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My girl is nearing 7 months old. A few days ago, at the dog park, male dogs were way too interested in her. My boyfriend had to literally remove some of them from her. It got a little bit too aggressive and he decided to leave. Obviously she's not spayed yet. We want to wait a couple of cycles first.

She's also been a little off the last few days. She seems a bit lethargic and I can't think of any reason why she might be. She doesn't seem sick, but she's definitely less playful and actually seems kind of sad.

I noticed a little discharge on her lady parts, but it doesn't look bloody or swollen. She's been licking herself more as well.

Are these signs that she's coming into heat? I have an appointment with the vet next week, but I definitely want to keep her away from other dogs until I know for sure.

And just out of curiosity, for anyone who's experienced a female in heat, what should I expect? I've read a lot about it online, but the info seems kind of vague, especially as far as personality might go and what we can do to make it easier for the dog. Cheers
 

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Sounds like a heat to me! Scarlet is going through another heat right now (she turned 2 last month). Every dog is different.

Scarlet sleeps a little more when she’s in heat. Some dogs eat less, but it never affects this one, lol. Heats can be kind of messy, depending on how well the dog cleans up after herself. It typically lasts about 3 weeks, but I add an extra week in just to be safe. So no dog parks, and don’t leave her unattended outside.
 

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Discharge and licking herself more, a bit lethargic, eating a bit less, male dog interest...all signs pointing to a heat, yes!

You should notice some bloody discharge in a day or 3, which can last a day or a week or more ...

As others have said, give her a full 4 weeks of careful isolation beginning on the day you first notice reddish discharge...

All bitches are different, but my dog shows no personality changes at all. Others get a little bitchy toward other females, and some get noticeably more affectionate. But by and large, personality changes in most cases I've seen are not too significant. Good luck! And if this is your first time, don't underestimate your female's desire to breed...they can be escape artists who will go to great lengths to answer the call of nature!
 

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I know this is 4 days old, but I wanted to add to this.


Just because there isn't any reddish discharge or it stops does not mean she's out of season. A good indicator is when her lady bits go back to a "normal size," but it will never be the same size as it was before she went into season.


I will say, when I first found out this information, I was confused because I didn't know what they meant by "normal." When you see how swollen they get, you'll somewhat understand though, lol.


Also a good bath after the heat cycle can help with being too attractive to males.


Best of luck with your girl! It's not nearly too bad. If you have some park friends that are neutered and are willing to do one on one playdates at your house, she can still get some play time.
 

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Best of luck with your girl! It's not nearly too bad. If you have some park friends that are neutered and are willing to do one on one playdates at your house, she can still get some play time.
Um, that may NOT be the best advice Katsugsd. I had a male GSD who was neutered when he was 3 years old. He would still go after my females when they were in season, mount them and even TIE with them! And of course, a tie has to be carefully supervised, or the dogs can injure each other. The female may turn on the male, or may fight so violently to get free that the male is injured.

A female playmate would be a much better companion.
 

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Um, that may NOT be the best advice Katsugsd. I had a male GSD who was neutered when he was 3 years old. He would still go after my females when they were in season, mount them and even TIE with them! And of course, a tie has to be carefully supervised, or the dogs can injure each other. The female may turn on the male, or may fight so violently to get free that the male is injured.

A female playmate would be a much better companion.

Very true. I should have mentioned that and I apologise.

The one male I allowed to have play dates with Katsu was not interested in her at all for the duration of her heat cycle. He just wanted to be chased and play tug. He was neutered early, but I'm not quite sure that has much to do with it since my shiba was as well but he is a total "horn dog" when Katsu is in season.
 

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We had one neutered male friend of Mei's that we'd let play together. He was not interested at all in her heat smells.

But ya, gotta be careful still.

Thanks for the tip that her girly bits dont actually go back to the size it was pre-heat. Its definitely not as swollen as it was for a few weeks. She hasn't bleed, I havent seen it I should say, in over a week. I think we're in the clear but will still be careful. Great idea about givin her a wash too! Got that on the to do list today. Theres a cool indoor dog washing station at a nearby gas station! Dryers and all!
 

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The first heat can be irregular and not following the general pattern. Deja's first heat was short and hardly any discharge or blood. Then a month later she got into the full heat and has been regular every 6 months ever since. She is hyper and more vigilant about a week before the vulva swells. No behavior changes to us. I don't put a diaper on her so she can keep her self clean. Like mentioned in another thread: I roll up the rugs, mop after her or point out the drops so she can clean them off the floor. I keep her home the full 3 weeks, which is a nice break actually. I don't trust her to be safe until the vulva goes back to the normal size. By the way, after the first heat the vulva will be larger and fully developed in the non-estrus time compared to the time before her first heat.
 
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