Administrator & Alpha Bitch of the Wild Bunch
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Michigan, USA
Raven did something similar whelping her first litter. On and off signs of stage 1 labor for 1.5 days before labor started in earnest and pups were born. We were worried (not to mention very sleep deprived!) with all the false starts but since she was obviously not in distress we just waited it out and watched her closely. Once things really got going with real labor, the whelping went fine.
Looking back in hindsight, I think that she was delaying and halting labor herself because it being her first litter she wasn't sure what was going on, and I'm pretty convinced the reason she was holding off labor was that she thought she had to go to the bathroom and didn't want to make a mess in the house. This is a dog who's so festidious I think she'd explode before she had an accident indoors. When we'd take her out in the yard for a walk she'd squat as if to eliminate (but she didn't have to pee or poop) and immediately start having contractions and show more advanced signs of labor, so we'd bring her in as we didn't want a pup delivered in the yard, and then she'd stop the active labor, but want to go to the door to go outside again. She didn't have to go to the bathroom, but seemed to think that she did. When she did finally birth the first pup she was a bit panicked for a second thinking she'd messed in the house, then realized it was a pup, mothering instincts took over and from there on out it was a quick easy delivery of the rest. For her next litter we were prepared to just let her deliver the first pup in the yard if something similar happened again so as not to delay labor again, but that wasn't necessary. Apparently the second time around she knew the difference between the "I'm gonna give birth" feeling and the "I gotta take a dump" feeling.
So I'd just keep an eye on her and so long as she isn't in distress, just act normal, keep her comfortable and avoid stressing her out (bitches can stall and delay labor if they feel stressed or disturbed), and things will probably be fine. I'd bet you'll have puppies tonight as they can only delay so long before nature takes it's course.
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