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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18817
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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how do i know if my shih tzu puppy is in heat she is just ...

Customer Question

how do i know if my shih tzu puppy is in heat?she is just over 4 months old.her girly part does seem a little swollen but i have''nt noticed any discharge.i also have her brother in my house as well and he is constantly sniffing her and mounting that a sighn that she is going in heat.also what is a good wat to house break them.i am trying to get them to potty outside but its not working.thank you
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 8 years ago.

I'll go over the heat cycle for you. Female Dogs go into heat at any time between 6-12 months usually. The average heat cycle for a dog is approximately 3 weeks but for some dogs it is longer and for others it is shorter. Some as short as 10 days and some as long as 4 weeks or more. Usually your dog will go into heat every 6-7 months though again each dog is different and can go back into heat as early as 4 months or not for 12 months. Most however are average.

During the first part of a dogs heat period you will notice swelling of the vulva, possibly an increase in urination and bleeding. If there are male dogs around you will notice them hanging around her. This stage generally last about 7 days and she will not allow males to mate with her during this period The second part of the heat cycle is when she will accept a male and breed. Usually bleeding has stopped or become straw colored at this point. This can last from 4 to 21 days though the average is 7 days. Many expert say the 9-10th day of heat is the optimum day for breeding. It is during this period of time that you will want to allow mating. Most breeders allow the dogs to mate every other day during this period.

Then during the last stage of heat she will be less willing to breed as she is going out of heat. This stage can again last from 4 to 21 days as well but averages 7 days.

Each dog is different so some evaluation by the owner is necessary. The whole heat period should be approximately 21 days but as stated can be longer or shorter depending on the dog.

Here is an excellent website with pictures to illustrate a female in different stages of heat.

Dogs mount to show dominance which is the likey cause of your males mounting since males usually don't become sexually mature until 6-7 months of age as well.

I recommend crate training. Below you will find the way I crate train dogs, which has worked consistently for 15 years. If you have other dogs you will need to separate them when taking them out to go to the bathroom, as they will want to play rather than potty.

I would also always take your dog outside on a leash. An unleased dog can run into the street and get hit by a car, or get into a fight with another dog and be seriously injured. Do this even if you have a fenced yard. No playing with your puppy during potty time either.

During crate training, you will be having your dog confined either in a crate or confined to a very small area which optimally will only allow the dog room to lay down in. Dogs will generally not soil an area where they sleep.

When you feed or give your dog water, take the dog immediately outside to go to the bathroom. Also take the dog out first thing in the morning, last thing at night and after extended play times and when they wake up after a nap. Take your dog to an area where you want your dog to go and preferably one that has been used previously. Allow your dog approximately 10-15 minutes to go to the bathroom. If your dog doesn't produce, take your dog inside and cage them again. If your dog does produce results allow her some uncrated time as a reward before crating or containing the dog again.

If your dog didn't go to the bathroom, take your dog out again about 30 minutes later and repeat this until your dog goes. Praise your dog profusely when your dog succeeds and is on the leash. This will teach your dog that it needs to go when you take your dog out and not play around first.

Some dogs learn quicker than others do, but once you have your dog going when it is on the leash and each time you take your dog out, you should be able to stop containing your dog. It is a lot of work, but pays off in the long run. Remember no playing or praise until your dog succeeds in going outside on a leash.

The key is no time outside of the crate unless you can have your eye on them constantly to pick them up and take them out if you see the classic sign of impending bowel movement or urination. Also, scolding a dog for going in the house does no good unless you catch them in the act. If you do catch them, a firm NO and trip outside should be done. Remember to clean any area inside they have gone with a good pet deodorizing cleaner.   Here is a site with more information on crate training.

This is how I house train all my dogs.

In addition, put a bell or other noise maker on the door low enough for the dog to reach. Each time you take the dog out, ring the bell. The dog will associate ringing the bell with going out and one day ring the bell to signal to you that she needs to go out.

With two dogs, this does make it a bit more difficult and I do suggest that either two people take them out so they can not play around or you take them out separately.

I hope you find this information helpful.
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
thank puppies are brother and sister and i have never successfully trained a thanks.oh and what will happen if my puppies mate together and they are siblings?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 8 years ago.

What you are talking about is called inbreeding. Experienced breeders sometimes inbreed to fix an exceptional dog's breed traits in the subsequent puppies. However, while fixing desirable traits you also have a higher chance of having undesirable traits and health problems crop up as a result. This is due to having less of a genetic diversity and having a higher chance of getting a recessive gene for an undesirable trait from both the mom and the dad who were closely related. I would not recommend this close of a breeding under any circumstances with shih tzus since they can have quite a few genetic problems.

It is recommended that if you plan on inbreeding that at least 3 generation of the pedigree be examined in great detail for health problems and undesirable breed traits.

I, as a breeder, do not recommend breeding closely related dogs by inexperienced breeders as it does introduce a higher chance of health problems and can result in smaller litter size, and weaker immune systems as well. I'd rather have the genetic diversity of 2 unrelated dogs and healthy puppies than potentially having puppies with breed faults or weakened immune system or other health problems.

I know this is probably not the answer you were looking for, but most breeders will agree with this opinion. If you’d like to read more in inbreeding here is a website with additional info.

I hope you find this information helpful.
Jane Lefler and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
no that is fine i wasnt planning on breeding them im just affraid it will happen because i dont know much about dogs in heat or breeding so i thought i would ask.

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