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Discussion Starter #1
My pups 7 months old now and starting to get very interested in the changing smells of her pee. Guessing her first heat is approaching.

This is all new to me, think I have a grasp on the process, but I am unsure how reactive I need to be with her on walks, etc. I walk her on a short leash and occasionally we come across unleashed dogs. Can I continue to walk her? Will I be able to kick off any suitors before they "lock" or does it happen too fast for me to respond appropriately?

Also, we do a group GSD training every Saturday. I asked the trainer if I shouldn't bring her while in heat and the trainer said definitely DO bring her, great distraction to test the boys with. Seem reasonable?

Thanks in advance for any insight!
 

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First the vulva will get bigger, than bleeding. This is her first heat so could be irregular but count on at least a month. I always look for the swelling before I find drops of blood. As long as she isn't swollen you can walk her but she could give off scent to notify the males.
My breeder loves it when I board Deja while she happens to be in heat. It helps with training the boys, he says. Maybe your trainer can guide you more.
 

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Just keep an eye on her and don't leave her unattended outside. Walks should be perfectly fine although she may be a little distracted and may be a little distracting to other dogs. You may have some visitors especially if you have stray dogs in your area. If you don't have any male dogs it should be fairly simple. Just watch out if she is a heavy bleeder you might want to get some or fashion some doggy diapers.
 

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Never put her out unattended. As a pup herself, this is the season you need to be the most protective of her.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for the advice! I'll make sure she is never outside unsupervised, but our daily trail walks will be hard to give up. I'll watch for the swelling/bleeding and keep her in as much as possible.
 

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In some way I enjoy the breaks from everything and to work with her at home. A friend mentioned that when her friend's dog was in heat and she was on a trial walk, dog off leash and veered off the trail. When she came back, she was followed by a coyote. Of course we don't know what the intentions were of the coyote. I personally did see coyotes on our motion detecting cameras when Deja was in heat. You don't want to end up with coy dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
In some way I enjoy the breaks from everything and to work with her at home. A friend mentioned that when her friend's dog was in heat and she was on a trial walk, dog off leash and veered off the trail. When she came back, she was followed by a coyote. Of course we don't know what the intentions were of the coyote. I personally did see coyotes on our motion detecting cameras when Deja was in heat. You don't want to end up with coy dogs.
Hmm, we live in a rural area, walks mean a mile trail hike. I enjoy looking at the coyote poops left on trail to see what they have been snacking on (lots of berries lately) and counting the rattle snake trail crossing tracks. That's a very valid concern that I hadn't thought of, she might get the attention of all the coyotes in the area...
 

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another thing to consider when going for a walk is the likelihood that coyotes and any strays in the area who come across her path later will follow it home. Most owners of females I know, when in heat, drive their dog away from home for walks until the heat is over.
Any locals will already be very interested in your house/yard.
 

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When I adopted a stray GSD that was 9 months old, I was told there was no way of knowing if she was neutered until she came/didn't come in heat.

Well, about a month later, she had her first heat!

A neighbourhood dog set up camping outside my front door, and in spite of being shipped off to the pound twice, did not lose interest until her heat cycle was nearly over.

So, yeah, you must supervise her carefully when she's outside. I've even heard of litters being conceived through a chain link fence, not to mention amorous suitors digging under, or climbing over the fence!

If you do walk her during this time, drive her well away from home, carry a good heavy walking stick with you to ward off unwanted advances, and have her wear a panty that will prevent any suitors from tying with her.

I've found panties aren't very good for keeping the house clean. Most of my intact females have wanted to lick themselves to keep clean, so they will tear the panty to pieces. The only one that worked was the one I had for my first female. It was a pad holder with an elastic belt, and she could push the pad aside to clean herself if she wanted to.

If anyone knows where I could find something similar, I'd be VERY happy to buy it!
 

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So far so good. She's bleeding a fair bit so I raided my teen boys drawers and found some old boxer briefs. Cut the hole open a bit more for her tail and she doesnt seem to mind much (figured she would immediately pull them off). Tighty Whities would probably work better but these don't look quite as goofy.

A week or so of bleeding, than another week of keeping her away from the boys?
 

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So far so good. She's bleeding a fair bit so I raided my teen boys drawers and found some old boxer briefs. Cut the hole open a bit more for her tail and she doesnt seem to mind much (figured she would immediately pull them off). Tighty Whities would probably work better but these don't look quite as goofy.

A week or so of bleeding, than another week of keeping her away from the boys?
LOL well she is certainly not camera shy! She pulls that look off quite well ... she's beautiful. :)
 

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Generally: two weeks of bleeding, count another full week of being fertile (!!!) after bleeding stops and another week away from the boys to make sure. Totaling a full month. Your dog looks beautiful. Spaying will most likely change her coat to a dull texture.
 

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When I adopted a stray GSD that was 9 months old, I was told there was no way of knowing if she was neutered until she came/didn't come in heat.

Well, about a month later, she had her first heat!

A neighbourhood dog set up camping outside my front door, and in spite of being shipped off to the pound twice, did not lose interest until her heat cycle was nearly over.

So, yeah, you must supervise her carefully when she's outside. I've even heard of litters being conceived through a chain link fence, not to mention amorous suitors digging under, or climbing over the fence!

If you do walk her during this time, drive her well away from home, carry a good heavy walking stick with you to ward off unwanted advances, and have her wear a panty that will prevent any suitors from tying with her.

I've found panties aren't very good for keeping the house clean. Most of my intact females have wanted to lick themselves to keep clean, so they will tear the panty to pieces. The only one that worked was the one I had for my first female. It was a pad holder with an elastic belt, and she could push the pad aside to clean herself if she wanted to.

If anyone knows where I could find something similar, I'd be VERY happy to buy it!
I bought bloomers from Drs. Foster & Smith Female Pet Bloomers
I put ladies sanitary pads inside. My gal could shove it aside to clean and the elastic helped it move back into place. I had two because the bloomers still got messy, wash one, wear the other.

My gal was always walked on a leash and crated, even with the bloomers on since I also have an intact male. It made it easier to know when she was about done because suddenly he'd completely loose interest after the 3rd week. She wore the bloomers a little while after to be sure.


 

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Average heat is about 3 weeks, so to be safe, assume a full month. If I was in an area with lots of unleashed dogs, I would not be walking her. I have no idea how difficult it would be to keep a loose dog from tying with her, and I wouldn't want to find out the hard way! Your group training should be fine since all dogs are on leash.

I put Halo on house arrest for a month, even though there aren't a lot of off leash dogs around.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Generally: two weeks of bleeding, count another full week of being fertile (!!!) after bleeding stops and another week away from the boys to make sure. Totaling a full month. Your dog looks beautiful. Spaying will most likely change her coat to a dull texture.
I have not heard that about spaying effecting the coat. That would be a bummer as she does have a great silky coat.

Sure wish their was an alternative to spaying that would prevent pregnancies... Our plan is to spay after her second heat.
 

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I have not heard that about spaying effecting the coat. That would be a bummer as she does have a great silky coat.

Sure wish their was an alternative to spaying that would prevent pregnancies... Our plan is to spay after her second heat.
A partial spay where you leave her ovaries will do that. In that case she will still go in heat and attract males but not bleed and no longer being able to get pregnant.
https://www.parsemus.org/projects/ovary-sparing-spray/
A Modified Spay Procedure Preserving Female Dog Ovaries
 
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