When Can A German Shepherd Get Pregnant?

When Can A German Shepherd Get Pregnant?

German shepherds are great and amazing dog. They make great companions and are great working dogs too. You can be tempted to breed your German shepherd but you must know the right time to breed your bitch.

It takes 6 months for a German Shepherd to become pregnant GSDs are sexually mature between 6 and 12 months old and can become pregnant if around intact males.  This is not, however, the ideal moment to begin breeding. Female GSDs should not be bred until they have reached the age of two.  To achieve healthy parenting skills, some breeders recommend waiting until females are three years old.  Breeding is also not recommended after the age of eight. The quality of your dog’s eggs degrades with age, making them more susceptible to birth abnormalities and less likely to carry a pregnancy.

Scroll down to know more on German shepherd pregnancy signs and how it can be tested.

How To Tell If  A German Shepherd is Pregnant


1. Less Activity

 It’s possible that your dog is pregnant if she gets tired easily and spends more time napping.. This drop in energy should be considered carefully by energetic dogs. For dogs who already snooze all day, a loss of energy may be subtle. If so, take attention to how quickly she tired during walks.

2. Appetite Changes

The appetite of a pregnant dog varies based on the dog and the stage of pregnancy. Early in the pregnancy, she may eat less or perhaps vomit (the canine equivalent of morning sickness). Eating more than normal can lead to dissatisfaction with meals. Hormone changes in your dog cause these swings. Learn more about feeding a pregnant dog here.

3. Weight Gain And Enlarged Abdomen

 Your dog’s abdomen will increase as the puppies get older.  This is one of the most visible indicators of a dog’s pregnancy, especially if the weight of your dog is fast increasing for no apparent cause.  Abdominal enlargement, on the other hand, occurs later in your dog’s pregnancy, so you should take her to the vet if you notice it together with the other signs.

4. Nesting Behaviors

You may observe your dog shredding bedding and other items to construct a nest in the last few weeks of pregnancy. She may also become cranky and reclusive during this period, so it’s best to restrict her contact with little children.

5. Unusual Acts

She may seek the consolation of her owner on a more regular basis. A pregnant dog requires extra care. A pregnant dog may prefer alone and dislike being bothered, and may appear unhappy or even irritable when approached.

6. Nipples enlarging or discoloring

Normally small, a female dog’s nipples swell in size during pregnancy. The areolas also become rounder rather than flat. Increased blood flow may cause your dog’s nipples to seem darker than usual. Her nipples may also leak milk later in pregnancy.

Canine gestation durations are a relatively brief 56-70 days. As a result, acting immediately on indicators of pregnancy is vital to ensuring a smooth, safe delivery for your pups. After a comprehensive inspection, your local vet can offer you with all of the information you need to protect and care for your expectant dog.

How To Test For German Shepherds

Hormone Test

The hormone relaxin can be used to test a bitch’s pregnancy. Relaxin is only secreted from placental tissue during pregnancy, making it a good diagnostic tool. For the test to be valid, the bitch must be 30 days pregnant. Earlier tests could show false results.


For the most part, palpation is free and easy. The membranes that surround each fetus develop into fluid-filled sacs as it develops. In a 45-pound dog, these sacs grow to the size of a table tennis ball between days 21 and 35 of pregnancy (three to four weeks). The sacs lose their structure after one month, and the uterus becomes floppy, resembling fat or a pyometra.

Ultra Sound

An ultrasound is the greatest method for detecting a dog’s pregnancy early on. Ultrasounds are advised between days 25 and 35 of pregnancy. Ultrasounds can detect pregnancy and embryonic life by detecting fetal heartbeats. They can also rule out other causes of uterus distension like pyometra and assess the fetal growth.


An x-ray can tell breeders how many puppies their buck will produce. X-rays work best later in pregnancy, when the fetal skull and spine are visible. Waiting until day 55 allows veterinarians to accurately count expecting puppies and time an elective cesarean delivery.

Do dogs get pregnant every time they tie?

Although, most fertile mating do results in a tie, this does not always happen, particularly if the happy pair are disrupted half-way through. However, in certain cases, the dog may have fertilized the bitch with enough sperm to make her pregnant.


Before breeding your German shepherd it is advisable to know when the right time for her to get pregnant is. This will help you avoid breeding her earlier before the right age or too late when the eggs are not fit for breeding.

Even after you have identified the above pregnancy signs, you should proceed to take your German shepherd to a vet for accurate results.


Carol is a paw parent, and her love for dogs started when she was just 5. She adores her two German Shepherds and a Bengal cat, who she says, "life would be incomplete without"

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