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Discussion Starter #1
So my girl is nearing the end of her heat cycle. It will be 21 days tomorrow. We have a friend that wants to visit this weekend with his intact young male dog. (He's not quite a year old) They have met and played many times before and know each other very well.

My question is would you think it's a problem? I've always waited about 30 days before allowing my female intact dogs to have exposure to other male dogs again just to be on the safe side, but I'm wondering if at 21 days exactly I should be that concerned. Thoughts?

For the record, please avoid all of the "better safe than sorry" responses because yes - I'm well aware of that. Just asking from a practical perspective, and to see how long most folks here would keep a strict no-exposure policy during a heat cycle. I've already told them they could come if they left him at home this trip.
 

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Following! I don't know the answer, but I'm interested in what others have to say, since I'll be dealing with this in a couple months.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You know it's funny but when I google this to see how breeders typically handle exposure at this stage, there are so many Q&A threads about heat cycles that just have me shaking my head. I hate to sound harsh but there are a LOT of idiots out there. There's no wonder there's so much breeder-bashing going on with people like that out there. I mean... it's just crazy. It's like the People of Walmart of the dog world. So many people that just make it hard for responsible breeders to do their thing. I really dislike the "adopt don't shop" mentality. While I 100% support getting puppies from shelters and rescues, there is also nothing at all wrong with breeding responsibly. GRRR. /rantover
 

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It's one of those things where you're in trouble if two not-very-probable 'events' happen (as they say in probability theory). Say there's a 10% chance that he's fertile (age at which boys can do the deed is variable, earlier for small breeds. I've heard of accidents with 7 mo old males in small breeds). Say there's also a 10% chance that she still has some viable eggs hanging around. Then you've got a 0.1x0.1=.01= 1% chance of unwanted puppies. Problem is no one can give you the exact numbers on either 'event'.

Bottom line is that the risk isn't zero, but it's probably pretty low. I would keep both dogs on leashes until I was confident that they weren't aroused and not let them run off together where you can't watch. The young males I've seen mated are pretty inefficient at mounting the girl, and if there's going to be a problem, I suspect you'll have adequate time to intervene. But I've only dealt with a couple boys on their first mating: not a big enough sample to say how it goes for all dogs.

That said, when I was breeding, I pretty much waited until day 30. I don't like taking even a small risk. (All my girls are spayed now).
 

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Personally, I would not risk it. Bitches fertility can vary, just like humans dogs don't always have reliable ovulation cycles. Many are plenty fertile and still willing to tie at 21 days, and a few days off of that wouldn't be unheard of. Especially if the owner is mistaken about the start of heat. Murphy's law will suggest that when you WANT a bitch to take after that prime window, she won't. And when you really, really don't want a bitch to take and want it to be a normal, by the book heat... She'll take.

Probability of fertility and impregnation aside...

Has this male been around females in heat? At 21 days she may still be throwing enough scent to make him *ahem* annoying. An inexperienced, determined young male can be a pest around a female in heat, through out the duration of it. Where as an experienced male might just have passing interest at this stage.
 

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From your knowledge of having an intact bitch, I know you will not leave them unsupervised.. The young male may be a pain in the but unable to stop himself because he is not experienced to know her breeding stage has ended . That is a matter of management of leashing the male when too much is too much. If your girl is out she will not stand to be bred and will run the male ragged teasing him ,, or she will put him in his place for not leaving her alone. either way I always step in and give everyone a rest/break, away from each other when they young and stupid over it and don't know to rest on their own... If a bitch is still standing then no for me.. just have them on a rotation... still too strong to be able to redirect them to do other things..
 

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Make your friend keep him leashed -if not just flat out leaving him home- and don't give them a second unsupervised.

It's not worth the risk.
 

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If it were me, I would not have her around an intact male, even if she is at the end of her cycle. It could end up to be a mayhem visit if he keeps trying to mount her or chase her around. Even though she may not be fertile, they could still tie and that could happen quickly. If she is still in heat and he trued to get too friendly, she just may nail him. ��. No way of knowing for sure but I would wait.
 

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Do you want a nice peaceful can talk to old friends weekend or a watch the dogs, get irate because dogs are driving you crazy, can not sit and relax and catch up with old friends weekend? If the first part is what you are looking for have them keep the dog home. If your answer is the second part of the question have them bring the dog. It is hard to say how the dogs will be. So many variables to have thrown in the mix. With first heats and young inexperienced dogs it is a throw up as to how it would go.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the responses everyone... again I just wanted to reiterate that I was asking what YOU consider your absolute minimum length of time you'd go before exposing to other dogs. I'm well aware of the risk and as I already said, I asked my friends not to bring the dog just to make it easier (sometimes I wonder do people truly read the OP?). I always err on the side of caution with things like this (even keep her leashed around neutered males too when she's in heat) but it was more of a philosophical discussion... I like to hear what others do and how other folks handle exposure to other dogs at the very end of a heat cycle, and when you cross the line from being safe and conservative to being generally paranoid and extreme. It can be hard to figure out when done is done.
 

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I'm also frustrated by the responses. My situation is not the same as the OPs, since I own both of the intact dogs and they will be in the same house together, so I am even more concerned about getting a solid answer. "Just separate them forever" is not really a long term option.
 

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I guess I don't get it,,,, that the answers were not helpful as a collective... there is no exact answer, any intact bitch owner knows that, or should know, as well as yall, the only exact answer is, Just how other people would handle your situation.

?
 

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I know it's not my thread, so I shouldn't expect the answers to work for my situation, but I was frustrated that there was no answer beyond "just don't put them together at all". Owning two intact dogs of opposite genders, I will obviously have to put them back together at some point. I'll have to ask breeder friends or others who own intact dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah I think it was more of a question of opinion... like for the breeders here, when and how do you decide the day when it's safe to go back to normal? On day 21? On day 30? When my dog says "mom I want to play with boys now"? (LOL) I thought it was clear that I was just asking how others handled having a female in heat vs. asking for specific advice on what I should do, as I already said that I wasn't planning on letting her around that dog yet. But maybe it came across more as asking for advice than general chit chat. I mean there is being safe and there is being paranoid, and yes every dog is different... I just thought it was an interesting discussion point. :)
 

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I didn't say that, I was very descriptive of my interactive observations of yah or neigh.... I let my intact crew frolic together from the start of heat and at the end of heat. but that is my choice of what I feel is safe when observing their actions.. what I call (testing) the bitch... if everyone is still too excited and not acting like it's over,I keep them on standing heat rotation.. not in 30 years could I give an exact answer of my own crew... yes keep in mind the 7 7 7,,, but if I need more due to every ones actions of course I stay on the rotation schedule until I see everyone not interested..
 

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I know it does not apply to your situation but any time I have a female in heat, I keep them separated from the male usually for a month but if you have an experienced male, they usually will let you know when they are no longer interested and you just have to watch them for a little while to see their reaction. I also give them a good bath before they go back with the male and never just say because they have been in heat for a month, so they are safe now, they can be sneaky. Had no accidental breedings so far.
 

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When I used to have intact dogs here, they were akways kept separate and never unsupervised. Each dog can be different. One of my females would have a discharge for 28 days. I also waited about two weeks before letting them with the males. Akways bathed the females when they were done and gave a vinegar rinse. You can dilute vinegar in some water and soray their back ends anfd this covers the odor from the female somewhat. When I showed dogs, we would often do this if we had a female in season that was being shown.
 

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For me, separate until heat has without a doubt passed. It's not just the risk of pregnancy, it's that the social interactions can be much more unpredictable.
 

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As owner of 4 intact females I can say that at day 21 they are long done with wanting to breed(normally,there are exceptions when heat cycle is up to 29 days,and you should know if your female is one of those females).They are willing to breed somewhere from day 10 to 13(depends on female),before and after "don't dare you touch me or I will kill you".I wouldn't worry at all.You will see her attitude in the first seconds.If she is flagging(which I'm sure she won't do) then don't let them be together.Watch them for a while, the male may be very interested in her as she still smells nice to him, but she shouldn't be interested in him more than for a play.
I had a very smart 3 months old intact male around female in heat,from the very beginning to the end.The pup was interested in her only when she was ready to breed,before that,he just came to sniff her rear,lick it,and leave,when she was ovulating he was trying to breed her,after that no interested at all.Of course he wasn't fertile at that time,he couldn't breed her,but he showed all the typical behavior.
Till the day 8 I don't worry at all,we still go for walks as usually,I still let them of leash,then from day 9 to 14 I make the walks extra short to not drove any attention,and only on leash,day 15 and 16 normal walks on the leash,just in case,from day 17 I let them of the leash as usually.But I know my females very well and I always watch them very carefully before I let them off leash,something may change in every heat cycle,so I let them off leash only when I'm 100% sure that if they will meet a male( but we usually go to areas where there shouldn't be any) they won't let him breed them.
 

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I don't know about fertility... but from the male perspective, Shep was neutered at 6 mos. At 8yo, he successfully tied with a female "out of heat" with absolutely no resistance from her. I imagine that a young intact male might be even more persistent.
 
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