How to Deliver Puppies That Are Stuck Without Feeling ANY Pressure?

       how to deliver puppies that are stuck

There are two ways you can do to help your dog deliver puppies that are stuck. First, is to perform a DIY method with the help of a whelping kit. Second is to bring your dam to the nearest veterinarian.

Watching dogs give birth is really amazing.  It is the same as watching and seeing a human being give birth. Both are magical as you see another life come into the world. 

Meeting New Family Members

This may be one of the most important parts of having a dog or breeding one. To see them give birth to new puppies – your new puppies!

It is all pure of excitement, wondering how the next puppy
will look like, knowing if it will be a boy or a girl and most importantly, (if
you do not know it yet), knowing how many new furbabies you have!

All your worries and anxiety drifts away as soon as you see your dam continuously giving birth and then seeing as well that all your puppies are healthy.

Although this is the common sight of a dam delivering puppies, there are certain instances when unexpected problems occur where she will experience difficulty in giving birth and a puppy might be left stuck in your dam’s birth canal.

Now, this has happened to me twice during Bella’s first delivery and we have learned a lot from that experience.  My article now wishes to help you, my co fur parents if ever it happens that you too would encounter this situation.

How to Determine if the Puppy is Stuck 

          How to determine if the puppy is stuck

Determining if a puppy is stuck in their mother’s birth canal can be quite tricky especially for first time breeders or dog owners.

Why do I say this?  Mainly because you need to understand if a puppy is really stuck or your dam is just resting.  Observe first what is really happening with your dog, before you panic and bring your dog to the Vet.

Check the Intervals

       check the intervals of puppies coming out

First, we need to know the average interval for a dog to rest in between deliveries.  From the time your dog starts their second stage of labor, a puppy should be born 2-4 hours. 

After this, then the average interval should just be between 30-60 minutes.  If your dog is peacefully resting, then you can leave them at this for up to two hours. 

If your dog has already been resting for more than 3-4 hours or they have been struggling with trying to push but no puppy is coming out then it is a clear sign that there may be a puppy stuck in the dog’s birth canal.

You have an option to help your dog get its stuck puppy, when this happens or if you feel more comfortable with having a professional do it, then you can bring your dog to the vet for a safer process.

I got frustrated when I experienced this with Bella’s first batch, because I literally had no idea what to do and was under the impression that she could just be resting. 

Good thing, another breeder came to help us with Bella’s delivery.

He told us that Bella might need help because there is a puppy stuck in the birth canal which then also blocks the others from coming out.

How to Deliver Puppies that are Stuck

        how to deliver puppies that are stuck

Now that you already have an idea on what to watch out for when your dog gives birth, our next discussion will be on how to actually help your dog deliver these stuck puppies.

From the time the last puppy got out, and if it passed 2-3 hours that your dog is straining or showing distress and trying to push without any puppies coming out, then there is a high chance that a puppy is stuck.

Once you are sure that a puppy is stuck in your dog’s birth canal, make a choice. Either you will help your dog deliver or have a vet perform the process.

Do-It-Yourself Method

        puppy whelping kit for DIY

If you want to do this on your own, then you need to have the basic materials (materials should already be available in your whelping kit) for the delivery.

The reason why I prefer this Puppy Express whelping kit is that it actually has everything that I need for the whelping process including scenarios where I would have to personally help deliver the puppies.

You should wear gloves (included in the whelping kit) when you are ready to do nurse your dog.


  • 1
    You have to insert your finger gently into the birth canal to see if a puppy is there.  If inserting your finger makes your dog uncomfortable, then use a lubricant to help make things easier.                                                                               
  • 2
    If you can feel the puppy is within reach, then there will be higher chances that you can help with your dog’s delivery.                                                      Otherwise, you would need to bring your dog to the veterinarian for proper and immediate help.                                                                                                  Remember, that the more you delay the stuck puppy from getting out, the more that you put the lives of the mother and other puppies at risk.                 
  • 3
    Once you have touched the puppy, grasp it gently, preferably on the legs so that it is easier to pull them out.  Unlike babies in human beings, puppies are commonly born with their feet first so there is nothing to be panicky about if you see this.                                                                                                               
  • 4
    When pulling the puppy, it has to be done gently and using their feet.  It is also best to gently pull them alongside the mother’s contractions so that there is also that push that will help in getting the puppy out.                                 
  • 5
    Once part of the body is out, continue to gently pull the puppy going down as this is the normal way that it goes out of the birth canal.                                       
  • 6
    As soon as the puppy is out, bring the puppy to the mother so that she can clean her puppy, just like the rest.                                                                                      
  • 7
    With the use of a hemostat (Puppy Express includes this in their whelping kits), cut the umbilical cord so that it will trigger the mother to clean it and minimize the bleeding.

Through a Veterinarian

       Go to a Veterinarian for help with stuck puppies

If you choose the latter and would rather have a
veterinarian do the job then the following are what normally happens.

  • The vet would follow the same process that I have indicated above like, checking if they can feel the puppy or not.                                                                       
  • If they cannot then the other step that they will be doing is to do an X-Ray procedure.  Through the X-Ray procedure, they can determine the exact count of the remaining puppies inside the mother’s uterus.                                           
  • The vet may also do an ultrasound to determine and see the puppy’s heartbeat and confirm that they are still alive.                                                                 
  • Once all tests are complete, the vet will discuss whatever situation there is with the owner. Perhaps, a c-section is the best solution in order to get the puppies out, as prolonging them inside the uterus may already put them at risk, together with the mother.                                                                                                   
  • If the owner confirms (which of course most of the time) the c-section will be performed and the puppies will be placed in a separate but warm surrounding until the mom is good with feeding them.

What Causes Stuck Puppies

       what causes stuck puppies

There are several reasons why a puppy or puppies can get stuck in their mother’s birth canal, some of these reasons are the following:

Too many offsprings

Large puppy counts may cause strain and stress the mother, leaving it difficult to push its litters out. When this happens, she cannot give birth on its own because its energy has been drained.

At this point, your dam needs help in delivering its puppies. It is also possible that puppies are blocking the passage that even though how hard the mother pushes, no puppies are coming out.

Single puppy syndrome

If initially, we mentioned that a large litter may result in having stuck puppies, a single puppy can also experience the same.

Being there is only one, this single puppy may not be able to trigger the contraction or labor process.

Puppy Placement

This is very much alike with women giving birth to babies. There are positions or placements at birth that will make it a bit more difficult to deliver.

If a puppy is positioned or placed improperly in the birth canal, then there is a high chance that they cannot get out the normal way and would require a veterinarian’s help through a c-section procedure.

Puppy Size

If you have big sized dogs, then there is a possibility that they can also be stuck in the birth canal.

The most common breed that requires a c-section due to their head size is the English bulldog, which is known to have big heads even as a puppy.

Dam’s health

This is another factor that contributes to the possibility of having stuck puppies. If the dam is already old, then she will have a hard time pushing through the contractions due to age.

How to Avoid Having Stuck Puppies

         how to avoid having stuck puppies

Now that you know the possible reasons that may cause your dog to have stuck puppies during delivery, I will now discuss some tips that can keep this from happening as much as possible.

Aside from all the beautiful things that happen during a dog’s childbirth, there will be unwanted circumstances. Some times a problem may occur and cause puppies to be stuck inside the birth canal.

Here are the things you can consider when things go out of control. It is better to have proper knowledge so you can act fast and do what is necessary.

Tips to Consider

  • Scheduling pregnancy will prevent your dam from dealing with birth issues. If you are planning to breed then make sure she is healthy and at her prime age.                                                                                                                                                       
  • Have your regular veterinary visits at least a week or two before your dam’s due date. Let her undergo an X-Ray procedure so that you will be aware of how many puppies you are expecting.                                                                             
  • Be observant during the process of delivery.  If you notice that your dam is already resting longer than she needs to then call your vet for assistance.            
  • If you are as brave as me and my husband, then have a dose of Oxytocin ready.  When administered, oxytocin can trigger the contractions and help your dog to have a continuous delivery.                               
  • Consult a Vet right away if your dog’s breed gives birth via c-section. Such example is an English bulldog or some toy dogs.


So just like what I have mentioned earlier, going through your dog’s birthing process is definitely exciting and interesting. There are so many things to watch out for and the whole process is just so amazing to watch.

When this happens, it is important that you stay calm and always think of the best for your best pals. If you can handle the pressure, then feel free to help your dog in delivering stuck puppies. All you need to have will be the basic tools or equipment in whelping.

Also, aside from your heart which aims to save all these puppies. If you prefer that a professional handle this situation, then you act fast and not waste any more time.

Remember, at the end of the day, it is still the safety of your puppies that you should be after. These tips and feedback I shared, hopefully, will be useful to all of you once you start breeding dogs.