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Old 01-16-2012, 06:03 PM   #1
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Default Should new litter and Mum be kept quiet for first ten days?

My dog had two puppies last night (planned!). She got a bit stressed because her labour lasted a long time though the actual birth was very easy. She also took a bit of time to get used to having puppies and letting them suckle her, but all went well in the end.
Now, on Day 2, she is doing quite well.
Because it is quite cold, we have cleared out our dining room for her and kept the heating on quite high in there. It means we have to keep the door shut to keep the heat in, as other wise the temperature drops quite quickly. We wanted her to be quiet to continue bonding with her pups but the downside is she has started not wanting us to go into the room - she is guarding her puppies. I go in and out to take her new water, etc, and ignore her growls.
The two nights before she gave birth I was sleeping in the room with her (in case she had the puppies early), which was fine, and I hung around until late last night to see she and they were OK, before shutting her in with them.
I've read that neonates and mother need privacy and quiet to start with - my vet insisted upon it - but how long should this go on for?
I would hate to be building up a problem with her guarding but can't think of any other way to do things, seeing that the puppies are so vulnerable at this age.
Would be grateful to hear what others think.
I'm a great fun of the Ian Dunbar school of thought when it comes to socialisation but probably that applies to older puppies.

Julia

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Old 01-16-2012, 08:23 PM   #2
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Hi Julia and first up my dog has never had pups. So I wll try and still answer your question. Iam divided on this! Your dog should trust you near it's pups as not only you are part of 'The pack' you are ( or hopefuly you are) 'The pack leader' too I have known a few members on here talk about their dogs having pups and no growling problems.
Yes I would say there could well be a problem! And if there is it will require handling with great care and patience!! How old is mum?
It may be pefectly normal at this stage this is the thing iam divided about as mum might well require space but you should still check regulary on mum and pups But it Just doesn't sound right to me. Other members who's dogs have had litters will reply too! Is there any thing that could be triggering this behaviour? If you know then you are half way there to solving the problem. Good luck and I hope you can sort the problem out! Let us know how you get on
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:31 PM   #3
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:52 PM   #4
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While bitches do need a quiet area to feel safe and secure with their puppies, I am with my bitch and puppies every MOMENT of every day until at least 2 weeks, and usually until 3 weeks. Puppies, IMO, need positive human contact from very early.

I handle and weigh my puppies every single day. I put them on the nipple to nurse if they have any difficulty, and in general I handle and love on them a LOT. The older they get the more I handle them.

I would get a large box for her and the puppies if you have not already, and put a heating pad on low in one corner under the box and several layers of bedding. This way the puppies can go to the warm spot if they want to, or not, and the mother is more likely to stay nearer them if she is not hot.

If you are not weighing puppies every day, you have no idea if they are eating well or gaining weight. Lack of weight gain can be the very first indicator that something may be amiss. If you are carefully tracking weight on a daily basis, you can often head off trouble very early, and perhaps even save a puppy that you might have otherwise lost.

Also, get dewormer right away. Puppies need to be dewormed nearly weekly beginning at 14 days. I use a dewormer called Nemex 2. Puppies love the taste of it, and it is easy to measure and give with a syringe. You can get the medication and the doseage, which is according to weight, from your veterinarian.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:04 PM   #5
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So why is the her dog growling at her, I think that's the main issue here. I Too thought that pups need human contact from a early age, Something isn't right IMO Can you imaginge what might happen if she picks one of the pups up what mum might do.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:08 AM   #6
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I would ignore the growling, and spend as much time as possible in the room.I would hand the bitch plenty of delicious treats from time to time, and handle the puppies as I see fit.

Most moms get over this after about the first 7 to 10 days.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redyre Rottweilers View Post
I would ignore the growling, and spend as much time as possible in the room.I would hand the bitch plenty of delicious treats from time to time, and handle the puppies as I see fit.

Most moms get over this after about the first 7 to 10 days.
So Is it a common thing for bitches to growl after a new litter ( I can understand people outside of the pack that this might happen) But would agree still handle the pups as often as possible and all over like you are examing the pups So when they are found new homes (unless you are keeping one of them) they will be used to being handled
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:10 AM   #8
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Some bitches are very protective of their litters during the first couple of weeks. And yes some will display this behavior even with people they know very well. I have not had this happen but I know of a number of experienced people who have.

IMO it is best to have someone with a bitch ALL the time for the first 2 weeks.
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:15 AM   #9
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Default over-protective bitch

Hi everybody
and thank you all so much for your comments. I have since had a long conversation with a regular breeder, who says bitches in our breed our quite often act like this.
She says my girl is just over-anxious about her puppies and that I have to be very careful when they are this young not to make her feel threatened.
This dog is terribly attached to me but for the moment I am a threat to her puppies in her eyes, believe it or not. (She is really devoted to me, I assure you!) She will be 3 in March.
The breeder said to try to get into the room a bit more every day, making reassuring noises. She also suggested I took the bowl of food out of the room, so that she would be more likely to take some food from me when she got hungry. I thought I would do that by hand and am cooking some chicken specially.
She didn't eat any of her (dog) food while it was in the room, though after the birth she did eat her two puppies' placentas, which is said to be good for her milk. She lost her appetite when she started the first stage of labour, which was Saturday, and she had the puppies Sunday evening. So this is her fourth day without food.
We have rigged up a CCTV camera in the room, so we can sit in the living room next door and watch her. Yesterday I saw her get up and go to the door, waiting to be let out, so I opened it and went to the kitchen to open the door to our little garden.
She ventured slowly out of the dining room then the puppies started calling for her and she went back to them.
Half minute later she suddenly came hurtling past me in the kitchen to go to the garden for a wee. While she was going that I grabbed some of her favourite liver treats and as she sped back again she grabbed the whole lot from my hand and tore back to the puppies.
That's all she's had to eat so far, though she had the bowl of (uneaten) food, which I have just taken away.
I wanted to adjust the heater in her room this morning so I went to it and she nipped me on the back of the hand. I know she didn't meant it, she's just in a state of extreme anxiety.
Now I've decided only to go in to the room with some food in my hand.
Next time I manage to get her out into the garden I plan to shut the kitchen door and rush back to inspect the puppies and quickly change the newspaper that she has been lying on.
I'm hoping to reinstate her fleece soon. I had to take it out because she ruckled it up into a great peak and one of the puppies disappeared into the folds, then she got desperate trying to find it. I feared she might squash it by mistake in her search, so I took the fleece away leaving just the newspaper for them to lie on. My vet said them being on the same old paper doesn't matter, what is important is that the babies are feeding and they are warm.
Obviously I can't take any drastic action for fear that she might turn on the puppies.
It's so stressful and I'm just praying we can get through the next few weeks without any disasters happening. I so want those puppies to live.
They look absolutely lovely.
If anyone has any other suggestions for calming her down, I'd be grateful.
Things would probably have been easier if there had been space in our living room for her and the pups, but our rooms are just too small. Then she would have been used to our comings and goings.

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Old 01-17-2012, 07:36 PM   #10
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I have NEVER had any bitch try to bite me over puppies, including an adult SchH titled bitch who was 5 years old when I acquired her. I would NOT be letting her be isolated. I would be IN the room ALL OF THE TIME. I would let her drag a short line so that I could control her, and *I* would be the one taking her out to eliminate, letting her back in, and she would eat only from my hand.

IMO leaving the room in the first place and leaving her alone was the mistake. I never EVER leave bitches except for the briefest periods to go to the kitchen or the bathroom for the first week.

Good luck, it sounds like you need it.
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