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This is our first bitch we haven't spayed yet and I am curious if there is an indicator which will ensure that she cannot become impregnated. I would like to take her back to the dog park where she so enjoys all the socializing with other dogs. Obviously, I have not taken her there since I believe she was in heat.

I have briefly heard a rule of thumb regarding a 21 day cycle...7 days coming in, 7 days ready to breed, 7 days going out. Total of 21 days.

I have also heard that the flagging will no longer persist. However, I never witnessed any obvious flagging...yet.

I noted on the calendar that the first bit of bloody discharge was on May 1st 2013 and it has now been 20 days since then. I assume May 1st was not the first day of her estrous cycle just that it was made plainly visible she was in estrous. I was glad I took some advice from a Collie breeder about keeping an eye on her when she was out in our fenced in backyard as she had at least three "gentleman" callers show up out of nowhere. This was unusual in our neighborhood as there are very few dogs if any roaming about off leash.

She is 9 months old now and I will wait for one more estrous cycle before either spaying her or perhaps breeding her after 2 years of age.

One last thought, it might simply be her age but she sure did have some changes in her behavior during the past couple of weeks......a bit "sassy" at times.

Thank you in advance for any advice you might offer,

SuperG
 

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I've spayed all my females after their first heat. I'd use the 21 day cycle as an average, and give it at least a month after the first signs of discharge, especially since you haven't seen any flagging yet. With Halo it was very pronounced, and even though Keefer had been neutered long before we got her, he was still very interested in her - and no wonder, with her constantly shoving her butt in his face, lol!
 
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