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Poodle Pregnancy

Puppy Training

Poodle Pregnancy

So you are the proud owner of an expectant Poodle momma. Whether this is your first litter of puppies or you have been breeding dogs for decades, every litter is a unique and wonderful experience.

Today we will look at everything related to Poodle conception, pregnancy and birth. Let’s get ready for those precious babies!

Table of Contents

Do female Poodles have periods?

Poodles – and all female dogs – do not have periods that are comparable to human cycles. Dogs are only fertile every six months (twice a year), during a period called “season” or “heat”.

During this heat cycle your Poodle will have discharge, probably be irritable and, of course – be able to get pregnant!

If a dog is spayed, she will have her uterus and ovaries removed and as a result not go into heat anymore.

white pups

How long do Poodles stay in heat?

A regular heat is about 3-4 weeks long. Your Poodle is not fertile during the entire time however. During the first 10-12 days your dog is not fertile, only after 1.5 weeks she will be able to conceive puppies.

The heat goes along with the much-dreaded discharge. Many Poodle owners opt for doggy diapers when their Poodle is in season to keep their floors and furniture clean.

two pups in a basket

How do I find a good baby daddy?

Depending on your breeding goals, you will be searching for the perfect match for your Poodle.

If you are planning to breed a pure-bred Poodle litter (like Parti Poodles), choose a registered and health-tested Poodle as the sire. The American Kennel Club will help you get in touch with other Poodle owners.

If you are planning to have a Doodle litter, the choice of dad might for example be:

You should always make sure that both parents have passed breed-specific health tests so that the babies can have the best possible start into a long and healthy life!

two brown mini poodle pups

How can I tell if my Poodle is pregnant?

If you hope that your Poodle to be pregnant, she has probably been in season and has been around an intact male. Whether you chose a purebred Poodle daddy or a different breed to create adorable Doodle babies, you probably cannot wait to know if the pregnancy took!

If you want to know for sure, visit a vet on days 20-22 from the probable day of conception. Your vet will be able to do an ultrasound on your Poodle (just like on a human momma-to-be!) and tell you if she is indeed pregnant.

There are also hormone tests that will measure your dog’s pregnancy hormones 21-25 days after conception.

If you do not want to take your dog to the vet, there is no way to accurately tell until about 5 weeks after conception, at which point pregnant Poodles start to visible gain weight and might show nesting behaviors.

three poodle pups

How many days are Poodles pregnant?

Most dogs’ gestation period is around 63 days or 9 weeks from conception. This might vary by a couple days however.

Smaller dogs tend to give birth a bit earlier than larger breeds If you are breeding Miniature or Toy Poodles, or crosses such as a Mini Goldendoodle or F1b Mini Goldendoodle, your dog may already give birth after 56-59 days.

As your dog’s whelping date approaches, you should absolutely have her seen by a vet. He can take an x-ray to determine how many pups she is carrying. This will help make a better plan for the whelping. It is also crucial to know if one puppy may be “left” – sometimes a pup gets stuck and by knowing how many to expect you will be able to rush your dog to the vet if you know one or two do not seem to pass through.

lady holding puppies

How many puppies will my Poodle have?

The number of pups you can expect will depend on the size of the parents. As a general rule, large breeds have litters with higher numbers of pups than small breeds.

  • Standard Poodle

If the mom of your litter is a Standard Poodle, expect around 7 puppies.

(Fun fact: in 2014, a Standard Poodle named Crystal made history when she gave birth to 16 puppies! )

  • Miniature Poodle

For Miniature Poodles expect around 5 puppies.

  • Toy Poodles

Toy Poodles are the smallest type of Poodle and will have the smallest number of puppies in one litter. Plan for around 3 – though also singelton litters (meaning a litter with only one single puppy) happen regularly.

Your Poodle’s litter size will be influenced not only by the mother’s size, but also by her age (older females have smaller litters), her health (some health conditions cause fewer pups) and the timing of the breeding.

The closer to the “perfect time of conception” the mom is bred, the more puppies can be expected.

poodle puppies

Are Poodles good mothers?

Most Poodles are good mother dogs. How well your own Poodle does as a mom mom will depend on several factors:

  • The female’s own mother

If your dog’s own mom was a great and caring mother, chances are that your Poodle will be just as nice to her babies.

  • How well prepared you are

You need to set the mom up for success and make puppy raising easy for her. Get her a spacious and soft whelping box. Clip the hair on her stomach so that the pups can nurse easily. Ensure that she is healthy and had prenatal veterinary care.

  • How safe mom feels

Being pregnant with, birthing and caring for a litter of puppies is a big task! Your Poodle mom needs to feel safe and cared for in order to be a great mom. If you have any other dogs, they should not be allowed to access the whelping box or disturb the female. She needs a lot of peace and quiet. 

  • Your support

Prepare to spend a lot of time and effort supporting your Poodle as she is raising her pups. She will need a lot of specialized nutrition, especially as she is nursing. You are responsible for making sure nobody disturbs her – this also applies to small kids in the household!

litter of pups

How often should I breed my female?

First of all, it is a myth that every female dog needs to have at least one litter. Do not breed your Poodle just because you think this is required. Female dogs can live a long and healthy life without ever having puppies.

Only if you are ready to raise a litter responsibly and with a lot of time and effort you should breed. If you decide to do this, three times should be the maximum amount of litters your female has. Every pregnancy and whelping will wear on your Poodle. While Poodles have a long lifespan, you should not breed a dog over the age of 8 or 9 years old. Even though your female could still get pregnant, this is too old to have puppies.

Some owners breed their females 5 or 6 times. Do not do this! It is not fair to the momma dog and borders on puppy mill practice.

It is a much better approach to have few litters, but to make them the best they can be.

The Bottom Line

Supporting your Poodle through pregnancy, birth and puppy raising can be a wonderful experience. Only commit to it if you are ready to spend time, money and effort though.

Always make sure that the parents of any litter have passed breed-specific health test and never breed more than 3 litter off of one female!