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Hi

So breeding is something I've wanted to do since I was a little girl and of course it's going to be with my favourite breed!

I own the dam and the stud and know them extremely well, I love them both to pieces. I'm not interested in a lecture, I have done everything in my power to secure A plan to make these puppies entirely stable and the perfect house pet as they grow with me. They have had their relevant health checks etc, she's been given the all clear by the vet and she's now at the end of day 59!

I am so full of anticipation I keep thinking everything she has done for the last few days is a sign she's due. Now I've been tracking her temperature and today it's dropped to a record low of 37.3 and stayed that way all day. She's still eating, but her milk has been producing for the last week so it's started leaking because she's that full! Now we're just waiting for the puppies.

I'm actually hoping for some people to give me some first hand experience with their first little and the signs of the first stage of labour that your girl showed you to tell you it would be soon. I am on the edge of my seat every time she moves. She's showing us no signs except that the past few days she's been laying about and not really wanting to move much. She was sleeping a lot but at the minute she's more or less laying on her side wide awake, nibbling at her belly now and then (there's one persistent puppy who doesn't like to stay still!).

Going from this to labour, can anyone give me some info on the In- between? It's very hard to find haha. I have researched to the bone, literally about 4 solid days worth of research. My free time is all about research. I have books and I have been scouring YouTube and forums like this the past few days and some first hand accounts would be lovely!

Thank you :)
 

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I don't know squat about breeding. I agreed to foster a pregnant cat for Humane society and that was enough for me.

There are some good older threads here worth researching, tons of info, but I cant recall the titles. I remember one where a brother passed away and his sister took on his pregnant gsd. Experienced forum members guided her through it. You might try using different key words in the forum seach block until those with experience come along and see your thread.

Eta, found one.

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/breeding-general/434753-pregnant-dog-i-need-help.html
 

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Well I just recorded her evening temperature and she's down to 37.0/98.6 degrees so looks like it's this weekend! I think this thread will be a blog of her whelping :) I will post a picture pre-birth, I guessed 8 puppies!
 

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She should whelp within 24 hours. Usually they will start nesting and get restless as they go into 1st stage labor. I would keep an eye on her from now on. Have all your supplies handy too plus lots and lots of towels. It is a messy experience.
 

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If this is your first litter too it may be helpful to ask someone to help you who has raised litters (if the dog knows this person).
 

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My only advice: if this is your first litter, it's 3 times the amount of work you think it will be. I took in a rescue litter, and I was in a state of shock for the first week.

No advice on whelping, I wasn't there when the bitch dropped the litter, I got them at 5 weeks.

Hope it goes well, and post tons of pics when they are here!!!
 

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My only advice: if this is your first litter, it's 3 times the amount of work you think it will be. I took in a rescue litter, and I was in a state of shock for the first week.

No advice on whelping, I wasn't there when the bitch dropped the litter, I got them at 5 weeks.

Hope it goes well, and post tons of pics when they are here!!!
I took in a pregnant dog who going to be PTS in a pound. 10 pups and my life was on hold for more than 2 months. They all made it. If you do it right it will be a 24/7 job.
 

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Wolfy, I don't envy you at all! I only had 5 and it was a massive undertaking, and not one I would do again! Sadly, only two of the litter made it.
 

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Wolfy, I don't envy you at all! I only had 5 and it was a massive undertaking, and not one I would do again! Sadly, only two of the litter made it.
Me neither. I just wanted to experience this once without being responsible for breeding. But taking in her, I did add 11 to the pet population I guess.;)
I didn't mind; they were worth saving. It was one of the most fun experiences of my life.
 

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My 1st experience.... 11 puppies and only 7 "feeder stations":eek: Don't know how I did it. Up every 2 hours to bottle feed (and they were outside in a barn). Biggest help was my male Wolf/Shepherd (Sire). He would lay down with the litter and keep them warm and guard to let the Dam have breaks every couple of hours around the clock. He did everything but feed them. All lived and got great homes on farms.
 

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Temp generally goes back up before the whelping begins.

She will be restless and sometimes uncomfortable. Sometimes she will go off her feed. She will mess with the papers, and she will then spill some water-fluid. Usually the first pup will present within 30 minutes of this water. Usually.

She will start ripping at the papers/bedding and then she will lie down and pant a lot -- normal, then back to ripping -- normal. She will start circling -- normal. She may lie down and lick at her vaginal area -- normal. Within 2 hours of actual whelping -- fluid, panting, any straining or contractions, she should have the first puppy.

Typically, a blackish bubble starts to come down out of her, and will often fall the rest of the way out as she licks up the water and placenta. She will eat the placenta and bit off the cord. She will lick the puppy, pretty vigorously -- normal. She will clean him off. She will make him squeek. If she doesn't, you need to get the remainder of the sack off the puppy and dry the puppy. You should work on him until he squeeks and squirms. Weigh him and put identification on him. Give him back to his dam and record his weight and collar color. and the time.

Sometimes the dam does not like it when you work with the puppy. You can wait until she is busy with the next one to put his rick rack color on him and weigh him. But you cannot wait to dry him and get him breathing.

Sometimes you will have to help in the whelping process. Help has to be very careful. Do not pull the puppy out of the dam. Instead, you may have to ease the puppy down. Usually just holding the legs if breach, and as she contracts, not let her lose any ground. Sometimes you have to put your hand in there and help the bigger heads, out. Again, not pulling, but you can ease the puppy while encouraging the bitch to push.

I swear it is like being a cheerleader -- Push, push the baby out, good, girl, puuuussshhh. Push with her (not on the baby). Promise her a big steak, promise never to do this to her again, tell her she is the bestest girl in the whole world.

Sometimes after a few puppies come, bing, bang, bong, every 20 -30 minutes, you have a wait. Or your bitch seems worn out. But you think there may be more in there. Get a can of Carnation condensed milk, and put half a can of water and a whole can of the milk and put it in a bowl for her. Or, give her a dish of real vanilla ice cream -- these products can make the labor start again.

The clock is ticking, and it is not. It is not abnormal for her to have a break of 2-6 hours between puppies. Maybe even 8 or 10 hours. If she is not actively straining, then you can let some hours go by. Sometimes they come like clockwork every half an hour and then 2 or 3 hours and another comes. Then you think that is it, and she surprises you several hours later with another puppy. Often these pups are full-sized and they are often alive, no problems.

Sometimes they have a dead puppy blocking the canal. The remaining pups and the bitch could die if this happens. So, you have to be very careful. You have to monitor her state, and get her to a vet immediately if she is in trouble.

Do NOT let a vet give oxytocin to your bitch before x-raying to see if there are any puppies stuck. There are better drugs than oxytocin to restart labor and help push a remaining pup out. You may end up needing a c-section, let's hope not.

What is important is your bitch. Not the puppies. The bitch. She comes first. Without her, raising the puppies to 8 weeks will be terribly difficult. If you supplemented with calcium AT ALL during pregnancy, do not stop. In fact, you will be upping it. Lots of people stop with the calcium when the pups are out of the woods -- 1 week or 2 weeks -- don't do this. If she is nursing, then you need to supplement, IF you supplemented while she was pregnant. What happens is people feel the pups are doing good, they can lay off the calcium, and the bitch whose body has not had to make it/take it out of food, suddenly has her source of calcium gone. Then she has a calcium deficiency, and if you do not rush her to the vet, she will likely die.
 

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Umm, don't think I ever want a pregnant dog...wow, how you one keep their wits and not freak if there was a complication.. Sue, you are my hero!
 

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Normally, GSD puppies are long and thin. So, they generally come out, sack and all in a bubble and and it goes pretty smoothly. A percentage of the time, though, there are issues, and freaking out will make your bitch nervous and make the whole process so much worse. She is your responsibility, and whether it was an accident or not, her condition is on you. And what she NEEDS is an owner who is calm and confident, who will cheer her on and be with her in the process, who will call the shots, who will keep her home where she feels safe and comfortable unless it is absolutely necessary to take her in, and who will take her in if it is necessary.

Once upon a time, an owner of a couple of my pups called and asked me to help her whelp a litter. I went. Previously, through the process I tried to prepare her for what might happen. I did not want her to freak out if we lost a puppy and so forth.

I got there, and the dog spent the night with me on the couch. LOL! She was 5 years old, and I had her for her first year, but she liked me and slept there with me.

The next day we waited, we watched, we just weren't getting there. Finally, I suggested taking her to the vet to see what where we were exactly. She was in labor, had six puppies in there, and if she didn't start having them on her own by 4:00AM, bring her back.

Ok, back we went. We watched, we waited. We showed her her box. We walked her. Finally about 11PM or 12AM, she started getting down to business. Two hours later, I was seriously considering going back to the vet. I put my hand down in there and the head was there. I said, ok, we have a head, I helped the head come out. It was a HUGE head. The puppy was 20 - 22 ounces -- big, but not abnormally so -- the head was large though.

The next one needed help.

The next one needed help.

The fifth puppy did not need help coming out, but her gums were a little greyish and I had trouble getting her going. It may have been better had I not gotten her going. She died after much medical intervention at about 3 months. Sometimes these things happen, and sometimes naturally these pups wouldn't make it. But, sometimes a pup just needs a bit of a boost and will be fine, and there is no telling at that point which is which. But we got her going.

The next morning it was getting later and later, and we knew there was another puppy. I needed to leave at one. The bitch was giving no signs. We had given the ice cream several times in the night. Finally, I just said to her, "OK, let's get that baby out of there." I turned her around and put my finger up there, and she started pushing and I had to help and awful lot -- another huge headed puppy. But it was healthy and alive.

Normally, I would say it isn't rocket science, bitches have been having puppies for thousands of years. They do most of it themselves, and usually it isn't a big deal. But then I remember the Gus-heads. It wasn't a good litter to be a novice on. It would have been so hard for this bitch to free-whelp with strangers helping her.

I figure, prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Hopefully, at the end of the day, you can tell me how much easier it was than what I explained.
 
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