Skip to Content

Alternative Name for a Female Dog: Synonyms, Breeding, and Whelping (2024)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

What is another term for a female dogWith so many breeds and types of dogs, the terminology can be confusing. Many people are familiar with the term bitch when referring to a female dog, but is there another way to refer to her? Let’s explore alternative terms for a female dog as well as understand breeding, whelping and other related topics.

Key Takeaways

  • A female dog can also be referred to as a girl dog.
  • A spayed female dog is also known as a spayed bitch or a sterilized female.
  • A female dog used for breeding purposes is called a brood bitch.
  • The term dam is commonly used to refer to a mother dog.

What is a Female Dog Called?

What is a Female Dog Called
You’d call the female dog a bitch, though the technical term is simply female dog. The maternal gal goes by bitch in breeders’ parlance, though take care with that word’s multiple connotations. Mind your manners and say female pooch or girl dog, not the vulgar bitch, when referring to the lady canine in polite company.

While bitch denotes a female pup, it’s better to say girl dog or female when among genteel folks. The mother dog’s actual name is bitch, but less coarse options include girl dog or female.

Is It Appropriate to Use the Term Bitch?

Is It Appropriate to Use the Term Bitch
While bitch remains the technical term for a female dog, using it casually risks offending others. Given extensive training in canine medicine and reproduction, I understand why some continue using it in formal contexts.

However, language evolves. Once an empowering term, bitch has become derogatory slang. Though originally referring to female dogs, applying gendered terms to people often backfires.

Before calling someone a bitch, consider what female dog qualities you mean to evoke: loyal, nurturing, protective? Language shapes attitudes; we can uplift others with empowering words. Regarding dogs, while bitch has its place in technical contexts, using female or girl dog in casual conversation shows respect.

What is a Spayed Female Dog Called?

What is a Spayed Female Dog Called
Let’s talk about spayed dogs. A spayed female dog is still referred to as a bitch or simply a spayed dog.

Spaying a female dog involves surgically removing the ovaries and uterus. This leaves the female dog unable to reproduce but does not affect her hormone production or alter her personality.

Some common terms for a spayed female dog are:

  • Spayed bitch
  • Spayed dog
  • Sterilized female
  • Fixed female dog

Spaying offers health benefits like preventing ovarian and uterine cancers and infections. While a spayed female dog may still exhibit heat cycles, she can’t get pregnant. Refer to a spayed female dog as a bitch or simply a spayed dog. Ultimately, spaying provides population control and better health for female dogs.

What is a Female Dog Used for Breeding Called?

What is a Female Dog Used for Breeding Called
A brood bitch is what a female dog used for breeding is called. As the dam, she plays a pivotal role in canine reproduction and the whelping process. This breeding female undergoes health checks, normal estrus cycles, and introductions to the sire.

After successful mating ties, her pregnancy lasts around 60 days before delivering the litter.

The brood bitch requires special care as she transitions through the three stages of labor. Handling the newborn pups with care, she produces milk to nurse her offspring. Her maternal instincts drive her to nurture the whelps until weaning.

With a litter to raise, the brood bitch embodies the critical dam duties in expanding the canine family tree.

What is the Mother Dog Called?

What is the Mother Dog Called
The dam plays a critical role in breeding, pregnancy, and raising a litter. She undergoes estrus cycles, mating, gestation for around 63 days, gives birth, and nurses her puppies. Dams require excellent care and preparation before breeding, through pregnancy, and while nursing their young.

  • The dam goes into heat or estrus, when her body is ready for mating. This occurs about twice a year.
  • During mating, the dam and sire breed naturally or through artificial insemination.
  • An expecting dam needs proper nutrition, exercise, and veterinary care. Her pregnant body supports growing puppies.
  • Whelping refers to the dam giving birth. It is critical to monitor her and assist if needed.
  • Nursing puppies is very demanding. The dam’s milk production and diet are monitored to sustain litters.
  • Mothering instinct in dams bonds them closely to their puppies through nursing, grooming, playing.

Raising a healthy litter requires dedication from the dam owner. They ensure she is healthy before, during, and after pregnancy so she can s쳮d as a mother.

What is the Father Dog Called?

What is the Father Dog Called
You’re crazy about that handsome stud who fathered your sweet pups. As a seasoned dog breeder, I get your fondness for your puppies’ dad. In dog breeding lingo, the male parent is called the sire. This formal term specifically means the male dog bred to the mother dog (dam) to make a litter of puppies.

Though we might say daddy dog in casual chat, sire’s the technical name for a male dog parent among breeders. Reproductively, the sire contributes half the genes to each puppy. So while the dam births the litter, the sire’s genetics live on through his young.

That charming boy deserves props for siring your cute puppies, even if his role was short.

What is the Term for Newborn Puppies?

What is the Term for Newborn Puppies
Whelps are the term for newborn puppies.

The whelping process begins with the female dog going into labor and contractions starting.

Once the first puppy is delivered, the others usually follow every 30-60 minutes.

It’s crucial to avoid unnecessary handling of newborn puppies in the first few weeks.

  • Focus on keeping the whelping area warm, clean and free of drafts. Weigh pups daily to ensure they’re nursing and gaining weight.
  • Schedule a vet checkup for the puppies at 2-4 weeks old to assess their health and give preventative care like deworming.

What is the Process of a Dog Giving Birth Called?

What is the Process of a Dog Giving Birth Called
You’ve been preparing for weeks as your girl’s due date approaches. Pay close attention for signs like mammary enlargement and nesting behavior – her body’s telling you whelping is imminent! Make sure you’ve got a quiet, comfortable whelping box set up.

There are three stages to the birthing process itself. During stage one, contractions begin and her cervix dilates. This lasts about 6-12 hours. In stage two, your girl will start actively pushing – you’ll see the sack and pup emerge.

Finally, stage three involves expelling the placentas. Stay calm, provide encouragement, and handle the pups gently those first few weeks.

What Are Some Breeding Considerations?

What Are Some Breeding Considerations
As a veterinarian, I understand that careful planning is required for a healthy canine litter. When breeding a bitch, several factors must be considered, including her health, the timing of her estrus cycle, proper mating procedures, pregnancy diagnosis, preparing a whelping area, recognizing signs of approaching labor, handling newborn pups, lactation management, nutrition, and preventive medicine.

Ultimately, breeding dogs is quite demanding and should be approached responsibly.

Breeding health considerations

To ensure your bitch has a healthy litter, get her a health checkup and brucellosis test before breeding. For example, my friend Jane made sure her Labrador Retriever was up-to-date on vaccinations and free of brucellosis before introducing her to the sire.

  • Health check-up
  • Vaccinations
  • Parasite prevention

As an experienced breeder, you should ensure your bitch is in optimal health before breeding her. Perform routine exams, give her core vaccines, test for brucellosis, and implement parasite control. This will provide your female dog and future puppies the best start for a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Whelping and care

Bitches require a quiet, comfortable whelping area with newspaper and towels to prepare for birthing their puppies. Expect pregnancy to last 60-63 days. Introduce the sire off-leash to encourage natural mating.

Limit pup handling and restrict visitors initially. Once lactating, provide puppy food and wean pups by 8 weeks.

Preparing for pregnancy

Let’s have a thoughtful discussion about dogs. When preparing a female dog for pregnancy, understanding her heat cycle is key. A health check, vaccinations, and nest preparations should precede breeding. Ensure the expecting dog has a quiet, cozy whelping area.

Stock up on puppy milk replacer and care items, as newborns require around-the-clock nurturing. With preparation and diligence through pregnancy and whelping, you’ll be ready to welcome a healthy litter.


Female dogs have several terms to refer to them, ranging from scientific to everyday. ‘Bicce’ comes from Old English, while ‘bitch’ is more modern. A spayed dog is still called a bitch, and a breeding female is a brood bitch.

The mother is called a dam, the father a sire. Newborns are whelps, and giving birth is whelping.

While ‘bitch’ is often derogatory for women, it’s also offensive for any woman when referring to female dogs.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.