Most bitches will cycle every six months. When the bitch first comes into season pro-oestrus her vulva will start to swell and usually the first signs are a blood stained discharge which sometimes can be very copious. She will appear to be cleaning herself more than usual. At this time she is attractive to male dogs and walking her in public places will often result in a string of male followers.
The Dog Heat Cycle
Although attractive to male dogs at this stage she is unlikely to allow mating but it can happen. It is often noted that the bitch will pass small quantities of urine at frequent intervals. Since this contains certain marker scents female pheromes it is her method of advertising the fact that she will soon be ready for suitors! This phase again lasts for about nine to ten days and ends when oestrus proper occurs and she is ready for mating. The vulva remains swollen but the discharge reduces and becomes clear in colour.
This phase again lasts for approximately ten days.
It is the time when ovulation occurs and if she is mated she is likely to become pregnant. This is followed by the third phase, known as metoestrus during which swelling of the vulva gradually reduces, discharge ceases and she is no longer attractive to male dogs. Her season will last altogether approximately three weeks and is repeated on average every six months although three to eighteen monthly cycles do occur and are not in some cases abnormal.
The Bitch's Heat Cycle
Your bitch is not ill when she in season and consequently requires some exercise. This is always a dilemma for the owners of entire pet bitches who have to exercise their pets in public places. Some bitches will ovulate early and thus allow mating at the beginning of their season when they are in pro-oestrus and in any case, during this phase the attentions of other dogs is usually a nuisance. You should exercise your bitch on a lead if there is any likelihood that other dogs may be in the vicinity.
Extending leads serve a useful purpose at this time. Odour suppressants for application to the hair around the tail and hindquarerts but are of limited efficacy.
Stage 1 of the Dog Heat Cycle
Some bitches, after they have been in season, will think they are having puppies although they have not been mated. This is known as a false or phantom pregnancy and the bitch will often go off her food and be disinclined to exercise although few lose weight. In most bitches the symptoms are mild and should be ignored. She should be encouraged to exercise as normal and any nesting behaviour and mothering of toys etc.
Signs will include general malaise, enlargement of the breasts with production of milk, excessive nesting with a disinclination to leave the nest, guarding of toys or other objects. Unfortunately you'll need to track your dog's heat cycles for a time before you get an idea of what her normal pattern is. It's also possible to determine how close a dog is to her heat cycle using hormone testing , but this can be quite cost prohibitive since you will need to do it regularly to establish a pattern. Another option is to try a dog heat cycle calculator app for tracking your dog's heat cycle, such as The Puppy Planner which is available for iOS and Android devices.
Breeding usually takes place naturally without any human intervention beyond introducing the dam to the stud.
However a little direction may be required if one or both of the dogs involved have never been bred before. If the mating has been successful and the bitch conceives, she will deliver her pups between 58 and 63 days later. You can easily find your dog's due date by consulting a canine pregnancy calendar. There's no specific at-home way to tell the best time during heat for mating when ovulation occurs. Usually your dog will be most fertile between 9 to 10 days after she entered heat and she can remain this way for up to five days.
According to VCA Hospitals , the most common sign is the color of the discharge, which becomes more of a pink, "salmon" color rather than blood red. You can also take your dog to the vet to have serum progesterone tests which can tell you when the best time of the heat cycle for mating is, but it does require you to take your dog for a series of tests every day or every other day during her cycle. DIY testing kits are available for purchase as well although they may not be as reliable as the tests performed by your vet.
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A dog can breed the first time she goes into heat , however, a responsible breeder will have important criteria in mind before allowing a dog to be bred. According to the American Kennel Club , you may not register any litters from a dam younger than eight months or older than 12 years. In addition, they strongly recommend that breeders consider several factors not related to age before breeding:.
Once a breeding has been completed, it will take some time to find out if it was a success.source url
Dog Heat Cycle and Breeding | LoveToKnow
You'll be able to tell if a litter is on the way a lot sooner if you learn to spot the signs of pregnancy. The amount will vary from one bitch to the next, so it may or may not be noticeable. Week Two Sometime around nine to twelve days, the color of the discharge lightens to a pinkish-tan color, and it's usually around this time, referred to as estrus, that the vulva softens and eggs are released from the ovaries. At this point, you may notice your bitch flirting with other dogs; this is a sign she is ready to accept a stud dog's advances.
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Week Three If the bitch's heat cycle is allowed to continue uninterrupted, by the third week, the discharge begins to look bloody again. The amount will trail off until the cycle has concluded with anestrus.