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Hi

 

I have a little girl who is now 7 months old.  My first bitch ever.  Have always had dogs.  Could someone give me some advice i.,e when should I expect her first season, what signs to look for (other than the obvious blood), do I exercise her on a lead, do I keep her in. 

 

I dont intend to Spay her as it damages the coat, even though the vets frowns everytime I say no.  We have a 14 year old male,who was neutered at 18 months and within 6 months was like a woolly sheep.

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Hi Michelle,
I have two girls, one 4 and the other just turned 3. Both of them had their first season at around 13 months. Maeve, the elder seems to be about every 9 months and Bridget was a year between her first and second season, then 11 months - she's in season just now. I've had four IS girls and they've all had their first season quite late. We live rurally so they don't have to meet other dogs in normal exercise and I keep them away from shows, doggie classes, etc. for around three weeks from the first signs of bleeding. You would see some signs of swelling as she's building up to her season. I usually notice this when I'm grooming. (Mine like to lie on their backs and have their tummy's brushed.) I think you just get sensible about exercise if you're in town. I wouldn't be letting her off lead in a public park etc. and I would be walking her at quiet times where she's unlikely to run into other dogs - especially in the second week. Good luck with your wee girl. Is your boy enjoying having a lively wee sister in the house?
Over the years of having several bitches seasons leave you all in mess wondering when they will happen and how will they be after they have had one. I had one who had seasons every 6 and 8 mths .. fine then another first season didnt come until 2 and then had them every 6 mths. and one of them now she had her first at over two and shes still not had her second season. Usually i have the puppy owners asking when will they have there first season and they all had them long before this young one had her first so it goes to show there is no rules in this area.
The average time i think for first season tends to be around 12/13mths but ive know dogs well girls to go even to 3 before they have a 1st season. so im afraid you will just have to be patient like me.
he he run for the hills! that is the best advice anyone cn offer you now!!
Most of my Irish setters tend to have their 1 st season around 9 months and there after it varies from some that are like clockwork having their 2 nd season at 6 monthly intervals or some 8 monthly.One of my earliest bitches didnt have a first season until she was 3 but then had seasons annually thereafter, however she was the exception rather than the rule!
Mine had her first season when she was nearly two years old ( 21 months). I thought it was rather late, but now I see it is often in setters. She is 4 years old and had so far only 3 seasons. Season come once a year and around New Year (December, January).
I never keept her indoors while in season, but I did try and find uninhabited places (I live in a city). And yes on a leash. Most common sings were licking and cleaning as well as blood. And marking with urine all the time.
So far most of my bitches (except Rua) have had first seasons very late(around 20months) Abbey just had her first at 20months! My bitches also only come on heat every 9 months or so. Mine usually get a bit silly(sillier than usual!) a week or so before coming in heat and start flirting with every dog they see(male or female) and I then start watching for bleeding, swelling etc. I dont walk my bitches when in heat, but I have enough land to exercise them at home during that time!! Just take her out at quiet times (early morning and night time) Have fun!!;o))
The most notable sign that an give an indication when an Irish setter is going to come into season is they usually loose their coats about 6 weeks before hand .The coat goes an orangy colour and becomes wispy .This does not hold true for the first season though as i hav'nt noticed my puppies doing this!.

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