Season Cycle or Heat Cycle for Bitches

Heat or Season Cycle for bitches

My puppy is 6 months old - When will she have her first heat?

We are often asked this question.  Normally, if such a word can be applied here, a bitch puppy can be expected to have her first season, or heat, at about 6 months of age.  This is only a "rough rule of thumb" however, as many bitch puppies will not have their first cycle until anywhere from 8 months to 14 months.

Many bitches will have their season at regular intervals, like every six months or every 8 months.  It is quite predictable and thus another reason why breeders keep records.

Everyone who has a puppy, should start a file folder keeping information such as date season started, dates of vaccinations etc.

If the puppy goes longer than 14 months or so, then a problem might be indicated, and the bitch should be examined by a veterinarian.

A season cycle or heat cycle usually lasts 21 days.  The difficulty is that you might not realize the cycle has started because the amount of blood, at first, might go unnoticed.  This can be importatnt if you have a dog in the same household.

The most critical time, or period when the bitch could be made pregnant, is anywhere between day 7 and day 15, but again, every bitch is different and if there is a dog in the same household, you will have to keep them apart, preferably by more than one door, from day 6 or 7 onward.  Many breeders breed on day 11, day 13 and sometimes again on day 15, thus "covering" the most fertile period.

Never leave your bitch unattended in the backyard while she is in heat, even if the backyard is fully fenced.
Many dogs, especially when highly motivated, can jump half way up a fence, hang on with their front legs and using their rear legs, climb the rest of it with ease.  Your bitch too, if given the chance could climb the fence or dig under, and go looking for a dog.

If you like to walk your bitch around the block, a better plan would be to put her in the car, drive a few blocks away and then walk her far away from your house.  Then bring her back home in the car.  By doing that, you won't be blazing a trail back to your house for stray dogs.

Since most bitches will not be bred, ask your veterinarian when would be the best time to have your bitch spayed. There are many opinions on this matter, and some veterinarians are spaying and neutering puppies as early as 6 weeks of age.

I want to breed her!

If you have a very good bitch with respect to the breed standard and health considerations, there are many more things to be aware of and so it is in your best interest to get a good book on this subject.  Fortunately, there are several available and not too expensive nor is the material too complex for the beginner. We urge all those who are breeding dogs to have a good reference book available at all times.

Books on breeding => Click Here

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