Mine starts to blow her coat few months before till the heat is here or over.
It comes about every 5 months.
Affectionate during heat. Normally she's not the affectionate type.
She comes out calmer each time. Like she's wiser and more mature.
She wears those heat cycle panties when inside the house.
Most males don't take notice of my female and my female has never shown interest to flag.
The most frustrating parts of the heat for me are the hair shedding (after 5 min of vacuum, hair just kind of piles up again) and remembering to take her panties off when I let her out... couple times she peed in it.
My neutered male dog doesn't notices the heat so there is no problem there. I got another neutered male since then so I'll have to see how the next one goes.