Okay - you can stop wondering. Leeloo is now in heat. I suspected two days ago she was but didn't want to get anyone's hopes up. Tomorrow the dogs are seperated while I'm out, usually they share a pen and spend the day cozying up to each other. But now, although they get to cuddle and do all the gross dog things dogs do when they are preparing to breed, they are not allowed conjugal visits.
See, while I do want to breed them, I do not want them to do it willy nilly. They are both first timers and while the heat of the moment says YES YES YES, sometimes during the actual act one (usually the gal) can say WTF ARE YOU DOING?? Also, knowing exactly when and for how long they've bred will tell me when I can possibly expect bundles of joy. Plus, you can't expect Boy to know when to quit, he would exhaust himself in the first 24 hours. He doesn't eat or drink when 'in love' and I certainly don't want him passing out!
In case you are not familiar with dog coitus (and I'll try to keep it PG), once they are 'Plug A into Socket B' there is a muscular reaction which causes Plug A to become 'locked' into Socket B thereby preventing the seperation of said parts. Should the owner of the Socket take particular exception to a randy Plug serious damage can occur to both circuits and all kinds of mayhem would ensue.
Good stud managers who host several bitches a year do not allow unsupervised activities between the Plug and the Socket. Many will allow the dogs to get aquainted and hang out together until they are actually ready to be bred; the dogs will flirt, tease and enjoy a little foreplay so that once the action really starts it's not the first time the dogs are meeting. No one likes to be accosted by a testosterone charged Plug on the first date. You know I'm right.
So this 'get to know you' period is fine until the electricity is turned on and the Socket is ready to meet its Plug. Once ovulation occurs, usually about 10 days into the heat but it can vary widely, it is important to keep the dogs seperated and only allow them access to each other when they are actually being bred. This happens 3 or 4 times over the course of about 5 days. Do not be fooled - dogs cannot mate until the bitch is ovulating. She knows it. He knows it. Only they know when the time is right (unless you are doing progesterone testing but that is a whole other story).
Anyway, over the course of the next two weeks or so I will keep an eye on the dogs and allow them to dictate the timing of the breedings. I don't trust any breeding like I trust 'live cover', which is what peeps in the biz call Plug to Socket canine sex. What is interesting is that during this foreplay period, Leeloo will flirt with Boy, wave her bottom at him and try to get him to play. He will obviously happily oblige. Then the heat gets turned up for five days of canine coitus where they can't get enough of each other. However, once she is satisfied he has done his manly duty she's all "RAWR! Get the frig away from me arsehole!" That is how you know she's done ovulating.
The timing works out pretty well actually because both my parents will be in town for a dog show about the time my slutty little Socket will be ready to receive her Horny Plug. Yay right ... super fun quality time with the 'rents. Breeding dogs without assistance can be complicated and give the size and inexperience of the dogs here ... help is definitely going to be required.
Yes indeedy ... dog breeding is a delight for the ages.
And as a happy aside, Boy's sister Rifka in British Columbia is was confirmed in whelp via ultrasound and will expect a litter in 4 weeks! This is be the very first litter for Elyia Ridgebacks and we are so excited to see what Rifka and Akala produce!