Originally Posted by ThatYellowDog
Before now my family has always had spayed females.
I'm going to wait to spay Aayla until she is full grown. (between 1-2 years) So this means I will be going through 1-3 heat cycles. I honestly have no idea what to expect. I know the scientific process, the enlarged vulva, the pacing, the bleeding and so on.
Yet I'm more wondering on the handling. I know that I have to be worried about males finding her, is it suggested I not take her out? (lord help us if I shouldn't walk her) I can avoid areas where there are loose dogs, beaches, parks, public places and so on. Yet I would still like to take her around the neighborhood to get her energy out.
Diapers or no? We have hardwood floors but she us aloud on the furniture, and I'm thinking of her jumping up on the bed with the white comforter. Do most females bleed a lot? Or is it different per dog?
How long is typical for bleeding? I've heard anything from 5 days to 3 weeks. 0.0
We have a neutered male in the house, is there a chance we will have to separate them? (do neutered males pester females in heat?)
Anything else I should know? Behavior differences...ect?
I've dealt with a couple heat cycles between my GSD and a boxer we fostered...I'll try to answer the best I can
1) I never took my females out during a heat. But if you need to, I'm sure it would be fine. Just make sure she actually does wear a diaper, and make sure you have a way to defend from male dogs. The diaper helps to provide a physical barrier in case a male does approach, and also helps collect her discharge so she won't leave as much of a trail. Remember that she's really only going to be fertile for like, 3 days in the middle of the cycle. She may not want anything to do with males at all the rest of the time, and she may tell them off.
2) I never used diapers, but it's up to you. It's not a bad idea if you don't mind changing them and dealing with taking them on/off for potty. My girls both bled quite a bit. My GSD actually stained sheets too. I don't remember the boxer being quite as bad. We kept a towel under her favorite spots to lay. Some females apparently will do a lot of self cleaning, and they don't seem to bleed as much. I'm sure amount of bleeding is different per dog too.
3) I'm pretty sure it varies :\ I think my two both bled for about 2 weeks?
4) It's possible. My old neighbors had their neutered male tie with their female when she went into heat. He was never bred, and he was neutered before maturity. You really don't want them to mate and tie. Even though it won't produce a pregnancy, it's still unnecessary risk....Both as far as injury goes to both parties, and also for infection reasons for Aayla....UTI and Pyo. You can keep them together when supervised. But you might want to consider separating when you have to leave. There's a chance he may not be interested at all.
5) Behavior differences can vary. It sorta just depends on the dog and the maturity level. My GSD was a bit goofier than normal and seemed to be more energetic and have less of an attention span. It was her first heat. The boxer had no change at all in temperament or behavior, but she was closer to 7 years old so her body and hormones were probably more evened out. I've heard other people report anything from the dog becoming extra clingy, flirty and flagging things/people/other animals, being more protective, more reactive, more independent. Some people can still work their dogs through a heat, others have to just give them a break from work. Sometimes the first heat or two is a challenge, but the next are much better.