Canine Reproduction  & Whelping Guide   by Debbie Jensen
Heat Cycles

Letter to You
Why I became an Imperial Shih Tzu breeder

Whelping Photos
See pups as they are born

Heat Cycles
First days of heat

Pre Natal Care of pups
Care of the Bitch before and during Pregnancy

Mating your dog
Best days to bred your bitch

The Stud
His ability to produce sperm and mate and artificial insemination

Is she Pregnant
Signs she is pregnant

Java Due date
Inside her body fertilization to birth

Due Date Chart
Puppies are usually born 61 days after conception

Temp Chart
Taking a dogs temperature and recording her temp to predict her whelp day

Print Temp Chart
Taking her temp to determine whelping time

Whelping Supplies
Hemostats, bulb syringes, towels tons of them

Labor Stages
Digging, Shivering and Panting

See a Live Birth
See my Shih Tzu deliver a pup

Hard Labor Begins
Whelping the puppies

Aspirating Throat & Nose
Removing Fluids from the nasal passages

Umbilical Cord
How to cut the umbilical cord

Difficult Whelp (Dystocia)
What to do if shes in distress

What Can go Wrong - Movie
Distressed Pup and Mom

Care of Bitch
Discharge, Retained Placentas, Eclampsia

Puppy Care
Fading Pup, Bottle Feeding, Tube feeding, Vaccinations

Weaning the pups
Giving the pups food

Disease of Dogs
Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus

Worms and Fleas
Roundworm, tapeworm, Coccidia, Fleas & Giardia

Selling Your Puppys
Placing your Puppies

Terms of Breeding
Common breeder terms we all should know

More Whelping Photos

Imperial Shih Tzu by Jensen
Imperial Shih Tzu breeder since 1976
Now Chinese Imperial Dog

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Heat Cycles
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A female in " Standing Heat "
Lifts her rear end to show the male she is ready to be bred

This page is about the AVERAGE female. I've never owned an average dog but maybe you are lucky enough to own one.
First Heat starts between 6 months to 14 months. My Shih Tzu's usually start at 9 months of age.

Early Signs of approaching heat

I have learned how to determine as early as 3-5 weeks when her heat will start.

  • She will mount other animals, stuffed animals and pillows.
  • She may become aggressive to towards other animals.
My favorite way of telling is odd.
Grab hold of your nose... seriously. Your nose is like the shape of her vulva. Like a pyramid. Your nostrils are the base and the top of your nose is the peak. At the base of your nose feel the firmness. Kind a hard, firm right? Her vulva will have this firmness a few weeks before she is due to come into heat.
Now hold on to your lips. ... Fell the squishiness, their soft and plump. Right before you see blood her vulva will feel just like your lips.
Now check a few times a day for blood. Use a white tissue and insert it in her vulva. If you see pink colored blood.. Walla You have found day one of her heat cycle..... Call your stud owner and let her know that your female has started her heat.
If you are squeamish about feeling your dogs vulva you don't belong in the dog breeding business. Every day I pick up my dogs and check if its within months of her time. I rarely miss the first day of heat. I have learned to become one with my dogs. You should too.

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Swollen Vulva

Estrus Cycle is divided into 4 groups
  • Anestrusis the rest time between heats.
  • Proestrus is the first days of heat, swelling of the vulva , start of blood , the follicles containing the eggs mature over a few to nine days. Fertilization can not happen at this stage. Ovulation testing is recommended at the end of this stage, contact your Vet for a vaginal cytology or contact Camelot Farms, they have a new Ovulation test on the market.
  • Esterus or standing heat is when the female will accept the male. Her blood will turn to a lighter shade of red or straw colored. She will exhibit behavior like lifting her tail rubbing her rear end against objects and moving her rear end sideways. This behavior is called flagging. To test if she is flagging, rub your palm down her back to the base of her tail. If she lifts her rear end up in the air she is flagging. Ovulation occurs during this 4-7 day flagging stage. If you are going to breed do it within the 4-7 days. ( Average bitch ovulates on Day 11 of her heat cycle ) Breeding on days 10 12 14 or Larger breeds may be best to breed 8 10 12
  • Metestrus is the stage that readies the uterus for pregnancy. If fertilization does occur the fertilized eggs take up to a week before they attach themselves to the uterine wall.
    If fertilization does not occurs this stage reverts back to anestrus.