How Puppies Are Made

FACT: Puppies are cute.

Other than that, what do you actually know about how those oversized paws and fragrant kisses came into being?

After doing some research and asking around, I found only one thing certain in the realm of canine reproduction – nothing is certain.  (Isn’t it the same with us humans?!)  Facts vary from breed to breed….and often from expert to expert.  So let’s just go over some basics…

Dogs reach sexual maturity (by scientific definition “when an organism can reproduce”) when they are anywhere from 6-18 months old.  This age will depend on gender and on the size of the breed.  Female dogs will then go into “heat” approximately twice a year.  “Heat” is the layman’s term for the proestrus and estrus stage in the reproductive cycle, and it is commonly used to define the time a four-legged gal can get pregnant.  Again, the amount of time a dog is in heat depends greatly on the breed, but usually last from 12-24 days.

First signs that your dog is preggers include decreased appetite, decreased activity, nipple growth, and basically any behavior that changes suddenly or seems abnormal.  A dog’s pregnancy last (again…on average!) 63 days.  A litter usually consists of 6 pups (with smaller breeds having less puppies.)  I did come across a statement that I hadn’t heard before in researching this article – “A general rule of thumb is that a mammal will produce half as many offspring as the number of teats on the mother.”  (Has anyone else heard that before….is that a general rule?)  The largest litter ever official recorded was 24.  24!!!!!  A Neopolitan Bull Mastiff by the name of Tia has that honor – one she surly worked hard for!

An interesting fact about female dogs is that they never go into doggy menopause.  This means that once male and female dogs hit their six month birthday – they will continue to be able to have pups through their senior years.

And that interesting fact leads right into spaying and neutering.  I assume that if you love your dog so much you are reading dog blogs – you don’t need a lecture on sterilizing your dog (or cat!)  Now that you are educated on the time frame of puppy reproduction, though, I am going to arm you with a startling statistic – ONE un-spayed dog and her descendents can produce 67,000 puppies in 6 years.  (Read it again to let it fully sink in.)  I love puppies as much as the next guy…but let’s make sure we have homes for all of them before we encourage our furbabies to have furbabies of their own.

My favorite fact about puppies, though, is that EVERYONE loves them.  Their cuteness somehow transcends…and I wouldn’t want to live in a world without them.

9 thoughts on “How Puppies Are Made

  1. All of our pets are neutered (all boys!), but I have to admit that sometimes I wish we could have some baby Toady’s running around! Or baby Mylo’s…or baby Odin’s…lol. It’s probably a good thing that they’ve all been fixed or else I would be in trouble!

    • aww that is so cute I wish I could have another dog but I already love my 2 happy healthy ADORABLE! dogs

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