Berthapup having first season; she started on 4th May. She is still bleeding now though very light and mostly (but not always) just a pinky fluid.
Phoned vets last week to book her in to be spayed in three months. Whilst doing that I spoke to the veterinary nurse about end of season. She said that they are only fertile for a few days around day 10-12 and therefore she should be ok to go out in dog company as of this week. She said that she may still smell nice to un-neutered males but she wouldn't be receptive.
Now, I'm not convinced by this and we're definitely keeping her on quiet lead walks until the weekend which will be the three week point. But, if she's still bleeding is she still possibly fertile? Or are we safe from puppy risk but still going to have lots of male dogs following us closely followed by annoyed owners?
There is huge variation between bitches. Yes day 10 to 14 is the most common, but it can be up to day 21. If other dogs appear to be interested I would not take the risk of letting her off. You can not be to careful.
It is technically possible at any time during a season for the bitch to get pregnant as you don't know for sure what her receptive days are. I used to keep my bitch on a lead and on evening walks in quiet areas religiously as felt the risk wasnt worth it.
Fertile period usually 10-14 days after it starts, but the beginning can be so slight and they keep themselves clean it can be missed. Also the vulva swells and is at its largest during conception days and then subsides gradually. Best to give her back half a wash when finished so the attractive smell doesn't linger. Could be 4 weeks until all back to normal.
Thank you all. If it's possible for a dog to look depressed then she does! She's normally such an active dog and the lack of a good run is taking its toll. She also lives for dog play so the lack of interaction isn't helping. I'm going gauge interest levels with a friend's entire dog tomorrow (on a lead & closely supervised) and see how we go.
I think we're on fairly safe ground as tomorrow is 21 days but am not willing to risk it so will be very careful and if need be she'll have another week of confinement.