The Canine Breeding Pregnancy Cycle

If you are looking to adopt a certain breed of dog, or from specific dog breeders, then you may have to wait at times. If the breeder you like has just bred a litter, then there will be a period of time before more puppies are available. Canine breeding follows a certain cycle that takes approximately 9 weeks, as opposed to 9 months. So, while this period is shorter than humans, it can still take seemingly an eternity to finally get your puppies. Here is a short guide that will help you understand the pregnancy cycle when it comes to canine breeding. 

Canine Breeding Pregnancy Cycle Week 1

After mating, fertilization usually takes a few days before it takes hold. At this point, there is no test that will confirm a pregnancy. Veterinarians can only confirm it after 25 days have passed. That said, the mother may start to have some symptoms of pregnancy, such as morning sickness. Even if there is morning sickness, the dog can keep to her regular exercise routine and keep the same diet. 

Week 2

This is when the fertilized eggs enter the uterus and start to develop into puppies. The embryos are still minuscule, and the dog still does not have to change anything about their routine or diet. 

Week 3

During days 14 to 21 is when there really starts to be some action. The developing fetuses attach themselves to the uterus. This is so that they can be properly nourished through the mother. They will start to develop at an increased rate. The mother may start to want to eat more since she will be eating for many. Dog breeders do not have to change the diet too much yet, however. 

Week 4

This stage is an interesting one, as the developing pups are at risk of birth defects and other developmental problems. This is when those who are concerned with canine breeding might start limiting the mother’s daily activities. Exercise should be gentler, and a vet should provide recommendations for supplements and even medication in some cases. 

Week 5

In this period, the puppies have gotten through the dangerous week before, and are stronger in the womb. The mother will start to really gain weight and must start eating a special diet that supports her pregnancy. Most dogs at this state require more frequent meals but less in each meal. 

Week 6

This begins the last phase, as the puppies and the mother get ready for birth. She may not want to eat much at this point, as the puppies are pushing against her stomach. 

Week 7

During this week, the mother will start shedding hair on the abdomen and will be producing milk. She will most likely be incredibly tired, and the pups will be just about completely developed. 

Week 8

This is the home stretch, and those full-grown puppies will be moving around a lot, which you will be able to feel. The mother should be resting to avoid premature labor. 

Week 9 

Dog breeders should have everything prepared for birth by this point. The dog will be restless and will probably lose her appetite completely. Dog breeders will keep track of the mother’s temperature because when it drops, the puppies will be coming within 1-2 days. 


After the canine breeding process is over, the puppies will have to undergo some socialization before joining their new homes. For more information on breeding and adopting German Shepherds, call Lara’s Canine Solutions, located in New Braunfels but also serving the San Antonio area. 


For more information about canine breeding in San Antonio, San Marcos, Austin, and New Braunfels visit our website at