Pet owners love their small friends regardless of gender, size and other factors. Each dog requires care, health control and education. And yet, sexual identity has some peculiarities in regard with maintenance of dogs.
According to the dog handlers, males are more difficult to train (they have a sharper desire for domination), while the owners of females have to face the unpleasant days of heat twice a year. This is also a difficult period for the pet because her body is undergoing tremendous hormonal changes, which affect the physiological and behavioral level.
The Concept of Heat and its Characteristic Features
Estrus (heat) is a natural process, indicating sexual maturation of females and their willingness to produce offspring. These days are accompanied by characteristic symptoms:
- Bloody discharges from vulva;
- Darkening and swelling of vulva;
- Breast augmentation;
- Hormonal reorganization;
- Changes in behavior (when a dog is in heat she often eases herself at home).
Note!Fast estrus (medical name) is easy to predict: the animal sheds, begins to urinate (mark the territory) in small portions and shows an increased interest in males.
Especially important stage is when a dog is in heat for the first time. It is impossible to determine exactly, but puberty often begins after the change of teeth. Estrus in dogs of small breeds happens for the first time in a sufficiently large time range (from 6 to 13 months, depending on the breed). The process is inactive, there is a little bleeding. Males poorly react to the maturing of the female.
Heat in dogs of large breeds starts between 12 and 18 months. You should not mate a female during the first heat. It is necessary to wait until at least the second cycle.
Reproductive Dogs Phases
There are four phases in a reproductive cycle of a dog:
- Proestrus. The state which is prior to the estrus and lasts 7-10 days. During this period primary signs appear: the vulva due to the blood flow, there are blood discharges in small quantities. You should put special panties dog is in heat, as ovulation has not started yet and mating is not recommended. There are noticeable behavioral changes: unstable behavior (from playfulness to disobedience), active examination of the environment during walks in the street, marking the territory.
- Estrus. The beginning of rutting. The first two days of this cycle – the period of ovulation (10 days after the start of secretions), but a successful mating is possible during several days. In this cycle the female seems to “invite” the male: humps, shows off the pelvis, deflects the tail, freezes in a posture of waiting.
- Metaestrus. Occurs when the estrus in dogs ends. The reddish color of the secretions turns pinkish and stops altogether. Males still show an intense interest in the female, but she is not interested any more. Metaestrus period lasts for 10 days.
- Anestrus. The time of sexual rest, continues until the next proestrus. Its duration is 3.5-5 months.
In general, the frequency of estrus depends on the living conditions. Pets which live in the house usually have two cycles in the year – spring and autumn. Animals living in the yard are ready to mate once, in the early spring, so that the puppies are born in the warm season and got stronger before the cold.
Features of BehaviorFrequent urination
The temper of each dog is different, so it is difficult to predict how it will behave in heat, especially during the first estrus. However, there are some common features:
- Appetite disorders.
- to mark as much territory as possible.
- Flirting with the opposite sex.
- Unwillingness to return home from walking.
- Licking a swollen vulva.
- Increase of body temperature.
In the second phase when the dog is in heat, dogs try to jump on to the withers of other dogs, and the gender of the opponent does not matter.
Note!Some dogs become too emotional before the heat. Bouts of unwarranted aggression happen in respect of other dogs and people. Such individuals ignore the instructions of the owner, eager to get away from him. If you notice such signs, it is better to walk with the pet on a short leash.
Heats of Concern
If the dog is in heat more often than 2 times a year or the estrus lasts for a long time (prolonged discharge), then a specialist consultation is required. Failures of this kind can be caused by diseases, which are unknown to the owner: congenital or hereditary pathologies, disorders of the thyroid gland and endocrine system, chronic diseases.
Estrus is a serious load on the dog’s body, so it is necessary to strengthen the diet and increase the dose of vitamins. Support of the owner is extremely important in this difficult period.