Re: First Heat Cycle
It was a LONG time ago, and I believe it was two cycles before she was bred with the male. I was younger then, more nonchalant and much less conscientious about the matter (let the flames begin). At the time, I was heavily involved with training, but never was serious about breeding, and had more of a "let-nature-take-its-course" mindset. I wasn't worried about finding homes for any puppies because in my line of work at the time, the demand was very high. I wasn't into breeding for money, or anything, either, and ultimately gave the pups to people in the same line of work.
In any event, I do remember that when she had her first heat, I had no idea she was even cycling until one day I saw her "cleaning" herself, and saw a tiny little bit of blood. She was a working dog all the way up to that point, and continued working throughout that cycle. Had I not seen that little spotting (presumably at the end of the cycle) I never would've known she had cycled. I don't remember it lasting much longer after that. There was no mess, no change in behavior, nothing (at least from what I remember from way back then). Seems to me now that her second heat came and went just as quickly and easily.
When she finally bred on her 3rd heat, I had instant takers of the pups when she finally dropped only 3 little monsters. Even the vet at the time was shocked at the size of the brutes.
Now that I am older, and like to think, wiser, I'm hearing all sorts of stories about how difficult cycles are, how you have to watch for this and for that, and may God strike me where I stand should I not chain her in a dungeon out of the light in solitary confinement on bread and water for 5 weeks or more... OK, slight exaggeration, but only slight... but, you get the picture. I've heard everything from pro-alter people damning me if I don't spay her, to breeders who want to cut my own ba||s off, while telling me I'm an idiot for even considering breeding her, blah, blah, blah.
The truth of the matter is that at this point I am not sure I even want her bred, but have not decided for sure. I am also wary of early spays, if any (of course, I could change my tune on that in the future). What I am concerned with is being smart about caring for her and NOT putting myself in a position of a "mis-hap" pregnancy, or needing to get new furniture. So, the more information I can get on what to expect on this first cycle, the better prepared and informed I will be, does that make sense? I mean, from what I remember, my first female showed no advanced signs (or I was ignorant, which I doubt, even though I had a much different attitude in my younger days), and definitely showed no change in disposition (which I think I would've noticed since she was a regular working dog).
Hope this helps clarify some things. Between you and me, I just hope this doesn't turn into one of these threads where I have to qualify every little thing I say because someone perceives something I say, or don't say for that matter, the wrong way. Heck I went out of my way to hunt this forum down in search of further educating myself, you know what I mean? It seems like this forum consists of people experienced in all sorts of areas who would want to contribute some knowledge. For example, I have much experience in protection training, and if someone wanted knowledge I would be glad to share. But, I have to be more careful because my sharing could result in some VERY BAD consequences, including death, you know what I mean? On the other hand, the knowledge I'm trying to acquire could only result in benefits for everyone, no unwanted pregancies, no loose dogs running around, and no ruined houeshold items for my family. :-)
Obedience, Behavior, Personal Protection Training
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Maya vom Hinterland - whelped July, 2008