Is My Dachshund Pregnant? 7 Signs

Has your female dachshund put on a bit of unexplained weight and been acting noticeably different? Accidental pregnancies are actually quite common with dachshunds, but how can you tell if your dachshund is pregnant?

The most common signs that your dachshund is pregnant include weight gain, increased appetite, enlarged nipples, irritability, nesting behavior, and noticeably lower energy levels. If you suspect your dachshund could be pregnant then it’s important to see your vet urgently to verify.

Let’s take a closer look into the 7 common signs of dachshund pregnancy, and answer some of the common pregnancy and breeding questions. 

7 Signs Your Dachshund Could Be Pregnant

dachshund mother with puppies

There are a variety of telltale signs that indicate that your dachshund is pregnant, these include; 

1. Changes in Appetite

Hormonal changes don’t just affect the appetites of human women, but also female dogs. Early on in the pregnancy until about halfway through, a female dachshund may eat less, or even vomit on occasion.

This is more or less the canine equivalent of the morning sickness that a human woman may experience when pregnant. A lack of appetite maybe due to this so called morning sickness. 

However, once the pregnancy reaches later stages, a female dachshund who is pregnant may start eating a lot more, and this is of course because she is eating for herself and for the puppies.

Moreover, hormonal imbalances may also cause increased appetite. You may also notice that your dachshund all of a sudden dislikes food that she used to like, which is another indication that there is some kind of hormonal fluctuations occurring.

2. Lower Energy Levels

Another sign that your doxie is pregnant is if it is spending a lot more time napping than it used to and if minimal physical activity tires it out. Although this is not always an indication of pregnancy, it’s certainly maybe. 

On a side note, if your doxie is not pregnant, but is still suffering from these conditions or symptoms, then you may want to see your vet check if there is some other sort of problem. 

If you have a dachshund that does like to nap all day, then telling if your doxie is pregnant in this way may be difficult.

If this is the case, try to pay attention to see if she gets tired much faster during walks than she used to. 

3. Enlarged Nipples

Yet another telltale sign that your female dachshund is pregnant is if you notice that her nipples are becoming much larger.

Your dog’s nipples will become much larger, more rounded and pronounced, and generally much darker than they usually are. 

If your dachshund is already in the late stages of pregnancy, her nipples may also begin to leak milk. if this happens, then it is a 100% surefire indication that your dog is pregnant.

Remember, that just like with humans, the dachshund mother will feed her young her own milk.

4. Nesting

The next telltale sign that your dachshund is pregnant is if she starts exhibiting nesting behavior.

During the last month of pregnancy, or during the last few weeks, you may notice that your dog starts shredding various soft materials to create its own bed, kind of like a bird making a bird’s nest. 

This is of course in preparation for the puppies. The mother dog is attempting to create a soft and protective nest that will keep the puppies safe and comfortable.

This is of course the motherly instinct at its finest.

5. Other Odd Behavior

If your dog is pregnant, due to changes in hormones, you may also notice a variety of other weird behaviors.

One of the most common things for pregnant dogs to do is to become much more affectionate.

If your doxie all of a sudden starts spending every single second of its day with you, and you can’t get it to leave your side, then it may be a sign that it is pregnant.

6. Weight Gain

Of course, one of the biggest and most prominent signs that your dog is pregnant is if she starts to gain over a lot of weight, especially around the abdomen.

All of that weight gain is of course all of the puppies starting to form and grow within the female dogs.

If there is no other explanation for your dog’s sudden weight gain then it’s a good sign that she could be pregnant.

7. Irritability

Due to those hormonal imbalances, adoption may also become extremely irritable, grumpy, and sometimes depressed when they are pregnant.

How Long Is A Dachshund Pregnant? 

The thing with dachshunds and other such dogs is that they have a very short gestation period.

In other words, they are not pregnant for a long time before they give birth to their puppies.

On average, the gestation period for a dog is anywhere from 56 to 70 days, with the average being somewhere above 60 days.

Therefore, you might not have all that much time to figure out whether or not your dog is pregnant, so acting quickly is of paramount importance.

Signs Your Dachshund Is Going into Labor

signs of dachshund labor

OK, so now that you know that your dog is pregnant, the next thing that you need to know is what the signs of labor are.

Once your dachshund starts going into labor, the puppies will follow shortly after, so knowing when labor is occurring, or when labor is about to occur, is extremely important.

Let’s take a look at all of the biggest telltale signs that your dachshund is going into labor.

1. Extreme Lethargy & Nesting

The closer your dog gets to starting labor, the more lethargic it will become, and the more it will start nesting.

If you notice that your dachshund is extremely lethargic to the point where it really doesn’t move anymore, and it just hangs out in that nest that it built for itself and its puppies, then you can rest assured that labor is going to start very soon. 

Although nesting and lethargic behavior are common in pregnant dogs in general, the further on they get in their pregnancy, especially in the days and hours before labor.

The more extreme this behavior becomes, therefore extreme lethargy and nesting are early warning signs that labor may begin soon

2. Milk Production

Once your dachshund starts producing milk, and it starts leaking from the nipples, this is also another early warning sign that labor is going to begin fairly soon. 

A female dog will usually not really start producing and leaking milk until days or even just hours before labor occurs. 

Of course, milk is the food that the mother will feed to the dogs, so this needs to be ready and in full production by the time the dogs are born. 

3. Total Loss of Appetite & Vomiting

In many cases, a pregnant dog will start eating a day or two before labor begins.

Even if the dog does not eat during this time, she may still vomit. this total lack of eating, combined with vomiting, is a short fire sign that labor is imminent.

Keep in mind that your dog will also likely have an extremely large bowel movement within 24 hours before labor begins, as this is an indication that the puppies are moving into position for labor to begin.

4. A Drop in Body Temperature

When your dog is pregnant, something that you should be doing, especially during the last few weeks, is taking regular rectal temperature checks.

During pregnancy, your dog’s temperature will be between 100 degrees and 101 degrees Fahrenheit. 

However just before labor begins, the temperature should drop to around 97 degrees Fahrenheit or even lower. 

If there are two consecutive readings at this temperature when taken 12 hours apart, it is a good indication that labor is going to start within 24 hours.

This drop in temperature is actually the number one most accurate sign about your dog is going into labor very soon.

5. Restlessness, Anxiety, & Panting 

There are also many behavioral signs which indicate that labor is imminent.

When labor is beginning or has already begun, you may notice that your dog is extremely restless and is having a lot of anxiety. 

If your dog seems very anxious, has a worried look on her face, has furrowed brows, has eyes that are slightly watering, or has glued herself to your side and does not want to leave, then it is a big sign that labor is going to begin soon or has already begun. 

Another telltale sign is if your dog starts panting a lot. this is characterized by extremely rapid panting with random pauses in between.

6. The Water Breaks 

If your dog’s water breaks, just like with a human that is pregnant, it is a 100% surefire sign that labor has just begun.

7. Shivering, Contractions, & Pushing

If you notice that your dog is shivering and that there are contractions occurring, then your dog is in labor.

If you see that your dog’s abdomen tense up and rippling periodically, then you are seeing contractions, and this means that labor is occurring. 

If you feel the dog’s stomach, you will notice that it becomes very hard to during the contraction and then relaxes once the contraction has ended. 

Finally, if you notice that your dog is actively pushing, then the puppies are on their way. They will look almost like they are trying to force out the world’s largest stool.

If you see this, then puppies will be there within minutes. 

How Many Puppies Do Dachshunds Have?

dachshund puppy litter

Although this does depend from one dog to the next, generally speaking, you can expect a dachshund to have anywhere between one to six puppies per litter, with between two and four being the average.

However, a large dachshund may have more. Exactly how many puppies a dachshund has does in part depend on its size.

Do Miniature Dachshunds Have Smaller Litters? 

Due to their smaller size, yes, miniature dachshunds do actually have fewer puppies on average.

On average, a miniature dachshund will have anywhere from one to four puppies, with between two and three puppies being the average.

Can My Dachshund Die During Labor?

Yes, the unfortunate reality is that dachshunds and any pregnant animals can die during labor.

We really aren’t going to get into the various complications that can happen before and during labor, because there are a lot of them, but that said, yes, your dog can die during labor. 

A pregnant female dog may also lose her puppies or have a miscarriage, and this can then also lead to the death of the pregnant mother.

One of the most common causes of a pregnant dachshund dying during birth is called uterine inertia.

Should I Breed My Dachshund?

A lot of people are unclear as to what they need to look out for when they are deciding whether or not to breed their female dachshund.

Let’s figure out exactly what you need to look out for and what to do before deciding whether or not to breed with your doxie.

1. Waiting for the Second Heat

For those of you who don’t know, when a female dog goes into heat, it means that she is ready to conceive puppies.

Now, what you need to know is that a dachshund should not be bred with while she is still in her first heat.

Without getting too much into the deck technical details of it, you should always wait for at least the second heat until you breed with your female dachshund.

This will greatly decrease the chances of any complications occurring. 

2. Checking for Genetic Conditions 

There is a wide variety of genetic conditions that dachshunds, and other dogs in general, may suffer from it.

Any genetic conditions as well as any hereditary conditions need to be screened for.

The fact of the matter is that if your parents dog has the said genetic condition, then it will most likely be passed onto the puppies and this is obviously something that you do not want occur in.

Generally speaking, it is recommended that any dogs with genetic conditions are not bred with. Only the healthiest of dogs should be bred with.

You really do want to know what the pedigree of your dog is like, and this goes as far as three or four generations back.

It’s not just the immediate parent dogs that matter, but further generations back as well.

3. Ensuring Good Temperament

Another thing that you need to consider before you leave your dachshund is what kind of temperament it has.

Although temperament is not exactly hereditary per se, many of the parent dogs personality traits will be transferred to the puppies.

For instance, if your mother dachshund is extremely aggressive, then there is a fairly big chance that the puppies will be as well.

Therefore you really do need to ensure that your dachshund has a good temperament before you breed with it.

4. Up to Date Vaccinations

Before you consider breeding, another thing that you need to ensure is that your dachshund who you plan to breed with has all of its necessary vaccinations.

All vaccinations that the dog should have, should be done well before breeding starts.

Vaccinations and various other such treatments should never be done shortly before a dog becomes pregnant and especially not during pregnancy.

Performing vaccinations on your dog while pregnant can have serious consequences on the offspring.

5. Medications

Another thing that you need to make sure of before you start breeding is that your dog is not on any kind of medication that may in any way, shape, or form affect the offspring during pregnancy.

If your dog is on any medications, you absolutely need to consult with a veterinarian before you choose to begin breeding.

6. Read Up & Get Ready

Although this really has nothing to do with whether or not you should breed your dog, the fact of the matter is that there is a whole lot to know about this topic.

There is a lot to know about how to prepare a female dog for having a litter, and how to prepare yourself for taking care of those puppies.

The bottom line is that breeding dogs is a very big time and monetary investment, so you better be ready for it, you better be knowledgeable, and you better be sure that it is the right thing for you to do.

You really just need to consider whether it is worth the time and the money, and you also want to think about what your purpose is.

7. You Should Join Canine Clubs

Something that you should do is to join a variety of canine clubs and communities.

The fact of the matter is that your life as a dog breeder will be much easier if you have a support network of people who know what they are doing and what they’re talking about. 

You want to learn everything there is to know about breeding dachshunds, and you also want to have as much assistance at your disposal as humanly possible.

The best way to do this is by being an active member of various canine clubs and communities.

8. Doing Dog Shows Certainly Helps

One of the biggest tips that any serious breeder will provide you with is that you absolutely need to compete in shows and in the ring.

First and foremost, if you compete in dog shows and in the ring, this is like a sales tactic. 

Your winning show dogs are what will sell the puppies. People will see those winning show dogs, and they will then want puppies that will also likely end up being winning show dogs. If nothing else, it’s a good marketing tactic.

 Moreover, whether your animals end up being show quality dogs or just pets, you still want to keep track of them all to see how they turn out.

Knowing exactly how the puppies turn out, especially in terms of pedigree and temperament, will determine how good your original dog was for breeding.

9. Registration is Key

The other thing that you want to do before you start breeding, especially if you are serious about long term breeding, then you definitely need to register yourself with your local authorities and canine clubs.

Every good dog breeder in the USA is registered with the American Kennel Club.

What Can I Do to Stop My Dachshund Getting Pregnant?

If you have a female dog, but you don’t want it to get pregnant, then what can you do?

  • Of course, the number one preventative method to stop pregnancy from happening in dogs is to spay and neuter them.

    Now, with that being said, do keep in mind that spaying and neutering are both totally permanent, and once they are done there is no undoing it. However, this is the number one way to ensure that your dog never gets pregnant.
  • If you have a female dog, but you don’t want to spay it, then one thing that you will have to do in order to stop it from getting pregnant, is to keep it away from males, especially unneutered males. Obviously, neutered males are not a threat because they cannot have children, but an unneutered male is a threat.

    A female that is in heat and who comes into contact with an unneutered male dog will inevitably end up getting pregnant. When your female dog is in heat, you need to be very careful about the company that it keeps.
  • Some people do actually put special doggie diapers on their female dogs while they are in heat, mainly to prevent a mess from occurring in the house, but this kind of physical barrier can also stop a male’s private parts from going where they need to go.

    A physical barrier does work. Simply keeping an eye on your dog is also an option.


When all has been said and done, you should now know more or less everything there is to know about dachshund pregnancy.

Now that you have all of the information, you can figure out for yourself whether or not you want to breed your dogs, and now you will also be able to tell when your dog is pregnant and when it goes into labor.