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Discussion Starter #1
Phoebe is only 10months but I think I am prepared for when it happens as I am waiting to spay thanks to the great studies from this forum! But I have never had my own dog go through a heat cycle and have lots of questions. I have pants ready and liners in case she needs help keeping everything clean. I have already spoken to my roommates about how when it comes, she will not be allowed outside unless she is attached to a leash even in our own backyard! I also have been driving myself crazy worrying that something will go wrong, like an accidentally breeding as I have no plans to ever breed her. Am I crazy and what can I look out for? What age did your pups go into heat and how did it go for you? Any and all help will be gladly appreciated!
 

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Sophy started quite young; Poppy had mostly silent heats until she was spayed at 9 years old (not uncommon in the junior female, I believe). Sophy's first season was rather messy, after that she learned to keep herself very clean, and apart from one incident when she set off to find the terrier from the farm next door I have never had much trouble with her encouraging suitors.

It really isn't too much of a hassle as long as you exercise common sense - your biggest problem is likely to be ensuring your roommates take care not to let her out. If you do suspect an accidental mating the vet can give her an injection to ensure no pups result, so bear that in mind. Remember it is a natural part of life, not an illness - she may feel hormonal but there is no evidence dogs suffer from menstrual cramps or any of the other nasties we women may experience every month. Stay calm and positive and you will both sail through it.
 

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Sophy started quite young; Poppy had mostly silent heats until she was spayed at 9 years old (not uncommon in the junior female, I believe). Sophy's first season was rather messy, after that she learned to keep herself very clean, and apart from one incident when she set off to find the terrier from the farm next door I have never had much trouble with her encouraging suitors.

It really isn't too much of a hassle as long as you exercise common sense - your biggest problem is likely to be ensuring your roommates take care not to let her out. If you do suspect an accidental mating the vet can give her an injection to ensure no pups result, so bear that in mind. Remember it is a natural part of life, not an illness - she may feel hormonal but there is no evidence dogs suffer from menstrual cramps or any of the other nasties we women may experience every month. Stay calm and positive and you will both sail through it.
Thank you, and yes it definitely very natural. I am looking forward to experiencing it all and thanks for sharing your story makes me feel a lot better. Also wouldn’t it be nice to only have a menstruate roughly twice a year and without horrible cramps! 😂 🧐
 

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Our only real hiccup was when the dogsitter accidentally left Peggy loose & diaper-less while she showered, and came out to what looked like a crime scene on the white duvet....with Peggy sprawled out quite contentedly in the middle.

Otherwise it was all pretty smooth, despite how unexpectedly it happened. Peggy was only 8.5 months. She got much more protective of our house (which hasn't gone away) and also much cuddlier (which also hasn't gone away).

I just took a little trip down memory lane and one thing I forgot was that her tail was soaked with urine a few mornings. Never really figured out why it was happening.

As far as diapers went, I only kept them on her if she was loose in the house and the flow was heavy. If she was in her pen or crate, I left her free to clean herself. I wanted to let her satisfy that natural urge, and also was worried she'd start biting at the diaper when no one was watching and eat some of it. (She never actually paid any attention to the diaper, so this may have been an irrational fear. But better safe than sorry!)

On her light days, or if she was going to be loose in the house for less than an hour, I used x-small men's boxer briefs with the pee flap cut off for a tail hole.
 

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P.S. I've actually decided to let her have a second heat before spaying her, which should tell you it wasn't really a big deal. I did miss our training classes, but Peggy's trainer arranged a playgroup for us with other young females and a mature neutered male. I'd have been worried if she missed out on a whole month of social time at such a pivotal age...and I had no idea quarantine was right around the bend!
 

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Your biggest challenge will be stray or loose intact dogs, if there are any in your neighborhood. That’s why it’s important to never leave her alone, as a tie can happen in seconds. She won’t really try to run away, but intact males will do anything to get to her.

As for bleeding, mine wore doggy diapers for a good part of the heat, as I didn’t want little spots of bloods on the floor or the furniture.

Some dogs can experience depression but it’s rare. Mine did.

Overall, don’t worry too much, it will be fine !
 

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I spayed my spoo at 18 months, with her having never had a heat. Her breeder required spaying between 12-18 months in the contract, and I couldn't see a compelling reason to wait until 2 years based on the research I could find at the time. I was nervous about the heat, like you, never having had a dog have one, and also would have found it very difficult with where we live. Would have dealt with it, but the lack of place for her to run off leash while in heat would have been a big challenge, and there are a lot of intact dogs in the neighbourhood.

I would suggest asking your breeder when her line typically goes into heat. My spoo's line apparently doesn't usually have a heat until 18-22 months or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Otherwise it was all pretty smooth, despite how unexpectedly it happened. Peggy was only 8.5 months. She got much more protective of our house (which hasn't gone away) and also much cuddlier (which also hasn't gone away).
I just took a little trip down memory lane and one thing I forgot was that her tail was soaked with urine a few mornings. Never really figured out why it was happening.
Thank you so much for all of your advice! I loved your story about the poor white duvet, did it come clean or was it toast and thankfully no white furniture/carpet here! I do wonder why her tail was soaked? Phoebe's tail is undocked and I leave it long/fluffy so i will keep an eye on that part. Also thank you for inserting your thread I just read through it and it helped a lot with my mom nerves.
 

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Your biggest challenge will be stray or loose intact dogs, if there are any in your neighborhood. That’s why it’s important to never leave her alone, as a tie can happen in seconds. She won’t really try to run away, but intact males will do anything to get to her.

As for bleeding, mine wore doggy diapers for a good part of the heat, as I didn’t want little spots of bloods on the floor or the furniture.

Some dogs can experience depression but it’s rare. Mine did.

Overall, don’t worry too much, it will be fine !
Im not sure if we have intact males around us but I definitely will keep a leash on her at all times or within eye sight for backyard play. We do have a .5 acre fenced in backyard but the gates are clad iron not wood like the rest of the fence which worries me slightly. We usually go on daily walks should I pause those when she goes into heat?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I spayed my spoo at 18 months, with her having never had a heat. Her breeder required spaying between 12-18 months in the contract, and I couldn't see a compelling reason to wait until 2 years based on the research I could find at the time. I was nervous about the heat, like you, never having had a dog have one, and also would have found it very difficult with where we live. Would have dealt with it, but the lack of place for her to run off leash while in heat would have been a big challenge, and there are a lot of intact dogs in the neighbourhood.

I would suggest asking your breeder when her line typically goes into heat. My spoo's line apparently doesn't usually have a heat until 18-22 months or so.
My contract is also spay by 2yrs and I will definitely ask my breeder about timeframe I would have never thought about doing that. 😂
 

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We usually go on daily walks should I pause those when she goes into heat?
If there aren’t stray dogs on the street you’ll be okay. Even if there are some, I doubt they’ll approach her as long as she’s close to you. Just stay away from other dogs and you’ll be fine.
 

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If there aren’t stray dogs on the street you’ll be okay. Even if there are some, I doubt they’ll approach her as long as she’s close to you. Just stay away from other dogs and you’ll be fine.
Awesome I don't think Phoebe would forgive me if we did not go on our daily walks. 😂 More likely to run into another dog walking with their owner than a stray where I live. Thank you so much for the help and if i think of more I will ask in this thread!
 

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Thank you so much for all of your advice! I loved your story about the poor white duvet, did it come clean or was it toast and thankfully no white furniture/carpet here! I do wonder why her tail was soaked? Phoebe's tail is undocked and I leave it long/fluffy so i will keep an eye on that part. Also thank you for inserting your thread I just read through it and it helped a lot with my mom nerves.
A friend told me a great trick a long time ago: White linens ONLY, just like a hotel. That way they can always be bleached if necessary.

The duvet's as good as new. :)

As for the sleepy-pee, I came across another thread where someone said their dog had the same experience with her first heat. Apparently the hormones make them urinate much more frequently.

Peggy likes a good 12 hours of sleep if she can get it, so it's possible she was just leaking without realizing it. Plus, the urine is much more pungent, which would explain why she often had a bit of a pee smell to her. (Better than the fishy smell some folks told me to prepare for!)
 

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A friend told me a great trick a long time ago: White linens ONLY, just like a hotel. That way they can always be bleached if necessary.

The duvet's as good as new. :)

As for the sleepy-pee, I came across another thread where someone said their dog had the same experience with her first heat. Apparently the hormones make them urinate much more frequently.

Peggy likes a good 12 hours of sleep if she can get it, so it's possible she was just leaking without realizing it. Plus, the urine is much more pungent, which would explain why she often had a bit of a pee smell to her. (Better than the fishy smell some folks told me to prepare for!)
Wow, that is a great trick and i'm not sure why I never though of going this route with linens :unsure:. Glad to hear all was good with the duvet, Phoebe loves to curl up on mine but its grey.

That would totally explain the leaking and I will add this to my list of things to watch for with Phoebe, I would rather the urine over the fish smell! I have been around more then enough bad smelling anal glands in my day which to me smells fishy so ill prepare for both. :(
 

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Peggy's queen of the leaky anal glands so I'm feeling pretty maxed out on that smell, too!!
My GSD out of nowhere ruptured her right gland, this dog has never needed her glands expressed and then I wake up to a mess. I knew what had happened as soon as I smelled it, so she wore a pair of briefs and a cone for a week plus meds. The things we endure for the love of our furry friends! 😂
 

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My GSD out of nowhere ruptured her right gland, this dog has never needed her glands expressed and then I wake up to a mess. I knew what had happened as soon as I smelled it, so she wore a pair of briefs and a cone for a week plus meds. The things we endure for the love of our furry friends! 😂
GSDs are so noble looking, the thought of her in briefs and a cone is pretty hilarious. Poor girl, though. And poor you, too!
 

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Lacey got her first (and only, just spayed) heat cycle at 9 months old. That was the age the breeder told me it would happen, spot on.
A good indicator and first sign that her heat cycle is going to start soon is swelling of the vulva, about a week before. It grows in size a lot. Lacey’s swelling went down after the cycle, but the vulva is still very prominent compared to what it was before her heat and it will stay that way. The nipples will also become more prominent once the cycle has started and will stay that way. They will go from flat spots to little nubs.

Thanks to poodle forum, and especially PeggyTheParti’s experience not long before Lacey’s, I felt prepared to deal with her heat cycle.

The blood really wasn’t a lot. I did use black dog period diapers during the day. I didn’t want to risk getting blood on the carpet or furniture. I got them ahead of time and did training sessions with lots of treats so she could get used to them beforehand.
I think she bled for about 20 days, with the first week being heavier but very manageable. To give her skin a chance to air out I took off her briefs at night and had her sleep in her crate with attached x pen. Once she wasn’t bleeding as much I only used the diapers at night so she could sleep in bed with me again. she’d push the diaper over and clean her self obsessively. The only way I’d know if she was still bleeding was if I checked her vulva first thing in the morning before she had a chance to start cleaning herself.

You can keep taking her on walks. I walked Lacey but kept my head on a swivel and would avoid crossing paths with any other dogs being walked by their owners. I was very careful and kept her on her 4 foot leash when we were outside.
She slept a lot more during her cycle. She’d tire more easily if she ran around or played hard, but still enjoyed walks. She was low energy in general.
Also, she was very cuddly, but she went back to her non cuddly self after the cycle was over.

Overall having her go through heat was not a big deal. I would have no problem with her going through it twice a year. I spayed her because I, like you, was very nervous about an accidental pregnancy and I wanted to eliminate that chance 100%.
 

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Lacey got her first (and only, just spayed) heat cycle at 9 months old. That was the age the breeder told me it would happen, spot on.
A good indicator and first sign that her heat cycle is going to start soon is swelling of the vulva, about a week before. It grows in size a lot. Lacey’s swelling went down after the cycle, but the vulva is still very prominent compared to what it was before her heat and it will stay that way. The nipples will also become more prominent once the cycle has started and will stay that way. They will go from flat spots to little nubs.

Thanks to poodle forum, and especially PeggyTheParti’s experience not long before Lacey’s, I felt prepared to deal with her heat cycle.

The blood really wasn’t a lot. I did use black dog period diapers during the day. I didn’t want to risk getting blood on the carpet or furniture. I got them ahead of time and did training sessions with lots of treats so she could get used to them beforehand.
I think she bled for about 20 days, with the first week being heavier but very manageable. To give her skin a chance to air out I took off her briefs at night and had her sleep in her crate with attached x pen. Once she wasn’t bleeding as much I only used the diapers at night so she could sleep in bed with me again. she’d push the diaper over and clean her self obsessively. The only way I’d know if she was still bleeding was if I checked her vulva first thing in the morning before she had a chance to start cleaning herself.

You can keep taking her on walks. I walked Lacey but kept my head on a swivel and would avoid crossing paths with any other dogs being walked by their owners. I was very careful and kept her on her 4 foot leash when we were outside.
She slept a lot more during her cycle. She’d tire more easily if she ran around or played hard, but still enjoyed walks. She was low energy in general.
Also, she was very cuddly, but she went back to her non cuddly self after the cycle was over.

Overall having her go through heat was not a big deal. I would have no problem with her going through it twice a year. I spayed her because I, like you, was very nervous about an accidental pregnancy and I wanted to eliminate that chance 100%.
Thank you so much for your advice! I completely agree that If I wasn't apart of this amazing group I probably would have spayed her already even though I am being more then careful to avoid an accidental pregnancy, it still scares me.
 

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We're quite a few years past Mia's first heat, but I do recall everyone warning me that every male for miles would jump our fence to get to her - and she would jump the fence to get to them! None of that occurred. In fact life was nearly normal, except that she had to stay on lead when we hiked with our friend who did have an intact male. Mia's first heat wasn't very messy, either, although I believe she bled more during the second heat (it may depend on genetics).

I hope Phoebe's experience is equally banal.
 
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