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You’ll notice bleeding and swelling of the vulva area, increased urination and lots of male dogs hanging around, says Dr Kersti Seksel, veterinarian and registered specialist animal behaviourist. Some bitches can be very selective as to what dogs they will let mount them, while others are not so choosy, Seksel says.
As the female starts to go out of heat or enter the final two phases dioestrus (averages two months) and anoestrus (lasts up to five months) she will be non-receptive to male dogs.
Unless you plan to breed, to prevent the unwanted pitter-patter of little paws, its generally recommended bitches should be spayed before the first season. The bottom line is that we as a community currently breed more pets than we can find homes for, Maloney tells Dogs Life. When walking your dog, consider taking her for a drive and then walking her in another area. The fence should be sturdy, with no way for your dog to escape or for another dog to enter.

These days, every breed imaginable of designer dogs is on the market from Labradoodle to Cavoodles and more. Generally, small bitches wont mate with big dogs because physically its quite difficult to do, and its difficult to give birth, so there is a natural selection against it, she says. As the owner of the bitch, you could bring civil action for negligence against the assumed owners of the dog, he says.
Most dogs will be in heat approximately every six months, but some can cycle every eight months. This is when the female is more receptive to the male, says Seksel, Dogs Life resident animal behaviourist. To avoid unplanned pregnancies, its a good idea to keep your female dog confined for three weeks once you know she is in heat. For mild symptoms, treatment isn’t necessary, but in some cases veterinary intervention is needed.

They have reduced risk of testicular tumours, prostrate problems and they’re generally better behaved and less reactive to other male dogs, she says. Over the past five years, the RSPCA has received more than a quarter of a million dogs, many of which were the result of indiscriminate breeding and unwanted pregnancies, according to RSPCA Communications Officer Kylie Maloney. But if the dogs have managed to successfully mate, its a good idea to have the pregnancy terminated. Most female dogs will stand still and hold their tail to the side when a male dog tries to get up close and personal.

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