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Discussion Starter #1
As some of you may know, I am going to be bringing a puppy home in two weeks. My first DAUGHTER! I always wanted a female, but always somehow ended up with male dogs. I have no girl children either, only boys, so this is huge and very new to me! I have no idea what to expect with her first heat, so I need some help. I know some of you have both unaltered males and females in the same house, so I would like some advice as what to expect, and what you do to manage them? Do they need to be apart the whole heat cycle or just part of it? Can she get pregnant anytime throughout the month? How do I know the heat is over? Please help because I know NOTHING about bitches!

That's right. I know NOTHING. I of course, will be getting guidance from her breeder as well, but I will start here for the time being.

My current GSD Jackson is not neutered, and I will do all I can to keep it that way. I want to make it absolutely clear that I have no hidden motives, so I am not interested in hearing negativity in regards to my decision to have unaltered pets. I love Jackson to death, he's a gorgeous dog, great family pet, but not breeding material in my opinion. I love this breed too much to let him mate (sorry Jackson!), and equally love my dog who I feel is better off having his 'parts' for health reasons. On the other hand, if I feel at any point that managing the two is too much, he will be neutered.

Any information about heat cycles, bitches, and unaltered pets of the opposite sex living together would be greatly appreciated. I want to get my mind wrapped around all of this NOW, not in 6 months!
 

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Canine Heat Cycle Chart
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/basic-care/167488-first-heat-cycle-help.html
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/179419-approaching-first-heat-cycle-have-few-questions.html
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/123966-signs-first-heat-cycle.html
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-information/145289-i-have-few-questions-about-heat-cycle.html
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/235314-discharge-female.html
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-puppy-stuff/238682-females-first-heat.html


My females are very regular so I can let them free roam with males during the first week or so - second week is when to keep them apart. If you don't have experience and don't want to chance it (as females can ovulate on different days, and males can still mate even when she is not in standing heat), keep them apart as soon as you see local swelling, bloody discharge, licking the area a lot, behavior changes etc.

Depending on the male - containment varies. Some males chew through kennels and doors trying to get to a female. Others don't have the same drive to get to a female (especially if they have not been bred). Crate one or both in different rooms is usually a good way to go about it (if they are house dogs). If you have kennels, keep one kenneled and one inside crated. Depending on where you live, be cautious when letting the female out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the links! The chart is very helpful. Anyone else have any info to share about males and females together in the house?
 

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What do you mean together in the house?

Crate and rotate during fertile periods - diaper on the female so not to ruin your floors, furniture, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Living together- pretty much whatever I guess! I'm sure it can't be much different than having two males? Like I said, bitches are completely new to me so ANY info to share is good info :)
 

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They will get along fine - females and males usually do. You will figure out what her telltale signs are when she is coming in and you will have enough warning to set up a game plan. Just crate/rotate for 3 weeks once you see blood and swelling. Really you just need to worry for the 2nd week, but each female is different so you will find out when she is most "ripe" so to speak and you must be more careful around this time. Some females are very clean and do not swell much, there are also some that go into silent heats, split heats, and so on - you will need to be careful with these type of females. Time will tell for sure. No need to worry - you will manage it fine. Keep up with training, and socialization for both dogs. Make sure to make time for each individually. Don't let the newness of the pup consume you entirely and so much so that you neglect your older dog. Be careful when letting them play together - sometimes older dogs (especially males) can be unknowingly rough with a little one. Watch out for unintentional elbow injuries as older dogs can bring a paw down quick to correct or contain a youngster resulting in a elbow injury. Keep up with both, and develop both properly - you will not have a problem :)
 
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