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First Season--what a pain--for her!


Well-known member
Willow is 11 months and just came into heat. She seems absolutely miserable, moping like a teenage girl and bleeding like one too! We have panties and pads and she soaks through in 1-2 hours. She feels the need to pee in 2 hours, so she gets to go out. Her breeder is showing her and she is apparently a wonderful prospect and the breeder wants to breed her in a few years. Not before 2.5 years, right? We, on the other hand, just want a healthy dog to love. (We also have a 10 year old male cav, the love of our life.) Is it normal to have a tough first season? Will they all be this rough? Frankly, I'd like to spay her, but I do have an agreement with the breeder to honor, which also gives our vet the right to say yea or nay based on health concerns.
Some dogs just are really miserable in heats and get quite down in themselves -- our Pyrenean (Great Pyrenees) was like this, just so down and uncomfortable and listless. At least her bleeding was moderate and we have tile floors :) . She more or less had to go through two seasons and both were equally miserable, before we could spay her (better especially for giant breeds to get to close to two years before spaying). I think managing heats is tough for a lot of pet owners who generally don't realise what is involved in responsible management (all the time they must be kept inside etc, even in terms of dog protocol (eg nothing is more frustrating to owners of male dogs than to have someone walking their female in heat in the park!).

Unfortunately if your contract is to keep her unspayed as a potential show and breeding dog, you don't really have any choice, unless her health tests such as MRIs at age 2.5 come back showing any health issues that would mean she shouldn't be bred.

No advice to offer, really -- if you love this dog, then you will want to keep her regardless. I suppose the best hope is she doesn't mature into the promise for showing or breeding but is a perfect pet dog... otherwise you are likely locked into years of twice-yearly heats which may well continue as her first, until her breeding and show days are over. I presume your male is neutered so you are not having to manage an intact male is well; that's not much fun (we had to put our intact male boarding for three weeks with his breeder, while our pyr went through her heats; he went nearly berserk with her there).
Thanks. I just wondered if the flow and depression was typical. We can cope! Male is neutered, of course. And we have fenced areas and no non-neutered males anywhere around, plus she is always with us....on a leash unless on the fenced, locked porch. Of course I want her to be healthy and happy. We adore her. She's the smartest, funniest, sweetest dog--even though we've had major potty training issues. I guess we're suckers.
Meanwhile, where do I go for potty training advice for a most difficult young lady (or maybe this will pass after PMS!)
Yes some of them are pretty miserable with a season, that sounds a very heavy flow though? May be worth mentioning to the vet. Panties are not good as really the dog needs to learn to keep herself clean and it's better for the air to circulate to avoid infections.

potty training can go out of the window before and during a season, and some can go off their food.
Thanks. 20 years ago we bred some Weimaraners and the flow was very manageable with much bigger dogs. So I was surprised with this. Her breeder's dogs are usually very "dainty." I WILL bring it up with her vet, because it might indicate some gyn issues. We want a healthy dog to love forever. Also glad to know that potty training might be related. Oh the teens! Can't wait for her to be a tiny bit more mature, because she will become the best dog ever! She passed an incredible number of obedience tests etc. at 5 months and was amazement of her trainer!
She sounds like a wonderful cavalier! Nicki's advice is good. Maybe with luck ;) the heavy flow will indicate she is better spayed and your concerns will be over, all around... :)