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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone! Im new to this forum but looking for some advise. I lost my GSD earlier this year. In November I finally felt ready to get a new companion, but didn't want a puppy. We found someone that was rehoming their dog so we got her. Anyways long story short we got a 2 year old female and it turns out she is pregnant. I've never even attempted to breed a dog so I have no idea what I'm doing. Vet said she is going to have them sometime this week. Can anyone tell me what to be watching for? Please and thank you!
 

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Time to set up a box and put loads of newspapers in it. Spread each out and make the bottom of the box 10 - 12 sheets thick at least. LOTS of newspapers.

You can take her in and have her x-rayed at this point and see how many you are likely to have.

I would get on amazon.com and get a book on whelping and raising a litter and have it overnighted to your home. Read it. It will tell you about the possible problems during whelping, what to expect, and when to call in your vet if necessary.

Your bitch will likely do what she needs to do with the puppies. Sometimes it is best to tear the umbilcal cord yourself, if it isn't stressing her out. I usually let her work on the puppy, cleaning it etc, so long as it is moving. She will make it squeak, and it will look for the teets. If it isn't breathing or she doesn't clean the sack off, then you need to do this.

So long as it is ok, I leave it until she is working on the next one. Then I will dry the first one and put some rick rack on it, and weigh it, record sex, weight, color of rick rack and give her back to the mother and do the same for the second pup.

It can be a long night. Sometimes they have 2-4 puppies. Sometimes 6-8, sometimes 10-14. This is why an x-ray can be helpful. If she shuts down after 5 puppies and doesn't have anymore, she may be done. Or, she may have dystocia, and if so, the remaining pups as well as the bitch are in trouble. If she is tired and stopped for more than 2-3 hours, but you know there are more puppies in there, then sometimes giving Carnation condensed milk or white ice cream can actually stimulate the process and start her going again.

Before she starts to whelp, she will become restless, tear around in the box, and pant heavily. Her temperature will steadily go down through the course of a week until it reaches about 99 degrees and then it will dip to about 98 and stay there for about 12 hours or so. Then it will come up over 100 before she whelps. If you record her temperature twice a day, from this point on, you should see the 98 dip. Usually once that happens, pups will come within 24 hours.

If you got the bitch from a breeder, maybe your best bet is to call the breeder and see if she will whelp the litter for you. The bitch should feel comfortable there, and she will be able to come back to you 6-8 weeks after the litter is whelped.

It is an awful lot of work for someone who had no idea, and now it is happening within a week.

Good luck. Ask LOTS of questions. We will try to help.
 

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Selzer I've seen you respond to many posts with helpful advise so I was hoping you would post on mine! Thank you. I emailed the guy we got her from and all he said was she tied once on october 23 but they didnt think she got pregnant so they didn't mention it to me. He isnt really any help. We set her up a box and did put a lot of newspaper in it and thankfully she loves it. She's been laying in there ever since. I did read about the temperature so we've been taking it. Last time we took it it was 100.5.
 

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You're looking for a significant drop that will come back up, so keep taking it -- same time, twice a day, and record.

If her temperature goes down, comes back up, and she still doesn't present puppies -- this has happened to me, you will need to take her to the vet, and having these things recorded will help them.

It would be good to know where you have a good 24 hour clinic. Bitches generally do not have puppies between 9 and 5. They usually start this business at 11pm-12am, which means that at 2AM you are looking at your watch, and your bitch and your watch and wondering how you are going to get her to the vet.

Usually, and especially with a young, healthy bitch, you will not have complications. What to do is to know what to watch out for, and hopefully, none of it will happen. Win Win. If you know what to do and there is a problem, then you give your bitch the best chance of making it, and the pups. If you don't know what to do and there is no problem, then you lucked out. If you don't know what to do and there is a problem, then the results can be catastrophic. You can lose the dam and have pups that need to be raised by hand -- every two hours feeding 7-10 puppies, and stimulating them so they can pee and poop. Very hard to do. The bitch is the one that does the lions share of the whelping and the caring for the pups for the first three weeks at least.

Beg everyone you know to save papers for you.

If necessary, you can transport the bitch and pups to the vet, use a laundry basket for the pups, and a blanket. Don't put it down on the floor.

After whelping, keep an eye on the bitch. Young ones, or bitches that are unsettled in a new environment may hurt their babies or bitches that have C-sections, may not get it right away. Best to stay right with her until the umbilical cords fall off in a couple of days. Usually no problems -- always possible.
 

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What if her temp already dropped and now is higher? That would mean pups within the next day right?

When did you start taking the temp?

So after you told the previous owner she was pregnant, they didn't have any interest even though they were trying to breed her? Did they mate her with a GSD?

What a shock this must all be. Not to scare you but someone local just lost the mother dog after she had to go in for a c-section. They are now hand raising 14 GSD pups. I hope all goes well for you and everyone is healthy!!
 

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We have only been measuring her temperature today since we just found out. She just started showing in the belly but her nipples were getting big so that was our first clue. When we told the previous owner he acted like he didnt care. He did however give us the contact information for the owner of the male. The male is also an AKC registered Shepherd. He told us the agreement with the previous owner was either pick of the litter or $500 so that we need to pick which we will be doing. It's honestly all a little overwhelming but I obviously love my girl and will do everything I need to make her comfortable and help her however I can. What really breaks my heart is that from everything we have been told this was done completely for money and nothing else had been taken into account. They didnt think she had gotten pregnant so the got rid of her. I suppose I shoulnt assume since they didn't outright say that, but that's how it feels.
 

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the agreement was between Leylas previous owner and the owner of the male. you owe them absolutely nothing... if anything, the previous owners should pay the stud fee. I would not place a puppy with any of the irresponsible people involved. and yes I'm including the males owner in that statement as well.

wishing you the best of luck! good thing is that she doesn't look very large for 8 weeks...you should be looking at a fairly small litter.
 

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the agreement was between Leylas previous owner and the owner of the male. you owe them absolutely nothing... if anything, the previous owners should pay the stud fee. I would not place a puppy with any of the irresponsible people involved. and yes I'm including the males owner in that statement as well.
OP, the above is the absolute truth. Don't even think about giving any of those clowns a penny, much less one of the puppies. Both of them (previous owner of your girl & the owner of the stud) deserve new holes in their rear ends. If anything, they need to pay you for the hassle you're about to unexpectedly go through.

Big props to you for not only spotting this in time, but also preparing to do your best for the pups. Hope everything is as smooth as can be. Good luck!
 

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You might need to stay polite with the parents owners if you want to register the pups.

Having papers might be better for the pups and make it easier to find homes for them.

Juliette de bairacli has good book on natural rearing of dogs including section on whelping/diet etc.
 

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if rearing the litter creates any sort of financial hardship I'd offer these pups for a small rehoming fee to cover those expenses - otherwise I'd team up with a german shepherd rescue in the area and allow them to place them... they generally get vax and deworming done at lower cost, they'd leave with a spay/neuter contract and the pups would have some place to come back should the new home become unable to keep them. not to mention it frees you up from having to do a lot of placement/screening work. could provide some peace of mind to have them back the litter.

by getting papers and selling puppies, ethically it puts a lot more responsibility on you.
 

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Fodder has it.

That contract is not your responsibility. It's on the previous owner. I wouldn't even bother to have any more contact with either. I wouldn't bother with the registration papers. Then you will have to work with the male's owner.

Work with a GSD rescue to place the pups. If you need input on good rescues, just note your area. I'm sure people can give you a list of good rescues.
 

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I wouldn't rule out getting the papers. You may or may not be able to home puppies that you cannot prove are all GSD. Once puppies are on the ground, you can make that choice. If you have 3-4 puppies, then it may not be that big of a deal. It gets harder to place 8-10 puppies without any paperwork.

Also, sometimes people do want to know what their dog's lineage is. Don't burn your bridges on that. At the end of the day, you want the puppies to get the best homes.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thanks for the input everyone! All we care about is that they go to loving homes. I'm just not sure if we should do papers or not. Right now I'm just trying to get her through having them. Leyla started leaking colostrum earlier today. She seems pretty relaxed and content right now.
 

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What a shame!! I wouldn't pay a penny or give anything to anyone previously associated with her. I wouldn't worry about papers either., especially if that means involving any of the previous people associated with her. There are plenty of people out there that don't care about papers and even if they have them they don't do anything with them. I think that a good rescue could guide you and help find suitable homes for them.

Please keep us updated. You might have Christmas Puppies:)
 

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From what I've seen around here there is a lot of adopting puppies and turning around and rehoming them for a higher price than what they originally paid. Those are exactly the people I do not want them to go to.
 

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From what I've seen around here there is a lot of adopting puppies and turning around and rehoming them for a higher price than what they originally paid. Those are exactly the people I do not want them to go to.
What state are you in? Maybe someone can give you an idea on a reputable rescue group.
 

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GSR of Central Colo: German Shepherd Rescue of Central Colorado

GSR of the Rockies: German Shepherd Rescue of the Rockies

GSR of the Front Range: Welcome

I don't have contacts at any of them, but they're all 501(c)(3) charities, and AGSRA members (which means someone in the org has signed off on the AGSRA code of conduct).

The benefit of involving a rescue is that they should have an extensive adoption process--typically a lengthy form, followed by vet and reference checks, and a home check--before anyone even gets to see a dog. They also typically have contracts allowing them to reclaim a dog under specific circumstances, if it is being neglected, and also requiring the dog to be returned to the rescue if it needs rehoming. Many also have training requirements (e.g., completion of at minimum a basic obedience course by a certain age).

Beyond that, good rescues stay in touch with adopters -- a few days, a few weeks, a few months out there are follow-up emails and calls, to see how things are going, with offers of support to trouble-shoot any behavior issues that develop. Most importantly, a good rescue remains there as a safety-net for the dog for life. That means if the adopters have a new baby or divorce three years from now and suddenly want to get rid of a now-adult-dog, the rescue will deal with it--not you. If you don't involve a rescue, YOU have to be the safety net for life for this whole litter...and that's a very heavy responsibility you never asked for. Weird stuff happens, even with really good adopters---let the rescue worry about it.

I'm in southwestern CO for the holidays, a few hours from you, and I know there's a lot of demand for GSDs, at least in this part of the state. I know this because we're traveling with our 3 dogs, and our "dog hauler" vehicle has lots of GS rescue stickers. We get stopped a lot in Colorado by people wanting to know where to get a German Shepherd, asking if our personal dogs are up for adoption. These pups can be easily placed in good pet homes by any rescue worth its salt, without papers. In fact, a busy rescue might even already have a waiting list of potential adopters already approved who are specifically looking for a puppy but want to go through rescue.
 
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