The German Shepherd is a very serious dog breed. Usually, responsible and knowledgeable people with at least minimal knowledge of cynology give birth to such a breed as a pet. That is why the process of mating, bitch pregnancy, and childbirth are treated carefully and with a great deal of responsibility.
What Age Can A German Shepherd Get Pregnant?
Animals of the German Shepherd breed are medium-sized dogs, and all large pets usually bring a large litter. To bear such a number of puppies and safely give birth, and in the future to feed them, the female needs to be fully mature.
Important! In shepherd dogs, the puberty process is more protracted than in other breeds. A fully formed dog becomes about 1.5 – 2 years old.
Thus, a pet that has reached the age of two and has passed the first two estruses is ready to participate in mating, and in the future to bear and give birth to puppies. Early mating in shepherd dogs, in the first or second estrus, is not allowed. At this time, the female has not yet fully formed. Early pregnancy will completely stop her growth and development. In addition, puppies will not get everything they need from their mother’s milk.
Experienced breeders who value their pets usually do not breed dogs every heat. The maximum is allowed to mate it once a year. But even in this mode, the animal’s body literally works “for wear and tear.” Dogs older than 6 – 8 years old should not be allowed into breeding. In addition, you need to monitor the condition of your pet. If there are any health deficiencies, it is better to avoid the planned mating and restore all life processes.
What To Expect With A German Shepherd Pregnancy
German Shepherd dogs usually have multiple pregnancies. First-borns are unlikely to have too many droppings. Usually, it is 4 – 5 puppies. But in adults, experienced females, 10 – 12 or even 15 puppies can be born. This fact must be taken into account even at the stage of planning a female’s pregnancy.
How Long Does It Take?
The period of bearing puppies for “German women” lasts about 60 – 65 days. These terms are very individual and depend on many factors. Moreover, in the first month and a half, there are practically no visual signs of pregnancy. Only a couple of weeks before giving birth, the body of the female is noticeably rounded, a rounded belly and swollen, discolored nipples appear.
Years of observation experience helped to identify some features of pregnancy in Female German Shepherds:
- first-borns carry droppings much longer than experienced females;
- the number of puppies in a litter directly affects the timing of pregnancy;
- with a duration of more than 70 days, you will have to seek help from surgeons;
- puppies born before 53 days of age usually do not survive.
Pet owners will have to carefully monitor and care for the shepherd so that she can bear and give birth to healthy babies.
How Is It Going?
In most cases, the female’s pregnancy is planned and the owners expect the bitch to bear from the male. Therefore, there should be no problems with the visual determination of the presence of puppies. However, inexperienced owners may not notice the special situation of the pet, especially if it is firstborn and continues to lead an active lifestyle.
Experienced dogs usually become more affectionate and calm, spend a lot of time next to their owners. Their need for water and appetite increases, during pregnancy they gain several kilograms.
How Do You Know When Your GSD Is About to Give Birth?
Attentive owners can take temperature measurements to monitor the condition of the pet. Before childbirth, the indicators decrease by about one and a half degrees.
It is also recommended that you constantly inspect the loop. Swollen folds are straightened and transparent discharge appears. Ultrasound diagnostics are considered medical procedures that help determine the day of birth. You can calculate the approximate day of birth by the mating date.
Before giving birth, the female needs to prepare the birthplace and remove hair from the genital area, anus, and also on abdomen. By the behavior of the female, it is also possible to determine the approaching birth, she is looking for a “place” where she and the puppies will be comfortable and calm.