The final three weeks of pregnancy for a German Shepherd is exciting. You will notice some changes in her appearance as well as her behavior. Try to be as accommodating as possible. Each female GS will be different in their appearance. Some will be larger or not big at all, probably due to the age of mother and number of puppies. In the photo above, notice the fur around the abdomen sticks out and compare that photo to her photo before mating where her fur lays down.
Days 42 - 63 signs:
- The female GS will become larger in her abdomen. You will be able to feel little movements.
- She may not eat much. If so, add an egg to her food. Eggs are good anyway for the coat, but also provides extra protein for the developing puppies.
- She will search out hiding places: under the beds, behind couches, under the table; anything of a den like place. This is her "nesting".
- She may also become moody or cranky especially towards other pets, watch closely during feeding or treat times.
You can spend this time researching to know what to expect when she begins labor and whelping. Familiarize yourself with the process. These are good things to know, however, German Shepherds have been whelping little German Shepherds for thousands upon thousands upon thousands of years, they know what they are doing. The whelping process is innate to them; it is as much a part of their instinct as guarding you and your family. Taking their temperatures, having water bowls, towels, sucker things, all this is completely unnecessary. The mother German Shepherd will give birth when it is time. You need not do anything. Mother will and should be the one to clean the puppy as this is the first step in the bonding process between her and her young. Both mother and puppy need to have this. Mother will even lead pup to nurse. The most we should or could do is to wait till mom is finished cleaning the puppy then mark puppy for id purposes and place pup to the nipple to feed. I do make sure they are nursing for the first time.
Enjoy your last quiet days, because soon there will be lots of peeps and squeals.
For whelping info, please refer to my article: Birthing/Whelping of German Shepherd puppies.