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First time for me having a female dog. She is 7.5 months old, Flat Coated Retriever. She'll grow to be 60 or 70 pounds.

At what age did your dogs have their first estrus?

And, will it be obvious to me when she is having it?

Does everyone spay their females (if not planning to breed)? If not, no hunting or running the dog during her estrus, right?

Thanks
 

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here is a link to a summary of different studies on long term helth effects of spaying and neutering.

http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdf
It is important to read to make an informed decision.

Especially large breeds can have serious health problems.
My experience with castrated working dogs is not good.
My dogs are intact and I simply manage them when in heat. Never had an unintended litter, even with intact males and females in the house.

If you decide to spay your bitch, I would wait until she is mature (both physically and mentally) and her growth plates are closed.
 

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Have her spayed. The best time to do it is now before her first estrus, ask any vet they will tell you the same thing.
 

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of course vets like pediatric spay/neuter ... they can make more money on the long-term side effects. ;)
 

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i had the pleasure of spending some time with you pups father a few weeks ago. what a beauti. a good friend of mine was showing up this way for 3 weeks. he is uge. great lines. good luck.
 

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At what age did your dogs have their first estrus?

And, will it be obvious to me when she is having it?
around 6 months old, but not uncommon to get first one at year to year and half if it's a big dog. first you'll see dog bleeding for about a week. then blood will turn from bright red to pink to nothing and dog will be ready to breed for a week. this is when neighborhood male dogs are knocking on your door. [hihi] then dog will have another week where male dogs are trying to get at her, but she's not feeling them. after about 21 days from the signs of first bleeding the dog will be done.
 

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of course vets like pediatric spay/neuter ... they can make more money on the long-term side effects
Load of BS. Only side effect is a healthier dog and less issues in the long run, at least with females.
 

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Have her spayed. The best time to do it is now before her first estrus, ask any vet they will tell you the same thing.
Don't do it until your really, really sure, that thats what you wouild want to do.

I did it to Abigail and to this day I'm still sick over doing it. I should have let her have at least 1 litter of pups. I made a mistake. I gunned the dog her 1 year and altough I'm glad I had that with her I'm very sad that I did. Abby is a looker and I could have had over dogs from her I didn't really realize the mistake I was making because she has a lot of lemon in her and I might have gotten one out of her.

I'm envious you have a Flat coat. If I get some property I would get a flat as well.

I remember the first when my golden came in. My wife and I were at the mall and I left the dog in my silverado that had red seats. We came out and wife said don't holler at Jessie she had a little accident? I'm thinking she peed and I put my hand down on it and it was blood, couldn't see it on red. I freaked out and thought she got hurt somehow?

The hole time my wifes says don't worry girl daddy don't understand and shes laughing, now I'm starting to get mad and they are acting like nothing is wrong?

Then wife says this is a girl thing ok I get it now she's in season, yep you got it. Alright you clean the seat off then and drive home if its so funny. I got the dog home and washed her up the rest i forget but I breed her and had dogs from her and that was a real trip.
 

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Quote:
of course vets like pediatric spay/neuter ... they can make more money on the long-term side effects
Load of BS. Only side effect is a healthier dog and less issues in the long run, at least with females.
Unfortunately, it's very real.
Like it or not.
I have seen way too many incontinent bitches, more bone cancer, growing problems due to growth plates that were not closed yet at time of castration, horrible coats and less working drive than intact dogs.
Sorry, but I do this now for a long time.
I am not against castration but it should be everybody's choice and it should be in informed choice.
That's why I posted the link to the summary of studies.
There is a reason why the AVMA is now opposing all mandatory spay/neuter laws. They are finally waking up and taking the health risks seriously.
http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/may09/090515j.asp
"Prevention of unexpected litters; reduced incidences of some cancers and reproductive diseases; and prevention and amelioration of certain undesirable behaviors have been documented as benefits to spaying/neutering dogs and cats. However, potential health problems associated with spaying and neutering have also been identified, including an increased risk of prostatic cancer in males; increased risks of bone cancer and hip dysplasia in large-breed dogs associated with sterilization before maturity; and increased incidences of obesity, diabetes, urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, and hypothyroidism."
 
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