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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Behaviorist, Breeder, See Qual.
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 19590
Experience:  18+ years Breeding Experience, Former vol. Vet Assistant, Dog Behaviorist
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We have a Female Golden Retriever that we would like to ...

Resolved Question:

We have a Female Golden Retriever that we would like to breed. I''ve read alot about the subject and understood that we should mate her only when she stopped bleeding. We waited until she stopped on Saturday and introduced a male at home starting on Sunday for 5 days. Problem is she did not seem interested at all and kept snapping at him. Did we do something wrong?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 years ago.

A few key things is that the female needs to be in the right stage of heat and also needs to be brought into the males territory for mating and not the other way around. So from your post, it sounds like you brought the male to your female and thus she was the dominant dog which is not good for mating purposes. You will have to send her to the male for mating next time.

To breed successfully you need to understand the heat cycle. I have explained it below and included a site that has a pictorial guide so there is no mistake what stage of heat your girl is in.

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.

I hope you find this information helpful.
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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Okay, does it help to know that she was bleeding for 20 days? I brought the male on day 21. I just want to make sure because if she is supposed to be most fertile in the 9th or 10th day, this means she'll still be bleeding. Other than the long bleeding periods, she is pretty much normal in that her last heat was exactly 6 months ago.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 years ago.

While it is not unheard of for a dog to have a long Proestrus, 20 days is a bit excessive. You will need to evaluate the amount of swelling present and when the bleeding slows and the swelling increases even more that it did at the beginning of the heat cycle, that will signal the beginning of the Estrus stage where she will be receptive to mating.

I'm going to give you a couple of websites to look over. They contain a lot of information on the heat cycle, and infertility in the female.

This will let you understand the heat cycle in great detail and the different things that can make it abnormal. With your dogs long Proestrus, it may be necessary for you to have testing performed to be sure she is not having an abnormal heat cycle.
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