How To Prepare For Your German Shepherd Giving Birth
German Shepherds are truly great pets, and preparation for your dog giving birth will be one of the most important things you do for her throughout the birth process. These are what she cant do herself and will be grateful for once the birth begins.
But first, take a look at this incredible 3-minute video of a German Shepherd giving birth. Wow! Nature is truly amazing:
Even though dogs are relatively low-maintenance when it comes to the actual birth, there are still plenty of things you will need to do to get her ready and get the area ready where she will be giving birth.
Food For Pregnant German Shepherds
Pregnant German Shepherds have certain nutritional needs that arent met by standard dog food. Fortunately, more and more commercial suppliers actually have collections of dry and wet food out on the market that satisfy their nutritional requirements.
See example below from Royal Canin made specifically for German Shepherds. Click on the image to check the current price and availability on Amazon.
Regardless of what kind of food you give your dog, you dont want to go around taking a chance with their nutrition. Its easy to think that canine nutrition is like human and can be fixed up with certain pills, but its way more complicated.
If worse comes to worst, then youll want to ask your vet or a professional breeder for advice. Purebred German shepherds in particular tend to be kind of fussy when it comes to what they need to eat during this special time.
How Many Times In A Year Can A German Shepherd Give Birth
This should happen about two times a year about six months apart for the rest of her life. However, there is a certain period of time in your German Shepherds life when you should really be paying attention to when she is in heat.
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Provide A Special Room
If doggie diapers arent your idea of fun, your house can still stay relatively clean. This involves keeping your in-heat GSD in a room with a tile or linoleum floor.
Shell leave a bit of a mess that youll want to clean frequently, but at least you wont have to change diapers for three weeks.
Keep in mind that estrus discharge can smell quite strongly. If you have a sensitive nose, must leave your dog alone for eight or more hours, or get queasy at the sight of blood, you wont want to skip the diapers.
Trust us on this one. Most dogs will clean up after themselves, but only their own bodies.
Theyll leave the floor, bedding, toys, and furniture to you.
The Size Of The Female Dog
The size of the dog has a big impact of how many puppies they can carry. Although German Shepherds are considered to be a large dog breed some female German Shepherds are larger than others.
A female GSD that is larger will be able to carry more pups than a smaller one. So, if your German Shepherd weighs 70 pounds, they wont be able to carry as many puppies as a 100-pound German Shepherd.
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When Can A German Shepherd Be Pregnant
Fertilization can only happen during the second stage of the heat cycle. At that point, a German shepherd can be impregnated.
With that said, the gestation period can be considered as the third stage of a German shepherds heat cycle. This usually occurs after 6 months.
If you want to know more about the heat cycle, check out our German shepherd heat cycle article.
When Can German Shepherds Get Pregnant
Female German Shepherds get closer to being pregnant when they experience their first heat cycle, which varies from breed to breed. Usually, larger breeds of German Shepherds experience their first heat when they are 9 12 months old, while smaller breeds can have their first heat as early as 6 months from their birth.
During a heat cycle, your German Shepherd will be in pain, so naturally, she may not eat much or be as active as before. Since your dog will be bleeding, she may act moody or aggressive at times. During this stage, you should be gentle with your precious pet and let her be. No matter when your German Shepherd has her first heat cycle, she wont be ready to breed until she is about two years old.
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Signs Of Dog Pregnancy
The next question after, How long are dogs pregnant for? might be What are the signs that a dog is pregnant? Since dog pregnancy is such a relatively rapid phenomenon, it can certainly sneak up on an unsuspecting dog owner. Tracking dog pregnancy symptoms requires a keen and observant eye, since a dog at the onset of fertility looks very much like she would at several weeks pregnant. The most frequently cited sign of pregnancy in dogs is red, enlarged or swelled nipples, which also happen when a dog is in heat. Over the course of the dog gestation period, the teats will grow even larger as she begins to produce milk for forthcoming puppies.
In answering how long are dogs pregnant, its important to remember that, for larger dogs especially, the swollen abdomen that we notice in humans might not present until the last three weeks of pregnancy. For the first couple of weeks of a dogs pregnancy, she may lose her appetite and become lethargic. Vomiting, which we associate with morning sickness in humans, may occur, but is one of the less common dog pregnancy symptoms. Along with the changes in the size of her teats, markedly lower energy and appetite levels may be the best early indicators for dog owners unacquainted with the process.
How To Care For Them
After birth has happened, its really important to care for puppies as much, as for their mother. When she is lying there, just feeding their children, she wont eat. Probably. Although, she desperately needs to drink a lot of water.
In about half a day, she will get hungry. And that is when she will surely need to receive her food. Better place it around her, so that when the dog wants to eat it can. As for the puppies, most of the work will be done by their mother. But some recommend to find a place to house them after 10 weeks of their life, as they will be much more independent at that time.
Wish you best of luck for your new-born puppies, and thank You for reading!
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Can I Play With A Pregnant German Shepherd
Not only can you still play with your dog, you probably still should! Pregnant German shepherds need exercise to keep up their strength and maintain their health.
Youll certainly want to avoid anything that could cause trauma to their lower regions and anything hard strikes on the belly. Dont rile your dog up so much that they run around and cause potential damage to the birthing area.
This could be a major issue depending on how far along your dog is and how healthy she is otherwise.
How Old Does A German Shepherd Need To Be To Breed
When I bred my first female German Shepherd, I did not breed her before she had her third season. After talking to the Breeder that I purchased my dog from, he told me to wait until your dog has had her fourth season before you breed her, but she should be three years old or older before she is bred. He has experience breeding a female too young and its a risk because some female will not want to take care of her puppies because shes too immature and then he would have to bottle feed all the pups to save the letter, and thats a lot of work and time youll spend taking care of puppies.
Just in case youre wondering
Male German Shepherds can be bred at 18 months up throughout their lives, but its not being bred they can become sterile as they ages.
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How To Tell If Your German Shepherd Is Pregnant
German Shepherds are good at enduring and hiding their pain, so even if they are experiencing the heat cycle, they may not outwardly show it. Due to this reason, it can be hard to keep track of the gestation period and pregnancy of your German Shepherd.
Having said that, you can still tell your GSD is pregnant if you look for the following signs and symptoms:
Can A 7 Year Old German Shepherd Get Pregnant
Breeding isnt recommended past the age of 8. As your dog grows older the quality of her eggs will deteriorate and be more vulnerable to birth defects, and shell be less likely to carry to term. Male German shepherds should not stud until they have reached sexual maturity and shown confirmation temperament standards.
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Calcium For Pregnant German Shepherds
Since calcium is so important for pregnant mammals, you might be tempted to supplement your German Shepherds intake. Plenty of vets actually advise against this practice!
According to Ryan Llera , dogs who receive calcium supplementation during pregnancy could be at an increased risk for a medical condition called eclampsia.
How Long Is Each Cycle
Heat usually lasts between 2-4 weeks. Early in the cycle, a female dog may not be receptive to male dogs, although some are receptive through the entire cycle. It can be shorter or longer and youll know the cycle is over when all her vulva returns to its normal size and theres no more bleeding or discharge. Theres a relatively small window when your dog is most fertile during the heat cycle it may begin about nine or ten days after she goes into heat and lasts about five days. However, she can become pregnant until the end of the cycle.
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How To Care For Your German Shepherd During The Heat
There are many ways you can care for your German shepherd during her heat cycle, both in terms of keeping her safe and also make her feel comfortable. It would be best if you keep in mind that this period makes the dog uncomfortable, and you, as a pet owner, owe the responsibility to look after her on this journey.
What About Male German Shepherds During Heat
As promised, well talk a little about caring for a male German Shepherd during another dogs heat cycle. You now know that male dogs do not go into heat.
Yet, they sure do start acting weird when someone elses female dog goes into heat. How can you help your male dog survive a heat cycle? Its surprisingly easy.
If your male German Shepherd is still intact, hes going to smell a female in heat from quite far away. However, its not that hes smelling her over that long distance.
More likely, hes tracked her from farther away. Her smell may have clung to her owner out for a walk alone, for example.
Regardless, if there is a female in heat somewhere within walking distance, your male dog is going to know it and so will you.
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How Often Will My German Shepherd Go Into Heat
Unfortunately, as much as wed like to know precisely when our female German Shepherds will go into a heat phase, it is not set in stone.
In a large number of circumstances, the typical female heat process can go up to a month. Several female German Shepherds will enter the estrus phase four months later, yet others might not reach that stage for another year.
Training A German Shepherd
The most important and best way to train a German Shepherd is through positive training, which engates their minds and bodies.
Choose a positive training program that you find fun and will participate in almost daily.
For the best results use these tips:
- Start training as a young puppy to develop the good habits you want.
- Keep the training sessions short, especially for puppies.
- Use a high-value reward that is also healthy choose from this list of GSD treats: The Healthiest Treats for a German Shepherd
- Enroll in a training program that uses their mental ability to increase your bond
With plenty of training the right way, you may find your German Shepherd, both male and female, excels at sports, such as agility and rally obedience.
And, this breed is a true tracker with their excellent scenting abilities.
The best training for a German Shepherd is a program called Brain Training for Dogs. Its fun and includes easy games to help obedience train your GSD.
Remember, the skys the limit when you choose to train a German Shepherd.
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German Shepherd Pregnancy Care
There is a risk that first-time owners will find it challenging to care for a pregnant German shepherd. But it will be a breeze if you establish a weekly caretaking schedule. It can help you become organized, and breaking down the tasks will allow you to succeed in caring for your German shepherd.
During the third week of her pregnancy, your pet is likely more anxious and hungry. To keep your dog happy while feeding her, you should supply her with high-quality toys and treats. Their nipples will eventually show changes as they grow larger and become darker in color. You must consider reducing your dogs physical activity in the fourth week because it is the period when your pregnant dog is more delicate. You also need to make sure that you talk to the veterinarian about your pets vitamin needs for their diet.
And the essential thing is grooming your German Shepherd to maintain its health. In the sixth week, you should expect your pet to start gaining weight.
Your puppies will grow more quickly if you progressively decrease the amount of food they eat. The growth of its puppies constrains your dogs ability to eat large amounts of food. So its a good idea to feed them more frequently and in smaller portions. Breastfeeding will begin in the seventh week of the German shepherds pregnancy. To ensure your dogs comfort, you must find a whelping place.
Determining When A Dog Became Pregnant
If gestational age is going to do you any good, you need to determine when the dog became pregnant. Often, this is harder than it first appears. When the male and female get together isnt necessarily when the female becomes pregnant.
Sperm can live inside a female for days. Usually, dogs mate before the eggs are ready to be fertilized. It works best when the sperm are already waiting upon the release of the egg.
Eggs themselves stay fertile for up to 48 hours. They can be fertilized anywhere in this period.
Therefore, the date of conception isnt necessarily the same as when the dogs mated. It is nearly impossible for the average person to determine when the eggs were fertilized. There arent any outward signs that point to this happening!
Usually, dogs are pregnant anywhere from 58-72 days from the day they mate. This is a much more extensive range than what we discussed earlier, as it considers all the possible variables regarding when the eggs become fertilized.
However, some hormone tests can be helpful. Many professional breeders use these to determine pregnancy length and age. Usually, hormones are taken throughout the breeding process to help determine when the female becomes pregnant.
A rise in progesterone signifies that the eggs were just released. The eggs are only active for about 48 hours. Therefore, the breeder can accurately determine the date of conception within a two-day range using this method.
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Give More Love And Affection To Your Dog
In this period, your German Shepherd will require more attention. You should give her some extra love and show more affection. It will help her to stay calm and not suffer.
Your German Shepherd can be frustrated during this period because she is not getting a male with whom she can mate.
She does not know and cant understand why you do not want her to breed.
You have to give her a lot of love and affection to keep her calm. You can give her a little massage, pet her, please her and give her some of her favorite treats.
How Much Do German Shepherd Puppies Cost
If you are buying a puppy from a breeder you can expect to pay anywhere from $600-$1500. The average price of a German Shepherd puppy is $1000. As a general rule reputable breeders tend to charge higher prices because they put more time, effort, and money into caring for their breeding dogs and puppies.
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What Is The Heat Cycle
The heat cycle, also called the estrus cycle, indicates that the female dog has reached sexual maturity. The dogs heat cycle may be confusing for some people. It is sometimes referred to as dogs menstrual cycle, similar to the females in humans.
When a dog comes in heat, she has elevated hormone estrogen levels, which drop off quickly, producing signals for ovaries to release eggs. While you see some obvious signs indicating heat in your shepherd, your dog will be ready for breeding to produce litter during that period. But for that, you have to be well aware of the signs of heat in GSD.
Interesting fact: A shepherd produces pheromones in heat, which have a specific smell that attracts the males for mating! Woah, the male can sense this smell from miles to MEET AND GREET the female!
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