure her health. But don’t worry! Just because she’s taking longer than usual it doesn’t mean anything is wrong, this is just a precautionary measure.
KEY differences between male and female corgis
How Long Do Corgis Stay In Heat? ⏳
When your corgi experiences her first heat cycle, it will last about 3 weeks, give or take a few days in either direction. The first 7-11 days is the proestrus stage (infertile), and the next 7-11 days is the estrus stage (fertile).
Although there are a total of four stages to the entire heat cycle with two more coming after the estrus stage, it’s only really the proestrus stage and estrus stage that are the most significant.
The remaining two stages, the diestrus stage, and the anestrus stage are both when your corgi’s body returns to normal and then rests until her next heat cycle, respectively. I will cover each cycle in more detail below!
Signs That Your Corgi Is Going Into Heat 👀
How do you know when your corgi will go into heat? Thankfully there are several signs to look out for.
Signs your corgi is going into heat:
● Swollen vulva
● Blood spots
● Increased urination
● Paying extra attention to her genital area
● Change in appetite
● Change in napping/sleeping habits
● Lethargy or a change in energy levels
● Aggressive towards male dogs
● Unusual changes in behavior & mood swings
All of these signs are extremely common, but please know that each corgi varies! (that’s a common theme with heat cycles, everything varies!) While some corgis might have significant discharge and bleed, others might not…
Because of this, one thing I always say to owners is not to get too fixated looking for one single sign, it’s important to be aware of all the signs and consider everything.
Rest assured, however, your corgi will display at least one or two of the signs above. As long as you’re observant, you should be able to notice the changes.
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Corgi Heat Cycle Stages 🔄
So let’s cover in detail the four different stages that make up the entire “heat cycle”.
1. Proestrus stage
The first stage of the heat cycle is called the proestrus stage. This stage usually lasts for the first 7-11 days. What’s extremely important to know about this stage is that your corgi will NOT be fertile, and will therefore not want to mate.
Signs of the proestrus stage:
● Aggression towards male dogs
● Swollen vulva
● Tail tucking (to hide vulva)
● Bleeding or discharge
● Unusual behavioral changes
2. Estrus Stage
The estrus stage is the second stage of the heat cycle and is possibly the most significant. The estrus stage lasts another 7-11 days directly after the proestrus stage. Your corgi will be FERTILE and can get pregnant upon mating with an unneutered male. She may even take it upon herself to seek a partner (more on this later).
Signs of the estrus stage:
● Flirtatious behavior with male dogs
● Increased aggression towards female dogs
● Increased urination
● Holding tail to the side
● Bleeding or discharge might reduce
3. Diestrus Stage
Directly after the estrus stage is the diestrus stage. This is now when your corgi’s body begins returning to normal if she hasn’t been impregnated. This stage typically takes an additional 7 days. If your corgi has been impregnated, she will technically remain in this stage for around 60-70 days before giving birth.
Signs of the diestrus stage:
● Vulva reduces back down to normal size
● Discharge will reduce significantly before stopping altogether
4. Anestrus Stage
The anestrus stage is considered the resting stage and her body will be completely back to “normal”.
Your corgi remains in this stage until her heat cycle begins again.
How Often Do Corgis Go Into Heat? 📅
Corgis generally experience two heat cycles per year, one every six months. But keep in mind, It usually takes 2-4 heat cycles (1-2 years) before your corgi will develop a regular and predictable heat cycle pattern.
In some rare cases, a corgi might only have one heat cycle per year, but this is typically only seen from large and giant breeds.
Certain health issues may also affect how often your corgi experiences heat. If your corgi doesn’t establish “normal” heat cycles by the time she’s two years old, it’s best to consult your veterinarian for further health checks.
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6 Tips on Looking After Your Corgi During Heat
Let’s run through some tips and general advice that should help all owners, especially those that have not had to deal with this before.
1. Be tolerable of unusual behavior and mood swings
One thing that surprises a lot of owners, is a dramatic change in behavior and mood swings. Although this won’t happen with every corgi, some can really be affected by this.
This means your corgi won’t act like her usual self, she’ll probably be fairly disobedient, sometimes she’ll be extra clingy, and other times she’ll give you the death stare. You just gotta go with it for now…
I reassure owners that this is just temporary and completely normal. It’s important to be there for her when she craves support and give her as much space as she desires, if and when she desires it.
It’s also worth letting everyone in the household know (especially kids) that she might be acting a little strange, and that’s perfectly okay. Respect her space and be more tolerable of any bad behavior.
2. Keep her supervised outside (on leash)
During the proestrus stage, she won’t want anything to do with males, but this won’t stop them from trying to access her. Therefore it’s extremely important for her safety that you supervise her while outside, even in your own yard! Some nasty fights can occur when eager males try getting close during the proestrus stage.
Once she reaches the estrus stage, it becomes even more crucial to use the leash as she could take it upon herself to escape from your yard to find a partner (yep, this happens thousands of times every year).
While some owners remain adamant to take their corgi out in public places for walks, I recommend just exercising her in your own yard while she’s in the thick of it. If you live in an apartment, then you’ll need to choose your time and location wisely to avoid as many other dogs as possible.
3. Spare towels and cleaning products
A true lifesaver throughout the heat cycle is having a bunch of old spare towels you don’t mind getting messy (and bloody).
While your corgi is in heat, it’s best to limit her space (at least a little) to one area of the home, and be sure to put down as many towels as you can handle. This will save your floors, and you can easily throw dirty towels in the wash to keep them clean.
I say this because for one, it’s not necessary to ruin your floors, and two it’s important to keep the area as hygienic as possible. This is also why it’s important to have on hand a fresh supply of dog-friendly cleaning products to wipe down surfaces whenever you might need to.
4. Consider hygiene pants
Hygiene pants (doggy diapers) can be extremely helpful if your corgi will tolerate wearing them, so it’s definitely worth trying them.
These will catch all blood spots and discharge and will help to keep her bed, and main living area cleaner for longer (which is essential while she’s in heat).
These pants also do a great job of preventing her from licking, biting or irritating her genital area.
5. Wash her bed every other day
Her bed area will become quite messy and bacteria abundant throughout heat (especially if she refuses to wear hygiene pants). And so it becomes necessary to wash her bed every other day or as much as needed.
Notice there’s an increased concern of hygiene while she’s in heat, this is because she’s susceptible to being affected by bad bacteria, and she herself will be contributing to additional bacteria with her bleeding and discharge.
6. Keep her company as much as possible
While you might not be able to stay with her 24/7, it really helps to keep her company and remain with her as much as possible.
By having you there it will take the edge off her rapidly changing mood swings and help her to remain calmer for longer.
I know this isn’t possible for all, but I have friends who even book time off work and rearrange their schedules so they can be at home more.
If that isn’t possible, you might want to consider hiring a dog sitter who has experience with dogs in heat. But I would only advise this for those corgis who are otherwise very social and friendly, if not, the stranger could increase your corgi’s stress rather than decrease it.
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Will She Need a Vet Check-Up?
A great question is whether or not your corgi needs to see the veterinarian while she is in heat.
The answer is no, not necessarily, but many owners schedule an appointment AFTER the heat cycle for a precautionary health check-up. Although very rare, some health problems can occur in females that have just finished their heat cycle.
Apart from that, there is no reason why your corgi needs to see a vet due to being heat.
If your corgi is over 12 months and yet to experience her heat cycle, then you might want to consider speaking to your vet for further advice.
Other than that, I would only advise that a vet appointment is necessary if any drastic problems occur throughout the heat cycle. Remember that bleeding is normal, but excessive heavy bleeding could signify an emergency.
What Age Can Corgis Breed?
Technically, a corgi can breed right from her first heat cycle which could be as young as 6 months of age. However, although it’s possible, it is NOT recommended to breed any dog this young. At this age, she’s still a puppy herself.
Producing and nurturing an offspring is incredibly demanding and places immense stress on both her mind and body. This is oftentimes way too overwhelming for a corgi who is only just experiencing her first heat cycle.
The ideal age to breed a corgi is once she is physically, sexually, and mentally mature. This is usually around 2 years old or 3-4 heat cycles in.
How Many Puppies Do Corgis Have?
On average, corgis have around 6-8 puppies per litter. There will always be exceptions to this, and in some cases, a corgi may have fewer or more puppies than this in a litter.
How Long Do Corgis Stay Pregnant For?
Corgis are pregnant for 62-64 days or about two months.
A note from the Merck Veterinary Manual:
“Predicting the timing of a delivery can be difficult because the date of breeding does not always match the date of conception. The length of pregnancy can also vary with breed and litter size.”https://www.merckvetmanual.com/
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