Many dog owners, who are not involved in dog breeding, but own female dogs that have not been spayed, are unsure about a number of features of the animal’s season.. They are also not sure when they can expect their pet to come on heat again. If they intend having the animal mated, many do not know which day of the heat is the most suitable for mating.
Some time ago I published and edited a dog magazine. It had a question and answers section and readers were invited to send in questions. Here are some of the questions in connection with a female dog’s season most often asked by readers, together with the answers.
Question: My young female dog is now 6 months old. When can I expect her to come into season?
Answer: A female dog usually comes into season firsts when she is 7 to 11 months, but there are wide variations in this period. It quite often happens that the dog only has her first season when she is fourteen months. There have also been recorded instances of a female dog only having her first season at the age of two.
Question: How long can I expect the period of heat to last?
Answer: in most instances the season last about three weeks, but in some cases it can be longer.
Question: If I intend having my animal mated to a suitable dog, how old should she be?
Answer: It is best to wait until she is mature before thinking of having her mated. 20 months is the minimum age you should consider.
Question: If I want to have my dog mated at what stage of her heat can I tell when it is the best time to make sure that she’s pregnant?
Answer The best time for mating is generally considered to be 10 – 14 days after she first starts showing signs of a red discharge. But there is a wide variation with different animals. Some animals have been mated as early as the fourth day of the season with successful results. Cases have been known when the female dog has only been ready to be mated on the nineteenth day.
Question: If I am not sure on which day my dog started coming on heat, how can I tell which day to have her covered?
Answer: The most reliable indication of an animal being ready to be mated is by her behavior and when she is prepared to accept the male. There will be no mistaking her readiness to accept the male by the way she stands rigidly and lifts her tail to the side.
Question: I have a mixed breed male dog at my home and I don’t want him to mate my pedigreed animal. At what stage should I make sure they are separated?
Answer: The scent of the female dog is usually attractive to a male dog after the first week of her season, but here again there can be a variation. Don’t take a chance. Keep them separate after the first week until the middle of the 3rd. week. To be absolutely certain separate them as soon as she comes into season.
Question: If my dog is mated and there are no pups is it her fault or the males?
Answer: If this is your dog’s first litter and there has been a proper mating to a dog known to have produced many litters before, the reason for no pups is probably due to some problem the female dog may have. But there is no hard and fast rule. It could be due to the sire having been over-used and being not as fertile as he was previously.
Question: After my animal has been mated, how soon can I tell if she is pregnant?
Answer: If the litter is going to be large there will be definite signs of swelling of the abdomen as early as the third week, but it could be as late as the fifth or sixth week. Also, at about the sixth week there an enlargement of the teats. During the last week of pregnancy, if there is going to be a large litter, there will be definite movement of the pups that can be observed.
You’ll find a great deal of other useful information about dog breeding and also helpful advice about obedience training on the following website: http://www.freedogadvice.com