Is there any truth in this old kennelman's tale?
I’d like to have a litter from my gundog bitch. To help things along, a friend has offered to kennel her next to one of his bitches which has come into season. He says that this will bring my bitch on heat as well. Is there any truth in this or is it just a myth. I have to say it seems worth a try, I can’t see any downside.
What do you think?
Bringing a bitch on heat
This is an old kennelman’s tale that has a ring of truth about it. So I’d definitely agree it’s worth trying.
When a group of gundog bitches are kept together they tend to go on heat at the same time. What’s the reason for this?
It’s probably from when domestic dogs broke away from a common wild dog ancestry.
This is definitely worth trying as it is one “old kennelman’s tale” that rings true. Many wild canines will share suckling duties, with maiden bitches coming into milk and helping feed puppies. If you think about it, this behaviour is very practical and probably evolved so that litters could be raised healthily when food was too scarce for a single bitch to produce enough milk.
Domestic dogs often still retain the trait of coming on heat if they are kept closely alongside another on-heat bitch.
If you are planning to go down this route there is an important thing to remember. The bitches should not be kept in the same kennel, as many bitches can be very possess of their living space when they are in season.
Again this stems from the wild dog days, when a bitch would want to preserve ownership of the birthing den.
Things to know about a bitch on heat
- Heat or oestrus is when a female dog is receptive to mating
- A bitch reaches sexual maturity at around six months old.
- Bitches have their first heat at around six months old, but it can vary. Larger dogs can be a bit later.
- A responsible breeder will never breed a dog on her first or second heat. Visit your vet first before breeding from her and they will tell you when your gundog bitch is ready, as well as running any necessary genetic testing.