German Shepherd Dogs
German Shepherd Dog
Tsara, our German Shepherd Dog bitch at the ShadowSquad breeders, we
were carefully keeping an eye on her to see if she had 'taken'.
Now for the first few weeks of dog pregnancy
which lasts about 9 weeks, you won't notice any difference in her
behavior, we didn't with Tsara but were making sure we didn't
over-exercise her as she was a very active dog.
It wasn't until about the 4th week that we knew for sure that she was 'in
whelp' and carrying a German
Shepherd Dog puppy litter - the dog mating was a success!
We were very pleased and excited, and started to make plans for our new
German Shepherd Puppies.
We increased her food intake at about 5-6 weeks, feeding twice/ 3 times
a day, with more meat and supplements, and added proteins and vitamins,
and also a milk meal, and occasionally an egg which she really liked a
Now at this time, it's important to continue with a regular, gentle
exercise routine to keep your dog fit and healthy so she can cope with
the birth of the puppies.
You should also decide where your bitch is going to have her puppies so
she will be happy to whelp
in the desired place. It should be quiet and secure, with no
distractions and where the temperature remains fairly constant.
Although an outside warm and ventilated kennel is ideal, we wanted
Tsara to be inside the house with us as normal,in order to keep an eye
on her in case of any possible problems.
As the time got nearer, we built a wooden 'whelping
box' which was large enough for her to stretch
out in, with raised sides to keep the puppies in, but not too high so
that Tsara could get over to go outside to relieve herself ( a
bitch will not soil where her puppies are). We put
newspapers down on the base because they are easy to remove and replace
a carpet base although practical might interfere with the puppies i.e. carpet strands might
get caught on the bitches nipples and cause problems with the puppies
feeding - you certainly don't want them choking on any loose strands.
Then we introduced Tsara to the 'whelping box'
and let her explore it and waited to see if it met with her approval!
It's very important that your dog is happy and contented with where you
choose the 'whelping'
to take place. After encouraging Tsara to get into the whelping box and
have a look round, we were relieved that she seemed to accept it, and
this is where she will be sleeping from now on.
Our other German
Shepherd Dog Kelly (who
was an ex breeding dog that we had adopted) looked on with
interest, but she kept well out of the way. She seemed to know that
this was Tsara's place from now on and was not going to interfere in
We knew that Tsara
was going to have her puppies soon because she went off her food and
became restless, sometimes she looked uneasy and couldn't seem to
settle down. She had enjoyed her milky drinks and the eggs that we had
given her - but the time was near and now she had stopped eating, so we
let her settle down in the
whelping box and waited. It wasn't too much longer that
her waters broke and soon after her contractions began.
The New Born Puppies Arrive
She had the first
puppy at about 8.00pm, and another one about 15 minutes later. Then
about an hour later, I thought I'd better take Kelly out for her
night-time walk. Much to my amazement, Tsara got up and wanted to come
I was shocked and
told her NO - she seemed disappointed but relented and lay down again
with her 2 newly born pups.
We weren't out
long (about 20 minutes) and got back home quickly.
Just as well,
because about 15 minutes later, Tsara had her next puppy, quickly
followed by another one. So now she had given birth to 4 German Shepherd puppies
which were all snuggled up beside her.
But it was about
another 2 hours before she had her next puppy, and then about 10
minutes later, she had her sixth and last puppy.
Now after each
puppy had been born, Tsara bit into the after birth (like a small sack)
and cleared it all up, then proceeded to clean each individual puppy.
Now it was about
mid-night, and after each puppy had been born and Tsara had cleaned up,
my wife towel-dried each puppy and quickly inspected it to make sure it
was breathing OK,
and then put it on a teat and made certain each one
was suckling. note:
if the newly born puppy does not appear to be breathing properly, then
blow air up into his nose
Now you don't want to handle the
newly born puppies too much, as soon as they are cleaned up, just make
sure they are breathing alright, then put them next to their mother on
one of her teats and make sure they start suckling on a teat. You want
to be helping the bitch, and not interfering. If you try to get
involved more - you run the risk of the bitch deciding not to have
anything to do with her puppies. Your job at the time of birth is just
to make sure the puppies are OK after being born, and are in position
to suckle on their mother, and don't get squashed under the bitch when
she is giving birth to the next puppy.
the next 2 days, we gave Tsara milky foods sweetened with sugar, and
then from the third day - we gradually started to give her proteins,
added vitamins and start to get her daily diet back to normal again.
Tsara started eating like a horse to get her strength back, but still
looked incredibly well.
The German Shepherd puppies
weighed only about 1lbs 8 oz s at birth - tiny little bundles with their
eyes shut (they
wouldn't open till they were about 14 days old) and spent
their whole time asleep or suckling their mother's milk.
was a much better mother to her puppies than we expected, she lay down
and tended to their wants, and carefully inspected the puppies and
nurtured each one.
would leave them sleeping and venture out into the kitchen with us,
eating and drinking then going outside to relieve herself. As the days
went by, she would increase the time out of the 'whelping box' more,
and sometimes lay down near us - but always keeping alert to her
puppies in case they needed her.
Tsara with her new puppies
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