The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large working dog, known for its intelligence, strength, and good nature. Among its most desirable traits, though, is its long-lasting heat cycle. Bernese Mountain Dogs are known to go into heat only once a year, making them an ideal companion for a busy pet owner.
The Bernese Mountain Dog typically experiences its first heat cycle when they reach around 6-14 months of age. This first cycle will last anywhere from 21-30 days and the heat cycles that follow usually follow a similar schedule. After their first heat cycle, a female Bernese Mountain Dog will go into heat again every 6-12 months.
Because they only go into heat once a year, Bernese Mountain Dogs are not known to be overly “moody” during their cycle. However, they may still exhibit some hormone-driven behavioral changes during this time. Common signs of coming into heat include increased playfulness, increased affection, restlessness, and increased licking of genitalia.
Aside from physical signs, females that come into heat may also start to display interest in mating with a male. As such, it’s important to keep her away from intact males during her heat cycle to avoid unwanted pregnancies or even the risks of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
Although Bernese Mountain Dogs are known to go into heat once a year, there are certain factors that can impact the duration of their cycle. For example, stress-inducing factors like moving to a new home, change in routine, or new family members can cause a female Bernese Mountain Dog to remain in heat for longer periods of time. Additionally, some medical conditions like Cushing’s Syndrome or an ovarian cyst can also affect the duration of their heat cycle.
Since they don’t go into heat very often, Bernese Mountain Dogs are an ideal choice for pet owners who don’t want to deal with the mess of a frequent heat cycle. However, while they may not go into heat as often as other breeds, pet owners should still be aware of the signs and symptoms of a heat cycle and take steps to keep their dog safe. Consulting with a veterinarian and coming up with a plan of action is a good way to ensure that your Bernese Mountain Dog’s heat cycle is handled properly.