Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer finally brings the heat -- Elli's, that is

I've thought for the last week or so that Elli must be coming into her first season, as Ian's interest in her hindquarters has increased markedly. Sure enough, last night began the bleeding portion of the festivities. Though I've always lived around dogs, we never had any intact females, so this is also a first for me. Since I never did get around to ordering any "bitches britches," I'll be fast depleting the rag bag.

And since Mother Nature can never be convenient about these things, it was of course on the eve of my 16-hour workday, meaning it will be solely up to my husband to be responsible for clean-up and to keep an eye on both Ian and Elli to make sure Ian isn't getting TOO friendly with his sister. (We do NOT live on North Haven, after all.) Is it wrong to admit I was a little amused by the whiff of panic coming off of him?

I do have some questions I'll need answered though, namely: 1) How long does the heat cycle last? 2) When during the cycle is the bitch actually fertile? 3) Does the bleeding last the entire cycle or does it taper off before the fertile time?

Oh! And 4) Is my husband likely to survive the experience?


  1. First things first: Your husband will survive only if he keeps the dogs separated. If there is an oops, it's bye, bye hubby.

    The cycle is normally about 21 days long. Mark "Day 1" on the calendar for today and keep careful track of where she is in her cycle. It will help you later if you know when she seemed most receptive. (Though sometimes the cycles change as the bitch gets older.) The "fertile days" vary from bitch to bitch. I have had bitches breed (successfully) as early as the 8th day and as late as the 18th. Normally as the bitch gets closer to fertile days, she will begin firmly planting her feet so the dog can check her out, and flagging -- moving her tail to the side to make it all easier for him.

    As a general rule, I would be scrupulous about keeping them apart from day 9 through day 15, but watch carefully for an early or late fertility cycle.

  2. Yep, an oops will definitely mean bye bye hubby!! I trust myself to be vigilant, but him... not so much. I can send Ian to "Grammy's" house during the fertile period, but he's such a mama's boy that I hate to do that if I can manage with crates and baby gates.

  3. Good advice Penni. Some girls are very clean and other than the very noticable swelling, and the boys reactions, you may not really even notice. My girl Grace is so clean that I have never found blood anywhere, other than her bedding. You may not need britches.