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What age did your large breed come into her first heat?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

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I LOVE my mommy!
Barked: Wed Dec 1, '10 12:29pm PST 
My 1 year old Saint Bernard female has not had her first heat cycle yet, now I know that Giant Breeds can not have a first heat till 2yrs of age, but my saints mom had her first cycle at 9months and my Saint has had swollen nipples for about a month now and some discharge but my male has had no real interest, but im wondering if shes starting to come into heat, so I was just wondering when did someone else with a large breed female have her first heat?
Ginger- M.I.A.

my first and- finest
Barked: Wed Dec 1, '10 9:21pm PST 
this is from what I've read and seen from other people's dogs, not my own, but a first heat can come anytime between 6 months and 2 years. Wolves in the wild often don't ovulate until 2 years old, and anecdotal evidence suggests raw-fed domestic dogs have late menarche as well (can I use that term? or is it human-only?) Body condition matters too, a fat dog will go into puberty sooner. (Also true of humans.)

Also, some dogs have "invisible" heats- little or no bleeding or behavior changes. If you even SUSPECT she is coming into heat, be CAREFUL! You don't want her bred so young- she needs to finish growing first. (I know you are planning to breed her with your male eventually, it's on his profile.) They are BOTH too young, really.

Sorry if I'm stating the obvious, just wanted to say it in case you were unaware.

Let's go for a- swim
Barked: Wed Dec 1, '10 9:44pm PST 
My Labs are smaller and likely come into heat sooner. They have varied from 7 months to not before going away to dog guide school at 13 months.


Got food?
Barked: Wed Dec 1, '10 10:15pm PST 
Aster, I thought you said your labs are neutered at 4 months old per the schools preference? So, how do you know when they have gone into heat as spaying at 4 months would prevent that.. wink

Edited by author Thu Dec 2, '10 12:34pm PST


I LOVE my mommy!
Barked: Thu Dec 2, '10 7:12am PST 
Im expecting her to come into heat anytime now. I am going to breed her when my vet says shes healthy and mature enough.

Woo-woo- whineybutt
Barked: Thu Dec 2, '10 9:02am PST 
If, from your other thread, the vet says that shes fully mature at 1 year.. please don't breed her. You should never breed on the first heat and I strongly suggest waiting until 2 1/2 years or 3 since she is a large breed..

I LOVE my mommy!
Barked: Thu Dec 2, '10 9:16am PST 
I dont know when I am going to breed her for sure, I will have to fo by her and her health and maturity but I have known of a lot of breeders, my aunt included who breeds poms and huskies that have bred at 1 and a half and shes bred very high quality show dogs. Wolves have puppies at 1-2yrs a lot as well. I think yet again no one knows when the proper age is to breed, swicth foods, train, or much.

I'm a trilingual- dog!
Barked: Thu Dec 2, '10 9:28am PST 
Might not know when is the best age to breed, but we know that a giant breed dog is not even fully grown at 1 year old and cannot have any OFFAs done until 24 months for hip x-rays.

And that true temperament is hard to gauge until they are fully grown, and that putting work and show titles on your dog will probably take more than 1 year.

Edited by author Thu Dec 2, '10 9:31am PST

Walter RL1- AoE CGC

I'm a rescue!
Barked: Thu Dec 2, '10 9:43am PST 
Breeding a Saint before she's 2+ is like a 12 year old human getting pregnant. The body's not done developing. Just because she's cycling doesn't mean she's ready. I hope your vet mentioned that. I hope the wonderful breeders you got your Saints from also mentioned that the OFA won't evaluate hips and elbows until the dogs are 2 years old. They can however get their cardiac evaluations via cardiologist at a year old, so you can at least get that done.

Since you've been planning on breeding these two right from the get go, had you considered what you'd do if one or both have hip dysplasia? You won't know until you get the OFA evaluation and dysplasia is horribly common in Saints, upwards of 80% have varying degrees of it according to OFA statistics. What if you produce a puppy with crippling dysplasia? Are you prepared to financially help that owner or take the puppy back if they can't afford its care?

Just some things to think about, although I'm sure you've already considered them since you're going to be a wonderful responsible breeder.

Don't know about age of first heat, my only bitch puppy is just 6.5 months and hasn't come into heat.

bitches love- pantaloons
Barked: Thu Dec 2, '10 9:47am PST 
The proper age to breed is at least when the dog becomes mature. The age of maturity differs between breeds. XL breeds don't mature until they are 2-3 years old.

Edited by author Thu Dec 2, '10 9:48am PST

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