At some point in time, either expressly, or accidentally, German shepherd females might get pregnant. It is stated, that you should breed German shepherds only after a female has reached 2 years of age, or passed the 2nd heat.
Otherwise, you are doing it at your own risk! Then you might ask: “How long does it take for pregnancy to end?” And the answer depends on some factors. But on average, the duration of pregnancy term is around 65 days long.
How to Identify Pregnant German Shepherd?
While the pregnancy is in its first 2 weeks, you are likely not to see any symptoms. But the next stage occurs, when, after that time has passed, you can notice how the dog’s nipples are turning dark-pink color and start increasing in size.
In the next 5 days, you might see how fur around nipples decreases, thus puppies will have better access to them. You will probably note how your dog refuses to eat and that, in fact, might even scare you!
But if the previous symptoms are present, then you shouldn’t worry, as this is a normal process and a false alarm, and the most obvious symptom of pregnancy. It happens 20 to 30 days after mating.
German Shepherd Pregnancy Calendar
While pregnancy undergoes, you will see the following signs that note the stages of pregnancy:
- Heartbeats – puppies` heartbeats, to be precise. It happens at around 25 days after mating, and, obviously, is an important sign of pregnancy. Another 5 days – and you will even be able to feel the embryos if you search around the abdominal area of the dog. Also, you might just be able to understand how many puppies you are going to be dealing with.
- At 49 days of pregnancy, the pups will be kicking around, just like babies. This is because they are becoming larger and larger every day. The female will probably reject the food, as all the place in her stomach is taken up by her future children. This signs the last stage of pregnancy, and in a couple of weeks, more/less, you will be accompanied by some more German shepherds in your household.
- If you also see your dog searching around for something, she is probably looking for a place to fit all her puppies. This happens, again, mere days before birth.
One German shepherd can have from 4 to 9 puppies on average in one litter, depending on such circumstances, as its age, care, surrounding, and just pure randomness. But nonetheless, all the new dogs will stay around their mother, who will be feeding them with her breast most of the time.
And remember: you should not wash her in the first hours of their life, because German shepherds, like other dogs, have their own smell, which is used by puppies, for example, to remember their parents.
And definitely, you should not separate puppies from her for the first 56 days of their life, as newborn dogs learn from their parent in pretty much every aspect of life.
How to Care for Them?
After birth has happened, it’s really important to care for puppies as much, as for their mother. When she is lying there, just feeding their children, she won’t 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 finding a place to house them after 10 weeks of their life, as they will be much more independent at that time.
Wish you the best of luck with your newborn puppies, and thank You for reading!