Great Dane Behavior In Heat: What To Expect

A female Great Dane in heat refers to the time when she’s fertile and ready to breed. It is a time when she can mate and possibly become pregnant. It is a part of the female great Dane’s reproductive cycle.

Let’s dive into Great Dane behavior in heat to learn more about the behaviors to watch out for and what to expect.

Does a dog's behavior change when in heat?

Yes, a dog’s behavior changes when in heat. Female dogs go through physical and behavioral changes during their heat cycle. These changes are due to hormonal changes which influence their mood and also bring about physical changes.

great dane behavior in heat

Common female Great Dane behavior in heat

Hormone changes during Great Dane heat affect their mood and behavior. Vaginal bleeding is the first indicator that a Great Dane is in heat followed by behavioral changes. 

A Great Dane will start acting differently during the first and second stages of its heat cycle, that is the proestrus and estrus stages.

Some will have obvious behavioral changes while some dogs’ behavior may be subtle.

Here are common behaviors of a female Great Dane in heat:

Excessive licking of her genital area

Great Danes like any other dog love to lick themselves to keep clean. However, when you notice your female Great Dane licking her vulva more than usual, this is a sign that they may be in heat.

A female Great Dane licks herself to clean up her bloody discharge and her swollen vulva. 

The amount of bleeding may vary but if your Great Dane’s discharge is a lot and also makes a mess, you may need to use a Great Dane heat diaper.

Irritability and nervousness

Drastic hormone changes can affect a female Great Dane’s mood by becoming more aggressive even if she was never aggressive before. She will also become anxious and nervous.

She will be more irritable than usual and less tolerant of other dogs in the home. 

This often occurs in the first phase of the heat cycle (proestrus stage), during which she is not receptive to male dogs and acts aggressively to other dogs to leave her alone.

Read more here on the Great Dane’s heat cycle stages and how often a Great Dane goes into heat.

If your Great Dane shows signs of aggression, identify the triggers that induce the aggression and isolate her from the triggers.

For example, if she is aggressive towards other dogs keep away from them. 

Increased urination

A female Great Dane in heat urinates more often than usual. In addition to this, other changes in urination habits also happen. 

This includes increased urination around male dogs and also raising her leg when urinating or when she sees a male dog.

These actions are done to signal to the male dogs that she is going into season and is ready to mate. Her urine contains pheromones which are hormones that attract male dogs when they smell it.

Flirtatious behavior towards male dogs

A female Great Dane’s behavior while in heat also includes being more friendly to male dogs. This behavior starts when she enters the second stage of her cycle (estrus phase).

She is more receptive to the presence of male dogs and will show this by excessively wagging her tail when around male dogs, which invites their presence.

She also starts to present her rear end to the male dogs as well as moving her tail to the side, also known as flagging, as an invitation for mating.

A female in heat will also let male dogs lick and sniff her private parts, which normally she would not allow.

Mounting behavior

It is also not unusual to find a female Great Dane in heat mounting and humping on objects or male or female dogs. This happens when she becomes aroused.

Desire to escape and mate

A Great Dane in heat may also become hyperactive with an intense desire to mate. They will do anything to find a mate, therefore they will attempt to escape your home, backyard, or from their leash.

How long is the Great Dane in heat?

A Great Dane’s heat lasts for 2 to 4 weeks. The Great Dane’s heat cycle starts with the swelling of her vulva, frequent licking of the genital area, and the appearance of vaginal discharge. 

When do you know when a dog's season is over?

A dog’s season usually lasts between 2 to 4 weeks and you will know a Great Dane’s season is over when her bleeding stops and when her vulva returns to normal size.

When should a Great Dane be spayed?

A female Great Dane should be spayed after they have experienced its first heat cycle and when they are at least one year old. 

Large breed dogs such as the Great Dane are spayed when they are older. This prevents the early removal of hormones necessary for skeletal development. 

Great Dane behavior in heat or something else?

The behavior of your dog can inform you if it is normal or if something is wrong. A precaution to take when observing your Great Dane is to take note of unusual behavior.

All the behavioral signs mentioned can also be associated with medical conditions unrelated to the heat cycle. 

If the physical signs of a female in heat are not present, that is vaginal bleeding and swelling of the vulva, and the other behaviors persist, consult your veterinarian. 

If you are also worried that your Great Dane is bleeding too much or has been in heat for a long time, seek medical attention.

Conclusion: Great Dane behavior in heat

A Great Dane’s behavior when in heat changes and this can provide clues on when she is in heat so that you can adequately prepare for her care.

Remember to always consult your veterinarian when your Great Dane’s behavior seems off and also if the behavior prolongs more than usual.

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