|Barked: Wed Jun 26, '13 11:24am PST |
|I personally prefer waiting until around the two year mark, for the dog to mature more, both physically and mentally. How the dog is in terms of behavior or cleanliness depends on the individual dog.
Ria's first heat, she started off not really cleaning herself very well, and was a little more messy, until she got into the full swing of her heat, which was when she figured out how to keep herself more clean more frequently. Instead of doggy diapers, we just gated her into the kitchen - that way I could run a mop or something over it and disinfect the area and not end up with blood on my carpets in the instance she dropped.
Managing her was another thing entirely. She WAS more defiant and snarky, both with other dogs(fixed or female). And there were about three days of Charlie's incessant whining due to her being at that point in her heat where she was fertile and receptive, that drove me absolutely up a wall! I started separating them AS SOON as I noted her cleaning herself more frequently, because I knew it was right around that time and didn't want to risk an accidental litter - the next day, she was in the beginning of her heat.
What you can handle will be up to you, and how well you can keep her from getting pregnant accidentally too... I find it's far more difficult in a multi-dog household than it is to deal with a female in heat on her own.
Ria will likely have at least one more heat before she's fixed. Although, her being a small dog(30 lbs), and over a year now, we may decide to do it sooner just so it's less hassle to handle her and Charlie when my baby is born.
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