The phantom pregnancy of your perro de presa canario can happen when your dam is in heat and attempting to mate. The stud will not fully interlock with the dam and his semen cannot travel the distance it needs to impregnate her. The female may actually “think” she is pregnant, and will develop her body and thoughts to accommodate the situation. Phantom pregnancy, also called pseudocyesis or false or pseudo pregnancy, is an uncommon condition in which the female dog starts to mimic the physical and behavioral signs of pregnancy after intercourse.

We recently had this happen for the first time, back to back with two separate females at the same time. Speaking to our very trusted veterinarian who had enlightened us on the variables on why this may have happened. We came to the agreement that our females were way too aggressive for their partners at the time. In both cases we witnessed the females acting overly feral, in which both males were still interested, but very cautious, which distracted their intent. This maybe a shock to some, but the female temperament of the Presa Canario is much more dominating than the male. Twice as agile and full of rage, our girls can be terrifying even to their mates.

Our first hand experience can be told with Tsavo and Negra, both being around their studs for natural conception. If the studs do not live with the dams they can be very grumpy when encountering their past “friends”. They in fact need to be pursued properly so the dam is receptive to the stud and desires to have him mate with her. Both dams showed over aggression towards the males and they respond by being less demanding from the female, while still trailing her in the distance. A smart male will watch the body language of the female to wait until the right moment to attempt to breed. In that time frame if the dam continues to assert her over dominance, the stud can respond by fighting her which is pointless and the presa canario female will fight him till the end. Both of these studs continued to pursue the dams being more and more turned off essentially. We did not visualize the dogs “being tied” on either of those two breeding’s, which leads us to the next part, the false pregnancy.

Both of these females developed until about a month and stopped filling out massively like anticipated. Although their tendencies and personalities showed pregnancy type behavior; lactation, loss of appetite, digging, and clinginess to their owners and toys their past litters have handled. When their date arrived for “delivery” they both were to have puppies they refused to eat entirely. Panting furiously as they would be giving birth soon, they both nested away and slept. Tsavo had completely stopped showing signs of labor and ate a breakfast the next day like nothing. Negra on the other hand would continue to feel the depression of not having her puppies, and would protest anything but her absolute favorite meals. In the end, both Tsavo and Negra made a full recovery back to being themselves after the time progressed.

An amazing and enlightening experience to say the least. Saying that with a heavy heart as there were plenty of wonderful families awaiting their loving SoCalPresa Canario that could not have the experience we were all waiting for. So now what you might ask. Well, now we wait for Tsavo and Negra to come back in heat which could be next month or in six months according to our veterinarian. We have always relied on natural conception which we will continue to do and also add artificial insemination, AI, to ensure the fruition on their next pregnancy, Tsavo and Negra.

As always, future litter announcements will be announced on our puppy reservations page here