Australian Shepherd Pregnancy Stages & Signs

Australian Shepherd Pregnancy Stages & Signs

You will need to learn about an Australian Shepherd pregnancy if you own a female Australian Shepherd. This includes information about how long are Australian Shepherds pregnant as well as the sign of pregnancy.

Australian Shepherds go through a lot during pregnancy, both for the animal and their owners.

Our cherished pets require a lot more care than usual during this time. Some individuals think that owners don’t need to take any extra precautions when their pets are pregnant.

These individuals believe that pregnancy in animals is a completely natural process and that human assistance is not at all necessary. This is not totally accurate, though.

The immune system and the dog’s entire body are under stress during pregnancy.

The mother’s body must use a lot of strength, energy, and resources in order to produce the fetus. Although every dog is different, there are certain universal symptoms of pregnancy in Australian Shepherds and other breeds.

Chronic diseases may become more prevalent and new health issues may develop during the period of prenatal development. Breathing becomes more frequent and deep, and blood flow may shift.

The indications of an Australian Shepherd pregnancy are discussed in further detail below, along with preparation tips.

How Long Are Australian Shepherds Pregnant For?

How Long Are Australian Shepherds Pregnant For

Australian Shepherds typically give birth after 60 to 65 days, though there may be small variations of 2-3 days.

Early in a dog’s pregnancy, it can be challenging to recognize any shifts in your dog’s health. Apathy and sleepiness have occasionally been noted in the second or third week.

The mammary glands become plainly apparent at the conclusion of the first month, around 25 and 30 days, and typically have a very vivid pink appearance due to swelling of the skin nearby. Australian Shepherds have white-colored bellies, so this is obvious.

Around 3 weeks after mating, you can use ultrasonography to confirm if your female is pregnant. The embryos inside the amniotic bubbles are readily seen on an ultrasound machine.

The following period is preferable for determining the fetus’ viability. A complicated blood serum test to measure the concentration of the hormone relaxin can be used to diagnose pregnancy at an early stage.

Australian Shepherd Pregnancy Stages

Australian Shepherd Pregnancy Stages

Week 1

The first week of pregnancy is when the eggs become fertilized and the reproductive organs are ready for pregnancy.

Your veterinarian is unable to confirm that your Australian shepherd is pregnant at this time. Likewise, you are not compelled to do anything right now.

Week 2 & 3 

During the second week, the healthy, fertilized eggs lodge themselves in the uterine lining. In the third week of pregnancy, the nipple’s size and color will change, coupled with morning sickness and an increase in hunger.

However, some dogs could display symptoms of malnutrition.

The eggs travel toward the uterine horns, where they become implanted in the uterine lining and start to grow. Usually, this pretty straightforward process takes 16 days.

Without putting your dog in for an ultrasound, it is practically impossible to know if she is currently pregnant. Rarely do the infants show up.

She might possibly go through some behavioral changes. Play with her and make sure she gets the food she needs if she starts to become restless.

Week 4

After the first month, the female dogs begin frequently throwing up in the morning. This obviously indicates pregnancy.

Dogs aren’t regarded as being “pregnant” until the puppies have completely fused with the uterine wall. Since her body isn’t getting any pregnancy-related signals at this time, the female won’t experience any symptoms.

The fetus will start to develop around day 22. An ultrasound can only detect a heartbeat between days 28 and 30, one week later. Right now is the ideal moment to inquire about dietary supplements with your veterinarian.

You should also consider limiting your female Australian Shepherd’s physical activities.

Week 5 & 6

The fetal development quickens as the second month begins, and a good stethoscope can detect the heartbeats of the puppies.

The Australian Shepherd female’s appetite significantly increases in week six. The dog’s weight grows by 20 to 50%, and the amount of pee also rises.

From week four to week eight, the fetuses grow quickly. For instance, they start to show their toes around day 35 and their claws around day 40.

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A litter’s total number of skeletons should be discernible by day 50, making it easy to count the number of puppies in the litter.

Usually around this time, owners of unintended litters learn that their dog is pregnant. Many of the signs of pregnancy in dogs frequently manifest at this time.

Of course, hormone testing will have informed the majority of breeders that their dog is pregnant.

During this time, they must continue to keep a close check on the dog’s health and provide it with the required veterinary care. It’s time for the female dog to start gaining weight.

Reduce your portion sizes while embracing a diet that promotes growth and development. There isn’t anything particularly critical that needs to be done right now.

Just be sure to serve tiny portions because the growing puppies will limit the amount of food their mother can consume at once.

Australian Shepherd Pregnancy

Week 7

Some behavioral changes start to show as the second month of pregnancy comes to an end. The abdomen gets solid and large, and the vaginal discharge turns clear and odorless.

Whelping will happen after your female Australian Shepherd starts producing milk. So make sure a peaceful space is set aside for this reason, and make sure your female dog becomes used to napping there.

The behavioral changes in your pet get worse. The stomach expands and hardens.

Week 8

The dog’s appetite starts to wane right away by the end of the second month. The puppies’ stomach movements become more visible.

The nipples enlarge for the nursing puppies. The growth of a puppy is complete around day 58. Therefore, if the babies arrive a few days early, it typically doesn’t pose any problems.

Despite the fact that most puppies start to whelp a few days after their growth is finished. As a result, the actual birth typically takes place only a few days after the pups have done growing.

Typically, the female’s waist will get smaller as the puppies move through the birthing canal. Puppies that were closer to her ribs will move down from their previous positions.

Her body type varies noticeably from time to time. Most of the time, labor doesn’t begin until a few days or more after the puppies start moving.

The week is still left until your dog gives birth. Make sure there is no physical stress placed on your female Australian Shepherd.

Week 9

When the last week of pregnancy begins, the puppies’ maturation is complete, and they start to travel toward the delivery canal. When the female dog becomes restless, she starts looking for a secret spot to set up her nest.

Over the course of several days, the mother’s body goes through a series of quick changes as she prepares to give birth. It’s not unusual for a woman to eat less in the days before giving birth.

During this stage, mothers typically feel some tension. They can start to sweat and get anxious. Others give the impression that they don’t have time to eat.

Breeders frequently monitor their dog’s temperature throughout this period. Normally, a dog’s temperature will drop 12 to 24 hours before giving birth.

Australian Shepherd Pregnancy Signs

Australian Shepherd Pregnancy Stages

Behavioral Changes

An expecting mother dog might not be as active as normal.

Within the first few weeks of pregnancy, pregnant dogs may experience fatigue and occasionally exhibit symptoms of nausea akin to morning sickness in humans.

The best part is that once this exhaustion has subsided, “they often have a fairly ordinary level of energy until the completion of the pregnancy, when women have acquired a substantial amount of weight and require rest more.

Another warning sign that labor might be started is if she starts to get restless rather than weary. You can’t really blame her for wishing her pregnancy to end?

Changes In Appetite

Certain things, including additional calories, are needed when carrying these little creatures,  not too many though. A Romine notes that at About halfway through, a woman’s hunger and caloric requirements typically increase.

It is advised to continue giving her moderate amounts of a typical adult well-balanced diet because no increase in food is required until the midway point, and stimulating excess weight during the initial 30 days or so can potentially adversely impact the safety of the pregnancy.

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Discuss with your veterinarian how to gradually switch to a nutrition of dog food that is recommended for all life Stages since it gives extra nourishment once a veterinarian has verified pregnancy and you’ve reached the halfway point.

It’s vital not to overdo it, becuase that the standard suggestion is to gradually increase the amount of nutritious food over the final four weeks of pregnancy by roughly 25% every week.

It is not advised to give extra nutrients, notably calcium, as these diets already contain the necessary minerals and vitamins.

Giving her more calcium while she is on a diet for growth and lactation will prevent her body from naturally releasing calcium, which could result in low calcium levels when she begins to feed.

Everything may seem normal in the early stages of pregnancy, and you might not notice any physical symptoms until your pup has passed the halfway point. But it’s wise to be aware that illness is a possibility.

Approximately three weeks after becoming impregnated, a female dog may begin to exhibit some stomach discomfort, a decline in appetite, and perhaps even vomiting.

Hormonal changes are to blame for this, which is comparable to human morning sickness.

Thankfully, this typically goes away on its own after a week, however, beware: She should be examined by your vet to be sure is there anything more severe is going on if she refuses to eat at all or if the symptoms last longer than this.

Enlarged Or Discolored Nipples

Your dog’s body may go through a few minor modifications as it gets ready for the happy occasion. After mating, she might produce a tiny amount of vulva mucous, and around this time, you might notice her teats expanding and turning pinker. Additionally, a small quantity of liquid may occasionally be generated, which is typical.

Weight Gain & Enlarged Abdomen

Weight gain during pregnancy is typical for both humans and dogs. But if you think you could be pregnant, it’s crucial not to overeat. (More on that in the section below.)

The first signs of weight gain appear around week seven, and from that point until delivery, it is possible for her weight to rise up to 50% above average. The mother’s expanding belly’s size, however, might vary depending on a few variables.

It often takes around 40 days to detect that her midsection is larger than usual, and in first-time moms and if the number of births is tiny, it might be less obvious.

When Can Australian Shepherds Get Pregnant?

In the beginning of the estrus cycle, females can become pregnant. About every 10 to 12 months, it takes place. Up to three weeks are included in the fertile or estrus period.

If you don’t want an unforeseen litter of puppies, it is best to be more cautious during this time. One of the most important distinctions of male and female Australian Shepherds is this.

It can be expensive and emotionally taxing to have a dog, so it’s sometimes best to leave reproduction to the pros. Additionally, sterilizing your dog might be a good idea if you don’t want it to become pregnant.

How To Confirm That Your Australian Shepherd Is Pregnant

How To Confirm That Your Australian Shepherd Is Pregnant


The easiest way to find out if your Australian Shepherd is pregnant is to have an ultrasound performed on her by your veterinarian.

The initial scan can be done three weeks after mating, although at this early stage it won’t always be 100% correct; the best results are from an ultrasound at least 25 days after conception.

Even though ultrasounds are harmless, if an Australian Shepherd has a fear of seeing the vet since their belly fur will be shaved, it could be a traumatic experience.

Since it’s an expensive method, many individuals opt to postpone getting a scan until their Australian Shepherd starts showing more obvious indications of pregnancy.

The most accurate test to establish if an Australian Shepherd is pregnant is an ultrasound. However, because it could yield incorrect findings, it shouldn’t be done unless 25 days have elapsed since the mating.

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Blood Sample

A blood test is the second method of pregnancy detection. You can do this five weeks after mating to aid your Australian Shepherd in spotting a pregnant hormone.

To ascertain the concentration of the hormone relaxin, they perform a challenging blood serum test.

It isn’t always accurate when conducted too early, despite being less costly than an ultrasound. For instance, if the pregnancy has lasted less than 35 days, the test may come out negative even though your Australian Shepherd is pregnant.

Australian Shepherd Stages Of Labor 

Australian Shepherd Pregnancy Signs

Stage 1

The first stage of labor starts about 24 hours before birth. During this stage, the dog displays severe restlessness as the contractions begin, refusing to eat or drink, and starting to vomit or pant.

Stage 2

Stage 2 starts when the dog starts to give birth to the puppies. At this time, up to 24 hours may pass. After a delay of 1.5 hours, a dog gives birth to puppies. It can be problematic if this delay is greater than two hours.

It is advisable to use an ultrasound or x-ray to determine the dog’s pup count so that you can know when stage 2 is complete.

Stage 3

Almost simultaneously, stages 2 and 3 start. The placenta, the pup, and the final placenta are delivered at the beginning and conclusion of this stage, respectively. Stage 3 comes to an end after stage 2 is complete.

How Do Australian Shepherds Give Birth?

Natural Birth Australian Shepherds

Natural Birth

If, after speaking with your veterinarian, you decide to let things proceed normally, be alert for the unmistakable signs that the Australian Shepherd is getting ready to give birth to her pups.

When the time comes for your Australian Shepherd to give birth, make sure the nest is ready.

You’ll observe that she will start to make her way back to her nest once more, repeatedly scratching the towels before finally settling down and exhaling loudly to indicate that she has just done a lot of activity.

You’ll see that she is not at all calm during this time, and that her heart rate is likewise accelerated. It could take up to 12 hours for the first pup to appear.

After the puppy is delivered, the mother Australian Shepherd will bite at the delivery sack and lick any extra off the puppy.

The baby can then start breathing in oxygen as a result. Some owners may be required to help if the mother needs assistance.

Even the sack and umbilical cords may be seen being devoured by the mother Australian Shepherd. Do not be alarmed; they are totally instinctual and do contain nutritious elements.

When the mother is out and active, you can help by putting the Australian Shepherd pups onto her nipples so they can start nursing.


This approach is only occasionally used in Australian Shepherd pregnancies. Your veterinarian can help you decide if this is the best course of action by using an X-ray to measure the size of the skulls and the anticipated number of puppies.

There are some risks associated with this operation because it will be performed under anesthesia.

How Many Puppies Do Australian Shepherds Have?

An Australian Shepherd litter typically contains 5-8 puppies. Rarely, there might be up to ten puppies. It is critical that the dog has ample time to rest if the litter is larger.

Additionally, it can be necessary for you to feed the puppies so that their mother won’t become overburdened.

Such steps are advised not only to safeguard the mother but also to fortify the pups at a young age so they can grow up to be powerful canines and responsible parents.

Final Words

Dog gestation is just as significant as human gestation. It is crucial to take the necessary steps to ensure your dog’s health in order for things to go well.

It is best to get in touch with the local Aussie rescue in your region for a better inspection if your dog is exhibiting the pregnancy symptoms indicated above for the first time.

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