How long does dog labor take?

How long does dog labor take? - The Waggin Train Veterinary Clinic

I'm going to be honest with you; just from personal experience, I can tell you that this is a highly variable answer. I have seen some dogs where they are over and done in a matter of 30 minutes to an hour—even with a Labrador-sized litter where they might pass 10 or 12 puppies. I also owned a dog that came from a litter that was born over three days. This female would have three or four, and then she'd stop and think she was done. And the next day, the owner would come home from work, and there were four or five more. And then it happened for three days.

Is that normal? No. Would I be nervous? Yeah. Had that dog been brought to me as a veterinarian, I probably would've done x-rays and said, "Oh God, there's still three more. Let's go get them." But there's a lot of variability. I would tell you, on average, a couple of hours is about right. But there's so much variability depending on the size of the puppies, the size of the female, the size of the litter, and the breed of dog. There are certain breeds like English bulldogs that are sort of the poster child for dystocia. Those guys have a hard time passing through the birth canal naturally so that it can take a little bit longer, and sometimes people don't even want to take that chance, and they'll do a scheduled C-section. For certain breeds, that's not a bad idea too.