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Do your setter girls come in season together?

A friend of mine who has always owned two to four Irish Setter bitches at one time mentioned the fact that according to the books the bitches should come in season more or less together... neither hers nor mine stick to what is written! They end up spacing themselves nicely around the year... driving the boys in the neighborhood crazy ;-)) Do yours stick to the book?

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When it comes to being keener at work I have come across both sides in obediance. One dog I competed with was totally low about four weeks before (and up to) her season starting. She would look and act as if I beat her into submission and every time I would be wondering what went wrong and what had I done. I have seen exactly this behaviour with bitches of other breeds as well.
Great one weekend at a compertition and totally useless the next.
But I have also seen the reverse with one of my bitches.
Total concentration and eager to work...wow! So I would enter compertitions (you have to enter three weeks in advance) and the practice leading up to it is just brilliant.
Then on the day of the compertition...well she is in season. So no competing.
Total pain.
The latest champion was not affected before but after the season.
A timespan of when the puppies (had she had any) would be around 4 weeks old, well that was when she would get all full of beans.
But I do not plan compertitions according to hormone-level.
Perhaps I should?
Ursula: "But I do not plan compertitions according to hormone-level."

You don't? I quit search and rescue training during the last 4 weeks of 'would-be-pregnancy' as the girls just loose their motivation. Fine once those 'puppies' have been born - they are then raring to go again! We see the same in most of the bitches of our training group - unless spayed of course.
As this lack of motivation automatically causes the handler to be frustrated ans ossibly being unfair by asking too much, we've found it best to just do a few simple straightforward search exercises and leave it at that until after the 'baby blues' has passed.

Guess why I enjoy working with Glen so much!?
I dont normally have the "down" period after season.
Had that happened, I would of course not have done any training.
The one that was most affected by these hormones (the bitch that had these HUGE litters of 18) was affected BEFORE which made it much harder to time.
My other ones have been OK after, with an extra boost at the pretend-"puppies" age of 4 weeks. Mind you it never lasted all that long...
And yes I can well understand the preferance when it comes to males Susan!
If I was only going to have ONE dog it would most definatly be a male!
My girls have "it" every 9-10 months. Odin 9, Danka 10. I find it quite convenient and feel sorry for other dog breed owners that tell me stories about 5-6 months. Uh, I would hate that.
Hormones do rule as well in competition, is the observation here.

Most dramatically was Clancy. And most dramatic year 2006. She was changing like the wheather from top performer to worst of all.

Later, in a book entitled Hond Staat (2007) for the first time I read a possibility of hormones being main-actor in this play. Analysing performings proved this was right, for her.

For some reason bitches being dramatic in season are the ones I hated and loved most. They were and are living adventure books.

Clancys seasons made nightmares, generating as well a few ever lasting daydreams. So it is with mixed emotions observing her young daughter Giulla looks less erratic in season.

Maybe one day I'm gonna miss those nightmares....
No!!! My bitches are never the same time in heat, i wish they were!!! My dogs go grazy from time to time and one off my bitches is almost never in heat, allthough i've got 4 bitches! So in my house we do not go by the book!!!
Hond staat is a very nice book to read!!! I don't think it is already written in English, but i hope for you all that it will be soon on the market.
Ja yes Marloes Hond Staat (Dog Points) written by Rembrandt Kersten is a great book, though like all with mediocre, brilliant, good and not so good contents. For an introduction in English see www.Iersesetter.com click the English flag click "Youth on a river inspires working setter book".

In my eyes the strength is drawings and (on my advice) autobiographical, it keeps you with the lesson. Just like the German author Hilde Schowyer did for her setterbooks, best being Erfahrungen mit Setter (Experiences with setters). Great book.

The other book mentioned here, written by professor Naaktgeboren called "De geboorte bij de hond" (A dogs birth) has a scientifical approach of this topic. Of 61 seasons in a group of dogs only ten times there was not another in the environment in season as well.

Most probably, according to Naaktgeboren, this is the result of feromones. Although not certain, Naaktgeboren says there is "hardly any reason for doubt" of this when comparing these results for dogs with results of research in other mammals: its the same for them.

But, he continues, this does not mean that every bitch in the environment will react by becoming in season. Bitches being in season a short time before seldom reacted.

According to the professor, stress can repress becoming in season. I find this very interesting due to reports that dominance of one bitch can prevend the other of becoming in season. Maybe this can be an explanation for bitches in season while working fields forgetting about their season.

Theres a lot on hormones etc. What interests me is what happens in a brain exactly when a dog is on point and stiffens. Experts say its adrenaline. So would adrenaline beat hormones? Than we are wrong about hormones ruling!!!!

Anyway, science or not, its an experience to see a setters tail before and on point. Slightly wagging while roading in and than whoom stiff like a statue! Good to know theres also scientifical research of the DNA of pointing dogs, done now in the USA.
My bitches also have thier seasons in different time. I hope that will co-operate one day! LOL
It seems to be the general idea that having several bitches in the same home coming into season at the same time is a good thing.

And yes, in many ways it is.
When breeding you can (like I did once with a huge litter) split the litter into two and let it have two mothers. Excelent in many ways as long as the litter gets the first milk from their "real" mother. After that the milk produced by the substitute mother is as good as the "real" mother.
When I split one of my litters up like that, I went as far as to have both bitches milk tested. It turned out that the real mothers milk was slightly higher in all aspects. But the substitute mothers milk was still well within the limits when it came to fat-contents etc.
The puppies developed in exactly the same manner, and there was no differance between the "two" litters.
Thats the positive side-effect.

Here is the negative...
I have two setter-bitches at home and most of the time also a french bulldog-bitch.
These three bitches were in season together, starting only a few days appart.
One of the setter bitches now has a 6-days old litter.
She is coping fantastically and all is well.
Appart from the fact that her two "friends" now feel that these puppies actually are theirs and will sit outside the litterbox (they can not get access) desperate to get at "their" puppies.
I normally try to leave the door to the puppycage and litterbox open to let the mother enter and exit at her own free will. But this particular time the two remaining bitches seem to be totally wrapped up in their false-pregnancie so most of my time is spent having to tell them to go somewhere else, and not just lay outside the puppy-cage whimpering for "their" offspring.
There are two sides to everything!




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