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February 23, 2007


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I have a German Shorthair and she is inconsistent with her heat cycles. I want to breed her around the end of February but she will not be ready then. Is there a way to force her into heat so she can be bred at that time?
She is 3+ years old and has had one litter of pups. I am planning to get her fixed after her next litter, and also want her in shape for the hunting season.


I have a German Shorthair and she is inconsistent with her heat cycles. I want to breed her around the end of February but she will not be ready then. Is there a way to force her into heat so she can be bred at that time?
She is 3+ years old and has had one litter of pups. I am planning to get her fixed after her next litter, and also want her in shape for the hunting season.


The most commonly used drug is cabergoline. This
works by "stopping the lack of heat cycle", rather
than by "starting a new cycle". When the dog is out
of heat, there are certain hormones being produced to
keep her in that quiet phase of the cycle. Cabergoline
can (but does not always) stop that situation,
allowing a new heat cycle to begin.

If it has been at least four months since the last
heat cycle, cabergoline has a good chance of working
for you. You should consult with your regular
veterinarian on this. The reproductive specialists
tell me that they give it daily until the dog shows
signs of coming into heat, up to 25 days. If it hasn't
worked in 25 days, it probably is not going to.

I hope this is helpful to you. Thanks for reading and


Hi, I have 2 small dogs and I was wondering how many times while she is in estrus can she be takin.


I am not sure that I understand your question. If you are asking how many times she could be bred during her heat, I can't give you an exact number. When we are trying to get a female pregnant, we usually start on day 9 (if day 1 was the first day of bleeding), take her to the male and breed every other day until she refuses the male. With a household where the male is present constantly, he might mate with her twice a day every day during her fertile period.

As far as getting pregnant, once is enough if it's at the right time.

I hope this helps to answer your question.

Thanks for reading and writing.


hi.. i have a pitbull, and she is 2 and 1/2 years old... i want to breed her, so i hired a dog to mate with my dog... but unfortunately, my dog did not became pregnant.. so i think that the male dog is impotent, so i tried it on other dog but it turn out to be the same.. my dog did not became pregnant.. although her mamary glands swells for a period of time after her mate in male dogs...

what should i do??
my dog is impotent?


The male you intend to use (or have already used) should have a semen evaluation. If this is normal, and no pregnancy results, then the female should be evaluated. It is possible that she is not being bred at the correct time. It is also possible that she has fertility problems related to her hormone levels, or even an abnormality of her uterus. You need some direct help from a veterinarian in your area who works with reproductive problems.

Good luck.




Hello, Steve,

If the male bred her two weeks ago, then she is probably about out of "heat" by now. However, I'd wait another week before letting them get together. At 28 days post-breeding, you need to get an ultrasound done to see whether or not she is pregnant.

Thanks for reading and writing,


Hey Steve,

I have let my beagal get with her boyfriend during the middle heat cycle. It has ben a day and we are going to try again. Can this definetly mean she will have pups? My beagal is 3 years old and has never been bread before she has had heat cycles and they have appeared normal. Oh yea how many do you think she will have ?
thanks della


Hello, Della,

As with people, there is no guarantee of a pregnancy, even if the breeding takes place at the "right time". Your odds of conception will be increased by continuing to allow the dogs to breed every one or two days until the female no longer accepts the male.

Three years old should be fine for her first litter. Average litter size is six pups, but you can have as few as one or as many as ten, or even more.

At about four weeks post-breeding, she should be checked by your regular veterinarian. An ultrasound examination can detect pregnancy at that time. He or she can also give you more instructions on how to handle the birthing. At that time your dog will also need to begin eating a puppy growth formula food (like Puppy Chow or Science Diet Puppy). She will need extra nutrition for the developing puppies during the second half of pregnancy, and also through the nursing period. The puppy food is the easiest way to do that.

Good luck, and thanks for reading and writing.


I have a toy poodle who is eight i believe she just went into heat is it safe for her to have puppies at this age.


Hello, Ashley,

Dr. Joni Freshman in Colorado Springs is a reproductive specialist and she says:
"Bitches over the age of 6 years who have never been bred are at increased risk for complications during gestation and delivery. For these bitches, run a complete panel before breeding; check glucose [blood sugar]and calcium levels prior to whelping, and be on the lookout for indications for c-section."

Here is a link to a breeding article on Veterinary Partner.com, which can also be accessed through the pet libary section of the www.kennettvet.com website.


Generally speaking, I think dogs this age should be spayed to avoid the risk of female trouble as they get older. Here's a link to a previous post:


Thanks for reading and writing.



I have a beagle and she came into heat about two weeks ago. My kids let her out at about 9 or 10 days into her heat cycle. She is still bleeding and it's been 5 days since so I picked up the pug I was going to breed her to and she is still very receptive. Do you think there is a chance she didn't get pregnant before? Thanks


Hello, Dan,
I'm wondering how old your dog is. Very young dogs are more likely to have irregular heat cycles.
Ordinarily, the bleeding stops by day 9 or 10 and ovulation will soon occur. Just "playing the numbers", one would expect that she might be pregnant from the first breeding and no longer receptive. On the other hand, it's unusual for the dog to be receptive while she's still bleeding in the first place. This is not a 100% reliable indicator, unfortunately.

The best test of whether or not she's still in a fertile period is whether or not she will still accept the male. I'd try it.

As to whether she is already pregnant, it's hard to say. As with people, you don't always get pregnant on the first date, and thank goodness for that.
With five days or more between breedings, it is not likely that you will have pups from both fathers. [That would be possible if she were bred by both dogs in a 24-hour period.]

Thanks for reading and writing.


i have a toy poodle that just had a pup on nov 25 2007..she should not come into heat again for 6 months but i just found out she is in heat again already..it has only been a little of 3month since she had her pup..is this normal and could she be fertial..my male is going crazy for her like she is ready and she is flagin alot


If you will add the nine weeks of her pregnancy to the time that has elapsed since birth of the puppy, you will find that it has been at least 5&1/2 months since her last heat cycle: pretty close to six months.

So, yes, she is probably having a normal, fertile heat cycle. Time for birth control or planned pregnancy. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

Thanks for reading and writing.


I have a german shorthair female who is 11 mo's old and has never gone into heat. I keep hearing that they can go into heat as late as 14 mo, is that right? She's healthy as a horse, or so it seems, and is on a good diet, so I don't know if it's something we could possibly be doing wrong, or if she's just late. We want to breed her, not quite yet, but we do want to be sure that she is able to be bred, or we'll get her fixed. Is there anything I can do to bring on a heat cycle?


Hello, Emily,

I'd say to just be patient at the moment. She isn't even a year old yet. My Rottweiler had her first cycle at sixteen months (though that is exceptionally late). I wouldn't monkey with her hormones at this early date.

Thanks for reading and writing.


I have a yorkiepoo that will be 2 in June. She started her 3rd heat cycle on March 5. She was with the male on day 12. Will female dogs still act interested in males if they got pregnant? yesterday was day 14 and she still put her rear in the air and moved her tail over.


Female dogs are receptive to the male for several days before ovulation, and often remain receptive to the male until several days after ovulation has taken place. It is possible that she has already conceived. It is also possible that she has not. For best results, allow the dogs to continue mating at least every 48 hours until the female is no longer receptive.

Thanks for reading and writing.

Jacqueline Peterson

My golden just turned two in November, and cycled March 10th. I have been charting her for the last few years. She cycled @ 10 months in September of '06, and has been a March/Sept. girl. By calculation she should have been all but done by the 31st (or 21 days). I plan to have her OFA clearance done before her Sept. cycle and breed her then.

However, despite the fact that we should have been in the free and clear two days ago, she is swollen and spotting again. It is a bright red discharge at this time. Do heat cycles "piggyback" like this? Our last female never had this happen.


Hello, Jacqueline,

This is not a normal situation. Young bitches often have "false starts" on their first heat cycle, but usually NOT at this age, and not after prevous regular cycles. Average cycles last 21 to 28 days. However, after 21 days, you'd expect to be winding down, rather than starting bloody discharge anew.

I would suggest that you contact your veterinarian. It is possible that the dog is having an irregular cycle and has not ovulated yet. This may not be a disease process, but just a funky cycle. Vaginal cytology examination, white blood cell count, and progesterone levels would be things to look at in order to look for evidence of a long cycle or possible infection.

Thanks for reading and writing.


This is less a need for advice and more just out of my own curiosity.
Why is it that when female humans go through this process, that means they CANNOT get pregnant whereas when female dogs (and other animals) go through it it means they CAN get pregnant.
Is the blood discharged by dogs and other animals caused by a different reason than it is in humans?


The bleeding in dogs and in humans, while associated with the estrous cycle in both, does in fact come from totally different sources.

In humans, each month uterus prepares anew for the implantation of an embryo. The menstrual discharge is the sloughing of the uterine lining that has been prepared to nourish the new embryo. If no new embryo arrives, the body sees no need to maintain all that extra uterine lining, so it basically gets flushed.

In dogs, the process is different. Twice yearly, they have a 3 to 4 week cycle to prepare,produce, and nourish embryos (should conception occur). For the five months between cycles, their ovaries aren't doing anything, and there will be no sexual activity. Therefore, the lining of the vagina need not be tough. During this period, the tissue is no tougher than the inside of the eyelid. When the ovaries become active, the vaginal lining changes, toughening up to withstand the trauma of mating. During this time, there is increased blood supply, and initially there is a bloody discharge from the vagina. Once the vaginal lining has grown a tougher layer, there is no more bleeding, and the bitch is in her fertile period.

Totall different situations.

Thanks for reading and writing.


My boyfriend recently moved in with me and he brought his 7 yr old female lab. She gets along great with my 5 yr old male coonhound but we're having a new problem. To preface, the male was neutered as a puppy but she is not altered, and neither dog has mated before. Anyways, she went into heat maybe a week or two ago and since then my dog has been mounting her. (unsuccessfully). A couple days ago they were outside and we heard her yelp and she was bleeding again from her vagina, much more than before. She was also frantically pursuing the male and he was trying to hide from her. In the 2 days since then, she has been obsessed with following him around and licking him. (She is not bleeding). He shows no interest in her. We're having to separate them in the house bc she won't let him sleep! What exactly is going on? Will it ever end?


Hello, Alison,

I must say that I am by no means a behavior expert.

The flowing hormones certainly complicate the picture. In absence of the heat cycle, it would not be uncommon for the resident dog to attempt to assert dominance over the newcomer. This can take the form of mounting behavior that has nothing to do with sex. You may see this with two spayed females in a similar situation.

Even dogs that are well and truly neutered may still secrete some testosterone elsewhere in the body (as do female dogs). I have certaily seen neutered males who had erections. So, it's possible that there is some sexual behavior going on.

For the most part, I suspect that the two dogs are in the throes of thrashing out the dominance hierarchy ("pecking order"). If you start to get a feeling for which dog is becoming "top dog", then try to reinforce that, rather than "rooting for the underdog". Greet that dog first, give its treat first, etc. This helps to have fewer challenges for dominance.

Good luck, and thanks for reading and writing.



I bred my female last September for the first time she was an amazing mom and she had 4 puppies. I would like to get her on the cycle of having puppies in the summer so I would like to breed her again without having a heat cycle that she is not bred on and then give her a break is that a good idea?


Hello, Nicki,

A lot of that depends on how well recovered she is from raising the last litter. If she has gained all her weight back, and looks and feels good, she will probably do okay. Puppy mills (commercial kennels that raise dogs the way farmers raise pigs) do this all the time. Of course, unlike the pig farmer, they aren't planning to make bacon out of the dog when her productivity slows down.

Most serious breeders who are trying to raise the quality of their bloodline usually give the bitch a cycle off, raising only one litter per year.

Thanks for reading and writing.

Nicole Colette Group

I have a 9mo. old female yellow labrador retriever. She began bleeding today. How many days does the bleeding usually occur?

Also, is discharge from the nipples one of the many signs that she is entering proestrus?

Thanks! Nicole


Hello, Nicole,

Bleeding usually lasts from 7 to 9 days, after which the dog is entering the most fertile portion of her cycle. On a first cycle, things can be irregular, so watch the dog, not the calendar. Even so, I'd be sure she was protected from the males for at least four weeks.

If the nipple just has a bit of clear fluid, with no swelling, tenderness, or discoloration, I wouldn't worry about it. If the discharge is thick, or you DO have swelling, tenderness or discoloration, take your dog to her veterinarian to get things checked.

Thanks for reading and writing.


Our brindle English Mastiff had her 3rd heat cycle Oct 1st, 07 & had her 1st litter New Years Eve. Our fawn English Mastiff had her 3rd heat cycle Feb 28th this year. Both were put with our male English Mastiff. Our fawn didn't get pregnant & she only has had her heat cycle every 8 months where as our brindle has hers every 6 months. Our brindle isn't showing any signs that she's going into heat again yet. Could having her 1st litter alter her timing on her heat cycle? Also we were really hoping for puppies from our fawn but now it looks like we'll have to wait 8 months before trying again. Would it be possible to force her heat cycle sooner? If so, what would be the best way & when would we be able to, time wise? Thanks so much!


Hello, Pam,

In your situation I believe you would be best served by consulting directly with a veterinarian who does a lot of reproductive work. It is possible that having had a litter may have changed the heat-cycle timing, but it usually does not. "Forcing" a heat cycle can be done, but really needs to be overseen by an expert in using the hormones and drugs involved. This is not something that I can counsel you through long-distance.

Good luck.


Hi-I have an 8 mo. old gold. retriever in her 1st heat. I feel like a failure of a mother-I didn't realize the Aust. Shep. down the road wasn't fixed, and naively was not as vigilant as I could be in watching her. They "hooked up" and I am extremely concerned about the danger to her with her young age. I also researched "Alizin" to terminate the pregnancy. Is that an approved drug in the US? How concerned should I be about the trama to her body?


Hello, Andrea,

I would not be concerned about your dog having been traumatized by the breeding. This is very unlikely.

Pregnancy on the first heat is not desirable, simply because the dog hasn't finished her OWN development. It is analagous to 13-years-old girls having babies. It happens, but it's not the best situation.

Alizin is not available in the United States, and there really is no perfect option here. Your best bet is to get an ultrasound at 30 days post-breeding to see if she is actually pregnant (she may not be). Also, protect her from further exposure to males until she is completely out of her cycle.

If she is pregnant at 30 days, prostaglandins are the most often used drug to terminate the pregnancy. Of course, you could just take the puppy works out and be done with it (have her spayed). Here is a brief discussion of the options:

Clin Tech Small Anim Pract. 2002 Aug;17(3):116-23.
Pregnancy termination in the bitch and queen.
Eilts BE.
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Skip Bertman Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA.

Mismate or pregnancy termination is one of the most common "reproductive" requests from dog and cat owners. Ovariohysterectomy [spay] is the best alternative for those clients who do not really have a valid reason for keeping a reproductively intact animal. If the animal is a potential breeder, drugs are available that can prevent or terminate pregnancy. The use of these drugs must be based on the safety, efficacy, convenience, compliance in treatment, and cost of the drug. Drugs that can be given during estrus to prevent pregnancy include estrogens and tamoxifen. However, because most dogs presented for mismate are not truly pregnant, a pregnancy examination should be performed before any drug is given to terminate pregnancy. If a dog is known to be pregnant, multiple doses of natural or synthetic prostaglandins can be used throughout pregnancy, whereas multiple doses of prolactin inhibitors (cabergoline, bromocriptine, metergoline) or dexamethasone can be used in the second half of pregnancy. Combined protocols of prostaglandin and prolactin inhibitors are also effective at terminating pregnancy. Progesterone blockers such as mifepristone and aglepristone are effective, but very expensive [and not available in U.S]. Other drugs, such as the isoquinolones and progesterone synthesis inhibitor epostane are available outside of the United States and appear to be very effective at terminating pregnancy. No drug, however, meets all the following criteria of a perfect mismate drug: possible to give at any stage of estrus or pregnancy, 100% effective, causes no vaginal discharge, has no side effects, does not impair future fertility, is readily available, and is inexpensive.

Call your regular veterinarian and discuss the options with him/her.

Thanks for reading and writing.


I have two min pins and the older one (2 yrs) just finished her heat cycle in February and the younger one (9 months) just started her heat cycle. My older min pin is showing signs of being in heat. Is this normal? I have never had two female dogs at the same time so I would appreciate some information regarding this issue.



It is unusual for a dog to cycle three months after her last estrum. However, it is not uncommon for females housed together to begin cycling together. The mechanism that causes this to happen is not understood. If your dog seems okay otherwise, I would not be too concerned. If the cycle does not proceed as it usually does for her, or if there are other signs of illness, then you should have her examined by your veterinarian.

Also, if her cycles continue to be unusually frequent, she may be having an ovary problem. Again, you should consult your veterinarian if that occurs.

Thanks for reading and writing.


My year and a half female german shepherd was in heat this past March, now she is bleeding again. Is this something i should consult a Vet about? She hasn't been acting any different, she still has energy and is eating well. What should I do?


Hello, Mel,

I would have your veterinarian check out your dog. It would be unusual for her to have another cycle so quickly. A vaginal cytology examination (plus possibly a complete blood count) should differentiate between a weird heat cycle and some type of "female trouble" that could be causing a vaginal discharge.

Thanks for reading and writing.

Susan Hall

I have a female Chihuahua that went into heat for the first time at 8 months old. She was bred accidentally and had four puppies. She ended up having to have a c-section as the puppies were too big. The mom and dad were both 4 lbs. She got pregnant on October 2nd and the puppies were delivered on December 4th, 2007 Mom and babies all did fantastic. Anyway, I have been waiting for her to come into heat again and there is no sign of it. I have another female that is pregnant right now and is due on July 1st. Do you think that the c-section could be holding her back or do you think it could be something else? The only thing she does even remotely sexual is to hump my arm every night!


Hello, Susan,

Heat cycles early in the dog's life are often irregular in timing. Some dogs have cycles every 8 months instead of every six months (they can't read the book). I doubt that the C-section had anything to with he current lack of cycling, unless they also removed her ovaries and uterus (and I'm sure that they would have told you about that).

If she continues to not cycle, you could have her hormone levels checked to see what's going on. You may need to seek out a veterinarian with a special interest in reproductive issues.

Thanks for reading and writing.

shayla harris

I have a toy poodle that I got from a breeder. she's been bred before, and she isn't spayed. I also have a rat terrier male here who isn't neutered. I want to have puppies, but I just want to know when it's normal for her to have her heat cycles. Will I know she's in heat when she wants to be around him more? She hates other dogs with a capital H, she's so spoiled she thinks she's human. When she lets him come near her without trying to rip his head off, is that when I know she's ready?


Hello, Shayla,

Given what you say about her attitude, she may or may not ever get all that receptive toward the male.

In her heat cycle, her vulva (female parts) will normally become significatly larger or swollen for one or two days before the bloody discharge starts. You should make a habit of checking her a couple of times a week. That way you'll know what she normally looks like down there, plus you'll catch it when she's beginning to change in her cycle.

With a dominant, aggressive female, you sometimes have to take them to the male's territory on another premises. Otherwise they feel that they should be defending their territory, rather than allowing the male to dominate them (at least for the mating act).

Thanks for reading and writing.


My fox terrier is 3 yrs old this is her third heat cycle. for the last three cycles, of which she has only seemed to have consistently one per year at the same time every year. Last year's cycle mirrored this years in that it lasted for a few days of bleeding then ten days later the male was very interested. He is slightly smaller and seemed to have some difficulty linking up, so I'm not sure they were successful. However like last year she bleed again, much brighter red, about two weeks after the first show.


I believe that your best bet will be to work with your veterinarian to check her vaginal cytology regularly, and also her hormone levels to see when she is ovulating. This will make it easier to time the breeding and be sure nothing is wrong.

Normally you can relay on the dogs to figure out "the right time", but if her cycle is irregular, this may not work for you.

You should consult your regular veterinarian about this.

Thanks for reading and writing.


I have a male and a female collie. I have put them alone for a few days. My male is now no longer interested in the female. Do they do that after they mate?



Generally, the male remains interested even after the female ovulates and quits being receptive. Her pheromones are still present, and she remains attractive to the male, even though she will not be receptive to his advances.

If the female was aggressive towards him when he tried to mate, that can definitely cause him to lose interest. This is especially true for a young male who has no previous breeding experience.

In general, take the female to the male's territory, starting on day 9 of her cycle (where day 1 is first day of bloody discharge).

Ideally, let the male's first experience be with a more experienced, receptive female.

I hope this helps.
Thanks for reading and writing.


i have a dachshund puppy, she will be a year in november and she is starting her second heat. is that normal? it doesn't seem that long since her last heat most likely 4months. not exectly sure that it was 4 months ago. thanks


I have a female maltese/poodle mix and a male springer spaniel. I recently caught them "tied". Im concerned that he's too big for her and that perhaps the puppies might be too big to come out of her. Being that she only weighs about 6 pounds and he weighs about 30. Also due to my lack of responsibility, they were tied twice in two days. Is this unhealthy for her? And today she was vomiting frequently. The tying happened 4 days ago. What do i expect?


hey, I have an Akita/LAB mix she is about less then 11 months old (her estimated birthday is in late August)and she is acting a little abnormal than usual, does this mean her first heat is coming?



Hello, Brandy,

It is very common for the first heat cycle or two to be irregular. Her cycles may start to come at six-month intervals as she matures. If they do not, you should consult your veterinarian. Chances are, things will settle out on their own and you really don't have a problem.

Thanks for reading and writing.


Hello, Ashley,

The size of the puppies at birth is governed by the size of the mother and the number she conceives. If she has several puppies, they should be small enough to deliver. If she only conceives one pup, he will be a big rascal, and it is very likely she would have trouble delivering the puppy.

At 30 days, an ultrasound can detect pregnancy, but is not so great for counting the puppies. Their skeletons have enough calcium to show up on an X-ray during the last 10 days or so of pregnancy, and you can count them and evaluate their size (compared to mom's birth canal) at that time.

The vomiting is not a normal part of the process. If she is having continuing problems with this, you should absolutely take her to see your veterinarian.

She should have a prenatal checkup at 4 to 5 weeks post-breeding.

Thanks for reading and writing.


Hello, D,

I wish I could give you an accurate answer to your question. If she is beginning her heat cycle, you will most likely soon see swelling of the vulva and the onset of bloody discharge.

If she continues to "act funny", get her to her veterinarian for a checkup. I once had a German Shepherd patient who developed a terrible uterine infection before she was even one year old. She had never been bred, and had to have a hysterectomy on an emergency basis. She had been "acting funny" for a few days, then developed a vaginal discharge of heavy pus.

Thanks for reading and writing.

mushtaq shah

his is highly knowledgeable and benifisial to reed you.specialy in country where canine vets are not advanced.Congradulations.My question is can we crossbreed Dog with HINA.Hope to get answar by e mail


I have a Maltese she went threw her bleeding cycle about 7 days on day 9-12 I took her to the male to breed they got together about 9 times. A week later I have noticed a straw color blood coming out what could that be? Thanks


Hello, Rebecca,

I am having a hard time visualizing the discharge you describe. A vaginal discharge at this time would be unusual. I would suggest that you let yo veterinarian perform a vaginal cytology examination to evaluate this.

Thanks for reading and writing.

Mista T

Okay i have a Female 2 Year Old Brindle Pit Bull, I Wanna Breed Her Wit A 12 Month Old Blue Pit, The Females Next Heat Should come in Nov. is There anyway she could be forced in 2 heat sooner??


Hello, Mista T,

Man, it's been a long time since "The A-Team".

If you'll check about the third comment on that post, you'll see a note about using cabergoline. My personal opinion is that it will be a lot of extra trouble, but it's your money. For best resutls, find a veterinarian who is doing breeding work on a regular basis.

Thanks for reading and writing.


Would you please let me know what the dosage would be for a Pekingese about 13 pounds
if I were to use Cabergoline
to cycle her.
I have heard very good things about this drug for dog's that don't cycle
Thank you


Hello, Sandy,

To answer your question, no. BECAUSE...

A. I'd have to look it up, and I'm lazy.
B. I've never seen your pet and so I can't prescribe for her.
C. It's a prescription medicine and you shouldn't be able to buy it without a prescription from a veterinarian who sees your pet regularly so that you have the FDA-prescribed doctor-client-patient relationship.
D. You need a doctor experienced with using the stuff to advise you, and that doctor needs to be seeing your dog.

SO, get off the internet and go see your veterinarian.

Thanks for reading and writing.


I have a jack russell female who is about 1 1/2 old and has yet to come into heat, just wanted to know if this is normal or not. Have had one before and had no problem coming into heat.


Hello, Christina,

Eighteen months is pretty old for a first heat cycle, but she may still come in on her own. One of my own dogs was sixteen months before she had her first noticeable cycle. Sometimes the very first cycle isn't very noticeable, a so-called "silent heat". There are some bitches that just don't crank out much hormone level.

If she doesn't cycle on her own, my personal preference would be to spay her. A reproductive specialist may be able to sort out why she isn't cycling and help you to successfully breed her. On the other hand, the purpose of breeding is to produce fitter, healthier dogs. If a dog can't reproduce without a medical specialist, maybe she's not the best candidate for breeding.

Look at the English Bulldogs: most are conceived only by artificial insemination and delivered only by C-section. This is a bizarre situation, and hardly good for the breed.

Thanks for reading and writing.


Hello I have a Great Dane that is on her 13th day of bleeding and it is still very very heavy. She can lay down and within 10 mins. there is a puddle. This is her 3rd heat cycle and she did this in her last heat. Can you please help me out? I tried to breed her last heat cycle but the male couldnt tie with her. He kept coming out for some unknown reason and she is still not wanting the male to touch her at this time but like I said it is her 13th day. Thanks For your help.


Hello, Pamela,

I'm thinking you need to talk to your veterinarian about measuring this dog's hormone levels during her cycle so that you can predict her time of ovulation. Vaginal cytology should be monitored also. She obviously doesn't have a "typical" heat cycle and if neither you nor the male dog can get the right time pinned down, it's going to take a little more work to get things done.

I'm no reproductive specialist, but I'll bet your regular veterinarian knows how to get a consultation with one.

Thanks for reading and writing.


i got a 18 month old sheltie 11 days ago and she was bleeding and seems to be in heat. She had pups on june 19 2008. She has been bleeding since we got her. Her vagina is not swelling. Is this normal? My male is paying some attention to her but not a massive amount. She is happy and seems to be healthy. should i be concerned. We want to breed her but dont know if her not swelling is normal. Thank You


Hello, Brenda,

Most dogs cycle at six-month intervals. If she whelped on June 19, that would put her previous cycle about two months before that. Therefore, you wouldn't expect her to have another cycle before October. If she has been bleeding continuously since you got her, I would suspect either a uterine/vaginal infection that occurred post-birth, or uterine sub-involution.

Uterine sub-involution means that the uterus just fails to go back to its normal non-pregnant state. It stays a little enlarged, and keeps secreting nutrient material. Some dogs will discharge all the way until their next cycle with no problem.

This dog needs to go to you veterinarian for a vaginal cytology exam, complete blood count, +/- an ultrasound exam to rule out infection. This does not sound like a normal heat cycle.

Thanks for reading and writing.


I have a female and male that are 3 years and my female is not in heat but the male keeps trying to mate. The male got ahold of her even though she is not in heat and my female is now bleeding alittle I was wondering if this is normal or should I take he to the vet and keep them apart until she goes into heat so he doesnt try to breed her again. They are both Chihuahua's.


Hello, Kari,

It is not uncommon for dogs to mount one another as a dominance display, but NOT with actual penetration.

I would suggest that you have your female examined by your veterinarian to evaluate any trauma that may have occurred. Also, females who are not in heat may be attractive to males if they have some other type of vaginal odor. Urinary tract infections, vaginal infections and so forth should be checked for and ruled out.

If the male is just too enthusiastic, you may indeed need to separate them.

Thanks for reading and writing.


Can you help me,I have a Stit zu who is 3yrs old.She had one pup in Oct 07,she did come into heat in Feb with very little blood discharge,she appeared to come into Heat in August this yr but no blood discharge.Can you give me some advice as I want to mate her again.


I am attempting to breed my beagles. The problem is that my female absolutely refuses to mate with my male. She will come in the house and does all that she could to mate with my male basenji. She will also attempt to mate with my female basenji when they are outside together. When put with our beagle, she will aggressively chase him away. Any advice most welcomed!


Hello, Helen,

Ask you veterinarian about monitoring the dog's vaginal cytology and hormone levels during her next cycle. This will help you to pinpoint her time of ovulation. If she will not stand for the male at that time, you can consider artificial insemination.


Hello, Susan,

It sounds like there is a social hierarchy problem here. When two dogs are not pen-mates, we usually recommend taking the female to the male's territory. If you have a dominant female, and you take the male to HER territory, she may get caught up defending her turf instead of listening to her hormones.

It sounds like she is used to bossing this male, so when he makes advances she is treating it as a challenge to her place in the pecking order.

You might consider taking her to another male. If you really want this particular mating, you might ask you veterinarian for a sedative for the female. You might have to muzzle her and restrain her.

Good luck.


hi, I have a female lab and she came on heat early this season(on july 8th she started spotting) we had an unexpected mating on 24th July (oops) but we tended to think this was too late? since then she is quite big, her teats have swollen- but has no milk to be expressed, today sept 4th she is digging and has a few clear fluid drips from her vulva. her temp has dropped from 28.3 to 37.7. im thinking is she further than we think (Expected 25th Sept from late mating on 24th) but now would be only 58 days from the first day of bleeding- is it possible to be fertile before the bleeding?


Hello, Cas,

It would certainly be unusual to be fertile prior to onset of pro-estrual bleeding. It is possible that your dog is undergoing false pregnancy phenomena, but it would be best to get an ultrasound exam (at six weeks there probably isn't enough calcium in the puppy skeletons to show up on X-rays).


i bought a 15 month old english bulldog girl about two weeks ago. i think the previous owner said she had a season at about 11/12 months of age. a week ago she started to bleed and then today she has stopped bleeding. is it normal for her to have such a short period of time in between this season and the last and also is the bleeding lasting for only a week normal. thanks if theres any answers you can give me
take care.


Hello, Stephanie,

A young dog's first cycles are often irregular, so the short period of time between cycles (three months versus the average of six months)is not unusual at this age.

The cycle typically has three phases, remember, the coming-in, the being-in (the fertile period), and the going-out. Each of these last seven to nine days on average. Therefore, seven days of bleeding during pro-estrum (the coming-in). It is after the bleeding stops that you enter the fertile period.

Most English Bulldogs are not able to mate with natural service. The male's front end is too large and heavy to enable him to mount properly. This is why most are bred with artificial insemination. The large head and tiny pelvis also usually render the female unable to give birth without a C-section. This means that timing of ovulation is really important so that you can pinpoint the day for the C-section.

You need to get with your veterinarian to talk about hormone monitoring and so forth when you actually get ready to breed her.

I'd probably skip this cycle since she really isn't mature yet. Don't let the Chihuahua jump her bones, though, because she certainly COULD get pregnant. Keep her safely chaste for the next two weeks anyway.

If you're planning to breed this dog, you need to develop a good working relationship with your veterinarian ahead of time.

Thanks for reading and writing.


I am breeding mini aussies and my own mini aussie is in heat and I have a customer dog that is here and in heat also. I have been leaving the male in with both because they get
along well. is this ok, will he mate both as they are ready?


Hello, Denise,

I would have two concerns.

If the client dog were carrying any disease, this would be a perfect way to infect both of your own dogs. If she has been tested negative for Brucella and has a clean bill of health otherwise, then this is a non-issue.

The second concern would be that if the male is servicing even one dog every day (much less two), the concentration of sperm may drop a little. Thus your conception rate might be a little lower than if he were breeding one bitch every 48 hours. This may not be much of a problem, but is something to consider.

Thanks for reading and writing.


Is there such a thing as a dog having a "Silent Heat" and is it safe to breed the dog during this time


Hello, Brenda,

"Silent heat" means that the dog is cycling and ovulating and is fertile, but you don't notice anything outwardly. She doesn't spot, doesn't swell, doesn't change her behavior.

If the male dog can figure out that she's ready (and she IS ready), then it should be safe to breed her at this time.

The difficulty is in identifying when a silent heat is occurring. Dogs in this situation often require hormone level monitoring, or the induction of heat using cabergoline so that you will know when she is ovulating.

Good luck.


My female English Bulldog had her last heat cycle Nov. 2007. She had a healthy litter of puppies in January 2008. After delivery, we found out she had a small heartworm infection and underwent the IV treatment. It is now almost one year since her last heat cycle. Pups whelped in January, IV treatment in February..would that have "thrown off" her cycle? ALSO, let this be fair warning to all dog/cat owners..my female only missed two months of Heartgard in the summer of 2007..that is all it took for her to get an infestation...that was a very unfortunate, yet valuable (both financially and emotionally for us), lesson. DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO REMEMBER TO ADMINISTER HEARTWORM PREVENTATIVE TO YOUR PETS!!


Hello, Sue,

Usually the immiticide treatment doesn't disrupt things, but any kind of major stress could disrupt the ovarian cycle. I would suggest contacting your veterinarian for help in finding a reproductive specialist who can suggest a protocol for assessing your dog's hormone situation.

As to your missing a dose of heartworm preventive, I feel your pain. We are seeing quite a few large-breed, outside dogs who have gotten a small number of heartworms, even though they have never missed a dose (including my own dog).

Thanks for reading and writing.


Why do pups eat their own fecies or others and what can i do to break them of this habit


Hello, Brenda,

Coprophagia is the "scientific" term for the eating of feces. It is a common vice of puppies, which most fortunately grow out of.

As with any other undesirable behavior, scolding (or any type of punishment)is useless unless you catch them in the act.

There is a commercial product called "For-bid" that can be mixed with the food. Adolph's meat tenderizer can also be used. For some dogs, this will make their feces unpalatable enough to discourage the coprophagia.

You may just have to invest in a toothbrush.

Thanks for reading and writing.


i think my 3 and a half lb female chihuahua bred to my 3and a half pound male. This is her first heat and was a accidental breeding (not for sure). My worry is she too little and to young to have been bred. What is the chance that she would have trouble having the pups.


Hello, Brenda,

Very small dogs are more likely to have trouble giving birth, regardless of their age and maturity. The birth canal is very small, so it's a tight squeeze and mom may not be able to push hard enough.

In the Chihuahua, the puppies often have big round heads, and this makes it more difficult to get through the birth canal.

The size of the pups at birth depends more on the size of mom and the number she conceives, rather than on the influence of the father.

If she has 3 or 4 pups, they are usually small and not too hard to deliver. If she just has one or two, then they get all the nutrition for a whole litter, and may be too large to come through the birth canal.

About four weeks after the mating, you should take her to your regular veterinarian for a prenatal checkup (ultrasound can detect the pregnancy very accurately by then, though it's not so good for counting the puppies).

Another checkup about 8 weeks after mating is needed. At this time, the puppies will show up on X-rays. You can count them, as well as get a feeling for how big they are in relation to the birth canal.

This second checkup will give your veterinarian a chance to review the birth process, signs of trouble, and what to do.

Thanks for reading and writing.


I have a chow dog, she had her first litter of pups on New Years Eve and her 2nd litter in August and she is already in heat again, is that ok? I thought it was way too soon. She was actually stuck with the male today which is how i know she is for sure in heat. Can someone tell me is this ok and is it safe?


Hello, April,

If you count the months, you will see that your dog is cycling about every six months, which is normal. Two months of gestation means that she was in heat in June for the August litter. June plus six months is December, and here we are.

Is it good for her to have a litter every six months? This depends on her general condition and how difficult it is for her to raise the puppies. Personally, I'd give her some time off.

Thanks for reading and writing.


Hi there,
I am attempting to breed my male with a friends female. They are both first-timers.
Her owners are unsure of the first day of her heat, but it seemed as though she had stopped bleeding yesterday.
She was very unreceptive the day before yesterday and last night she accepted him.
I had her spend the night last night and I am pretty sure they tied twice. Today however, they are courting, and he humps her but I don't think there is penetration.
Also I noticed she had a small amount of bloody discharge this morning. I was under the impression that she would not be ready untill the bleeding stopped. Would she have accepted him if she wasn't "ready"? Also, is there anything I can do to help them tie, or should I just let them be? What do you think the chances are that she is already pregnant?
Thanks so much!


Hello, Kym,

All of the things that we list as general rules about the heat cycle are just that: general rules. Individual dogs may vary.

You are correct in that most dogs enter their fertile (and receptive) period about the time that the pro-estrual bleeding stops. It is possible that she accepted the male a little early. It is also possible that the discharge is due to a mild breeding-related trauma.

If the dogs are getting along okay, I would let them handle things on their own as much as possible. The "tie" is desirable, but not 100% necessary for conception.

Since you have not been following the vaginal cytology with your veterinarian, it is hard to tell where she is in her heat cycle.

As with people, you don't always get pregnant "the first time", but sometimes you do. Ideally you would let them mate at least every other day until she is no longer receptive.

I hope this is helpful to you.

Thanks for reading and writing.

Sue G

I have an 19 month old boxer bitch, who I am actively campaigning to her AKC championship. The first day of showing color for her second season was 10/18/08. This afternoon, while relaxing on the bed with her, I noticed swollen nipples and low and behold she has milk - and not just a drop. She apparently had a false pregnancy and the timing is right that she would have had her puppies within the last week. I know that this will clear up on its own but she is due to be shown in 2 weeks. I will be taking her to the vet on Monday but I'm impatient and was wondering about the safety of cabrgoline in the treatment of false pregnancy/production of milk. I do not want to do anything that is not safe. I do not want to adversely affect her health, nor her future breedings. She hasn't nested nor has she 'adopted' any 'puppies' - just this darn milk production.


My Italian Greyhound is in her third heat. It is approx the 12th day I believe. For the last few days, we have been trying to get she and our male to mate, but she is not receptive to him. There was another dog the other night around the backyard and she moved her tail to the side for him. Could she just be refusing our male?


Hello, Sue,

I'm no expert on the efficacy of cabergoline in resolving the lactation issue. I do think it is safe, though.


Hello, Jen,

It is possible that the female doesn't find her yard-mate attractive. It is also possible that there are other issues, such as which of them is higher in the dominance hierarchy.

If she is accustomed to being the boss dog, allowing the male to mount her would be contrary to that. A male who is not part of the everyday social order might not have that drawback.

Generally speaking, we have better results taking the female to the male's territory, rather than vice versa. SO, if your yard is HER territory, this can be a problem.

It's possible that she just isn't ready yet, so I would ask your veterinarian to check a vaginal cytology to help evaluate that.

You might have to take her to another male.


I'm in the process of of breeding my 2&1/2 with a 4 yr. old Rottie. the problem with the male Rottie, is that he humps on her gor a little, and then stops. Is that normal?


My Rottie is mating with a 4 yr. old Rottie. He humps , and then stops. Is that normal?


Hello, Sherry,

Has the male successfully been used for breeding before?

If not, you need to find him a super-cooperative female for his first outing. The bitch you are working with may not be standing well for him. You want a bitch who is really standing well, a successful breeder, and not particular about her boyfriends.

It is also possible that he has some anatomical difficulty, so he should have a good physical examination if he has not had one already.

It is also important to be sure that the bitch is fully in estrum, and actually ready to stand for breeding. Your veterinarian can help you determine this with a vaginal cytology exam and/or hormone tests.

Good luck.


how do i recognize a cleft pallett in a chihuahua new born puppy. I have one that is about 24 hours old and she seams not to be able to close her mouth and her tounge seems to stay up to the top of her mouth, she weighs 1 3/4 oz. What is the best way to treat this puppy. Thank You


Hello, Brenda,

Cleft palate means that there is a hole in the roof of the mouth. It may be small or it may look like a "slot" running lengthwise in the roof of the mouth. The problem it creates is that when the puppy nurses, milk goes into the nasal passages through this hole.

Get a good light and just take a look at the roof of the mouth.

Surgical correction is possible, but unlikely to be successful in such a young, and tiny, pup.

I really cannot advise you about this pup's condition long-distance. If it is possible to save it, you will need to see your veterinarian in person.

Thanks for reading and writing, and good luck.



I have a 14 month old bitch who's had a very difficult to interpret 1st heat cycle to stay the least (vulvar swelling for 7-10 days, followed by 3 days of VERY light spotting, followed by nothing.) I also have a 7 month old male. He has occasionally acted interested and tried to mouunt her (usually in the wrong place.) Several people have told me it's not possible for a 7 month old male to impregnate her. Is that true? (We are now assuming she's truly in heat in despite o the above because a 5 year old dog attempted to breed her when we took her out today.)

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