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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have heard sooo many different opinions.

Our vet says at least 6mo, the other vet in town says 4-6 mo or shortly thereafter.

I've read when they go in their first heat is good, and also heard that's the worse thing.

We have her in a chain link fenced yard, but there are TONS and TONS of loose dogs in my neighborhood. I would be worried they can get her through the fence somehow. lol

My 'baby' is 7mo.
 

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Did you get her from a breeder? Usually the breeder would know the best time for that particular breed, I am guessing. Our breeder told us around 10 months and she recommended waiting 'till after the first heat. That's exactly what we did and things are totally fine. Not a single problem.

I am sure the know-all doggie mamas will be around too though.
 

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I have heard of many dogs getting bred through a fence. Unless you plan to keep her inside to prevent pregnancy during her heat. I would spay her now.
 

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Are the loose dogs intact? I have lived in a lot of places with intact females, including urban and very rural, north and south, and never had a single incident of a male showing up when one of the bitches is in heat.

I personally think that breeding through the fence is an urban legend, or an excuse for guilty owners who don't want to admit carelessness. I honestly don't think a male could physically make it work even if the bitch was pressed up against the fence the right way, and since most bitches take a step or two forward (or try, as you're gamely holding on and trying to take the weight of 300 lb of dog and still say "easy, baby, easy" in a reassuring voice) when he's tying I don't think the breeding could really take place.

Modern vets and pro-spay literature tries to make it sound like heat cycles are scary and you'll have dogs crawling all over you, the bitch will get pregnant through the fence, etc. Sorry, but heat cycles are not horrible, not scary, the bitch is only fertile for a few days, and the actual breeding is a heck of a lot more like the first time YOU had sex--getting the positioning right, encouraging the male (especially if he's not experienced), size issues...it's much more of an ordeal than a lightning-quick love match. The odds of getting a quick breeding increase if either partner is very experienced (Mitch is fabulous now, even with scared or virgin girls, and I know Shannon's Havoc was probably the same way), but when I've done breedings with virgin dogs or (ugh) both inexperienced, it takes 90 minutes just to get him in. If I had a chain link fence between the dogs--sorry, no way.

Anyway, that was a substantial digression. I encourage waiting until after the first heat for large or giant-breed dogs, meaning about 18 months. There is a clear link betwen early sterilization and increased risk of bone cancers. For small or medium dogs, consult your breeder or a breeder of that variety. I would never do pediatric spays (when the dog is measured in weeks old), but a small dog honestly may have reached almost adult height at 7 months and wouldn't present the same bone risks.

Whatever breed you're working with, don't spay during or after a heat. Wait three months after the first drop of blood. And don't go cheapest; you want a vet who isn't going to kill your dog (a shocking number of bitches are lost during spays). The larger the dog, the more monitoring you need. The more medication-sensitive the breed (e.g., collies and some sighthounds) the more monitoring you need. I plan on $400 for my Danes, which includes fluids being run and relatively constant monitoring.
 

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Havoc could get a bitch that was behind a fence....but he'd climb it, he'd never even bother if he couldnt' do his definition of foreplay that involves pulliing out tufts of her fur
However, this is an EXPERIENCED stud--not even a dog who's been bred a couple times.
I agree with Joanna....after "training" 2 stud dogs.....it's not nearly as easy as people make it out to be, a stud needs to be conditioned and most bitches don't stand stock still flagging all the way, even after they've been bred a few times.

I will say though, spaying a bitch that hasn't cycled is much easier surgery than spaying a mature bitch.
 

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IMHO it really depends on breed, as Joanna says. My little scottie was adult height at 5-ish months (and adult weight at 6 months,) and I had her spayed at 6 mos, based on my vet's recommendation.

Also of note, for smaller dogs/terriers, he recommends waiting until 6 months +, as they sometimes retain baby teeth, and it saves sedation to pull the teeth later. I had her microchipped at the same time.

My vet does laparoscopic spays, which I have to say was a tremendously easy recovery for Piper, as opposed to the open spays my parents' dogs have had. The lower risk of hernia later on is nice too. My vet made the same comment as Shannon, that immature spays are technically easier than fully mature spays.

Good luck, whatever you choose!
 

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Joanna ~ why shouldn't you spay a dog in heat? We adopted a mini schnauzer and she went into heat a month later. Since we have an intact male cocker, I had her spayed immediately. That was a year and half ago. Did I do something wrong? It cost me more at the time and my regular vet did it and never mentioned anything. (I did later think, after the designer dog threads, I shouldn't have spayed her and let the two have "schnockers"! I could have been rich!)
 

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Spaying in heat puts your dog in a very high risk category for hemmorage. Blood flow to the uterus is significantly increased during estrus. There is also an increased risk of major adhesions when spays are done during estrus.

I did spay one bitch during estrus but only because that was when we knew for certain that her heats were causing seizures and that heat they were MUCH worse....she went into status on the 4th day of her heat, we managed to bring her out of it on day 7 and spayed her on day 9.
 

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If you get a shelter dog, they spay/neuter before they let them go home, which can be 6-8ish weeks. Is that damaging to them? I suppose it's better to ensure there won't be future unwanted puppies than the risk of future disease in the pet you get, right?
 

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I strongly disagree with spay/neuter that early, I completely understand the "purpose" behind it but I think it's physically and mentally damaging to the animal.
 

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I had always thought 6-12 mos was the best time, but I saw the shelters doing it so early, I thought things had changed. That's just their policy, then?
 

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Yup. It's the shelter mentality--I can't say that I blame them, since from their point of view the ultimate evil is any animal reproducing irresponsibly, but they do tend to lose sight of the long-term future of the dogs. Pediatric spays and neuters can also be done in big batches cheaply, since the anesthetic is figured by body weight, but on top of the physical/mental consequences it's also dangerous for the puppy. Puppies are not meant to be put under at eight weeks, and a certain percentage die during the spay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Phew, if she can't get pregnant through the fence, then we will wait until she's older.

I wondered about that, but I've always heard it can happen, so I wasn't gonna take any chances with my 'baby'
 
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