Understanding more about the heat cycle of a Shih Tzu is imperative if you plan to breed the dog or want to avoid breeding. All dogs have heat cycles, and these cycles come with the same concerns and needs. If you do not spay Shih Tzus, they, like all dogs, will repeat this cycle. If this is not something that you want to repeat, then make sure that you end the cycle through spaying as soon as possible. If you would like to continue with it, possibly have pups, then look out for signs of when the dog is most likely to mate with males.
First and Second Stages
A Shih Tzu will first go into heat at about 5 months. Like any other animal, including humans, the start period may differ. Five months is, in general, when it starts, but it may go over or just slightly under.
You will notice that the Shih Tzu has gone into heat when you start to see light bleeding. The amount of bleeding, again, differs with each dog. The bleeding is still there, however, and is a sign of the start of the heat cycle. You will also notice some slight swelling in the genital area. This part of the cycle typically lasts a few weeks.
Your Shih Tzu may show signs of discomfort or pain. This is normal. It comes with the same cramps and pains associated with menstruation. You can help to make her feel comfortable during this time, but there is nothing to do or worry about. It is in no way dangerous to her wellness or overall health.
During this time, you will notice dogs coming around more often. Dogs can smell a female in heat. When they do, they become interested, as they want to mate. All types of male dogs will go to your property as long as they are close and have access. However, the female will show no interest during this time.