At What Age Can Dogs Get Pregnant?

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Dogs are such amazing creatures, and puppies are basically magical! There's nothing better than sweet puppy kisses and dog cuddles. 

When dogs become parents, new adorable puppies are available to receive love and attention for the rest of their sweet lives. Once you have a puppy, it isn't long before she can have puppies of her own. 

At what age can dogs have puppies? How mature do they have to be? Whether you want your dog to have puppies or not, it's a good thing to know when a dog can get pregnant.

Introduction of At What Age Can Dogs Get Pregnant?

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Signs that Your Dog is Able to Get Pregnant

Dogs can get pregnant at an early age! A female puppy can get pregnant at 6 months old and can have puppies well into old age, depending on her breed. Some dogs stop being able to get pregnant after 3 years old, for some dogs, it's 5 years old, and other dogs can continue to get pregnant even older than that. 

Female dogs have their own menstruation cycle, and they enter heat once or twice per year. Dogs can only become pregnant when they are in heat. There are three stages of a female dog's heat cycle, which begins around 6 months old when she gets her first heat. 

Female dogs stay in heat for around 2 - 4 weeks. You can tell if your dog is in heat based on her enlarged vulva and bloody discharge. Some people get doggy diapers for this first stage of menstruation. Your dog will be uninterested in reproduction at this phase, known as proestrus. 

The second phase is when your dog can get pregnant, this is known as estrus. You'll know your dog is in this phase when the discharge turns from bloody, to clear or brownish. During this time, your dog will give off pheromones that male dogs can detect from miles away. You may also notice that your dog is more aggressive towards other dogs. 

The third and final stage marks the end of a female dog's interest in mating. Vaginal discharge will slow and then stop, and her vulva will return to its usual size. During this phase, your dog may act pregnant even though she may not be. If you suspect your dog actually is pregnant, you can take her to the vet to get checked. 

When a female dog is in heat, her body language may change based on her mood. During the first stage of heat - proestrus - female dogs are not interested in mating. They show this in their body language by keeping their tail between their legs. You may notice that your dog is more needy than usual based on more whining, jumping up, or staring. This need for attention is a direct reaction to a spike in hormone levels. 

During estrus, your dog will show that she is anxious or irritable by growling, guarding, or whining. Female dogs can act more aggressive during this time because of heightened hormone production. These body language signs illustrate that your dog is feeling on edge because her primary concern is the reproduction. Other female dogs may act aggressively by growling or barking at the female dog in heat. The response is frequently reciprocated as aggression, so it's a good idea to let your dog have a break from other dogs during this time. During proestrus, you may notice that your dog has moved her tail to the side or has raised her behind, inviting a mate. 

The body language of a female dog when she is exiting heat varies depending on dog breeds. Some dogs behave as though they pregnant. Body language will give signs that signal pregnancy. These signs include sleepiness and irritability. 

When a male dog is around a female in heat, he may get aggressive. This is signaled by attempts to get closer to the female and increased humping, particularly if the male dog is not neutered. 

Body Language

Below are some signs your pooch will show if she is able to get pregnant:

  • Growling
  • Staring
  • Head tilting
  • Whining
  • Guarding
  • Jumping up

Other Signs

Below are a few more signs that your female dog is in heat:
  • Bloody Discharge
  • Extra Cuddly
  • Tail between legs or to side
  • Aggression towards others dogs

The History of Dog Pregnancy

History of At What Age Can Dogs Get Pregnant?
The reproductive systems of dogs have evolved over time. Dogs were the first animal to be domesticated. The process of domestication started over 12,000 years ago when man and wolf began depending on each other for hunting and protection. Ever since that time, humans and dogs have been best friends. 

A female dog's gestation period lasts around 9 weeks. The litter size varies between 5 and 15 puppies depending on the breed. This is a remaining similarity between wolf mothers and dog mothers. A wolf litter is frequently a similar size. The reproductive processes of wolves and dogs are very similar because they are so closely related.

All dogs can reproduce with each other, which has led to the cutest combinations of puppies. There are countless numbers of breeds as many dogs of different breeds reproduce. Now, there are genetic tests for dogs so that you can find out the ancestors of your puppy. 

The possibilities are endless with dog breeding. Almost all dogs enter heat within 6 months old, just as their distant wolf cousins do. Dogs enter heat at an early age and their gestation periods are so short because they want to give birth to as many puppies as possible. Evolutionarily, this is an advantage because the growth of their species is their primary instinct. 

The Science of Dog Pregnancy

Science of At What Age Can Dogs Get Pregnant?
The dog reproductive system and process is easy to get an understanding of because the cycle of reproduction is frequent. A human's reproductive system is much more complicated than one of a dog. When a female dog enters heat, instincts take over. A male dog close by will sense her pheromones and take cues from her body language and the two will mate. 

The male dog will mount the female. Interestingly, a male dog's penis is flacid when he mounts the female. The friction created by humping stimulates an erection. A male and female dog can mate for up to an hour, but the ritual typically lasts for around 25 minutes. Dogs do not necessarily get pregnant each time they have sex. Sometimes, they need to mate multiple times in order for the female to become pregnant. 

A female dog and all of the puppies she gives birth to can have a whopping 67,000 puppies over the course of 6 years if none of them are spayed and free to mate each time they are in heat!

Training Dogs to Get Pregnant

Training of At What Age Can Dogs Get Pregnant?
If you want to breed your dog, there are specific ways you can ensure a fresh litter of adorable puppies. It's best to be well educated on the breeds you are working with and to only breed healthy, vet-approved dogs. Breed your dog intentionally, and make sure there are loving homes available for the new puppies beforehand. 

Taking care of pregnant dogs and newborn puppies can be a daunting task. However, it is totally possible and at the end of it, there will be a whole new pack of loving dogs. 

Some dogs are better partners for each other than other dogs. Do your research and make sure you breed two dogs that are compatible. If you have a female dog, you can frequently make a deal with owners of male dogs. Or, you can buy dog semen and have your female dog artificially inseminated. 

Make sure the female dog is ready to breed. A female dog can breed after her first heat at around 6 months old. However, most dog breeders actually wait until a female dog has gone through 3 or 4 menstruation cycles. That way, the female dog is fully physically ready to endure the taxing experience of pregnancy. 

Before pairing up the male and female dog, take them both to the vet to make sure that each party is in good health. When your dog enters heat, after about 5-10 days she will enter the estrus period where she is able to get pregnant. That's when the male and female should begin being with each other. It's best to only have your dogs mate once a day (or less), that way they don't get too tired. 

Don't worry, this process doesn't have to be too procedural. You can hang out, play, cuddle, and walk your dogs just the way you usually do. A happy dog means a healthy dog. And healthy dogs make more healthy dogs. So be sure to keep both the female and male dog on a very healthy and wholesome diet while they are in the breeding process. 

How to React When Your Dog is Pregnant

  • While your dog is pregnant, be sure to provide excellent nutrition.
  • If you are breeding dogs, let them get to know each other and play with them.
  • Take your dog to the vet if you suspect she is pregnant. Be sure to take her for checkups throughout and after her pregnancy.
  • Cuddle your dog when she is looking for affection!

Safety Tips for Dogs Able to Get Pregnant

  • If you want to breed her, be sure the female dog is healthy and of an appropriate age.
  • If you do not want your dog to get pregnant, get her spayed or keep her away from male dogs while she is in heat.
  • Keep your female dog away from other potentially aggressive female dogs while she is in heat.
13 Months
Not Old Enough Yet

Too young

1 year, 10 months ago
Hey my dog is 11 years and she still get her period, I was wonder if she can get pregnant or is it too risky for her to get pregnant
German shepher 11 months
My shih tzu 5 months can get pregnant?
Too young at 11 months.
8 Months
French Masti-Bull
Not Old Enough Yet
Aggravated easy

Just not sure

1 year, 9 months ago
Hi did Roxy deliver her puppies or a section did the pups survive thanks
5 Months
Not Old Enough Yet

I'm not sure if she can get pregnant or not it's because I'm not sure about her age

1 year, 7 months ago
My Lab is 14 years. She still has a cycle but it is very light. Can she still get pregnant?
Boxer 37.5 months old. Just over 3 years old. She had never been willing to accept my male Boxer until today finally on her 4th heat I seen her let him mount her and didn’t fight him off. I did stop it from occurring though. They are both AKC Boxers but I don’t want my male to end up hurt cause the female won’t stand still when they lock.