Cleo is about 10 days into her 3rd heat cycle. She first came into heat when she was 1 year old and then again when she was 18 months. She is now 26 months old. This time it took about 8 months for her to come into season again. Apparently its pretty normal for some inconsistency. Her breeder Bob Corsaro from Nobelles Kennel and our vet reassured me that I had nothing to worry about when the 6 month mark came and went.
I wrote a blog post the last time she came into season discussing how we handle her bleeding. You can read that post here. I'll give you a hint it has something to do with those fashonista camo boy shorts you see her rocking in the picture above. Cleo is a legit trendsetter. This time around I thought I would blog about some of the other aspects of her heat cycle. I thought it would be worth while since I often see that people inquiring about their dogs heat cycle lands them here on my blog.
I don't want to sound like a cheese poof and say Cleo gets PMS but she absolutley shows signs that she is ready to go into heat. The first sign she shows is being a little needy. Cleo is a bonafide snuggle bug but she is also pretty independent. She doesn't demand attention all the time. She's fine to go and chew her toys and do her thing but right before and during her heat cycle she becomes a velcro dog. She constantly wants to sit on my lap and really thrives off of being held. She also tends to have a little less energy in the first week or so. Which I won't complain about! It's the best time for us to take advantage of it and sleep in. Lady Cleopatra also starts to lick herself alot. Her vulva also swells considerably. After all these signs its usually a few days to a week that she starts to bleed.
I've seen people question a female hunting dogs capabilities while in heat. It's been my experience with our dog that it doesn't make that much of a difference. Cleo has desire. I'm pretty sure you could cut her leg off and she will still continue to hunt. It's what she lives for and its what she was bred for. The pictures above were taking on a hunt when she was in heat. She had a great day and we shot a bunch of pheasants over her.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to make it sound like having a dog in heat is all sunshine and unicorns. It's a huge responsibility. Cleo is never left alone while in heat. She doesn't get any playdates, she can't be left outside unattended, she can't go to doggie daycare, she can't run in AKC hunt tests while in heat, the list goes on and on. It can be a drag. But its by no means unmanageable and it only lasts for about 3 weeks give or take.
I do have to say that if you don't plan on ever breeding your dog you should get your dog fixed. The last thing anyone wants to deal with is an unplanned dog pregnancy. Keep in mind there are a ton of rescues and shelters over flowing with pups needing homes. Do yourself a favor and educate yourself. And when in doubt get your pup fixed!
If your curious why we haven't gotten Cleo fixed yet its because we haven't decided yet if we would ever want to breed her. Right now we are working on completing the testing goals we have set for her. But we take the responsibility aspect of having an intact dog super serious and we take the proper precautions so she is never in the position to have an unwanted pregnancy. But I can tell you if we ever did decide to breed her we would think long and hard about it. It would be planned and we would absolutley consult the guidance of her breeder Bob Corsaro. We would also be very considerate of who her pups would be placed with. Anything less would be irresponsible. But thats so far off and not something we are really considering at the moment. Right now all I care about is loving her and hunting her. She's an awesome dog and an even better best friend.
If you get time check Cleo out on facebook. She has her own page under the title: Adventures of a German Shorthaired Pointer.