The season of sexual maturity (dog puberty) is triggered by hormonal changes that lead to physical and behavioral changes in dogs.
Typically, puppies begin to mature sexually at 7 and 10 months of age. There is some variation and each dog is different.
Adolescent female puppy
Generally, females have cycles twice a year, but some females heat only once a year. The first heat of a bitch can come 6 months old and 18 months late. For the most part their first heat is about 10 months.
How to tell when your female puppy is in Heat
- Inflammation of the vulva (external genitalia).
- Frequent pressing and cleaning of the vulva.
- Red discharge from the vulva when the heat begins. It lasts for about 21 to 28 days and turns almost colorless, from bloody red to water-thin red during the heat.
- Increased urination frequency.
- Behavioral changes such as abnormal playful behavior with other dogs or some aggression, anxiety, or impatience. Sometimes bitches are ingenious and show insecurities before or during the heat.
- Excess coat removal (difficult to detect) 4 to 6 weeks before heat onset.
When females become pregnant
The female can agree to accept the male at any time. It usually heats up to a maximum of 7 to 18, but it can be anytime.
Female puppies can have their first season anytime from 6 months of age, although the next season is common in Labradors and Golden Retrievers.
Signs to look for include swelling or laughter of the vulva, or small drops of blood on the floor or on the puppy’s bed.
If you suspect your player is in season, do not take them out publicly and include puppy meetings.
Although males are neutral, females experience hormonal changes during the season and they behave differently than usual.
Female dog health problems
Frequent urination indicates a urinary tract infection. If your older female dog is urinating frequently, it may be a sign that she is getting into the heat.
Vaginitis is a yellow discharge from the vulva (external genitalia), and is especially common in female children. It clears up after heat but if you laugh excessively or urinate frequently, oral antibiotics may be used.
It is a yellow discharge from the vulva (external gynecology), and it is especially seen in young female offspring. It clears up after heat but if you laugh excessively or urinate frequently, oral antibiotics may be used.
Adolescent male dog
The male puppy exhibits objectionable behavior as it matures. If he fits your leg or children or chairs, let him know it is not acceptable.
The best way to discourage a dog is to distract him by giving him a correction and giving him something else at that time.
Give him a toy, or a bone, or a little obedience – anything to clear his mind. If he persists, let your advisor or area coordinator get support regarding the issue.
As he matures the male puppy may become more spatial, and you may notice that he wants to start “recognizing his territory” by lifting one leg and stopping to urinate. Our guide dogs should not be marking.
Preventing this is often successful by allowing urination only on flat surfaces rather than near shrubs or trees.
If your mature male puppy has excessive discharge from his penis, report it to the Foundation.
Occasionally such a condition requires medication, but often small amounts of discharge are common.
All of our puppies can be considered for further evaluation and acceptance into the breeding colony. Accepted dogs in the breeding program should be among the best of the best. Therefore, they should be puppies just like the other puppies in the program.
Your advisor will contact you regarding fertility permits. Clearances include eye exams, heart tests, kennel stays and behavioral evaluations. We may request additional permits and this process will last until the puppy is over a year old.
If you are informed that the puppy you are raising is in “Breeder Hold”, they will be accepted in our Breeding Colony. Total litter, all males, or all females of a litter are stopped and, in general, one or two of the litter dogs are selected.
Spaying and Neutring
Your dog guide will contact you if you have time to become a representative of the Dog Foundation. Your counselor or area coordinator will inform you about the puppy’s spay or neuter anytime between 7-15 months.
When we call, we request that you take your vet puppy’s hip x-rays (perhaps even the elbows and shoulders).
Please set a date with your vet after you hear from the foundation and notify the puppy department of the date of the x-rays and/or surgery.
The staff of the Guide Dog Foundation should have a copy of any X-ray for evaluation to determine if the fruits are acceptable for the veterinarian guide work.
Please leave them in our lobby or mail them to us for attention to the puppy department if they are not sent electronically.
At this time we will let you know if the puppy is released from the program for an orthopedic reason.