Last Updated on January 24, 2022 by Fabiola L.
A Rottweiler giving birth the first time is always a stressful period for both the dog and the owner. The best way to relieve this stress is to learn everything there is to know about dog maternity. In today’s article, we’ll be taking a close look at the process of giving birth and what you can do to prepare for your Rottweiler to give birth for the first time.
Stages Of Dog Labor
Different sources define different stages of birth. However, one thing we can all agree on is that the mother will start behaving a certain way once she realizes that she’s going to give birth. The mother will actually feel her uterus slightly contracting, which prompts her to find a warm nest (which you should prepare for her beforehand). You personally won’t be able to notice these contractions as they’re invisible, only felt by the mother.
This pre-stage might last up to 24 hours. The mother will most likely refuse food at this point, but you should have a bowl with food and a bowl with water nearby so she can have some if she feels the need to.
Stage 1 – Opening Of The Cervix
The first real stage we can define is kickstarted by the cervix opening. When this happens, the dog will already be nested in a cozy spot. It’s possible that there’s some vaginal discharge when this first happens – this is completely normal, and there’s no cause for concern. Since the process of giving birth gets more and more painful by the minute, it’s likely that the dog will be anxious and in visible pain. Whining and whimpering are very common.
A way to determine that your dog will go into labor is the temperature. Vets usually take a dog’s temperature rectally. A dog’s temp in labor should be below 98.5 degrees Fahrenheit, and it will drop to that number approximately 24 hours before labor. Vets warn that if you take your dog’s temperature, but it’s still not gone into labor 24 hours after the temperature dropping – you should see the vet immediately. This is a potentially dangerous situation.
The first stage can last from 6 (or even less) to 12 hours! After those 12 hours, the cervix should be completely dilated.
Stage 2 – Active Contractions And Pushing
This is the stage when the puppies are actually delivered. The mother will feel the contractions, and she will push instinctively. It’s possible that the mother will rest between each puppy, which is why it’s not odd for there to be puppies born hours apart. Vets remind us that the first puppy should be delivered two hours after the first contraction starts. If the puppy takes longer than that, it’s possible that something went wrong, and you should definitely call an emergency vet.
The same rule applies to the pauses between puppies. If one pause interval takes more than 4 hours, it might be best to get a vet to help you out, as it’s easily possible that something’s gone wrong. These rest pauses aren’t regular – keep that in mind. It’s possible for the mother to deliver three puppies, one right after the other, and then take a break after every single puppy.
All puppies should take less than the first puppy to deliver, which is why you need to keep the time of the contractions and pushing. If the second, third, fourth, and all latter puppies take longer to deliver than the first puppy – it’s possible something’s wrong.
Stage 3 – Placentas
Stages 2 and 3 will actually intertwine during labor. After the mother delivers a puppy, she should deliver the placenta of that puppy afterward. It’s important that the number of delivered placentas is the same as the number of delivered puppies! If your dog’s finished with giving birth and there’s a missing placenta, you have to take her to the vet, as the placenta could be stuck in her. It’s very dangerous for the mother to retain the placenta in her body, as she’ll eventually fall ill.
The dog will usually release the placenta 5 to 15 minutes after delivering the puppy. Examine the placenta, as it shouldn’t be foul-smelling.
How Can I Tell When My Dog is Getting Ready to Give Birth?
There are two main signs that tell you that your dog is going to give birth.
Firstly - the temperature. Vets take dog temperatures regularly, and you should do the same (your vet will show you how if you don't already know). There's a very characteristic drop of temperature in the mother approximately 24 hours before she starts going into labor.
The regular temperature of a dog's body is about 105 degrees Fahrenheit, but the mother's temperature will be about 95 degrees for a while.
Secondly, you can also figure out whether your dog's getting ready to give birth by her behavior. When the mother starts feeling slight contractions in her uterus, she'll instinctively know that she's going to give birth. When this happens, she'll want to find a quiet, cozy and warm place to give birth.
She'll refuse water and she might even throw up (this is normal). It's also likely that she'll be a bit anxious during this time and won't want to spend time with you.
How Long Does It Take Dogs to Have Puppies?
To sum up, when a Rottweiler feels her uterus contracting, she’ll find the nest you prepared for her to whelp. Here, she can spend up to 24 hours before the labor actually starts. You should look for veterinary help if she doesn’t start whelping after this time. A Rottweiler giving birth the first time can be scary for the mother, which is why she’ll often be anxious. Keep in mind that delivering the first puppy will take more time than delivering the rest of the litter.
The delivery itself can take up to 12 hours, but sometimes even more.