A female dog is referred to as a bitch, even when she is a puppy. This phrase differentiates female dogs from male dogs, which are known as dogs, studs, or sires. When a female dog is pregnant with puppies, she is referred to as a dam.
Pregnancy in dams lasts roughly 63 days, and a bitch is referred to as a dam during the gestation period. Once the dam whelps, or gives birth to puppies, the name bitch is once again applicable.
Once male dogs have fathered a litter of puppies, they are referred to be studs or sires.
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