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Gen B.
Gen B., Retired Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2227
Experience:  Lhasa,Shih Tzu Breeder/ B.A.Neurophysiology & Animal Behavior/I use plain English!
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From the time Our female Lhasa Apso gets pregnant how ...

Customer Question

From the time Our female Lhasa Apso gets pregnant how long before she has puppies
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Gen B. replied 11 years ago.
The canine reproductive system works somewhat differently from the human one! When a female dog first starts showing outward signs of 'heat', or readiness to reproduce (swelling of the vulva, visible discharge of blood--this is just "overflow" from the uterine lining preparing to implant fertilized eggs), she is usually still an average of nine days away from ovulation! You will see 'play' reproductive behaviors--the female mounting other dogs, teasing, etc.--but these do not end up in mating. Until the female's body is ready to conceive, she will either passively avoid breeding by sitting, lying down, running away, or actively chase off a male suitor by growling, snapping, or wrestling.
The first day a female will allow breeding does vary, but she will usually plant her feet firmly in front of the male of her choice (or of your's if no multiple partners are present!), "flag" or press her tail to one side and let the male mount. A coupled pair will be 'tied' together by the male's swollen anatomy for an average of 30 minutes, but this time may vary widely.
A female in true estrus (mating condition) will accept mating for any number of days...the usual is 7-10. Pregnancy can occur at any time during estrus as eggs travel from the ovaries down the long path to the uterus.
The average time from mating day(s) until delivery is 62 days. This actual number varies because a female dog may accept mating several days before ovulation occurs, or continue mating until several days after ovulation occurs. Breeders who want to know when to expect the Blessed Event keep a record of the signs of 'heat' in their female and the days and times that she accepted breeding. When using artificial means to cause pregnancy, progesterone testing is performed (at the kennel or veterinary office) to determine the days that ovulation should occur!
This is also the best way to deal with breeds that need planned c-section assistance (ex: bulldogs).
Your dog's due dates should be calculated to be 62 days from each breeding date. If she was bred every-other-day for 3 breedings total, then your due dates will be 9 weeks from the breeding week.
It would be helpful for you to take her to your veterinarian to be manually palpated to confirm pregnancy at days 28-30...the doctor will check her uterus for puppy 'bumps' by feeling through the sides of her abdomen with the finger tips.   This is done very gently, but can be very helpful in letting you know that you are at the 28-day interval since pups are difficult to feel at any other time during a pregnancy!! 24 hours before the puppies begin to be delivered, your dog's temperature will drop from a usual 101 degrees to about 99F! Begin taking her temperature 2-3 times daily during the final week so that you can pinpoint delivery time for yourself! I do reccomend that you find all the info you can about canine pregnancy, nutrition and delivery so that you have confidence when the time (usually night) arrives! My alpha lhasa just had a litter of six 11 weeks ago! We were very proud and happy, but she did need my help to care for this many babies. Be sure that you have a relationship with a near-to-you vet staff in case you need assistance with delivery, etc.. Most vets are happy to be told that a temperature has 'dropped', so that they can either be available to you, or give you alternative contact information.
Good luck!