Late Stage Pregnancy Signs of a Labrador Rottweiler

Updated November 21, 2016

The late stages of pregnancy and the early stages of labour in all dogs are generally the same unless the breed is very small or very large. Labradors and Rottweilers, which is what this dog is a mixture of, are generally considered medium to large dogs and should not require any extra care or precaution than a similar-sized dog.

Nesting And Body Temperature

A dog nearing the end of her pregnancy should have a whelping box, which is a place to have her puppies. It should be a place where she is comfortable and has plenty of room, so her movements do not accidentally injure a puppy once they've arrived. The whelping box should have soft blankets or carpets to keep the newborn puppies warm. Toward the end of her pregnancy, the dog will start digging around in these blankets and perhaps start carrying her favourite toy or pillow into the whelping box as well. This is called nesting and it means she is preparing to have the puppies soon. Keep in mind that she may also become destructive as she tries to line her nest, tearing up things like newspapers or paper towels if they are within her reach. As she comes within 12 hours of labour, her body temperature will drop to around 37.2 degrees C and stay there. This is natural, and the owner should not be alarmed.

Food Intake And Licking

In the late stages of pregnancy, most female dogs have got over any amount of "morning sickness" they may have had during the first week or two. The last two weeks before the whelping date will see the mother dog devouring as much food as she can stand and may have the owner wondering where she's keeping it all. The dog may stop eating entirely 24 to 48 hours before she gives birth. Consult your veterinarian if yourdog does not seem to be responding as she usually would. Licking of the belly and nipple area will increase dramatically as the puppies get closer to arriving and should not be cause for alarm unless the dog is licking raw spots on her nipples and the nipples appear normal. Most female dogs will lick or chew away the fur from their nipples to give their new puppies an easier time nursing.

Other Signs

Other signs to watch out for include pacing, whining and generally restless behaviour. Pregnant dogs are very nervous animals and will be on edge until they deliver the puppies from around day 58. The dog may snap or growl at familiar humans or even family members when she is near the whelping box or guarding her possessions. If she is becoming tired or listless, contact your veterinarian and explain the situation. Remember that Labradors and Rottweilers both have large heads and a large puppy may require a caesarean section to save the puppies, and the mother, if they cannot pass through the birth canal.

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