Know that I'm an unexperienced breeder, but my learning curve is steep and I'm learning a lot. So with that, I will share my experience with others. First of all I know more about the heat cycle of a dog then I ever wanted to know. Which by the way is very similar to a human's, but only happens twice a year. So Belle was due to come into season in May, right around the time of her surgery. But she didn't show any signs. I discussed this with the vet and he said that sometimes they have a silent heat and that she should come in at her normal time which would be November. This was at the end of June. Belle Starr turned 2 years of age July 11th. That is when they can get their OFA clearances for elbows and hips. They can't do this if they are in a heat cycle. So she was kinda showing signs of coming in season, and I was worried that we couldn't get her ex-rays for the clearances and I would have to hold off breeding. I took her in and they said she was fine and we did the OFA clearances. Then low and behold, she went into her heat cycle the next week. Once again, Belle Starr was secluded in the dog room. But this time it was for the best. No stray dogs for this girl. She doesn't get to choose her guy, for sure it would probably be not a good choice. Being her first mating she was reluctant to breed, so we ended up having help from the vet. We really didn't want to miss this opportunity. So that was the beginning.