Pregnant Border Collies

I have a Border Collie that I'm going to breed who just won't sit still. It's winter up north here and yet she still bounds around through the snow. Will this level of activity continue when she is pregnant? I have owned and whelped bitches before, but this is my first experience with breeding a Border Collie. It has been my experience that a bitch usually settles down naturally once her center of gravity is altered (at about five to six weeks), but I've never owned a bitch that was ANYWHERE near this active to begin with. If the jumping and high levels of activity continue, should I trust to my dog and Mother Nature and let them determine what's best? Or should I plan on gradually restricting her as her pregnancy progresses? The thought of keeping her on a lead all of the time is depressing, but I'm concerned about the possibility of losing the litter through her yo-yo lifestyle. Bouncing babies are one thing, but bouncing moms?

Yes, as you suspected, she will ultimately slow down. "Slow down" of course is a relative term as it relates to Border Collies. It may take a bit longer than 5 to 6 weeks for her to really slow down, but it will happen, at least somewhat. She'll probably begin to act as a "normal" dog would (i.e. sleeping in the house for more than 15 minutes, lying around while you watch TV, not bugging you every 20 minutes or so.) Don't expect the "dead dog syndrome" but do be prepared for a mellower dog. It's actually kinda nice for a change - enjoy it while you can. Expect to be harrassed by all your friends and relatives that come over to the house. "Are you sure this is a Border Collie?" "Did you drug this dog?" "Alright, who switched your dog with a normal dog?" "Where did you get a black and white Labrador?" One week after whelping though, she'll probably be racing around, pretty close to normal.

Current thinking with dogs is very similar to current thinking with human mothers-to-be. No reason or need to keep them completely inactive. Let them set their own pace. Evolution has served quite nicely to provide for bouncing mothers - how do you think all those wild canids keep hunting through their pregnancies. Remember, a fat and out-of-shape mother will have a far more difficult time in labor than a trim, in-shape one. I wouldn't over encourage her to do strenuous things - you can cut down on the Frisbee leaps and Agility competitions but *don't discourage* her from exercising. Long free-ranging walks are great for the dog. Swimming is wonderful (especially if your worried about the physiological stresses.) However, as it is winter and you live up north, I would probably not suggest swimming in natural bodies of water, as the extremely cold water temperatures aren't very beneficial to the developing pups. As you said, I would trust "your dog and Mother Nature and let them determine what's best". <

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