Pregnant Springer Spaniel: An In-Depth Guide for Owners

August 29, 2022

Is your Springer Spaniel pregnant and you are looking for more information? Or maybe you are just in the early stages of considering whether to breed your English Springer Spaniel.

The decision to breed your dog needs to be well calculated as looking after a pregnant dog requires a lot of care and attention.

Nevertheless, pregnancy is a very special time for the dog mum as well as the owner and will be very rewarding when the puppies are born. Also, it is a big change for your Springer Spaniel, especially if it is the first litter.

Thankfully, dog pregnancy is a lot shorter than the human one, with an average time of only 63 days.

Here are some great tips on how to prepare your dog for healthy puppies and how to live with a pregnant bitch.

When Can An English Springer Spaniel Get Pregnant?

You cannot start mating your Springer with other dogs just on any day you like. The chances of getting pregnant are tied to the dog's reproductive cycle.

The bitch will have her first season when they reach puberty. This is normally around six months of age but will depend on the dog. It may happen earlier or a bit later. On average, they will have two seasons a year.

The cycle will consist of four stages:

  • Proestrus
  • Estrus
  • Diestrus
  • Anestrus

Proestrus is the beginning of the cycle when your Springer Spaniel starts attracting males. However, she will not let them close yet. It can be around 9 days long.

Then, the second part is called estrus, which is the period your bitch can get pregnant and a chance for mating with the male. This time is often called heat or season.

For new owners, the bloody vaginal discharge is one of the giveaway physical signs of heat.

The male spaniels can detect bitches in heat even from distance. They might even start marking territory around your home to claim it as their area.

Your Springer Spaniel may also get into fights with dogs, especially if she does not feel ready for mating.

It is best to walk your dog on a lead during this time, to avoid unnecessary attention as well as avoid accidental breeding.

A good breeder will follow veterinary advice and have regular check-ups to ensure the bitch is suitable for mating.

Your dog is at most fertile when the discharge becomes watery, however, as sperm can survive for days, the bitch can become pregnant at any point of estrus.

Diestrus is the next stage of the cycle when your Springer's hormone levels start returning to normal and any swelling will disappear. The last stage is anestrus, which is the time frame until the next cycle.

Remember, your bitch can get pregnant from their first season. If you want to avoid dog pregnancy altogether, you are best to get your puppy spayed.

Your Springer can get pregnant already in the first season. However, it is worth remembering that they are still teens themselves and may not be ready for the strain of a litter mentally.

Should I Breed My Springer Spaniel?

Whether to breed a Springer Spaniel is a huge decision. It can be very emotional as well as expensive.

You will need to determine if you have enough resources to be there for your Springer Spaniel when she needs extra care and support.

Your bitch can start giving birth at any time. Will you be able to stay home when the time comes? You will also require extra equipment like a whelping box as well as may require to pay for an ultrasound, blood tests and other vet treatments.

While you may think the money can be made back when the litter is born, there may be complications and you may even pay more for the process than you get back. So, it is a big financial consideration.

Mating Considerations

When you do decide to breed your Springer Spaniels, you will need to determine that the dog as well as the partner are suitable.

When picking your own puppy, you had to ensure they were well-bred. Now, the litter you help in the world need to be given the best chance to be as healthy as possible.

As the new Springer Spaniels will be inheriting some of the parent's traits, you will need to think of:

  • Temperament
  • Health
  • Breed

If you do not have a mating partner for your dog, but planning to find a Pedigree match, the Kennel Club can help in finding a suitable dog.

Springer Spaniels Gestation Period

The gestation period in dogs is normally around 63 days or 9 weeks.

However, it will be difficult to determine the exact length and conception date without the help of a vet.

It may take some weeks to notice signs in your pregnant dog.

And they may not physically show pregnant until about 40 days in. However, later on, in the pregnancy, you will see the pet's nipples enlarge and belly expand.

Keep in contact with your vet and do checks on your Springer Spaniel on a daily basis.

What Are The Signs of Dog's Pregnancy?

It is a bit harder to determine a Springer's pregnancy. You cannot grab dog pregnancy tests in the supermarket as humans can.

Methods Vets Use To Confirm Pregnancy

A vet can confirm pregnancy in different ways:

  • Hormone tests: A way to test for pregnancy is by checking for Relaxin levels in the dog. This test can be inaccurate when done too early.
  • Palpation: A traditional method for detecting pregnancy, a vet will put pressure on the abdomen to find swelling which suggests developing puppies
  • X-rays: This can be difficult in some cases, as some dogs may not want to stay still. As well, it will not detect if the puppies are alive or not.
  • Ultrasound: This can be a great way as the vet can detect pregnancy, hear heartbeats and calculate the age of the fetus.

Sings Your Bitch is Pregnant

Your Springer's body will be going through a lot of changes during the pregnancy and some of these are very noticeable signs for the owner.

  • Your Springer may experience morning sickness in early pregnancy
  • The appetite may reduce in the first weeks. If your dog is not eating, speak to the vet.
  • The appetite may increase in later weeks and they need to eat more.
  • The Spaniels tummy can be swollen and nipples enlarged.
  • The bitch will start to gain weight.

How Many Puppies Can A Springer Spaniel Have?

You will not be able to guarantee how many puppies your bitch will have. The average number is four to six puppies.

However, it is possible your Springer may even only have one puppy. There are also cases when a Springer has even had 15 puppies.

The most accurate way to determine how many puppies your dog is having is by doing an ultrasound.

Stages of Dog's Pregnancy

An average dog pregnancy is around 63 days.

First Month

In the first weeks, there may be no symptoms, so it might be unclear if your bitch is even pregnant. You can still walk and care for her as normal.

It is the time when the egg is fertilised and travelling down to the uterus for the embryos to embed themselves in the uterine wall.

Your dog may get nauseous and go off their food.

Other signs are changes in appetite, enlarged nipples, clear discharge and changes in behaviour.

Your Springer may become more cuddly. However, it can be the opposite, they may become quieter than before.

Second Month

Around week four you can have an ultrasound or blood test to confirm the pregnancy.

This can be a very exciting time as you can be certain your lovely Springer will become a mother.

You will need to keep an eye out not to over-exercise your dog. Springers can be very active and your dog can be herself acting like a puppy with no consideration for taking care of herself.

You may now notice increased appetite and weight gain. The belly is starting to get bigger and puppy movement can be detected in the abdomen.

Third Month

Your Springer is now in her last days of pregnancy and puppies are moving to a position.

You will need to now ensure your whelping box is ready and start preparing for the birth of the litter. Get plenty of blankets and a whelping kit ready. Set up a cosy quiet area for the dog.

It is recommended to put toys in the box as well as feed your dog in the whelping box. This will make them comfortable with it and hopefully, they start nesting there.

The Springer can lose appetite, drop in body temperature and become restless.

Pacing as well as panting can be signs that she is close to labour.

Caring For A Pregnant Dog

The main thing you need to do as a dog owner, is to be there for your Springer Spaniel. They will be going through changes and need extra care.

In the final month, your Springer will need to eat more calories, so you will need to increase the food. It is also important to consult with the veterinarian to ensure your dog is getting a nutritional diet and extra vitamins.

Your dog will need the energy to carry the babies, so you will need to switch to shorter walks in the later stages of pregnancy.

Your dog will also need to urinate more as the puppies are putting pressure on her bladder.

Visit the vet regularly, so they can check your dog to ensure the pregnancy is going as planned.

Springer Spaniel in Labour

Some of the signs of labour are that your dog will lose appetite a few days prior to birth. They can also be panting and you may notice contractions.

Make sure you do not leave your bitch unsupervised. Ensure they have enough fluids and are kept warm.

When the puppies are born, the mum should cut their umbilical cord herself.

You can help to put the babies to her belly. The babies need to be warm, so a towel over them can help.

If you notice that the puppies are not nursing or breeding, you will need medical help.

Now the puppies are born, the hard part is not done. The real job starts with socialising them and getting them ready for the life ahead.


Bringing a litter of puppies to the world is a very exciting time for both the dog mum as well as the pet parent. While it can be very rewarding, it is also an important decision.

It is necessary to be fully prepared for what to expect and the financial and time commitments it brings. Also, the dog and the mate need to be checked to ensure they can produce healthy puppies.

While the dog pregnancy can feel quick- only 63 days, it needs to be planned. Dogs can only get pregnant twice a year during their heat. Also, even after mating, it is not always certain if your Springer Spaniel is actually pregnant.

The veterinarian can do checks like ultrasound or hormone test to determine the pregnancy. However, there will also be signs in your dog that they are expecting like being nauseous, changes in appetite and behaviour.

Your Springer Spaniel will require a lot of extra care and love during pregnancy and labour. With good preparation and their owner's support, the process can get smoother and more pleasant for everyone involved.

Allan  Noble
Hi, my name is Allan! I am the owner of Spaniel Advisor and I've got over seven years experience of owning Spaniels.  
I hope this article was helpful for you! 
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