General in canine reproduction the female sex of the domestic canine is often referred to as a bitch and the male of the same species is referred to as a stud. Reproduction in dogs season heat oestrus pregnancy tests pet library puberty or sexual maturity in the female dog usually occurs around six months of age the smaller breeds tend to go into oestrus or heat earlier and some females can have their first heat cycle as early as four months of age on the other hand the large and giant . The reproductive cycle in female dogs has 4 phases female dogs that have not been spayed bitches typically have 2 estrus or heat periods per year about 6 months apart each lasting about 2 to 3 weeks in some dogs the intervals between estrus are much longer the first heat occurs . Dogs give birth to litters meaning multiple puppies they first come into heat and then must have sex in order to become pregnant a female dog comes into heat for 18 to 21 days every 6 months larger breeds only go into heat once a year she will be attracted to male dogs approximately 3 to 4 days
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