How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18814
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Jane Lefler is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

German Shepherd gave birth to a single puppy today at 4 pm

This answer was rated:

German Shepherd gave birth to a single puppy today at 4 pm and it's 12 in the midnight now.
I don't live with the dogs so I was lucky to see the mom and puppy today. I sat with them from 9 pm till 11 pm and there was no marks of contractions on the mommy.
Both of them are good and healthy and the mom was her energetic self as I arrived and was jumping on my feet.

Could it be there's no more puppies? It's the first time for the dog to give birth, she's around 14 months now and I'm wondering can it be because she got pregnant during the first heat?
Hi Sir or Madam,

My name is Jane. I have worked with animals professionally for over 17 years dealing with both health and behavioral issues. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. .


Is the dog eating and drinking normally?

Has the dog eliminated?

Is she taking care of her puppy?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I didn't see the dog eating or drinking, but it has some extra food beside her and as the father dog tried to come eat from it the female protected the food~

I don't know if she's eliminated after having given birth unfortunately, I don't live with them so can't be sure.

She's taking very good care of the puppy as I saw. The puppy is eating normally and the mother keeps on licking the puppy often and stays beside it~



For a dog that size, I would expect more than just a single pup litter. Shepherds usually have more than that and the norm is between 5-10 pups. Several things may be happening. She may have had more puppies some where else and being a new mom abandoned them or she may have even ingested them. It does happen.


It is possible for a mother to not deliver all her pups. However, usually when a pup is retained, a dog does not act normal. They may appear restless, distressed, actively straining, lethargic, non-interested in their pups.

However, if a dog is eating, drinking, urinating, nursing her puppies, cleaning them and basically acting normal, she has most likely delivered all her puppies. Without really knowing these facts it is hard to tell. Even the most seasoned breeder doesn't always know if their dog is done though usually we have more than one pup.

If the owner feels there may still be puppies, then the owner should take her to the Vet to be sure. It's a good idea to take her and the pups in anyway for a post whelping checkup to ensure all placentas were delivered as well

Here is a site that goes over difficult deliveries and cases where pups get stuck and other problems with delivery..


I am sorry that I can't tell you for sure if she is done, but I would look around to ensure there are not other pups somewhere else unless the owner was with her the entire time preceding the delivery of this sole pup.


I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your fast response~


As I heard from the owner the dog had been chained to a tree outside like on many of the normal days and the caretaker had only found one puppy with the mom as he'd gone to take the dogs back in.

Supposedly he'd looked around carefully and hadn't found others.


Judging from the dogs behavior she's acting great as a mother and I don't think ingestion would've happened.

In a way I'm happy there's only one puppy, but thinking of the puppy's normal growth there's no other puppies close by to play with and relate to.


If I may ask an additional opinion for this case? Might the puppy grow to have some behavioral problems because it's a single pup?


I hope to get the owner to neuter her so no more puppies would be born later if they're not willing to spay the male which would be a good idea also in my opinion~

Single pups actually don't do bad at all as long as they are kept with mom. Puppies learn how to get along with other dogs from their moms and siblings. Without siblings, mom will need to teach the pup not to bite too hard and the pup will know better how to interact with adult dogs since that is all the pup will have been exposed to. It is worse for a puppy to be taken from its mom before 8 weeks of age than to be a single pup in a litter.
Even if she is being an excellent mother now, the pain of the first pup might have caused her to bite at the pup. Many pups need to be licked vigorously by their mom to start breathing. So if she didn't start taking care of the pups and one died, she would naturally ingest it to keep the area clean. In addition, if pups had been born dead or died in the womb, she would also likely ingest them. It really is unrelated to how she treats this pup. A good mother would keep the area clean by ingesting them in those situations.
You might see if there is any low cost spay programs that might help them afford spaying. You have several months to talk them into spaying.
Jane Lefler and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you once more~


It is good to have received an answer from a professional!


Indeed something might have happened if there was other puppies since this was her very first delivery. I didn't know about such behavior being possible on dogs.


I'm hoping to visit the dogs again tomorrow to check on the situation.

Even if I'm not the owner I have a special bond with the mother and wish for everything to be fine with her~


I shall talk with the owners about the spaying and see the options. They have a local vet coming to check on the dogs at times and give injections and medication when needed.


Thank you for all your answers~ It was such a great coincidence I found this site and you to help me out :)