Both veterinary surgeon and dog breeder should be involved in assessing the whelping capability of brood bitches as one essential point in the selection of sound stock. Normal parturition is described in a manner that might be used in the instruction of breeders and nursing auxiliaries in midwifery. In its classical three stages, the mechanics and hydraulics are explained in simple terms and the hormonal changes discussed in relation to each stage. The type of co-operation desired between veterinary surgeon and breeder is discussed and the instruction to be given on the recognition of dystocia is outlined. Some commonly met dystocias are described. Simple digitally-assisted delivery by the midwife/breeder is described as are the forceps techniques which may be applied by the veterinary surgeon in the course of diagnosis and delivery.