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Hi was just wondering if anybody has ever experienced an irish setter that has never had a season, or what was the latest your bitch first had her season, our bitch is 25months old now and has not yet had her first season, we would like to breed from her at some stage, but now getting worried. should i take her to vets to get her checked or just wait for nature to take its course........

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My advice for what it would be worth is let nature take its course.Dont let the vets mess around with hormones etc.

My stock usually have their first seasons around 8 to 9 months.However my Rua's Celtic Romance born 1977 (SHCH Wendover Rackateer x Ch Astley's Portia of Rua) did not have her first season untill she was 3years old. At that time i was aware that there were several bitches sharing similiar wendover lines in the same situation (Eilleen Kennet (Gabrons) had one the same by Rackateer) . Sacha was mated on her first season to SHCH Scarletti Cockney Rebel in 1980 because we didnt know when her next season would be, and those puppies were the first Porschets. Every thing was fine! Dont worry!


We had Lizzie who was approaching her fifth birthday and she had never had a season.I took her to the vet's and he told me she will never have one now.He was wrong! Two days later she had her first season.

Her first litter was 9 months later when she produced a fantastic number of puppies...one! He was gorgeous and we called him Solo,he became the fattest puppy you ever did see,she had milk for lots of puppies and he just gorged! We couldn't keep him as his father was our dog and he was tolerant until the puppy was 6 weeks old and he was not having it at any cost.He went to a very good home and became Arran.We knew him all his life and he always knew us.Lizzie carried on having seasons and had one more litter of nine puppies.They were all bitches and all had seasons at the time you'd expect.So don't worry ,nature will take its course.

I have a bitch who had her 1st season at 3 years and her 2nd at 4.5years! At the university they told me not to wait so long again and to 'bring it on' at a more normal time especially as I'd like to mate her soon as she's going to be 5 and no litter yet.
Setters are different!
Let nature take its course. My bitches usually have a first season from about 18 months( Wendover lines too) they are also early ovulators around 5 -7 days so mating is earlier than usual, however my new addition to the family has come in at 8.5 months but has different lines.
My bitch's fist season was when she was 22 months old. She is now 5 years old and was in in season no more than three times! The last time she was in season was December 2009/January 2010 almost a year and a half. Should I worry? I don't plan to breed from her, so no problem with that, I would just loke to know is this common among Irish Setters?
So nothing to worry about then, Viv? Thank you.

I had a bitch induced years ago on the advice of my vet as she was over 25 months without a first season.  She was mated on her 2nd season and produced 7 healthy pups.  She had normal seasons every 9 months after that.  Her grandaughter had her 1st season at 3 1/2 years and had normal seasons and three decent size litters while her litter sister was on her 3rd season.  I have never had a bitch come into season before her 1sr birthday.  There is no regular pattern to Irish Setter bitches and seasons and no pattern between siblings either.........blinkin typical!!!!!

Paula....keep the faith.  Your girl will have a season and have normal litters. 

Aoife had her first season at three years and has had one a year since then she is nearly seven; Nell had her first at six months and has one every six months as regular as clockwork she is three and a half; and Laoise had a season at fourteen months but we don't know whether is was her first! None of them will ever have babies so it isn't really important but just shows they are all individuals.
Lesley as far as I know that was laoise's first season!! Rua is the only one of mine to come in heat before her first birthday! The others were  over 18 months, and Megan was over two!! I always thought Rua, being an alpha female delayed the younger ones, but its just a theory;o)) But they all do seem to have heats every 9 or 10 months after the first one!! All different but normal;o))
Interesting point Camilla and Carmel about the alpha female because my foundation bitch was definately the dominant one at the time and it did seem to delay the younger ones.   to fast forward to the present day Vita came in when she was 22 months.  Not sure if she regarded Grace as an alpha female as she could never be bothered.  Also Grace was never bred from.  Perhaps that also plays an important part in female heirarchy.

My girls typically do not come into season at a young age. They usually start any time between 18 -26 months and then come in every 12 months. Makes it easy to plan breeding and it's actually better for their uterine health long term if they don't have lots of seasons. 

You can always have her ultrasounded or have her looked at ...usually keyhole surgery- to ensure that all is normal. Usually they are just immature.




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