The American Kennel Club (AKC) currently recognises three sizes of schnauzers: miniature, standard and giant. Despite the varying sizes, gestation length is the same for every breed of dog, including the schnauzer. Understanding the progress of gestation for the schnauzer is an important factor for breeding.
The average gestation period for the schnauzer is approximately 63 days, or 9 weeks. Though gestation length is the same for each size of schnauzer, the age at which a schnauzer reaches sexual maturity will vary. A miniature schnauzer matures the earliest at 6 to 12 months of age, while a standard may take 10 to 16 months, followed by the giant schnauzer, which can take up to 24 months to become sexually mature.
Initial Signs of Pregnancy -- Weeks 1 to 3
In a pregnant schnauzer, one of the first signs noted by the owner will be an increase in appetite. This increase in appetite will also lead to weight gain. Aside from this, the owner may notice that the nipples of the dog have become larger. Some schnauzers may have a personality change in which she becomes more cuddly or loving during her first few weeks of pregnancy. However, these signs do not guarantee pregnancy, as they can occur with a false pregnancy.
Weeks 4 to 6
As gestation progresses, the breasts on the female schnauzer will begin to fill out. During this time, the owner may also note some vaginal discharge that is clear in colour. The stomach will begin to swell as she and her unborn puppies continue to grow. By the end of the sixth week, her nipples will be darker in colour and will thicken.
Weeks 7 to 9
By the seventh week, it will very clear that the schnauzer is pregnant. Some schnauzers may experience hair loss on the stomach. Entering into the eighth week of pregnancy, milk production will begin and squeezing will release milk from the nipples. In week 9, nesting behaviours will be evident as the schnauzer prepares to give birth.