How to know if your Doberman is Pregnant: Symptoms and Signs to look for

Dobermans are a very loyal and loving dog breed. They are low maintenance and easy to train. A well-bred Doberman can be the best family dog in the world. For this reason, many people want to add Dobermans to their families. If you are Dobie’s parents and have decided to breed your Doberman, you must be wondering what the common signs to know if your Doberman is pregnant or not are? Or maybe you think, why your Dobie is gaining weight or behaving lethargic? Don’t worry, either way; this article will provide answers to all your questions. Scroll down to know more about this.

Common Signs

The duration of dogs’ pregnancy continues for 63 days, beginning from the day they ovulate till the date their puppies are born. Like humans, dogs are pregnant for three trimesters; each phase lasts 21 days. Each pregnant dog deals with their pregnancy differently and showcases different symptoms. But there are some common signs in the Doberman breed that will indicate that the breeding is successfully done. A few of these signs are given below-

Emotional changes

Similar to humans, Doberman also suffers from hormonal changes during their pregnancy. Any sudden behavioral changes among female Dobermans can be considered a vital sign that indicates that your Dobie is pregnant. But this is a general symptom; you need to observe all the behaviors of a Doberman to get an exact idea about whether they are pregnant or not?

  • Annoyed or Irritated- If your female Doberman is pregnant, they might behave differently. A Doberman may act more aggressively, short-tempered, and irritated with you and other canines. This type of behavior is considered to be completely normal for a pregnant Doberman. And it can be considered as an indicator that she is making herself ready to be a defensive mother.
  • Clingy- When your Doberman is pregnant, you will notice that she wants to spend more time with you or any other family member with whom she is comfortable. As Dobermans are pack animals, it is normal for her to want to stay close to the pack, especially when she feels more vulnerable due to pregnancy.
  • Moody- Due to pregnancy, you will notice that your Doberman is moody, such as suddenly changing her moods from happy to sad, anxious, and so on.

Feeling More Hungry than Usual

You will also notice that your Doberman feels more hungry than usual during her pregnancy. They are experiencing more hunger because puppies are developing in their womb, increasing the nutritional demand on their body. Now you must be thinking about what to feed your Dobie that will not cause any harm to their health. A few common ways are given below:

  • Increase her food by half – At first, increase her food by half; for example, if you are feeding your Doberman a cup of dry food or Kibble, then feed them one and a half cups of dry foods or Kibble. And after increasing her food by half, if you notice that your Doberman is still hungry, add another half cup of food to her daily meal. 
  • Try mixing wet and dry food- A pregnant Doberman needs a lot of nutrients and food supplements compared to a normal Doberman. Hence, ensure to provide such food to your Dobie that will fulfill her nutritional needs. Try to provide both dry and wet food to your Doberman. It will help in keeping your Dobie healthy and hydrated. 
  • Try adding raw foods- A raw diet will fulfill all the nutritional needs of your Doberman, but this is an expensive endeavor and should only be done under the supervision of professionals. If you don’t want to spend much money on this, you can give milk to your Doberman; it will eradicate her calcium deficiency.

If you are confused about how much to feed and what to feed, it is always recommended to consult a veterinarian to get a better understanding. And never add raw food to your Dobie’s diet without consulting the veterinarian.


Doberman will also experience noticeable swelling in:

  • The stomach- If you notice swelling in the stomach, especially in the lower stomach near the hip, it is a solid and visible indication that your Doberman is pregnant.
  • The nipple– With the passing time, she will start producing milk resulting in swelling around the nipple.
  • The vulva– Swelling in the vulva is also considered one of the signs of pregnancy. However, your Doberman’s vulva region will swell during the final week of her pregnancy, indicating that your Dobie is ready to give birth to her puppies in the next few days.

Nesting behavior 

Like any other species, Doberman also showcases nesting behavior. They will start collecting Blankets or pile up clutter around her bed. All these signs indicate that she is getting ready and creating a safe and warm place for her puppies. When your Dobie is preparing herself and a safe place for her puppies, you need to look out for certain things such as:

  • Make sure she is not pulling anything sharp into her nest. Though Dobermans will not take any type of sharp object into their nest, you need to stay extra cautious.
  • When your Doberman is collecting blankets, keep an eye out that she is not taking anything that has any possibility of choking hazards. 
  • Always check your Dobermans nest thoroughly to see if it has any potential threat in it or not?

Decreased activity level

A decreased activity level is one final sign indicating that your Dobermans are pregnant. They will behave more lethargic, gain weight, and need attention and affection during pregnancy. However, it is advisable to keep your Dobie active during the early phase of pregnancy. Always motivate them to do some physical activity such as walking and playing fetch. During the middle of their pregnancy, you should reduce their physical activity to light to moderate.

Different stages of pregnancy

There are different stages of pregnancy, such as:

  • The first two weeks of pregnancy are very normal, and you will not notice any significant symptoms except morning sickness and mood changes. During this time, feed them the usual food as normal.
  • In the 3rd week of pregnancy, you will be able to witness the early signs of pregnancy.
  • By the 4th week, your vet should be able to confirm whether your Dobie is pregnant or not. During this time, encourage them to do light to moderate exercise and add nutritious foods to their meal.
  • By the 5th week of pregnancy, Doberman will experience swelling near the stomach, nipple, and vulva. Along with swelling, she will gain weight rapidly. You should increase their food intake by adding more nutritious foods during this time.
  • Further, in the 6th week, you will see that the nipple area is becoming more prominent and darker. You should shift the Doberman to a safe and secure whelping box.
  • In the 7th week, they will start shedding hair around her belly.
  • In the 8th week, the Doberman will start lactating, and she will spend most of her time in the whelping bed.
  • On the 9th or final week, you need to check her temperature regularly. If you notice a sudden temperature drop, panting, and if your Dobie becomes noticeably uncomfortable, it is a sign that Doberman is about to give birth.

Pregnancy test for Dobermans

It is very difficult to know whether your Doberman is pregnant or not. So to get a definite answer to this question, you should visit your veterinarian. They will suggest doing an ultrasound; however, you can do an ultrasound after 25 days of mating. Some other way to know whether your Dobie is pregnant or not is given below.

  • Palpation- Palpation is a traditional technique. It is a process of gently pushing on the abdomen area to feel whether there is any swelling in the uterus area or not. This process should be done by an experienced professional and should be performed between 23 to 30 days after ovulation.
  • Ultrasound- Any vet can perform an ultrasound after 25 to 30 days into pregnancy. Under this process, the vet will visually check the abdomen area using specialized equipment to confirm the presence of fetuses. It is one of the common ways to know whether your Dobie is pregnant or not.
  • X-ray- X-ray is another way to know whether the breeding is successful. An X-ray can give the exact number of puppies you can expect in the litter. However, you can perform this before 50 days into pregnancy.
  • Blood Test- A blood test is another option to know if your Dobie is pregnant or not. Blood tests will check the level of relaxin which is primarily produced by the embryo of fetal puppies. And the presence of high levels of relaxin is an indication of pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy kit- Just like any normal pregnancy kit, some pregnancy kits are also available for Dogs. The only difference is you need to draw blood for this test. This test will only work after 22 to 28 days after breeding.

When to seek medical attention?

Usually, Dobermans don’t face many difficulties while giving birth, but you should consult your local vet if you witness any of these below-given symptoms:

  • Dogs will start lactating towards the end of their pregnancy, but if you notice any unusual discharge, it may be a sign of other serious issues.
  • As mentioned above, panting, whimpering, or pacing is common signs of pregnancy, but if you want, you can take your Dobie to a vet for a better understanding.
  • A decrease in activity and behaving lethargic is normal, but behaving totally inactive may be a matter of concern.

It is always better to do regular checkups of your expecting Doberman to avoid severe health issues. 

Bottom Line

Dobermans are prone to different diseases, so when it comes to their health, you need to be extra cautious. Especially when the Doberman is expecting, you need to look out for any sign that may indicate that the Doberman is not feeling well. It is also recommended to work closely with your veterinarian to understand the signs of pregnancy. With a little care and affection, you can keep your Dobie healthy during their pregnancy.

See Also: Guide for Doberman DNA Health Testing


How can I tell if my Doberman is pregnant?

If your Doberman is displaying signs including vomiting, fatigue, weight gain, increased appetite, nesting behaviors, and emotional changes, then your female Dobie is pregnant.

What are the first signs your dog is pregnant?

A few signs that indicate that your Doberman is pregnant include weight gain, swollen belly, increase in appetite, increase in your nipple size, nesting behavior, require more care and affection, and so on.

How do dogs act when they are pregnant?

Some pregnant dogs need more attention, care, and love, whereas some dog will prefer to stay alone and doesn’t wish to be bothered. 

What does a pregnant dog’s belly feel like?

A vet can do a trans-abdominal palpation test between 3 -4 weeks after breeding to check a pregnant dog’s belly. The puppies inside a dog’s womb feel like small golf balls, depending on the canine’s size.

How long after mating can you tell a dog is pregnant?

It is very difficult to detect a dog’s early signs of pregnancy. You can do Ultrasound, X-ray, Blood test, or palpation to check whether your Dobie is pregnant or not.

Jason Morgan

Jason Morgan

I'm Jason Morgan, founder and author at I just love Dobermans - they're the best dogs in the world! I got my first Doberman, Max, when I was just a pup myself. Max was my loyal friend and protector for over ten years. Since then, I've been working hard to learn everything I can about these amazing dogs. I started DobermanWiki as a place to share all that knowledge with other Doberman enthusiasts like me. My goal is to help every Doberman owner have the best possible relationship with their dog. I'm always happy to chat with other Doberman owners, so feel free to reach out anytime!

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