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Breeding & Whelping Puppies Q&A

Breeding & Whelping Puppies Q&A


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I try and answer every question I receive on dog training. I may often come across a little on the blunt side, (some may call it brash). That is because I consider myself an advocate for dogs and not dog handlers. I am an advocate for common sense dog training and not the latest fad that appears on the horizon. Good dog training is not rocket science. It's common sense.



Question on Feeding Pups:

Hi,

First I wanted to say you really must love your dogs!!! We are currently bottle feeding a pug pup he was born on New Years day,his mom just isn't getting the milk in, after reading this I think I understand I need to be tube feeding him the last couple of days when I feed him or even 2hrs after he eats you will see milk coming out his nose.... does that mean the milk got in his lungs??? Do you have any advise, for me, he is a big part of our family now, I really need help, I have bottle fed before but this was strange he was doing good for a couple of days then he just went downhill.

Hope you can help,
Shannon

Answer:

Odds are your dog has a cleft palate. That is why the milk comes out the nose. If it does, let the pup die. As sad as this is there is no hope for a dog with a cleft palate. Sorry.

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Question on Breeding Dogs:

I have a three year old male Rottweiler, we don't have papers on him but he is purebred. He has a stable temperament, loyal to me ,friendly to my friends and family, but protective when the need arises. He is easily handled, controlled and trained by me and I'm a very small female. He is a gorgeous dog, nice brick head, fairly short back and powerful legs, but not stumpy or leggy.

I'd like to breed him, I am confident he can produce both great trustworthy family companions or a SchH or protection dog. I wanted to know if his not having papers is going to be a problem in breeding him and for a male Rottweiler in excellent health what stud fee should we charge?

Terry

Answer:

You will only be able to offer dogs as pets nothing more. No serious working person would ever consider it. My advice is to not do this. There are enough dogs in this world and this is not the way to become a breeder or to produce dogs.

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QUESTION about Pups:

Hi Ed,

What is the difference between a dominant male alpha puppy and a high drive alpha male puppy?

Thank You!

Jerry

ANSWER:

I have never seen a dominant male pup, but then I have only bred about 300 litters so maybe I just need to see a few more litters.

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QUESTION on Feeding Pups:

Please Help. We have four week old puppies. The runt of the litter developed in the past few days tremors, has separated herself from the pack, does not want to be held but will still nurse from mom but for much shorter periods. She is still much smaller than the other pups. We had in the beginning made sure she was getting her own private feedings. We thought she was doing well. She was playful. Now she lays be herself. She does still urinate but we can't check the consistency of her stool because her mother cleans her. At first we thought that she was just chilly so we warmed up the room. Then we thought hypoglycemia but she fed and tremors remain. What do we do??? Your immediate response would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You,
Paul and Christine

ANSWER:

Sometimes puppies are sick and not matter what we do they die. I have seen it a hundred times - more. This is very sad and it never gets easy. In fact it tears my guts out.

All you can do is keep then pup warm. Put it on the mother 10 times a day and sit with it to make it suck and possible hydrate it with sub-Q fluids (if I have to explain how to do this - its too late).

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QUESTION on Feeding Pups:

Today my husband and I were walking out in the yard and I heard this whimpering noise, so I followed it and I found a newborn puppy. I looked all around for the momma dog or even more pups but couldn't find either. so I went inside to get a towel and wrapped it up in a towel and brought it inside. a friend came over and showed me how to bottle feed it and keep it warm with the rice bag and showed me how to make it go to the bathroom. but I am so nervous about doing something wrong and I don't want it to die. my friend told me to try to feed it once an hour and then after that maybe every 3-4 hours. I would really appreciate it, cause i've never dealt with this before but i am pretty sure that I can do it I just don't want to do any thing wrong. I don't know the breed or anything like that and I called my local vet and she wouldn't help me out at all or even just give me a little advice.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

ANSWER:

Very strange.

Feeding a small pup with a human baby bottle and nipple works better than the hard little ones Vets give you.

Vets have milk replacer use that. Puppies cannot drink cows milk it makes them sick. You can see if you can find goats milk some grocery stores sell it.

Odds are this will not work and the pup will die.

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QUESTION about Breeding Dogs:

Please help...

Me and my fiancee have a 2 year old male American Staffordshire Terrier (70 lbs.) and a 6 month old female Pit Bull (45 lbs.). She started her first heat cycle about 16 days ago. We want them to mate, but because she is not fully grown, we wanted to wait. We had bought something that's similar to a diaper so that he could not mate with her. Just this morning, he had gotten around the diaper and mated with our female Pit Bull.

Now my question is, am I looking at some serious complications? Will my vet have to do a c-section on her? And, will she be OK?

Please help me with this matter.

Monique

ANSWER:

Call your vet – they have a medicine they can give to abort the litter. If your vet does not have it call another until you find one that does.

What you did was naive – but then you already found that out. Diapers don’t stop dogs from breeding. Dog crates stop dogs from breeding. A 6 month old dog is not mentally capable of having a littler of pups.

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QUESTION about Breeding Dogs:

This is not a training question but a question about getting a female to come into heat. She is 10 years old and has not had a heat cycle this year. Is there a shot to get a bitch to come in heat? I would really like to have one more litter out of her. Thank you for your time.

ANSWER:

She is done breeding. I have bred over 300 litters of GSDs in the past 25 years. Not one of these was 10 years old. Even if she came into season the odds of her being able to get pups out of her are 99% against it. They don’t have the body strength to expel the pups.

This is a very bad idea.

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QUESTION about Breeding Dogs:

How can you tell if your dogs have successfully bred?

ANSWER:

Wait 62 days and see if you have puppies. Or have a blood test done at 25 days or an ultra sound done at 40 days.

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QUESTION about Whelping:

Hi,

I have a 18 month old Doberman, she had puppies in April. She had 13 and did well. Since, they have gone, she doesn't eat at all, and she's losing all of her hair. Took her to the vet, they said it wasn't mange. They dipped her twice no change. In fact she's lost more of her hair, now she's almost bald. They have no idea what to do. They told us to feed her pedigree dry. And gave us some shampoo to use twice a week. I thought she might have allegies this type of dog sometimes does. Vet said he wasn't sure but, put benadryl in her water. I'm at my wits end. Have a three year old who loves her and won't leave her side.
I don't know what she will do if we lose her. Can you help me?

Thanks a lot,
Rhea

ANSWER:

Find another Vet that has a clue.

When a female has a litter of pups they always blow their coat after the pups are weaned and leave. The female can look pretty rough.

For a vet to DIP the BITCH two times borders on incompetence. The bitch lost her hair because they dipped her.

You only confirm the stupidity of the Vet by the choice of food.

Put your female on an all natural diet. You can read about this on my web site. You should also read the archives of my web board on all-natural diets. I have over 5300 registered members right now. There is good information there.

Also put the female on one vitamin E every day and 3 or 4 Omega 3 pills ( get them at Sam's club). Do not ever vaccinate this dog again. Read what I have written on vaccinosis.

If you have further questions - post them on my web board. I am going to post this question on my Q&A for breeding. So others can possibly recognize a dumb ass that’s disguising themselves as a VET !!!!

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QUESTION on Breeding Dogs:

Hi!

I'm hoping you can answer my question. I am considering buying a dog half pekingnese and half Chihuahua. She is 1 year old. This dog lives outdoors in a shed with other dogs. She comes in the house when grandchildren come over and they play with her, but when she jumps out of your lap she wants to go outside. Of course she is not housebroken. I personally don't think this type of dog should ever be living outdoors. The owner breeds dogs and decided to keep this one because it is so unusual, but she said she would consider selling her. Do you think I can still train this dog? She is basically an outdoor dog but we want her in the house with us. The seller is very honest, she said she is a sweet dog but still very active. We went to look at puppies she had, but this dog caught my eye, so I really didn't get to hold her or interact with her. What do you think? Wouldn't I be taking the same chance if I brought a puppy home?

Thank you so much.

Idi

ANSWER:

If you want my opinion this person is not a breeder - well, maybe a backyard breeder.

If you pay money for this dog for any reason other than to rescue it from this so called breeder- well then that’s OK. She is selling you a CON job on why she kept it.

If you want my opinion keep looking for dogs elsewhere. Find a reputable breeder.

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QUESTION on Feeding Pups:

My Cairn terrier has just had puppies about 3 weeks ago and up until the past few days she has been nursing them fine. Now she doesn't really want to nurse them and I wonder if it's because her nipples are so scratched up with bumps from them being irritated. Do you know if there is a home-remedy I could do to soothe her that way she will feel better to nurse her puppies?

Thank you

ANSWER:

Its because you have not trimmed the puppies nails. They need to be clipped. The pups nails are sharp. Trim them once a week.

When you supplemental feed use the formula I have on my web site. It’s the best I have seen and I have bred over 340 litters in the last 30 years. You can find this on the article page on my website under bottlefeeding and nursing puppies.

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QUESTION on Whelping:

Hi Ed,

I have just come across your great and informative website. I have a question that I have asked many GSD helplines but never really got the answer. I own 2 German Shepherds that I bred last year both at 3 years old. My bitch was contracting for several hours and ended up a C- section. We brought her home with 10 huge healthy pups . I put the pups on the bitch every 2 or so hours as she did not seem to know what to do with them . After 18 hours and several feeds she seemed to be accepting them eg licking and cleaning them . I put my bitch in another room so I could get two hours sleep, she obviously heard them cry and managed to flip the door handle, removed them from thier warming box and killed them all .I now realise I should not have left her or called in a friend to help. Do you think she may have panicked not knowing what to do with them or the C- section ,or that she has a screw loose . I have since had her spayed ,do you think she would have done it again ? .This is a very hard lesson I have learnt from, that is to leave it to the experts.

Donna
Great Britain

ANSWER:

You jumped the gun on the “C” section. I would have waited longer – much longer.

It can be difficult to have a “C” section and then have the female figure out the pups are hers. Especially when it’s the females first litter. What I would recommend is to keep some placentas and when the pups are home rub them on the pups so the bitch gets more of her own scent on the pups.

I think it was also a mistake to not put the pups on the female full time – it was probably a mistake to stress them and take her away from the litter like you did.

With this said – I give you a lot of credit because you probably did the right thing in spaying the female. Any dog that kills her own pups should not be bred.

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QUESTION on Feeding Pups:

Our Blue Heeler, Sky, had 7 puppies last Saturday. Two of the puppies died over night. On Monday (2 days after delivery), Sky passed away. According to the Vet, she might have had an infection or a blood clot. In the midst of our mourning the loss of Sky, we are caring for the 5 remaining puppies. Thankfully, the puppies were able to nurse off Sky their first 2 days. We’re feeding them formula from the vet. They are actually all doing very well. We feed them 1 ½ - 2 ounces every 4 hours. We help them urinate and move bowels after each feeding. We have a temperature regulating heat lamp on them. I would really appreciate any information or website links that we could use in caring for these little ones. We owe it to Sky. Thanks for your time. I’m so glad I found you’re website.

Tammi

ANSWER:

If you go to my list of training articles you will find an article on how to make your own puppy formula. It is far better than anything you get from a Vet. I have bred over 340 litters of puppies in the past 30 years, and this is the best puppy formula I have come accross.

If you breed again – you need to take your female's temp 2 times a day after she has her pups, until the temp is back to 101 degrees. You can give antibiotics if her temp goes above 103 – this female very likely could have been saved.

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QUESTION about Feeding Pups:

Mr. Frawley,

My Golden Retriever just had a litter of 12 pups. They are 4 days old and seem to be doing fine nursing, but I am wondering if or when I should start supplementing and bottle feeding? Can her milk dry early or can she run out? I don’t know if it’s like a human body, when the baby nurses, the milk lets down. I don’t know if she “let’s down” each time they nurse or not. I have been weighing them and they are slowly gaining weight.

Any feedback you can provide on this issue would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Brandi

ANSWER:

Give the female a couple of cans of chicken and beef broth every day. The more liquids in her the more milk. TAKE HER TEMP – if it's more than 102 call your Vet and get her checked – she may need antibiotics for an infection.

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QUESTION on Feeding Pups:

I have read your article on bottle feeding and hand raising puppies but it seems kind of geared towards larger breeds. My Shitzu had a litter of four on Monday and we have already lost 2. After speaking with my vet, it seems that she may be too young to know everything to do. She is very protective, but sits on them and doesn’t nurse them often. She isn’t even eating very often. I don’t want to loose another puppy!! Will the smaller breeds take the bottles as you web site shows? Any other advice you may have to save these tiny two?

I have taken them from the mom, but they don’t seem to take this formula like they should. I am on the verge on panic. And my vet doesn’t seem as concerned as I. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Amy

ANSWER:

Take your females temperature– it should not be more than 103. Normal is 101

Then offer her chicken and beef broth to drink – most dogs love this. The more liquids she drinks the more milk she will make. The more milk she has the more she will want to nurse.

Use the formula on my web site. Its 100 times better than the pre-mixed stuff from Vets. I have bred over 350 litters of dogs in the past 30 years.

Good luck

RESPONSE:

Thanks! She loves the broth and is now nursing, with my help. Your website is very informative.

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QUESTION on Breeding Dogs:

Hello, my dog recently had a litter of 8 puppies. For some reason she killed 3 of them. My friend found them with their head missing. I when back to check on the other 4. To my surprise I only saw 3, but then I noticed that she buried one alive. I got him out of the ground but a few hours later he die. Can you please explain to me why the bitch did this? Why so cruel behavior? Thanks!



ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:

One of two things:

1- The dog did not have a very quiet - secluded place for the litter to live and the dog got stressed. The stress causes the dog to do things like this. When you say that a friend went and looked at the dog - this leads me to believe that you screwed up in allowing this to happen. I don't even let my kennel staff look in the whelping room (the people who feed and clean after the females in my kennel).

2- Some dogs have a screw loose in their heads. These dogs should be spayed and never bred again. That's what I would do with this dog.

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QUESTION:

How long after a bitch starts bleeding do you take her to have her bred? I have heard anything from 2 days to its not to late even after she stops bleeding. When is the right time?

Thank You!!

Debbie

ANSWER:

Bitches are usually bred 10 to 13 days after they start bleeding. Most new owners do not know when the first day is because they are too inexperienced to figure it out. Bitches clean themselves up in their first days.

Get a Kleenex up and swab the bitch's vulva every morning when it comes out of the crate.

If you need more information than this – you will need to join my web board or read the archives of the board. There are over 70,000 posts.

Learn to use the archives of the board. There are over 6,800 registered members and over 70,000 posts in the archives. Learn to use the search engine for the web board to search the 70,000 posts. At any one time there are always 100 to 200 people on the board it is very active with excellent trainers.

You do not have to register for the board to read posts, you do need to register if you want to pose a question or answer a question. The registration process can take a couple of days. It just depends on how busy we are at work to verify the names and address (which is always done first to keep abusive people off the board).

I have a saying that I tell people – it goes like this: "Everyone has an opinion on how to train a dog – just ask you barber, your mailman and your neighbor” The problem is very few people have the experience to back up their opinions. This results in a lot of bad information being passed out So people like yourself need to figure out who has the experience to warrant listening to.

You have been talking to a lot of people who fit this description.

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QUESTION ON WHELPING:

Hello,

I have a toy pomeranian that has had 3 litters in the past.Her first litter she did fine.The 2nd litter at first everything was fine than after what we thought was everythings fine, she had a puppy still in her.She didn't act like she was in stress but I coud hear the puppys heart beat, so I was getting concerned that if after the next 17 hours went by and she still hadn't had it we would take her to the vet.So thats what we did.The vet we took her to,wasn't into deliverying puppies,but we didn't know this at the time,so we went to her.She examined my dog and said yes there's a puppy in there.So they gave her a shot to see if it would help, mher to finish helping her to have her puppies.She started labor pains again, but she just couldn't get it out,after close to a hour she came out and said she was going to give her a sedative and see if she could turn it or something.She had no luck, so she took her into surgey for a c section 'her nurse came out and said that the puppy was large and dead, but behind it was a smaler one that she was trying to bring back.It was a little fighter.She though said you see what you can do,cause I can't stay with it,Ikeep stimulating it ,sorta making it mad, til i got it to crying and fussing louder & louder .Believe it or not,that little fellow lived.The people that bought him from me said he is the most beautiful puppy.He's a year old this year.They said he weighs 4 pounds.Their suppose to send me pictures soon I hope they do.

Sorry about that I got off the subject, she is pregant today.It has been a total of 63 days.How long is to long to wait to take her to the vet? She has been acting like she is in labor for over 48 hours.But nothing is happening.I know nature can take its course but is it ok to wait over 63 day's.Her fever has been low, than goes up, yesterday i thought she was going to have them,and she had a fever of 101b so I knew she wasn't.How low does it need to be when they deffintly go in? Would giving her a warm bath might help"?.You know to relax the muscles.It was just a thought.Please get back with me as soon as you can, I love her very much,and my husband thinks I am a worry wort.I just don't want to loose her.

Thanks,
Janet

ANSWER:

Dogs can go as long as 70 days before they whelp, but if they go to 65 days I would be taking the dog to a good Vet.

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QUESTION on Bitch's behavior to pups:

Hi there,

I'm hoping you can help me. I apologise if this question is listed on your site but I did do a thorough search and could not find the answer.

My 2 1/2 yo staffordshire bull terrier bitch has had 7 pups which are now 4 weeks old. This is her first litter, and she has been taking care of them without issue until just recently. If any of the pups come near her when she is eating she growls and has even snapped at them. This is completely out of character for her. She was quite happy to share food with other dogs and we are able to pat her and move her bowl while she is eating, but her pups cannot go near her.

I have also started to supplement some of the pups meals for mushy puppy food and puppy milk which they eat fine, and she is still happy to feed them. I have been discouraging her from eating the pup's food and I'm wondering if this is the cause of the problem.

I'm at a loss to explain her behaviour, and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time,
Alison

ANSWER:

This is the beginning of the mother teaching pack order.

I recommend that you visit my web site and read a training article I recently wrote titled THE THEORY OF CORRECTIONS IN DOG TRAINING.

While this is normal behavior, I don’t allow it to happen. I don’t want to risk a dead pup. Feed your bitch away from her pups – feed the pups when she is not with them.

At 4 weeks it's time to start to wean pups. Start with the formula I have written about and the article I wrote on this.

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QUESTION on Breeding Dogs:

I have a seven year old male stud. I just got a four month old german shepherd female. I was wondering about what time will she probably go into heat. When would be the earliest I could breed her...agewise?

Thanks

ANSWER:

They go into season between 6 and 15 months. No one knows when it will happen.

X-ray the female before breeding her to be sure that her hips are OK.

Females can be bred after the x-ray and as young as 18 months. I would never do it sooner.

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QUESTION:

My Labrador bitch had a litter of 10 puppies in October she has now come in to season again and is now on her 12 day, is the season they have after puppies a normal one as my male is not interested in her although I do not want them to mate as its to soon for another litter. It just seems strange as usually they are now separated for a while when she is in season but so far the male has shown no interest in her. We are keeping a very close eye on them as they live in the house and are separated at night and when we have to go out my other female is more interested in her than the male.

ANSWER:

This is a normal season. A bitch comes in season and can be bred 4 months after the litter. If you don’t want a litter you had better be separating them.

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QUESTION:

I have a 2 1/2 yr. old female rottweiler she tied on 02/14/06 on her 11th day , it is now 02/27/06 and she is still flagging and the male is going crazy, What should i do should i keep them apart? or let her breed again, i am afraid i missed the breeding for her. Also she bleed her entire cycle this time 22 days and when her blood started to change is when the proven male was urging to breed her which would be today.

Thank you,
Tricia

ANSWER:

Nothing lost in trying. If she got pregnant on the 14 then this breeding will not work – if this is her right time then it should work.

You should have been doing vaginal smears.

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QUESTION:

How long after a bitch gives birth can you breed her again?Is it unhealthy to breed her in her next following heat?? Or should you wait for one heat to go by before breeding again?

Thank you for your time!

ANSWER:

Unless the female is in excellent condition you should allow her to skip a season.

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QUESTION:

I discovered a stray dog living under our deck. We tried to feed her and befriend her but she would run away. I thought that she had had a litter of puppies (saggy boobies and not a big belly) and someone had dumped her. Well it has been a few weeks and we still can’t get near her. We have 160 children coming through our home per week she has never show any aggression she just basks in the sun then runs away if we talk to her or come near. We haven’t seen her in a few days and discovered that she has burrowed into our oil house and has had about 5 or 6 puppies. They look healthy, enough. I would like to move her and them into the yard where they will be safe, our yard is fenced. The oil house is right on a busy street and we fear the worst. Can we move them or touch them, what will mom do?

Leona

ANSWER:

You would be better off to feed here and water her right where she is until the litter is 2 ½ weeks to 3 weeks old. Use very good food so she has no reason to leave- it also gives you an opportunity to bond with her.

Don’t push her too much or she may try and move the litter – no eye contact, no talking to her - no nothing – walk up – put the food down and leave.

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QUESTION on Female that Killed a Pup:

I have a yellow lab that recently had her first litter. She had a litter of 10 and all has seemed to go well. The welping when excellent and she has been the greatest mom. Today they are 15 days old. I went out to see them this morning and the mother had taken one of the pups and had it on the couch. I immediately yelled at her to get off of the couch. When I walked up to her I noticed that she had a pup in front of her and she was licking one of the it's back legs , which was nearly completely eaten. It was down to the bone, and the pup was dead. Is this normal? My husband is wanting to get rid of the mother as soon as the pups are weened. I told him that it must have been sick, but the groosem image is all that is in his mind right now. My vet is closed today. Although I did speak to some other vet who told me that the mother took it out of the box to get it away from the rest of the puppies. I've looked all over the internet, but cannot find any example of the mother eating her puppies, especially after they are 2 weeks old. Please reply. And if you have any reading material on the subject and you could forward that I would also be very appreciative of it. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Cristina

ANSWER:

This could have happened because the bitch was stressed. Females need their own quiet room for their litters. The fact that the bitch (in your email) had access to the living area indicated that this is an owner problem more than a dog problem.

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QUESTION:

Hi,

My name is Valerie and I have a question on my Rottweiler and her pups. She just gave birth to 8 pups and she is not nursing them at all, she has left the room to be alone. Should I try to put the pups on the mothers nipples, or should I leave her alone for awhile to recoup?

I am at a lose here and do not want to lose them, would you please give me advise. These are my nephews pups and I am e-mailing you for him long distance. He has no computer, I will try to call you in a minute. Any information you can give would be helpful.

Thank you,
Valerie & Sean

ANSWER:

Take the female's temperature. It should be between 101 to 102 degrees. If its 103 she needs to go to the vet.

Give the female 2 or 3 cans of chicken broth a day. The more fluids she drinks the more milk she will make – the more milk she makes the more she will want to lay with pups.

Right now make her lay with the pups. Sit with her when she is in there. Then put the pups on the mother and make sure that they all get a chance to eat. For newborns here at my kennel we make sure they eat every hour or so.

I don’t take phone calls – sorry. I have too much work and not enough time.

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QUESTION:

Hi I have found your site very interesting but I have one question that I am really unsure of, I hope i dont sound like i have not researched enough about breeding, I have been on the internet and read books for weeks but just cant seem to settle this question. My chocolate lab bitch is due soon and Im not too sure when to step in to bottle feed puppies, if she feeds them herself do I still have to feed them? I have sought advice from numerous people but I cant seem to get a definate anwer, your my last hope!!!

Thank you,
Debbie

ANSWER:

That’s crazy – why would you bottle feed if you have a female who is feeding the pups? You need to read the Q&A’s on my web site about breeding. There is a lot there.

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QUESTION:

My female gave birth on 6/27/06 and her pups are doing great, but she will sometimes throw up her food and of course they eat it. Why does she do that? I asked the vet and she does not know why.

Thanks,
Diana

ANSWER:

Now that’s a good one – of all people WHO SHOULD KNOW it should be your Vet.

This is a natural thing for mother dogs to do. That’s what wolves and fox and coyotes do in the wild to feed pups.

With this said these pups 3 ½ months old – they should have been weaned and away from their mother in the middle of August ( a month ago).

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QUESTION:

Hi Ed,

just found your web site and found it great. I need help yesterday(19th june) my cavalier king charles died of a heart attack, we were devastated of course but she has left us with 5 beautiful pups. all health and 3 weeks old. I dont know what to do. Ive gotten some milk replacement and some bottles but its not working. I also have a bitch with six pups who seems more than glad to share her milk, her pups are 2 weeks old. Is this ok are we doing her any harm its like a revolving door. she is in and out to both litters all day today. without her i would be lost.

Any advise would be a help. i would be very gratefull if you could reply to this email i need help fast thanks.....

Nicola

ANSWER:

You have a great bitch that will accept another bitch's puppies – most females would kill other's pups when they have a littler. The more fluids she drinks the more milk she makes. Give her 2 or 3 cans (not cups) of chicken broth or beef broth a day along with her water.

Fact is, at 3 weeks the pups can start to be weaned. Go to my bottle feeding page. Make your own formula and have them lap it from a bowl. Feed this for a week, then start to add raw uncooked hamburger mixed into the formula very well.

Good Luck!

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QUESTION on Breeding Dogs:

I have a 8-9 month old 45 pound Australian cattle dog-mini bull terrier mix she is in heat. I want to breed her now at her first heat cycle to a 50 pound male chocolate American pit bull terrier. Both dogs are good protection dogs and guard dogs-good pray drive etc....Iam trying to make a designer attack/Protection dog called a "BULL HEELER " should I breed my dog at this age....what are the dangers of breeding at this age?

ANSWER:

This is truly a very bad idea. No, it’s a terrible idea.

Nine month old females are not mature enough mentally or physically to care for and deal with a litter of pups. Wait until the female is 18 to 24 months old.

Should you choose to ignore this advice – please think of me when this bitch abandons her litter or worse – kills the puppies.

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QUESTION:

Hi Ed,

I have a question for you. We are trying to breed our female to a male that is 7 years old. My female is a little over 2 and has never been bred, the stud either. We are doing an AI tomorrow morning because they don't seem to get it right. If we step into the picture to help, the male stops,soo we thought to do an AI.

The reason we are using this male is one his pedigree and his titles and everything he has to offer. Other than not knowing what we'll get out of him but his handler is retiring him next year (he's going in Metros academy) and really wants an offspring out of his dog. What do you think our chances of this AI working and how many times should we do an AI?

I ordered your DVD on "doing the AI ourselves," I don't know if we ever will but I thought I would see how it's done anyways.Can you give me some light on this issue, I would greatly appreciate it.

Warm regards,
Angelique

ANSWER:

This is not a question I could answer. Breeding is based on bloodlines and genetics. In addition, doing an AI should be based on a vaginal smear or a progesterone test – if I were you I would not do this until I knew more about what I was doing. Your dog is young and that’s not a good enough reason to breed your female.

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QUESTION:

I will keep this short and sweet as I am sure you are like me and do not have time for many words. I have a varied background in training from police K9 hanlder to sport to SAR, etc. I am however still learning a lot as a breeder. I am a past customer of yours several times and consider you a very experienced breeder. There are few in this nation with the GSD world that have bred as many litters as you have. So I am coming to you for some advice.

Situation:
I have an IPO1 and breed surveyed female with A hips and good pedigree that was bred almost a year ago. She has never shown any symptamatic problems of any form of mange. She whelped 9 puppies (6 female, 3 Male). Two of the female pups have been reported with demodectic mange that was noticed during their first heat cycle. I have heard no reports of this from the other 7 puppy owners.

Question 1:
Would you discontinue breeding this female after only 2 reports of mange? Do you consider Demodectic mange on the same level as breeding a dysplastic dog?

Question 2:
Would you even consider replacing a puppy for Demodectic mange? I have never faced this question before so I need outside advice to help both protect myself and to continue in good faith that I have doen the right thing.

Thanks for the advice.
Sincerely,
Will

ANSWER:

Very nice to hear from you. You bring up an excellent question which I will post to my webs site.

But first to the short answer:

1- Demodectic mange is no-where near being in the same category as dysplaysia -

2- I would NEVER replace a dog for having Demodectic mange. I recently had a litter in which pups developed Demodectic mange after going to the new owners.
With this said let me explain what I feel happened in my case. The litter got sick with coccidia. This was hard on them - we did not loose any but they required 24/7 treatment with IV fluids and medication. We kept the litter for an extra 7 to 10 days longer than we normally keep pups because we wanted to be 110% sure the pups were over the medical problems.

When we sent the litter we advised the new owners not to vaccinate these pups right away. This advise was ignored on the pups that developed mange. They took the pups to their Vets who immediately examined the pup and then vaccinated them. Those pups got Demodectic mange

We also had a female who was imported from Germany - she was bred in Germany and whelped here. Those pups all got mange. We feel it was from the stress on the mother. The bitch had 3 more litters after that and not one pup got mange. So there is a stress factor to Demodectic Mange.

Vets are quick (too quick) to blame the bitch and blame genetics. These vets need a little more training and experience.


QUESTION:

I have a question and was hoping you could help me. We switched to the raw diet last year and have been purchasing books from you and giving to our puppy customers and refer to your web site from our web site. I have just had 3 dogs in a row the week before they were due to whelp have puppies die in utero (hindsite now), the mom bloated real big (she was full of amniotic fluid), went into labor early....The first lost the litter but we saved her. The second two died suddenly. It seems they were toxic from the dead puppies. I have never had any problems with any of my dogs breeding and now just had this 123 punch. We are all devastated over the loss of our 2 mama dogs. Have you ever heard of anything like this? I'm getting all paranoid that it is my fault for not knowing the signs and just thinking they were getting fatter from puppies when it was fluid. I'm blaming the raw diet but know that isn't realistic. Or if I'm feeding too much or not enough organ or supplements? Did my luck just run out and problems of course are bound to happen? When death happens it makes me feel like how can I keep doing this......but of course I see my happy healthy puppies and all the families we share that with. It is just very difficult to deal with this loss. Every time I ask a vet they just don't know anything when it comes to breeding. We really appreciate you taking the time to read this and answer.

ANSWER:

I am sorry to hear about your losses, that’s just awful.

I think you need to be contacting a reproduction specialist. Don’t waste your time with a regular vet on something like this.

Personally, I don’t think this has anything to do with the diet but possibly some kind of infection. If I had a female that had lost a litter, I would also look at environmental possibilities like toxins in the environment (lawn chemicals, cleaners used in and around the dogs, medications the dogs had been given, etc)

If I lost 3 litters I would definitely figure this out before I bred any more dogs. I would look at the stud dogs you are using also. They can be the carrier of infections, but appear healthy.


QUESTION:

I enjoy your site and the tremendous amount of experience and information you make available to others.

My husband and I have owned German Shepherd dogs for over 20 years and have begun breeding the last five years. My breeding stock are OFA and of good quality and excellent temperament. My 5 year old female has produced 3 litters and just had her fourth. However she developed gestational diabetes. It threw everyone for a loop as it is apparently unheard of in dogs and especially in german shepherds. I happen to believe it has happened more often but owners simply didn't recognize the symptoms which mimic a normal pregnancy (excessive thirst, frequent urination, eating large amounts of food, etc.) I contacted vets and teaching hospitals all over the state and around the country for information and just about nothing is available. We mainly were concerned with the bitch's health as her blood sugar levels were sky high near 500 and with up to 90 units of insulin a day came down to the 400's. All my dogs are highly active walking/running up to 4 miles a day in addition to swimming in our year round creek plus are fed a high quality kibble in addition to some raw. So her fitness really helped her out. She delivered on her due date without complication (no hypoglycemic crashes or cesearian) 4 pups who were all very tiny, 3 were fully formed but tiny and stillborn, the first was tiny but was breathing right away and went to find a nipple. The pup weighed around 8 oz. and we decided that if it could survive on it's own we would let it live. She nursed round the clock with just a little help in the beginning from us but by day 2 no help was needed. The bitch takes excellent care of her and the pup named "Solo" has more than doubled her birth weight in 7 days. All motor functions are normal and the mother is down to less than 20 units of insulin a day and sugar levels dropping daily into the low 300's, so it would appear that just as in humans the diabetes will dissappear on its own after her hormones level out . She will be spayed after weaning. My question is since it would appear this pup is a survivor, how should we procede in raising her without siblings. I know the importance of the social interaction between the pups and we are concerned how "single puppy syndrome" may affect her. Should we seek out similar age pups in the coming weeks for her to play with or is that just too dangerous? Have you had experience raising a single pup? Any advice would be appreciated.

Sincerely,
Karen

ANSWER:

If you can find a pup of the same age for her to interact with, I would suggest it. I would pick a pup that is the same basic size, so they can’t hurt each other. Singleton pups can have serious social shortcomings, due to not learning pack behavior and all the things that puppies learn from each other in a litter.


QUESTION:

Hello,

My chihuahua just gave birth Sunday, and now has 3 beautiful pups.  Her experience was not a good one ending up in critical care (She was unable to push them all out)  When she is in her box she is very protective, and loving.  However she is acting a bit strange.  We have noticed several times two of the three she picks up with her mouth and wants to leave these two under the couch.  What would make her want to do this.  Her vet said as long as she feeds them just keep an eye on them and not to worry, I am terribly worried, she will also be on the couch with us and hear her babys start crying and then start crying herself.  We are so scared that my husband and I are taking turns with puppy patrol.  Any Thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.....Thank you

ANSWER:

Where is the box?  If she is on the couch with you and not with her puppies, then I would be concerned.  Our dogs won’t even leave the box for the first week or so unless they are forced to. 

Maybe the box with the puppies needs to be moved to somewhere the momma dog feels more comfortable.  You are doing the right thing taking turn on puppy patrol, not all dogs are good mothers and some of them need supervision.

If you are concerned about the puppies being cared for and fed, then I would suggest supplementing them with bottle feeding. You can read how to do this on our Bottle Feeding Puppies article.



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