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Questions About Heat/Spaying (puppy picture included)

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My husband and I are getting a second border collie in 3 weeks, when she is ready. We have a 1.5 year old male border collie that we had neutered - which was a breeze, he was seemingly normal the same day and hated that we made him rest for 10 days per vet's orders (we chose to get a male first for this reason - hearing that neuters were far easier than spays). While we plan to spay our sweet girl we would like to get her through at least one heat first. Do you have any tips for what to expect when she goes in heat and when to spay? Is there anything we should know going into this? We have a two level house and are able to separate the two dogs if necessary during her heat despite him being neutered.

 

We are novice-ish so any two-BC household tips are welcome too!

 

Lola Jane is currently 5 weeks old and is a red merle border collie. LB is a 1.5 year old red and white border collie. They are born from the same parents. 

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Very pretty pups. Welcome to the Boards.

In my very limited experience, your boy may not have any desire to breed a bitch in heat. Or he may. You will just have to observe and adjust your management of the 2 dogs if unwanted behavior occurs. My own intact male lost his mind when my young female had her first heat. He was neutered after that (for separate reasons), and had zero reaction to her second heat.

I have heard of BC females having a first heat anywhere between 7-8 months to almost 2 years of age. My girl had her first heat at 13-14 months of age.

For reasons of proper bone and joint growth, I would wait until at least a year of age before spaying.

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From my experience neutered males are interested, but far less than intact males.
The amount of interest varies. We had a young neutered male stay with us who was constantly licking the female dog and playing with her. The dogs enjoyed it, but it was a bit annoying to us humans. Not a very relaxed environment to be in. We could send them to their place, but within five minutes they would be at it again.
Another older dog just wanted to sniff her and was really no fuss. So it really depends, having an option to separate them is a good idea I think. I have read some stories that it is far more difficult separating an intact male from a female in heat. Poor boy won't get any rest with that smell in the house. It should be easier for a neutered male.

I have no experience with spaying females as we've never spayed our dogs. It makes sense to wait and it is the advice I have read on this board a lot.
 

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Beautiful dogs!

When I've had females in heat with males that were neutered, some of them showed little interest and others attempted to mount the female every chance they got. It has varied with all my males. I always made sure that if they did show interest in the female that I kept them separate just to avoid the female getting annoyed. My females usually got annoyed with the males until they were ready to actually breed. Two females in heat together however were a different story. :rolleyes: They could not leave each other alone.

As for spaying her, I've always heard that waiting is best. I've only had two females that were spayed--both as adults because they were rescues. One was spayed before I got her and the other one went to my vet. She was kept overnight (my vet always keeps the females overnight for observation, but the males go home the same day) and did not eat or act like herself for days. She was a normally high energy dog (Labrador retriever mix) but she didn't want to do anything for awhile.

However, when I worked at a dog rescue, we spayed all the females and often it was difficult to get them to rest after the surgery. I had several rip their stitches out and a couple that required a visit to the doggy ER because of that. I don't say that to scare you, but it is something to be aware of. She may need a cone to prevent her from getting to the area and licking and she needs rest so she doesn't jump or run and hurt herself. She also probably shouldn't be around your other dog in case they play or he tries to bother the surgery area. 

I've had several other females that I didn't spay. I've never had a problem since I keep mine indoors and were only outside under supervision when they were in heat. I've often had male dogs camped out in my front yard for a few days, but no real issue. For that reason, while I neuter my males (I find them less likely to go crazy if they come across females in heat and calmer around other males) I don't spay my females anymore. IF I was not the only caretaker and had other people who might not be as vigilant about preventing unwanted breedings, I might consider it. But I don't really have a reason to spay them since I prevent their access to males who are not neutered. 

Spaying is commonly done now and typically there are no issues so it's really a personal preference. 

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Welcome to the Boards.

There's a search function on the Boards that you can use to find a number of discussions here on best time to spay/neuter, which type of surgery to do, or whether to do it at all.

As for your male, not all castrated males are immune to bitches in heat. I had one who used to regularly tie with any he could gain access to. When it happened with our bitch, she'd actually go out of heat sooner than when would if he hadn't gotten to her. No harm done and actually a bit of a plus for the intact male in our home.

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