Breeding & Whelping Puppies Q&A
QUESTION on Breeding Dogs:
I'm trying to breed my female toy poodle w/male toy poodle and he's humping her and then he goes a little faster like he's in her but he's not locked in... He's hanging out by her belly..why would that happen? Can he not find her thing? or what? not sure what to do... Been doing this for 3 days now. help
Also, she don't bleed in the beginning of heats... She's just swollen a lil... is she not ready?
The last time she was in heat was in sept.05 and I didn't even know she was in heat until my brothers lab tried to hump her..and a dog won't hump a female unless she's ready to mate, right? Let me know. Many thanks.
ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:
It is time for you to take the female to a vet to do vaginal smears. She may not be ready – also a male has to breed 5 or 6 times before he knows what he is doing.
QUESTION on Breeding Dogs:
I bred my maiden bitch but I'm concerned on weather I bred her at the right time of her cycle. . .
She came into heat on about May 30th and started flagging the stud on about April 4th - we didn't get a tie until the 7th; 8th; and 9th. From what I've experienced before, and all the information I've read, during the mating faze of the heat cycle the bitch will stop bleeding or have only a dark brown or pink tinged discharge. This bitch bled bright red when she was receptive. And she just stopped bleeding on April 19th.
My question is in your experience does this sound like a successful mating? Is it normal for a dog to bleed that long after being inseminated?
Any info would be so greatly appreciated. . .
ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:
There is nothing written in stone on this. Bitches are different. Sometimes you just have to wait and see.
If she did not get bred, then next time do a vaginal smear at a vet or do a progesterone test. Breed off of that information. It will give you a clearer picture of whether she is ready to breed or not. Also you may want to have a thyroid blood check if she does not get pregnant.
QUESTION on Feeding Pups:
Hello my dog just had 5 puppies on April 8th. they will be three weeks old. I can see my dog is getting tired of breast feeding. My dog is a Terrier/ Smooth Dachshund and around 15 pounds. Her puppies seem like they will be bigger then her. I don't know what type of dog got her pregnant. When the puppies feed on her they can be very aggressive to get to her nipples. with her little body she hardly has room for all of her puppies. I try to lay her flat on her back, so I can place each puppy on her nipples on both sides. It seems to work but she still has two runts. One runt falls a sleep on her nipple a lot, so I try to wake him up so he can eat. I tried to bottle feed him, but he spits the milk out. He has his eyes open and tries to walk, but i still worry about him. I can see that the runts are growing, but i want to make sure they are healthy. My dog looked like she refused to feed her puppies, until i trimmed the puppies nails. She still looks tired of feeding the puppies, but she does feed them. I also want to feed my dog properly because she's brest feeding. Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with the puppies being hand feed. What foods I should my dog to get the proper nutrition.
ANSWER on Feeding Pups:
Use the formula on my bottle feeding page – start to wean them. Start to give the pups this formula twice a day – take the bitch out when you feed and then allow her to go back in. Give her 2 cans of beef or chicken broth a day – the more she drinks the more milk she will make.
My Siberian Husky bitch is three weeks pregnant and has today started to show a brown discharge. She is tired and has vomited and I am worried that she is aborting. Could she be? I have had problems breeding her in the past. I have another bitch who bled for a day in her third week and then proceeded to give birth to a healthy litter of nine pups. Any chance my bitch could still have pups?
Time for a vet to look.
QUESTION on Puppy Hips:
I have a litter of beagle puppies that are now almost 8 weeks old. I noticed yesterday that one of the males has a slight hop when he runs, and after researching the net began to worry that he may have hip dysplasia.
Most of the articles that I have read seem to imply that hip dysplasia usually shows up a bit later in a dogs life. Is it too early to make assumptions? Could the hopping behavior be a result of any other medical/non-medical condition?
I look forward to your reply.
ANSWER on Puppy Hips:
It is way to early to tell if a puppy has bad hips. He may just have hurt himself. Keep him in a dog crate for a few days.
QUESTION on Breeding Dogs:
I have not used my male for 5 years. Do I need to clear him out and if so how soon before I breed. I plan on breeding in 2 to 3 days. thanks eileen
ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:
No this is not necessary. But he may enjoy it if you wish to try.
Question: I am currently attempting to breed my female lab. We tried one season before but we were unsuccessful. The male is very interested however he appears too big. I have read through the question and answers and I am in the process of using a lubricant and elevating the female just a bit. The male is making contact but the minute he makes contact my female is trying to turn around and nip him. Do the male and female need to lock up in order to have a successful session ?
Thank you for any help you may offer. Totally exhausted in Texas.
Yes they need to TIE to have a successful breeding. The VERY RARE exception that they don’t is not worth mentioning because it's not going to happen to you. Not unless you have won the lottery twice.
It is time to get a breeding specialist vet involved.
There are many things that may not be right – the bitch may not be at the right point in here cycle. You cannot tell this a vet can – if he is good. Not all vets are good.
QUESTION on Female that Killed Her Pup:
I was recently referred to your web site from my veterinarian when I took on the task of raising twelve st. bernard puppies since the day they were born. I have found your web site VERY informative and I thank you so much for the information you have posted. I made the recipe you have for milk replacer and overnight I could see a HUGE difference in my puppies. They put on a half a pound in 24 hrs. My question is I bought the mother to this litter when she was two and I had high hopes for this breeding and wanted to keep a male and female from it, but she had to be taken away from her puppies because she killed one and would have killed the rest if I let her. Can that kind of problem be hereditary? I asked my veterinarian and they didn't know. I have never had this happen with a female before. I look forward to your response and thank you again for all the helpful information you have on your web site!
ANSWER about Female that Killed Her Pup:
If this bitch had her pups in a quiet secluded whelping room and she still killed her pups then spay the bitch – any bitch that does this should NEVER be bred again.
I can't tell you if this is inherited.
QUESTION on Docking Puppy Tails:
Iur female Rot is going to have pup i would like to cut there tail off myself after they are born can you tell me how many days I should wait and can you give me any tip on the best way to do it
ANSWER on Docking Puppy Tails:
Go to a vet – this is not something a novice can do.
QUESTION on Male with Low Sex Drive:
I was hoping that you might be able to answer a dog breeding question for me. We have a 5 yr. old male Lab. In the past year twice, we have tried unsuccessfully to breed him w/an experienced female Lab. She was definitely in heat and did everything she was supposed to do. He, however just never seemed to "get it." Have we waited too long to introduce him to breeding? We have done everything we've read should be done to help this be successful: She is brought to his territory, she is experienced, we have allowed them to spend about 3-5 hours together to no avail. Is there any hope for this guy? Is there anything we can do to help? We have talked to our vet and they didn't have any answers. Our groomer says to just keep trying and he will eventually catch on. So, I am seeking your professional advice. Thank you in advance for responding to this query.
ANSWER on Male with Low Sex Drive:
1- Find a new vet.
2- Collect the male and see if he has viable semen (the new vet can do this) - do it when the bitch is in season - take her with.
3- At about 7 days of the bitch's season take her to the vet every two days so the vet can do vaginal smears - on the day she should be bred have the vet collect the male and inseminate the female.
With this said - I don’t believe in breeding a male who does not have sex drive - it’s a very bad idea.
QUESTION on Pups Born Dead:
Hope you are doing well. We have a working line GSD who just whelped and 5 out of the 7 pups were stillborn. Everyone has been checked for brucellosis. They 2 surviving pups are healthy and doing well. She was healthy throughout the pregnancy with no apparent problems. 4 of the dead pups looked to have been dead for a couple of days and one looked as if it died during the labor.
The female was fed a good diet of a high quality natural kibble (Blackwood) and raw meat (chicken necks were her favorite), eggs, cottage cheese, ground veggies along with vitamin supplements. My vet is adamantly opposed to feeding raw meat. I guess she thinks wild canids have personal shoppers who make kibble runs to the nearest grocery store. She thinks this may have caused a problem. I was just wondering if you had ever experienced any problems related to feeding pregnant dogs a raw diet. I have fed all of my dogs raw meat for years with no problem so I don't think this could be it. I think I need a new vet.
Thanks for your time.
ANSWER on Pups Born Dead:
It is always sad and discouraging when this happens. I cannot count the number of times I have seen dead puppies like this. You never know for sure why the puppies died. One of the things I personally believe that causes the pups to die are Piometria in the female,
My guess is that this is going to happen again. But with this said have your female checked by a vet that specializes in reproduction.
QUESTION on Female Losing Pups:
Dear Mr. Frawley,
I have a 6-year-old black sable bitch from excellent East and West German work lines - got her from a very experienced breeder who is uncompromising about temperament and health. She has super nerve strength, does great protection work, including civil, I take her everywhere, she adores kids, is good with other dogs, loves good people, and if someone looks suspicious she looks at them like she would like to eat them (but knows the difference between truly suspicious and a person who is mentally unbalanced or drinking and having a good time, but harmless). She is a mellow house dog, but always ready to protect. She is on the small side, but built very sturdy. My trainer has commented on how solid her body feels - when he smacks her in the protection work, it's like hitting a brick.
I bred her last year to an equally excellent 3 yr old male.
Neither dog had been bred before, and when my bitch was ready, the breeding was as natural and wonderful as could be. They tied twice. I had not bred my female earlier because circumstances in my life were not right for raising a litter.
From the day I got her, my female has been on a raw natural diet, including bones, supplements, herbs, etc. The male is on the same diet. They both had brucella test negative. I gave my female plenty of raspberry tea during her pregnancy and labor, plus raw beef heart, liver, extra bone meal (raw, from Standard Process Company), etc, etc.
The results of the breeding, especially in light of the background of the dogs, and the excellent diet, care and training they both have, were heartbreaking. Seven weeks through her pregnancy, I took my bitch to a local vet who is a Siberian Husky breeder herself, and was highly recommended to me by AKC breeders in the area. She did an x-ray, and there were only three pups. She thought one of them was dead, another questionable, and only one alive and healthy. When I had palpated my dog's uterus, there was not as much movement of pups as I have experienced with other litters, so that's why I had the x-ray. A good breeder of working GS that I know thought that the vet should have recommended terminating the pregnancy, as a dead pup is a danger to the bitch. What do you think?
She was in labor for a few hours with no results. I called the vet in the middle of the night, concerned because the discharge had a faint greenish tint. The vet suggested I walk my dog to help her expel the pup. I did so, and when she came inside, she dropped a fully-formed pup, but it was dead. I called the vet, and she said if no pups appeared in the next 2 hours, I should come to the office.
At the office, the vet feathered my dog's vulva to stimulate contractions, and the mummified pup came out.
We waited another couple of hours, and the vet gave an oxytocin shot, but contractions did not yield a pup. Finally, they had to do a caesarian. The last pup was healthy but born dead because it had gotten stuck in the birth canal. It had begun to damage the tissue of the birth canal before it was taken out. Very heartbreaking.
1) Do you think the vet made any wrong decisions along the way?
2) I would love to raise a litter from this dog, but not if there is too much risk for her, as she is a much-loved companion and protector. She is now 6 and her next heat will be when she is 6 1/2.
I have a great holistic vet who would do complete blood tests for body functioning, as well as stool and urine tests and a sonogram at around 45 days to check on pups.
The pups would be born early Dec. or so - a winter litter. I have a large shed outdoors that I could enclose and fill with a deep layer of wood shavings, with a south-facing area exposed to the sun, where I could keep the pups after they are 4-5 weeks old, plus a large property I could take them out to explore and run about. Would the shed be too cold for them (I live in Massachusetts). Most breeders don't breed females after 6 or 7 years, although my dog was from an eight year old bitch. Even with the best veterinary supervision, what is your opinion about breeding at this age given the circumstances?
A lot of questions - would value your expert opinion. I have asked myself all the questions about why I want a pup from this breeding, and my motivations (I have raised litters in the distant past), and it comes down to enjoying the process of raising a quality litter of pups, and perpetuating, maybe improving on great bloodlines, a great curiosity to see what pups from these fine dogs would be like, and wanting one for myself (though I know I can find a great pup from another breeder who breeds and feeds as well as I do).
Having read breeding questions and answers on your site, I see that you answer questions from folks who have dogs other than those you have bred yourself, and are doing a great service for dog owners. I like that you talk straight and don't mince words. I have seen a couple of pups you bred at a local Schutzhund club a few years ago, and was impressed with their looks and temperament, so I know you are doing a fine job of the breeding.
Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this, and for some valuable input.
Sincerely - Ellen
ANSWER on Female Losing Pups:
I have seen this before on a number of occasions. When you breed as many litters as I have in the last 30 years you see most everything.
My experience and gut feel (without knowing what the uterus looks like) on these are the females are older (it always seems to be older females) and they are out of condition- they don’t have the internal muscle strength to do a good job of birthing.
If you want to breed this bitch - road work the snot out of her - swim the snot out of her and get her in the condition of a 2 year old. If you can't do that then this will happen again.
QUESTION on Breeding Dogs:
I have a have a two and a half year old boxer bitch which I had a litter of 6 healthy pups at 16 months. she was due to be mated her second time 6 months after but she wasn't pregnant.
About 13 days ago she turned into season again. I'm not sure if there is something wrong with the stud. this is his 3'rd mating. There has been lots of slip matings with this bitch and he misses a lot.
Could she be pregnant with a slip mating.
The color of her bleeding now turned to faded brown but they are not mating.
Could you please help me because she is a beautiful bitch and makes a good mother.
ANSWER on Breeding Dogs:
A 16 month old dog is too young to have babies. Breeding it (or trying to breed it) 56 weeks later is irresponsible. I have no interest in answering your questions.
QUESTION on Female Still Bleeding after Whelping:
My dog is a lab and rot mix she had puppies 14 3 or 4 weeks ago she is still bleeding why is that can u help me please response asap
ANSWER on Female Still Bleeding:
Some dogs will bleed for a number of weeks. If her temp is under 102 she will be OK.
QUESTION on Female Ready to Whelp:
Hi .........I am about to have puppies with my Maltese for the first time and have been on line preparing myself everyday...my question for you: Can I give her milk replacement to make sure she has enough nutrition herself to give birth to healthy pups? I haven't yet to find anything in the pet stores that offer food with the proper nutrition for a pregnant dog.
ANSWER about Female Ready to Whelp:
I have a video on whelping puppies, I recommend this to you. While I breed GSD's it is no different.
We give our dogs chicken broth to make sure they have milk. The more liquids you can make them drink the more milk they usually have.
QUESTION on In-Breeding Dogs:
I have a question, a friend of mine has 1 male and 1 female Pen Kane Nese pups and was wondering if breeding brother and sister would hurt in any way?
ANSWER on In-Breeding Dogs:
Try it – if you want three legged dogs with one eye.
QUESTION on Accidental Breeding of Dogs:
Be kind, I ask the following question in all seriousness,
Let's say an unplanned mating occurs (female is an American Staffordshire) with a male outside of the breed. I'm being told that this mating will affect future breeding and that purebreds cannot happen. I don't know if they're joking with me or not I just wanted to ask someone who would tell me yes or no.
ANSWER on Accidental Breeding:
It effects nothing for future litters if this litter cannot be registered. Whatever you breed to next time, the pups will be a mixture of the mother and THAT male, not any previous males.
QUESTION on Young Female not Being a Good Mother:
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.
ANSWER on YOung Female not Being Good Mother:
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.
QUESTION on Female Killing Pups:
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 Female Killing Pups:
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 (these are the people who feed and clean after the females in my kennel).
2- Some dogs have a screw loose in their head. These dogs should be spayed and never bred again. That's what I would do with this dog.
QUESTION on Breeding Untitled Dogs:
I have been involved in the sport of Schutzhund for about a dozen years, and consider myself a strong working dog person. I have bred a couple of litters (Rottweilers) in the past, and grew up partially on a farm raising sheep. There is something I have never gotten quite clear regarding the breeding of German Shepherds. I realize the SV requires a show rating, Schutzhund title, and breed survey for a dog to be considered breedable. Correct? However, the show rating, and survey is in my opinion, not worth much of anything. The Schutzhund title is. However, I seem to see people on the net and elsewhere still breeding German Shepherd dogs without any of these things. I know this is America and anybody can breed whatever they want. Is this true in Germany and elsewhere, or is it more regulated? Here is what I'm getting at. I am an ethical person, who has always tried to go by the rules. I have a nice working line female. She is strong, healthy, bites well, and has a good temperament. Is it really worth going through all these steps before I breed my bitch? Most puppies, even out of strong working lines, seem like they end up in puppy homes anyway. Do you ever breed untitled dogs? I appreciate your perspective on this issue.
ANSWER on Breeding Untitled Dogs:
I seldom have titled females. In fact one of my stud dogs is not titled.
I went to my first Schutzhund seminar in 1974 and for many many years felt it was part of my life. As time passed I have become disenchanted with the sport and its leaders. I am watching the rules getting easier and easier and easier. If one wanted to use Schutzhund as a breeding tool this tool is becoming washed out.
The fact is I cannot remember a dog that won that USA Schutzhund championship that was also a good stud dog. That should say enough. These dogs are very compliant – a stud dog needs to be an extreme dog.
So as far as I am concerned I don’t need a Schutzhund judge who may have 1/3 the experience that I have to tell me if my dog is breed worthy.
With this all said – people new to breeding need help in determining who to breed. Schutzhund is better than nothing.
I have a female English Springer Spaniel that just had 10 puppies on 9/17/06. The last 3 weeks of her pregnancy she started panting even when it wasn't hot. After whelping she began panting more. Is this something I should be concerned about? We've taken her to the vet three times and they haven't found anything wrong.
I also have another question. We built a wood whelping box for her and put it in the living room. When she went into labor, she ended up in our bedroom closet. We successfully moved her after a day but since then she has picked up one pup and taken it into the closet twice and once she took a pup upstairs and left it there. Do you think that she is doing that because she doesn't like where the whelping box is or maybe she has too many pups to feed or ?? Please help.
Can't answer the panting question. I would wonder about worms.
You are making a huge mistake in keeping the whelping box in the living room. Mother dogs want seclusion they DON’T WANT TO BE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FAMILY AREA. Move her to a spare bedroom and put baby gates around the box to keep her in. Some dogs would kill their litter if the owners did this to them.
QUESTION on Stud's Age:
Dear Mr Frawley,
I know you are a very busy man and I hope you don't put my question in the dumb and dumber section :)
I have a 9yr Rott Male who has successfully tied with our 2yr female. My question is...what do you think his success rate might be. Is he 'too old' to accomplish a successful breeding.
He is proven, but his mate passed away 2 yrs ago and we have just acquired the new bitch in hopes that his lines might be carried on. They are both up to standards here (in Australia) and his father (also my dog) and grandfather were champions. Lily (the bitch, is a beautiful girl and has excellent blood lines as well) and we are hoping that Bear is able to impregnate her. Just worried about his age, as his parents and siblings, that we had, have passed away to cancer. His mate, from a snake bite, we live in the country.
Just your input would be valuable, thank you
Can't tell – have a vet draw semen and check it. That's the only way to know for sure if your male is still potent.
QUESTION on Female that Just Whelped:
We were given a small mixed dog that we later found to be pregnant. She gave birth to 7 puppies of which two died. The other five are doing fine and are starting to wean at 5 weeks. My question I noticed today that mom is bleeding a small amount of a clear-bloody discharge is she ok? Is this normal? She got to be pretty slim and worn out nursing the puppies so we pulled them off her and started them on their food and they are doing great.We are just worried about mom now. She is doing better as far as looking better since we pulled the pups off of her. She eats like there is no tomorrow. Her bowels seem fine and she wets what seems normal. I have not detected a fever. She does seem to be sort of "tired" not sure if this is just due to so many puppies or something else. What do you suggest? Thanks in advance for your advice.
If the dog does not have a fever it's ok – normal is 101 for a dog – up to 103 is OK – if it's more than that the dog needs to see a vet and get on antibiotics.
QUESTION on Female that Won't Eat:
My female labrador R. delivered yesterday she is refusing all kind of food please help me what to feed her so she can produce more milk for her puppies she had 9 puppies..?
Thanks for your help.
You need to take the female's temperature. It should be between 101 and 103. If it's higher you need to take the female to a vet and get antibiotics.
If it's not elevated you need to give the dog chicken broth and offer her some raw hamburger. We give our females 2 cans of chicken broth a day. The more fluids she drinks the more milk she makes and most dogs like chicken or beef broth.
QUESTION on Male Behavior Towards Pups:
I was wondering what I need to be ready for when it comes to my dogs. I have two pure black labs who are the best dogs I could ask for. They keep their cool and hardly ever get aggressive (only toward unknown people) in which they bark a lot never any teeth. I need to know how my male is going to act toward her when she goes into labor and when the puppies are born? How will she act towards him? I know you don't how my dogs will act but what usually happens I need to know cause I don't want anyone hurt. Thank you
You will have to keep these dogs completely separated when she has pups. If you don’t do it there is a very good chance the female will kill the pups or the two adults will fight.
If you ask this question you should not breed dogs because you are not prepared.
QUESTION on Breeding:
I have a 3 yr old rottie bitch who is in season, this is the 3rd season I have tried to breed her but her vulva does not swell enough for our stud to mate with her. I don't have this problem with my other bitch, can you tell me why this is happening and what I can do about it, many thanks
After this season – have her Thyroid checked. If it's off she will not have a normal season.
QUESTION on Feeding Pups:
Hi I was looking for help my friends dog had 6 puppies and the vet told her after going into calcium shock that because she's a small dog its unusual to have so many pups any way there 4 weeks old and the mother has had 2 seizures and were so concerned for her we have just started giving the pups pablum cereal in the morning they all lap it up and we purchased puppy food the nutreints blend high quality food from pet store they eat that no problem in the evening and I've now noticed your puppy formula do you suggest removing the cereal or puppy chow which is softened of coarse with water but the owner is to worried about the mom that she's keeping her away from nursing only permitting her once a day but I'm really concerned if she's doing right or not the pups appear to be really healthy right now but with her keeping the mom away so much are the pups at risk what do you suggest, the mother is small dog part papillon and chiuwawa we think and the pups are we know the father is a miniature collie please help with any suggestions thank you !
If you use my bottle formula and let the pups lap it from a bowl 3 times a day there is no need for them to nurse (if the mother is not doing well) – when we have healthy moms we will let them nurse for up to 6 weeks.
When you take mom away pups almost always need to be treated for 5 days with ALBON for coccidia. It is stressful to go through weaning.
We feed an all-natural diet so we mix raw hamburger with the formula – it's much healthier for the pups than commercial dog food.
QUESTION on Breeding:
How do i tell when my rotty ready to mate. a friend has female rotty and we want to put our male rotty over her. She is 3years old on her owner has never been able to tell when she is on heat so we would like to know how to tell when she is ready.
If she does not bleed so he can notice it he should have the dog's Thyroid checked. This can throw her cycle off.
If she bleeds normally then you should have a vet do vaginal smears – the vet can tell you what day to try and breed.
A male needs to be bred 5 or 6 times before he really knows what he is doing. So the bitch may be ready but the male will not get the job done. In those cases we do artificial breedings.
QUESTION on Female Killing Pups:
I have been breeding imported GSD's for 6 years now, and have just stumbled on a situation that I have not encountered before, and am hoping for some insight. About 2 months ago, I purchased an 18 month old GSD, and nobody knew she was pregnant. She is very immature mentally and psychologically. I believe this is where the problem starts. She had 7 pups on the 15th of May.
Never had a problem with her and them until yesterday. She rolled over and smothered 4 of them, one right after another. I watched and she tried to smother a 5th one, but I was able to save him. I talked to my vet who said that he thought it was due to her immaturity and unwillingness to settle down and raise the pups, and that it was similar to a 13 year old girl that suddenly finds herself with a kid, and that she may or may not be able to successfully raise a litter as she gets older. I talked to another breeder, who said that she has a screw loose, and I should never breed her again. She has never been aggressive or mean to them at all, and until yesterday, I had no problems whatsoever. I have separated her from the pups, and let her feed and care for them under supervision, but if I cannot supervise them, they are separated from her. What is your take on this? Do you think that if she is bred again when she is a bit more mature, she will still want to kill the pups? I have not seen too many dogs that want to kill their pups, and have never seen one that waits until they are 2 weeks old to do it,a nd does it without attacking them.
If the whelping room is in a quiet secluded location where she is by herself and she intentionally tries to kill the pups then she does have a screw loose.
You can try breeding her again - if she does it a second time then spay the bitch and sell her.
QUESTION on Breeding:
We have a beautiful well-mannered 1.5 yr male GS (sable) Baron. Our son has a 2.5 yr female GS (black and tan) Akima, that has a very nice temperament. She will be going into heat in the next two weeks or so and we intend to breed them. We have previously bred labs with very good success, but we have not been in a situation where we had both parents.
Question; we have a male neutered beagle that the female GS just does not get along with; our intention is to whelp the female at our home as our son is in college during the day. At what point should we be taking her, she is well accustomed to our home as we looked after her for a year previously and she gets along well with our male and all family members. We are going to 'loan' our beagle to friends over the period that we have her so his presence doesn't cause either dog any stress. Should we be 'loaning' him out from the beginning of the heat, and if we are successful until after the puppies are adopted? and will it cause her stress to have our male GS present? as I am guessing he might be pretty inquisitive about the presence of 'puppies'.
Thanks for your guidance.
My feeling is to take the female now. The more they like one another the better it is going to work. If the female beats up on the male you can have problem. If she hurts him it could result in the male not wanting to breed her when the time comes.
Don't let the male in with her after she has the pups. He should not be around the pups at all. There is a very real possibility that he could kill the pups, or the female will fight with him to protect her pups.
Definitely keep the Beagle out of the picture... his presence will just stress her if she does not like him. A stressed female might not conceive or it can result in her losing the pups.
Hi Mr. Frawley,
I really would like your opinion as I respect your work so very much.
We are having a problem. We bred a bitch in Feb./06, puppies born April/06 and died two days later - our Vet of 10 years said he was too busy to attend when the pups were born and left us struggling - I'm still devastated.
We used Carbergoline liquid to induce heat and after 24 days it worked. We did a progesterone last Wednesday with point 4 Progesterone but only 25% cornified cells, our new Vet said to wait until Monday (Dec.4). So we took another progesterone yesterday and she has dropped to 1.5, but cornified is 80%, she is flagging very strongly and the male is wild to breed her, which I was waiting to do (today?)
Will she conceive?
Begging for advice,
This is an impossible question. No one, not me, not your vet, can answer this question.
All you can do is try. I have never forced a heat cycle with this product. I have no experience with this kind of thing.
At least you got rid of the ass hole vet.
We've been breeding dogs for about the past 6 years. In the last two litters how ever we've had one puppy with a heart defect. We breed two of our females with this male and the one female's pups have always been healthy so we figured the defect was coming through from the other female so we've stopped breeding her. A third female that would never mate with our male finally became pregnant and had a litter almost 5 weeks ago now through c-section. Two of her pups did not make it. So we have the same father but a different female completely. We've been bottle feeding this pup because his mother was not able to nurse. He eats well, is fat and very strong. At almost 5 weeks old, this pup we think possibly might have the same heart defect. How do we find out for sure where the defect is coming from? This puppy's mom is a toy and I've been reading where these defects can be common in toy breeds. I'm breeding shitzu/poodle cross puppies and cockapoo/shitzu cross puppies. Other than surgery do you know of any other means of helping this puppy make it if he does have the defect. His gums are pale and at times his heart seems to beat really hard. Is it cruel to keep the puppy at home, comfortable as possible and let him die naturally? We had our other one put down and I just felt awful doing that.
Without extensive genetic testing of all the dogs in the bloodline, I don’t know that you will ever know where the defect is coming from. I am not a fan of breeding any dogs without knowing the health and longevity before actually putting a litter on the ground.
I would put the puppy down, and end his suffering. I worked for a vet for many years and watched countless animals die a long drawn out death. I feel it would be kindest to euthanize this pup if there is no hope for recovery.
I have a standard poodle bitch who is 3 years old, and was x-rayed at
38 months. She came into season earlier than expected and I had an appointment to have the hips done. I took her in anyway and asked the vet whether she should be done. She's very athletic and active and I was pretty confident about her hips. He said he thought there shouldn't be a problem - he'd just done a sheltie in season who came back OFA excellent.
Evidently we were too confident. She came back mildly dysplastic due to subluxation. There was no evidence of thickening of the neck or flattening of the joint... there was just way too much room between the ball of the joint and the acetabulum. I don't know how often estrus causes a false reading, and the vet at OFA couldn't give me a percentage, but suggested I redo them. I don't want to rationalize this away, however. If she's dysplastic, she's dysplastic. The positioning on the x-ray looked good. Do you have any experience with something like this?
In my opinion you got very bad information from this vet.
Wait for several months and redo it - in fact if you can swim this dog this summer swim the snot out of her and get her into the best shape of her life.
Great information and articles on your site. Thanks for all that information.
I have a big problem.
I have seven Collies, newly switched to raw food a year ago ....great for them and I feel a lot more comfortable feeding them real foods.
I have a problem that I hope you have the time for answer - I understand if you don't.
I have four females between two and four years old - all virgin bitches.
Bitch # 1 - 3.5 years
Spring 2006 - bred AI because this young male failed to mount (he was a virgin stud-since proven) - she was flagging & all typical signs of acceptance - no pregnancy
Fall 2006 - bred to ATSA, proven nine year old stud (last litter two month prior to this breeding) - normal heat cycle, great ties - no pregnancy
Spring 2007 - bred to ATSA again - normal cycle, great ties - No pregnancy.
Bitch # 2 - 3.5 year
Fall 2006 - bred to ATSA (same stud as above) - normal cycle - great ties - no pregnancy
Spring 2007 - bred to ATSA again - normal cycle - great ties - no pregnancy
Bitch # 3 - 2 years
Fall 2006 - bred to ATSA same stud as above - normal cycle - great ties - no pregnancy
Spring 2007 This bitch had an erratic cycle - never came into full heat, but had the boys interested. No breeding.
Bitch # 4 - 1.75 years
Spring 2007 - bred to ATSA, same stud as above - normal cycle - great ties - no pregnancy.
I was able to palpate bitches 2 and 4 and did feel they were pregnant - but it appears unlikely at this time. Due dates are July 20 and August 4, 2007.
There are no signs of pregnancy at this time.
The stud they were all bred to had a sperm check done before these spring 2007 breedings - lots of sperm & motility. All the bitches flagged and teased and stood for the male with not problems.
Bitch # 1 was due July 14. 2007 - but no puppies arrived.
Bitch # 2 is due July 20, 2007 - I am certain no puppies are there.
Bitch # 4 is due August 4, 2007 - and I am certain there will be no litter.
I have done nothing as far as testing this spring on the girls. Bitch # 1 was cultured, with a clear test in the Fall of 2006 after she failed her second time to become pregnant.
Now I am stumped, and wondered what you might suggest to me at this point.
The male I used (Atsa) would be a great asset to my breeding program if I could use him. I bought him last fall and had him flown to me. He is the sire of MANY litters. What might I do to help - if anything?
The girls are also important to my breeding program, though I can go to other studs, and have two other studs of my own. I am not sure if the problem is with the stud or with the girls, but I am really trying to do whatever I can to prevent this happening again, and though I have had tons of advice, most of it is not really useful. I am not sure what tests would be helpful, or what other things I should do here at home.
I would appreciate your thoughts on my problem if you have the time.
Thanks so much for reading this, and thanks for all of the great information on the site(s).
Your grateful reader,
It seems to me that the first thing to look at is the male. I would not take a normal vets word that the sperm was viable. Most vets don’t know much about reproduction work. I would suggest a specialist and if he checks out ok then I would look at the females. You need someone who can do a sperm count and who has LOTS of experience with this.
I would also run Thyroid panels on all the dogs (male and females) and have the test sent to Dr. Dodds of Hemopet. You can google her name and get the information for your vet.
If you do typically vaccinate, I would NOT revaccinate any of these dogs and I would be very careful about chemicals in the environment, especially lawn stuff.
First off, great site for everything. Our English Mastiff is expecting any day now. At least 7-10. This is her/our second litter. The 1st was 3 pups. This is our last litter and I wish that I came across your site a while back. It is excellent.
My question is how warm should the room temperature be for around the first few weeks? We have heating pads and lamps. I saw your heating pad and wish I had purchased that. But it still left me with the question at how warm to keep the room.
We don’t keep it terribly warm in the whelping room, if the pups have one of our heating pads to crawl on if they need it and their mom’s body heat, they do fine. The problem with keeping the room too warm is that the mother dog may be too uncomfortable to stay in the box with the pups if the room is overheated. If you keep it at a comfortable temp, not too cold and not too hot, unless there are health issues with your puppies, it should be fine. Drafts and air conditioning blowing right on the pups is much more dangerous than a room that’s not toasty warm.
Do you have this DVD? Whelping Puppies and Their First 8 Weeks
I don’t recommend normal heating pads, they can get too warm. Heat lamps can overheat the mother, and can be a fire hazard. We will occasionally use them with direct supervision, but in the last several years have tried not to use them. The cost of one of a heating pad is very small, when you consider the cost and effort that goes into producing a litter.
A very good morning to you.
We are breeders of Smooth Coat Chihuahuas, situated in the sunny South Africa.
After six years of intensive breeding, we still feel like we do not know a thing and we are constantly on the internet searching for new information and that is how we found you.
Here in South Africa we only have two commercially manufactured puppy powdered milk and I suppose most breeders make their own milk substitute. So far we were not successful with any of these recipes or the commercial puppy milk. As it is, it is not easy to hand raise a Chihuahua puppy and therefore we need all the help that we can get.
We are very keen to try out your recipe, but here is my problem, we can not find "clean" corn syrup. All the products that we can get are chemically enhanced for the use of athletes. Please advise if there is anything that we can use as a substitute for the corn syrup
We found your web site to be an absolute wealth of information and for us it is still quite a mission to absorb all the information. It is our intention to implement some of your suggestions. Living in South Africa we can for obvious reasons not do everything the way that you guys are doing it. Sometimes it really feels like we are still living in a third world country and a lot of people think that we are mad to spend every spare cent on developing our kennel to its full potential.
Thank you again for sharing your knowledge with the rest of us that is still learning.
LORINDA & REOLEEN
You could use equal parts sugar and water in place of corn syrup. Boil the mixture to dissolve the sugar and add to the formula. Some people use honey but I am not comfortable using it in immature animals due to some types of bacteria spores that may be present. I am not sure a young animal’s immune system would be able to handle it.
I have been trying to mate my bitch staff. She is letting my dog on to her and she is moving her tail to the side. When he enters her she isn't getting tied. Please could you tell me why?
There are many reasons why your dogs aren’t getting a tie. The bitch could have a vaginal obstruction, the male could have something going on that is preventing him from obtaining a tie or it could just be a bit too early in her cycle.
I would rule out physical problems by seeing your vet.
If you need to do an artificial breeding, then I would recommend our DVD on Artificial Insemination.
If you haven’t whelped a litter before then you should consider our video on Whelping and Raising a Litter.
My name is Helen and I live in the U.K. I am the very proud of owner of 2 gorgeous Rottweilers and on April the 21st 2007, I bred my very first litter!! It was a litter of 15 puppies but 2 died at birth, so we were left with 13.
From day one of Lara giving birth it has been one hell of an experience right up until the end, even though I'd bought a whelping box for her she decided to give birth on my bed while I was asleep, RIGHT NEXT TO MY HEAD! lol
I had been awake with her all night as she had gone in to labor but had decided to take a quick nap, and what do you know the moment I do she pops one out. lol.
So, anyway, the very first night she was all comfortable in her box with her puppies and it seemed as though her milk flow was fine as the puppies seemed content but after an hour of me closing my eyes and waking up again I hear them crying soooo loud, Ii look in to the whelping box and I see her sitting on all of them, I immediately panicked and grabbed them all from under her and placed them in boxes away from her.
I checked the box and found that it was soaking wet from where she must have toileted and whatever else so the puppies must have been a little chilly and then i checked her milk and found that she was empty! I then realized afterwards that she wasn't trying to hurt them she was just scared and wanted them to shut up! She was a first time mum and only 2 years old so she was a little clueless!
So from that moment on I decided I was going to care for all of them myself! I had no idea it was going to be so hard, never in my life have I ever heard about this! I was told by my vet and by reading online that the pups would have to be fed every hour then every 2! I thought ok, I can manage, and I could have if there hadn't been so many! 8 I could do, even 10, but 13!! I would start with 1 pup, then move on to the next so by the time I'd finished feeding the last one, 2 hours had gone by and the 1st pup that I had fed 2 hours ago was hungry again!
I never EVER got any sleep! Once I'd started bottle feeding them it was to late to turn back as Lara had built up an infection in her teats and where there was so many I'd have to bottle feed some anyway.
By the time they were 3 and a half weeks, I thought I'd crossed the worst hurdle of all, until one by one the pups would stop suckling and would grow weak, they were still alert but just would go hours without feeding and would just go really weak. So I'd be up and down the vets with each one every time and I would be told the same thing, they're fine and there's nothing I can do, sometimes you get sick puppies.
So I would just give them maybe 2 feedings a day the best I could, or give them a supplement of sugar and water and within 2/3 days they'd be back to their old selfs again! But this had happened with almost the whole litter and I was finding things hard, I didn't understand why the healthiest most bouncy puppies would just suddenly get ill for days! So when another pup fell ill I did the same as I did with the others but I was so tired and depressed that Ii tube fed this pup the wrong way several times, and unfortunately she got humonia and died.
Once the 12 puppies left got to 5 weeks, everything went smoothly and they were blossoming into full grown terrors! I got them on to solids and found them all new homes by 8 weeks!!
Now my bitch has come into season again, and I'm just trying to decide weather or not to breed her again? I feel like she could be a great mum this time round, as she did try with the first litter.
I just would really appreciate your advise on if and where I went wrong last time round?
And if I do breed her again, what tips could you give me?
Any advise you can give would be greatly appreciated,
If this was my female I would get her spayed. Or breed her again and be prepared for the worst.
Most dogs are wonderful mothers, but I have some experience with Rottweilers as my mother used to raise them. She had the same kind of experience with her female as you did.
If you do decide to breed again, I would recommend you purchase this video, Whelping Puppies and Their First 8 Weeks.
My name is Jessi. My boxer just had a litter of nine puppies. One which died at birth, one that had liquid in its lungs. This last one that wasn't doing well was the runt. I had given it special care for the last three days. It seemed to be doing better. This morning I put him in the room with his mother while I went to the other room for a few minutes. When I came back, she had chewed it's head off. Is that normal? I've seen mothers push aside the weak. But I have never seen or heard of this. I didn't know who to ask about it, so I was wondering if you had any information of an opinion.
We have heard of this and it's a big red flag to NOT breed this female again. Killing puppies is not normal mother dog behavior, even if they are weak or the runt.
I would keep a close eye on this mother and not allow her to be unsupervised with the rest of the litter.
If you need to bottle feed any of the pups, here is a great formula we use and recommend.
I have a 11 mo old Great Dane who went into heat at 10mo old on the 1st of Aug....all is normal I think. She bled fairly heavy for about 1.5 weeks, then a little more thinned blood or a lighter color...now she is at day 21 and is having a dark reddish brown color discharge but very little. Is this normal ...I am referring to the color of the discharge.
Another quick question....pyo....it is a real concern with Danes and being that this is a promising show bitch with several points to date, I have no intention of spaying the bitch any time soon. Is there anything I can do to prevent the dreaded PYO? I have heard of some folks using a douche after each season on their bitches...is this a good idea? I have not done anything at this point but will wait on your feedback. She is 115lbs and on Eagle Pack Adult purple bag.
Help is much appreciated.
Heat cycles vary from female to female and some of our females continue with that reddish brown discharge. If this is a valuable breeding animal, then my suggestion would be to find a good reproductive vet in your area and get to know him well. I would talk to him about your concerns about pyo. We aren’t vets or health care professionals but I would never use a douche on a dog, it seems to me that would just wash any foreign bacteria farther inside, which is exactly what you don’t want.
We spoke in June regarding our 10 month old bitch. Kids had left door open and we had an unexpected 'accident' during her heat. We took her to vet and had 'morning after' shot .. all was well ... and heat ended as normal .. she seems to be nesting by digging a large hole under a travel crate we have behind our shed. I'd bet she isn't pregnant .. she is a slim bitch and I palpated and nothing though her nipples seem to be a little distended though she had a hernia repaired this week and she is shaved. If anything had been produced from the unintentional mating she'd definitely be at 62-64 days this week. Sound like phantom pregnancy? some of the material I have read said this is disturbing behavior and she should be spayed. thoughts, as we intend to breed her in heat of fall/winter of 2008.
She isn't neurotic, is well exercised, well-mannered and just a lovable girl.
False pregnancies are actually quite normal. In a natural setting of a pack, only the alpha female actually breeds and gives birth but many of the other females have a false pregnancy right along with the alpha's real pregnancy.
From my reading, it's normal. The other females in the pack develop maternal behaviors and even produce milk. If anything were to happen to the alpha, one of the other females could then take care of the puppies.
I would not spay her if she was my dog; I would go ahead and breed her next year as you planned.
I would say that 50% of the females I have owned in my lifetime have gone through false pregnancies. I actually have one of my girls bred right now, and she has gone through a false PG after every heat cycle in the past.
My name is Carolyn and I breed Belgian Shepherds (Tervuren) in Canada.
I have been reading a lot of your section on breeding most of the day today, and I must commend you on your excellent website. You are a such a prince to put so much time and effort into educating others
So far, I have been fortunate to not have any problems with breedings and whelpings, though I feel I may have a problem with the next bitch I plan to breed to get her to accept the male. Time will tell, may have to do an AI.
Some of these people that are breeding dogs and have written you with problems appear to be soooo bloody stupid, it blows my mind. Imagine some of the worst ones are backyard breeders and pet owners who don't really have a clue what they're doing. Hopefully your website, answers, articles etc will help some of them to make the responsible decisions they should be making.
But I have noticed something that you may or may not know.
I just read one letter about a GSD bitch with a bad temperament who killed it's Westie housemate before she whelped and then killed most of her pups after she whelped.
I agree, this bitch has a poor temperament and should not have been bred. But I wonder if you know that a bitch with a excellent temperament normally, can savage and kill her pups within a couple weeks of whelping due to a severe calcium deficiency?
I have never had this happen to me, thank god, but I hear it happens, and that if after whelping, you notice your bitch to be abnormally agitated and doesn't want to settle in with her babies and mother them, that you should take her in and have her calcium levels checked and that if they are really low, the vet will give them shot to correct it.
Apparently these calcium shots must be given by a vet. They must be dangerous if improperly administered.
I suspect that most of us don't have a problem with this as we feed a good well balanced diet. But it's something I am aware of and when a bitch whelps, I watch her closely for the first week to make sure everything is normal.
Thanks for all your hard work,
Thanks for your email.
I am familiar with eclampsia and the symptoms. I worked for a vet for many years, and saw quite a few cases of this. We have never seen this in one of our own females but I have done some reading about it in the past also.
There is no comparison between the behavioral changes with eclampsia and aggression towards their own litter. Bitches I have seen with eclampsia seem confused and uncoordinated, almost like a mild seizure. If you suspect eclampsia then a vet is needed and calcium is given IV. Aggressive behavior and bad temperament is quite different.
Thanks again for the kind words.
I have a 2 year old lab, I bred her and she had 9 beautiful pups...all did great at 6 weeks they weighed between 10-7.5 lbs most at 9lbs. We never lost one. She was the best mom ever!
Questions: she looks AWFUL, hair falling out....bald patches, is this normal? She eats, plays, fetches her ball, what can I do to help her? Vet said she was great...I'm not sure why such the hair loss?
Also, Is it normal for a bitch to up chuck her food for her pups?
Some females lose almost their entire coat after a litter of pups. I don’t know what her normal diet is, but we haven’t had this problem since we began feeding an all raw diet.
Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.
You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.
It is normal for good mother dogs to regurgitate for their pups. Not all females do this, but the females that do are usually above average moms.
I have an orphaned yorkie pup who was borne Saturday (now 3 days old). He seems to be thriving on the store bought puppy formula that I have been feeding him, however, I would like to start feeding him your formula to ensure that he continues to thrive. My question is, because he is so small (approximatly 5 oz), how large of a hole in the nipple would you suggest to allow your formula to flow (paper clip, pin). I know you recommend a baby bottle, but I believe a baby bottle is too large for the pup at this time. However, the store bought puppy bottle, in my opinion, is not great. The nipple seems to seal itself after I puncture it. One additional question. The pup's stool seems to be hard and a very light brownish color. I believe he may be a bit constipated so I have been adding a drop or two of mineral oil to the formula. Will your formula help with the constipation, also?
Thanks so much for your assistance.
I think you need to buy several nipples and experiment, I can’t tell you how large the hole in the nipple needs to be.
I would switch him to our formula if you haven’t already done so, and if he is still constipated add a bit more water to the mixture. Usually hard stools in such a young puppy indicate the pup is getting dehydrated. Dehydration in puppies is as big a problem as getting the correct number of calories into them.
I highly recommend reading our Bottle feeding article as well if you haven't already.
My stud malinois had been bitten several times by heated females during the last year or so and became very conservative to naturally mating to any females. Besides, I don't want him to be bitten again when breeding. As per your video that a teaser female is used during collection, while 3 persons are required. Can I simply use the collected semen in a separate room without a teaser female and do the insemination in a different room? I can easily get 15-17 C.C.s semen from my stud malinois every one or two days if I need.
Please advise and thanks,
If you can get a viable collection without a teaser, then I think that would be fine. We find we usually get better collections with a female present but if he gets stressed about having her there then I would do what works!
Just wanted to say what a wonderfull website you have. I successfully bred my 2yr old staffy female to my male in march 07 and she had a beautifull healthy litter of 7. (although I did resusitate the last one as he was not breathing).. yes I even cried.:)
I should have e-mailed you sooner as I stupidly thought she wouldn’t go on heat again until November. The pups were born june 10th and I thought it would at least be 6 months after she weened the pups, that she would go on heat again. As it has only been 3 months from weening , is this normal?? She started bleeding yesterday 23/9/07
She is in excellent health and we were going to have her spayed as hubby doesn’t want to go through it again. (very hard when you both work full time.) although I loved every minute and would sit with her and the pups for hours… I know I can't get her spayed until she finishes her heat. How long do I wait until she has finished to then get it done?? We have also kept one of her beautifull pups who is know about 14 weeks. I'm a bit worried that my male (who wouldn’t hurt a fly ) may get a bit stroppy around the pup as he will be wanting her again, and may think he's competition.
The pup is now 11.2kgs and my male is 26kgs. I will have to leave her inside during the day so my male cant get to her.
I may even decide to breed her again, now I have time to really think about it. It was a wonderfull experience. Not this heat though. (next year) I would appreciate any thoughts you and ideas you may have about my questions.
Thanks again. Mel.
Perth western Australia
Dogs are all a bit different but typically females come into season about 5 months after whelping (not weaning). You dog is showing a completely normal cycle by coming into season now. Heat cycles typically last 21 days and I would wait a month or two after that to have her spayed.
The choice is yours whether you breed again or not.
I have a 4 year old female boxer who had a litter of 9 pups at 2 years old. All lived, she was a great mom. I left her for 2 heats and then tried breeding her again with the same proven male. She was eager, but seemed to twitch to the side to avoid tying every time the tie was immenent. At her next heat the same thing happened. The first time we visited the male for 5 days in a row and the second time I had the male at our place. They were given time away from each other both times, and I had them together on what should have been her fertile days. I tried a third time, but had all the testing done at the vets to be sure we were catching her at the right time. She still is what I call a twitcher and there was no tie. I really want another litter from her as I want one of her pups. Any suggestions?
I would suggest artificial insemination; we produced a dvd on how to do it yourself.
We also have a directory of information on breeding.
im planning to breed my beautiful whippet bitch when she is ready on her 3rd season, I have a very lovely male set up and all is sorted and arranged with the stud, this is my first litter so i have been researching all i can. I am planning to use a welping box and later move to a cornered off section of the room and the bitches dog crate, a heat lamp is on stand by if needed etc i am fairly confident that i know most of what book can teach me but theres only so much books can teach you.
my concern is my other dogs
my house layout is dinning room and living room is open planned, and the dogs stay in the dinning room area unless told otherwize, as a dog trainer i work the dogs as a pack and use pecking order etc my concern is because i am moving my bitch and pups out of the area do i allow the other dogs to interact with the bitch which is what i would perfer to do, one dog i know for sure is very good around young pups the other i dont know, she has never seen puppies beefore.
my other dogs are a castrated male 9 year old toy poodle who i am certain will be fine, and a young (under a year) german shepherd cross rottie, who has a very soppy nature with humans, with dogs she is a bit shy at first but can get a tad rough in play
thank you for taking the time to read this
We always keep our other dogs separated from a bitch with pups, I don’t even allow them in the same room. It only takes an instant for an accident to happen, either the female getting upset and accidentally stepping on the pups to rush over to defend them or one of the other dogs thinking the pups are something to play with or kill. I am NEVER complacent about this. You can’t be certain that one of your dogs won’t behave inappropriately and it’s just not worth the risk.
I would make sure you have a visual and physical barrier between the mom and babies and the rest of your pack.
You can search the website on breeding dogs, and I would also recommend this dvd. http://www.leerburg.com/118.htm
Hope this helps.
I found the address on your "whelping" DVD (which is absolutely terrific by the way) for the gavage tubes and I can't seem to find them on the internet to order. The DVD says "Baxter Pharmaseal" and then the address below says "Barter Nealthcare"? Can you help. I have taken in a 5 day old "runt" Jack Russel from a friend in which the mother refuses to feed him. I have been tube feeding for a few days now and he is gaining, urinating and his "skin tent" is almost gone, but I have not seen him deficate for about 8 hours now. He seems very content and I have done everything the way you have said, but you did mention something about adding an antibiotic? Tube feeding is definately the way to go if you work full-time! I don't know why they even sell the puppy baby bottles. They just don't like them! His eyes are beginning to open today. I raise miniature schnauzers and have luckily never had to supplemental feed, but this was a great opportunity for me to try. I would like to add more feeding tubes and equipement to my first aid kit ,just in case for the future and would like to try the tubes you use. Thanks for the great DVD and any more info on saving this little guy would be great.
http://www.leerburg.com/1121.htm here are the feeding tubes we sell.
Sometimes you need to hydrate them a bit, to get them pooping. If his skin is still ‘tenting’ a bit, then I would add a bit of water to the formula. See if this helps. I would add like 1 cc of water to each 5 you are feeding him.
I hope this helps.
My name is Giovanny, I have a 2yr old Bulldog bitch. She started spotting on Thursday and I want to artificially inseminate her. I want to order the DVD with the supplies but I need some info on what to look for when she is ready. I do not have a lot of time so I would greatly appriciate you prompt response. Thank you.
One of the best ways to know when she will be ready to be bred is to have your vet run progesterone tests.
There is coverage of vaginal smears on the website and the DVD. Most vets use a combination of smears and progesterone tests to determine the best times to breed. It’s typically between the 10th and 14th day of her cycle, but not always.
Good luck with the breeding.
I have a 3 1/2 year old English Mastiff whom (had all her health testing). She was bred to our male 65 days ago. Pregnancy isn't confirmed via vet however you can feel movement in her belly. She also has milk in her breasts. She has never been a heavy bitch, the guy we got her from starved the poor girl something awful. She has seen a reproductive specialist a few years back and he cleared her medically after running a few tests on her. My question to you is if she isn't pregnant what is moving in her belly, gas??
Thanks, Mastiff Mom
If you are feeling movement, my guess is that it’s puppies.
Typical dog gestation is 59-63 days so if she hasn’t had pups yet, there is a chance that there is a complication. I would get her to a vet and have her checked out.
We have a directory of information on breeding.
Hi Ed...sorry to bother you. I have enjoyed your web site over the years and now have a question that I'm sure you can help me with.
My 3 year old field trial Labrador Retriever had a litter of 7 puppies 5 days ago. (Surgical A.I. with frozen semen on a maiden bitch) In the week before whelping, she was receiving 4-5 cups of high performance food with about 1/3 cup all-natural canned food on top to make it more palatable. Her appetite decreased in the last week of pregnancy.
Whelping went very well and all pups are doing great. They are gaining 2-4 oz. a day and have nice firm stool. She is a great mother.
Anywho, this bitch has horrible diarrhea. She did eat 3 of the placentas and we figured that day 1 diarrhea was due to this. Her food intake remained the same (about 4-5 cups) and she looks like a million dollars. She is drinking, does not have a fever and does not show signs of dehydration. Her diarrhea is explosive, but she does not have any blood in her stool.
I started giving her about 10mL pediatric kaopectate 6 times a day with no improvement. On the advice of breeder friends, I withheld one of her 3 daily feedings on day 4, gave her 1/2 cup organic yogurt and 2 tablespoons of pumpkin. She was then put on a bland diet of boiled hamburger, oatmeal and rice.
Diarrhea has improved today. She had 10 watery stools in a 6 hour period yesterday and now we're having one diarrhea every 4 hours. I spoke with my vet who suggested metronidazole. I'm nervous about medications at this point since the puppies are doing great and metronidazole is passed through the breast milk.
She is still peeing, drinking and her appetite has increased. She looks and acts perfectly fine otherwise. Her milk production seems to still be good.
Anything else I can be doing??
Thanks in advance.
When our females have babies we take their temp (anally) twice a day until it is down to 101 degrees (101 to 102) is normal.
We also offer her 2 cans of chicken broth every day to help her fluid intake. The more fluids she drinks the more milk she makes. In your case this would also help replace the lost fluids.
We feed a raw all-natural diet and don’t have these kinds of issues. There is no canned dog food that I know of that is worth much. You would be better off feeding her raw hamburger. We just buy the 5 pound rolls of high fat content hamburger at Wal Mart.
I would also increase the pumpkin to ½ to ¾ of a can to see how this works.
If the vet suspects giardia I would say she should be tested. I would personally sit and read the label on metronidizol before I would ever consider this. In 350 litters I have never done this. You may want to get a second opinion. I would be very very careful here.
You really should spend some time on our web site and read the section on feeding a raw diet. Cindy (my other half) wrote a detailed Q&A article on feeding a raw diet. http://www.leerburg.com/pdf/feedingrawdiet.pdf
I have 3 of your training video's and really enjoy them. I do not have a training question but a breeding question. I have just acquired an 8 week old breed quality shiloh shepherd male puppy who has an umbilical hernia. I am not a vet nor an experienced breeder so when getting the pup the breeder told me he had one but that her vet was not concerned about it. I am not either as it is small (smaller than a dime). But my question is whether that eliminates him from the breeding pool. I have done much research and find the vets say one thing and the breeders generally say another thing. My breeder said "since it did not occur in any other litter mates" she is not concerned. This was a repeat breeding and it did not occur in that litter either. She said he was first born and mom pulled on the umbilical cord a bit hard. I am asking you as an experienced breeder if in your opinion this is a reason not to breed him genetically speaking? I wanted to stay out of the 'shiloh' world at this point to get an objective opinion.
Thanks for your time,
If the hernia is that small, and no other pups in the litter had them then I would agree with your breeder.
We wouldn't rule out a dog for breeding based on that.
Hope that helps.
Hi, thanks heaps for your articles, I have been reading them with great intent over the last couple of days. My Friend and I have had a litters of Boxer Pups and despite us following every rule in the book both of us have lost almost our whole litters, and my friend the bitch as well. I am down to two puppies which are currently being tube fed at the vets.
I have been trying so hard to keep these little guys alive but they seem to keep going. One of the little ones I have was so close to death that he was spasming but now he seems to be going ok. The little girl I have seems to be doing the best of the two but I am not holding my breath.
The problems began when an ultrasound on the bitch showed that she had a couple of puppies stuck in a uterine pocket and thus would have caused problems with the birth, consequently we elected to give the bitch a C-Section.
The puppies were delivered without a drama and we picked up the mum and babies and drove them home, as soon as we got home the bitch bit the puppies causing one to bleed profusely. We separated the mum (this is her second litter and the first litter was perfectly healthy and we used the same stud dog again) and put the pups on her every two hours. The bitch became highly stressed and despite us holding her down would not lay still for the pups to feed….. Another vet trip with the brood. We were advised to completely separate the pups from the mum. Since then, 4 have died. I feel so sad, the pups have been in a comercial incubator at the vets and been receiving saline injections, glucose, antibiotics, and now tube fed. I am not concerned about the expense as it was my choice to bring the little guys into the world. However I don't know when enough is enough. The last two seem to have improved lately and are sucking strongly. (they are 7 days old) I don't want to give up on them. Do I just keep doing what I am doing and looking after them at night and leaving them at the vets during the day? How long does it take for the pups to get out of the trouble zone and thrive? Is it just touch and go?
I am heartbroken and seriously considering not breeding our second bitch next year. I, like every new breeder, have read articles searched the net, done just about everything I can think of to keep the litter healthy. Is is me or is it nature?
Thanks again for your help
If the 2 remaining puppies you have are a week old and sucking strongly, I would continue working with them. I would also want to know they are gaining weight every day.
We have found that pups do much better on our formula, than on the typical veterinary formula.
By about 3 weeks old they can start eating from a shallow dish, we do just the formula for a couple of days and when they have the hang of that we add some mashed raw hamburger to the milk.
Breeding can be a really wonderful experience or it can be a nightmare. Luckily, it normally goes well but when things go wrong it can be awful. If you do decide to breed again, you should be sure you know how to tube feed puppies and do all the fluids yourself.
I would also recommend you get our Whelping DVD.
Hi--love your site. I have a litter of boxer puppies 7 weeks old and doing great. They are paper trained and looking good. One thing concerns me, it seems like a couple of them cry when they defecate...is that normal? They have a vet appointment in 5 days for their litter certification.
Whelping was the most amazing thing to have seen, and I am so lucky to have seen it in my lifetime!
Usually when puppies cry like that it's because they may be constipated. Try adding some canned pumpkin (not pie filling, 100% pure pumpkin) to their food. It doesn't take much, maybe a tablespoon full per pup.
I have a little dilemma here that I need your advice on... I've watched many of your DVD's over and over and still find myself with out the answer I'm trying to find. Let me give you a quick run down so you can base you advice on what I'm dealing with. I breed German line Rottweilers, my blood line includes dogs such as Rick Von Burghtan, Chan Von Der Bleichstrasse, and many more champions. My pedigrees are littered with Schutzhund titles. So, here is my dilemma, I have an 8 week old litter and I'm keeping male pick, I've had my eye on this one particular guy since birth. Temperament, show quality, drive, it's all there. He is also the biggest but not the dominant one. The dominant one has all the same qualities except his drive is through the roof, all he wants to do is work work work. However, he is the dominant one and has a little temper on him. He has gotten serious with me a bunch of times already to where I had to put him on his back and make him submit. He's the one I have for sale along with the rest minus the one I'm keeping. Now, I'm thinking of keeping him and giving up my pick. Reason is with his blood line and his show of aggression already, I feel like it's an accident waiting to happen with a buyer and I'm not out just to make a dollar. I'm not a back yard breeder and care of the well being of people who buy a dog with Schutzhund background and don't really understand how those genes are passed down. I have no problem working with the dominant one and being able to read him. How would you handle a situation like this? Would you still sell the puppy with caution and keep the pick you had your eye on? Or, don't take that chance and keep the dominant one?
As a breeder, you need to make the decisions on which pup to place where based on the clients you have. I am always prepared to keep a puppy if I think he is going to be unsuitable for the customers I have at the time.
I always keep the puppy that appeals to me the most but will also keep a tough to place puppy until I find the right person for him.
If you can’t keep both right now, then I would do what feels right to you. This is one of those “gotta go with your gut” situations. You know the bloodlines, the temperament the puppies are showing and the skill level of your customers so you need to weigh it all out and go from there.
I have no idea if I am asking this question in the right place or not. I read all of your questions and answers on your website, but my question was not asked or answered.
I have 2 females that my stud has breed recently. One was picked up two weeks ago and her owner informs me she is still bleeding a lot. The other was just picked up today on her 16th day of her cycle and they also called and said that their dog is bleeding a lot.
I take my dog in every couple of months and have him tested for sexually transmitted diseases, but I am wondering if all this bleeding is normal. My dog is not bleeding. But the females are.
Usually after day 16 there is hardly any if any bleeding. Are these females in trouble?
I have had females that bled after being bred, sometimes for several weeks afterwards. I would suggest the owners take the females to the vet if they have any concern.
Were both of these females tested for brucellosis and cultured for vaginal infections before being bred?
Hello, I want to thank you for posting your wisdom on a website for us to find in times of need. Our vets don't know everything and I am in need of advice on a dog who has killed her pups for the last two litter. she is a 2 yr. old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel which belongs to a Amish breeder. He is not sure why she killed the pups, just that they were born alive and seemed okay the first day and dead the next. He said that some of them looked partly eaten. I don't believe this is typical behavior of the breed and wonder is it is a stressful environment for her and she is taking it out on her pups.
I am taking this dog off his hands (I have been raising border collies for about 12 years, 14 litters, so I do have some experience in pup raising). The Cavalier is due to whelp some time in the next week or 2 (he free breeds and has no idea when she is due, just that she looks close).
My question is do you have any advice on the whelping and caring for this litter. Should I allow the pups to nurse with supervision and then take them away to the next feeding, or not try to involve the bitch at all. Should I muzzle her when she is with the pups?
Do you recommend that I tube feed or bottle feed. I have tried bottle feeding large litters to supplement before, with no success, they would not take a bottle for me. I have tube fed one pup before (as a supplement).
How often do I need to feed the pups (or allow them to nurse) during their first weeks. I know I also need to keep them warm and cleaned if the mom is not doing her part. Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Some females are puppy killers and these dogs should not be bred, this is also a trait that seems to be passed down through the generations. This means that there is a good chance that daughters of this dog may kill their pups also.
I would not allow this female access to these puppies at all, if you want to be guaranteed that she won’t harm them. If you do let her nurse them, I would not only muzzle her but hold her head down as well. I know several people who have had a muzzled bitch kill a pup just by whacking it with a lot of force.
We think bottle feeding is better for the pups if you have the time to do it.
http://leerburg.com/bottlefeeding.htm there is a chart on this page with a feeding guide according to puppy weight.
I am a breeder of yorkshire terriers. I have been having some problems with puppies dying young, I had a litter December 11 of 5 and 1 died. He was the biggest and healthiest puppy and at 9 days old started to go down on me, now I did crop tails when they were 4 days old, after noticing the one go down I then saw another just started, so I took them all to the vet and put them on an antibiotic.
I managed to save the rest but lost one,??
Now today, january 3, I have a girl who had 2 puppies first one born fine, the second one born will not stop crying. I try to put her on the mother's nipple and it won't suck all it wants to do is cry? I had one like this before and it died on me... What do you think this is? What do you think I should do?
I have Clavamox for adult but not the puppies, so I gave mom 1 tablet? Was this good? I was planning on giving it for 7 days 2 times a day? However if the puppy doesn't suck it isn't going to do her any good? Do you think that the puppy could have been born with somthing wrong with it or do you think I can save this puppy?
I hope to hear back from you soon.
There is really no way for us to know what is going on with your puppies through email. We aren’t vets so we can’t tell you if you should use antibiotics and what the dosage should be for your moms and pups. It’s possible your puppy has a birth defect, I would try to tube feed it if you want to save it.
I would evaluate the health and diet you are feeding your breeding dogs, as a place to start for future litters. I would also make sure you aren’t using chemicals or vaccines on or around your breeding dogs.
Read this article on feeding a raw diet http://leerburg.com/feedingarawdiet.htm. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.
You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.
For information on vaccinations and the problems they cause please read our vaccinosis article.
I firmly believe that all the issues people have with the health and vitality of breeding stock and offspring is directly related to the damage of substandard food and excessive chemicals (flea meds, household cleaners) and vaccines. Whenever you have litter mortality, the place to start looking for answers is with the parents. I would also check the thyroid levels of your breeding dogs before you breed again.
Someone told me on your page there was a recipe for a mush to feed puppies 3 to 4 weeks old to help them have stronger tooth and stronger bones I have a litter of Shihtzu puppies that will be 3 weeks old 2/1/2008, just wanted to make sure they have a great start.
We don’t have a recipe for mush per se.
We use our bottlefeeding recipe and add raw hamburger to it, when we begin the weaning process.
I'm writing from Lacaster PA, and have some ?'s for you. I love love love my Labrador Retreivers. However, my 2 year old male still hasn't figured out how to breed. Do some dogs never ever get it? One owner left his female for the day, and NOTHING happened. He gave up, took her to a different dog, and they were tied in minutes. I have been looking at the AI Video, and am wondering if trying that would work, or if he would not even give me a specimen. Any advice? Have you ever had a breeder who had a dog that would never cooperate with an AI?
It can take quite a few attempts for a young stud dog to get the hang of breeding. Some get it right away, others need help. Leaving him with a bitch for one day isn’t usually sufficient. I would try to let him get a breeding with a very experienced female, so he gets some confidence and practice. We let our young stud dogs live with an older female for days or even a week, one day is seldom enough. Some dogs don’t like the idea of an AI at first, but they usually don’t mind once they figure out what you are doing. : )
Try not to feel too much anxiety about this, because your dog will pick up on it and will be anxious also.
Where can I find the dyes used in your AI DVD?
Veti-Stain Solution I
Veti-Stain Solution II
Can be purchased from Kacey Inc. http://www.kaceyinc.org/
Fixative DipQuick Stain
Can be purchased from Jorgensen Laboratories. http://www.jorvet.com
I just recently ordered your DVD regarding Building Drive and am can't wait to receive it. I have a 9 month old GSD purchased from a reputable breeder. My original intention was to have a GSD with good hips and sound temperament. The breeder strives for those qualities as well. While vacationing in October, I had the breeder board him, and when I picked him up she said he is a strong candidate for getting a sch title. My question is regarding the fact that he is a Blue. The spectrum of opinion ranges from people thinking he should be neutered to a sub sect of people that breed for blues, whites and livers specifically (and in my opinion irresponsibly). I understand that a blue is a serious fault for a show dog, but it is not a disqualifier. I hope that my dog Quint von der Graf, aka Lobo (DN18638602), will be judged, when he trials (sch), for his ability and not his coloring. He has strong drives, a strong desire to please me, and hard, full grips. I am a member of a multi-breed sch club in Pine Bush, NY. I love the people and dogs, and it has become the locus of my hobby/social life.
My main question is regarding breeding him when he gets his titles (I plan on going up to Sch3) and satisfactory OFA certifiation. Would it be best for the working lines to not breed him even if he is titled and scores high on his hip x-rays? And I don't want to breed him just because some people think blues are cool--strictly because of temperament and hip scores. He is a great grandson of Troll Vom Haus Milinda and Grim Z Pohranicni Straze.
I love your site and have spent many hours on it already.
The color or look of the dog is not judged in Schutzhund events. The dog and handler are judged on how well they execute the exercises.
We would never breed a blue dog, I know some people may but blue or liver colored GSDs are not what we want to incorporate into our breeding program. In Dobermans (which used to be my breed) the blue coloring goes hand in hand with a multitude of health and skin problems. In my opinion, there are plenty of great dogs out there with correct color and pigment to use for breeding. I think you should train your dog and have a great time with him. He sounds like a nice dog.
Thanks for the kind words, and let me know if I can help you out with any training materials in the future.
My name is Adrienne. I have a 5 month old German Shepherd pup. I just ordered some tapes from you and they are working well for me. I brought my gsp from a local kennel in Petersburg, Va. I saw an ad in the newspaper called, went out to talk with the breeder and he had beautiful dogs.
He contacted me when his bitches were bred and when the pups were born I went out to see them and they were beautiful red and black gsp. I purchased a pup and now am in love. This is where I need your experience. I notice when bathing Sam (female short for Samantha) there was a lot of hair in the tub and towel. I thought she was just shedding. Then I noticed hair lost around her mouth, because she is growing fast I thought she was losing it as she got larger and it'll come back. A couple of days later I noticed bald spots around her nose, called the Vet immediately went in the very next day and he diagnosed her with Demodectic mange.
Now after speaking with the Vet, he gave me some literature to read and suggested we not breed her and have her spayed because she could pass this on to her pups. She has had 3 dippings so far once every 2 weeks. I spoke to another Vet at the same institution who said Demodectic mange is common and curable and she'll be able to have pups.
I contacted the breeder to get history on the mom of Sam, and of course he denied the mom ever having mange. He kept running off at the mouth and I found out he only had the Mom a year and she was in heat again and was more interested in his next litter and how much her could make off her new pups. So I asked how do you know your dogs health history if you bought her from someone else, she could have had mange and it was treated. He showed me her mom and another dog who was in heat and talked about their pups. The condition of his walmart purchased wired kennels was filthy. It was a cold, icy, rainy day and the female dogs ( who were in heat) were in a kennel with the male dog.The dogs were freezing. Poop was everywhere. At that moment I said he doesn't give a DAMN about the dogs, it is the revenue they bring in. He offered me a new pup at half price he said his new pups will sell for $1,500.00-$2,000.00. No thanks!!!!!
At any rate, how should I handle this and how serious is Demodectic Mange and can I breed her or should I get her spayed?
Demodex is caused from a suppressed immune system. I personally would not breed a dog that has demodex, but I know people who have. We rear our dogs naturally here, without vaccinations and chemicals. The dip that is used on dogs with demodectic mange is HORRIBLE and poisonous. It also very possible that your dogs mother did not have mange. All dogs have these mites, and it’s only when something stresses their immune system too much that they actually develop mange. It’s typically after vaccinations or some other stress.
For information on vaccinations and the problems they cause please read our vaccinosis article. I ask that everyone do their own research and weigh the benefits and the risks of vaccinating their animals. We do not vaccinate our dogs, cats or horses here and will not sell puppies to people who insist on vaccinating and feeding kibble.
I would recommend you search our discussion forum for info, there are a lot of discussions there as well.
I don’t know what you feed your dog, but a proper diet is a huge part of optimal health. Kibble is not appropriate food for dogs, especially dogs that have skin issues.
You can go to our Feeding Dogs page for help with that.
Thanks for responding. I have a couple of questions. If the demodex has healed and the dog is over a year old would you breed or you would have her spayed. What vacc. are safe for dogs, I'm not understanding. Is heartworm or rabies safe to vacc? Kibbles? is that bagged or canned (store bought) dog food?
There is more to consider when deciding to breed a dog than just the mange issue.
We won’t breed a dog until we have decided that they have something to offer the breed as a whole. Hips and elbows need to be certified (which can’t be done until age 2) and the temperament and health of the dog needs to be excellent. I don’t agree with breeding dogs just because….. they need to be adding superior genetics, temperament and health to their particular gene pool.
For me, a dog that comes down with demodex would be ruled out for breeding. There are plenty of dogs out there that have better health to choose from. Your description of the conditions at the kennel where you got your dog doesn’t give me a lot of confidence in the background of your pup. That’s not to say she isn’t a nice dog, but reputable breeders who care about the quality of the dogs don’t keep them in the manner in which you described. The chances of getting a breed worthy individual from this type of breeder is slim.
First I would like to say that you have a beautiful website with a good information that easy to know for every one, thank you very much. I have question on breeding... I have a couple of rottweilers and I want to breed them. From the the day 1 to day 9 she started her heating period it was normal and clean and the blood became very light that hard to see then I let my male jump on her from the 9 day till 14 day but today I shocked because I found a lot of dark drop of blood...so I do not understand ... can you please explain me that thank you very much.
I’ve seen dark spots of blood from our females after they have been bred. I would suggest you keep an eye on your female, if she seems to be drinking a lot of water or has a lot of discharge that is off color or greenish, she needs to see a vet right away. A few spots of dark blood are usually no reason to get worried, but keep a close eye on her and if you have any doubts, a visit to the vet is in order.
Hello Cindy, my name is Elaine, I saw your website online and called. The lady recommended that I refer my questions to you... I hope you don't mind. I have a litter of English Bulldog Puppies that are 2 weeks and 1 day. Every time they eat off of mom they are getting diarrhea. I was wondering if it was safe to feed a cc or 2 of Pepto or plain Yogurt to them at this age. I know in the past I have, but they were a little older. I've never had a litter have it at this age so I wasn't sure and I wasn't an expert opinion... Thanks so much for you help.
I would find out why they have diarrhea before I gave any medication. It could be something you are feeding the mom, that is making them have loose stool. They could have parasites like roundworms or coccidia. I would get a stool sample checked by a vet and go from there.
I need advice if you can help, I have a new litter of 8 boxer pups, 6 males and 2 females (now 12 days old). The mother has came down with mastitis a couple of days ago, her breast milk was very dark brown red in color in 4 of her teats. Took her in to see the local vet and he x-rayed her and found no unborn pup or left behind placenta. She is still having some vaginal discharge bleeding and was not running a fever (101.2) .
Vet gave her these shots...,
Depo Medrol Injection,
and prescribed 20 capsules of 500mg Amoxicillin to be taken twice a day until finished.
Vet told me to put the pups back onto her teats and let continue nursing and feeding,that it was better for the mother and would not harm the pups since she is on the meds and the shots. He also urged me to let him spay my mother boxer due to the light bleeding, he said that this is not normal and she may bleed to death. I asked him to wait for 3-5 days longer to see if the bleeding stops.The bleeding is not pure blood and heavy, it is a mixture of clear slimy mucous and some blood, but not heavy bleeding. What should I do here, go ahead and spay or wait to see if this clears up? The puppies are very healthy looking and very active when feeding. I did have to help deliver the last pup during labor and it took 3 minutes to get it to breath and cry,the water sack had broke when in the uterus and the pup was in there a little over 2 hours, this pups is thriving now :) oh. Did not lose any pups and don`t want to lose them if anyways possible.
The brown red color milk has changed colors on day 2 of treatment to a light milkshake brown color and sticky and stringy feeling. My question is do you think that the pups will be ok continueing nursing from their mother with her milk being like this? I have been rotating the pups and supplement feeding them since they were 3 days old with a commerical supplement, but will be changing them over to your formula today. Vet also had me to worm pups at 10 days old with Pryantel Pamoate 2cc per pound of body weight, but I gave them 1cc since they are so young, but will increase the dose to 2cc on the 2nd worming. Thank you for any advice or thoughts that you have and for taking the time to read my email.
I have attached a picture of my new family members and their mom.
First of all, I hope your mom and litter are doing well.
I have to say that your vet needs an education in dog breeding. Bleeding after having a litter is absolutely normal! Many females here have a blood tinged discharge for many weeks after giving birth, some have a bit for months. As long as they are not running a fever and the discharge doesn't look like puss or have a foul odor, this is normal. I would find a new vet ASAP. He is giving you bad information.
I have dealt with mastitis several times and what I have found works it to put warm compresses on the affected mammary glands. Do this as often as you can and keep her on the antibiotics. It's important to keep those glands working to express the infection, and I would also rotate the puppies around so one puppy doesn't always have to nurse on the infected nipple.
I would not worm puppies so young either. I usually check a stool sample first, to see if worming is even warranted and if so go from there but I would not ever worm a litter before 2 weeks of age.
You can look over our breeding question and answer section for more info.
Thanks for the photo, you have a nice looking litter there!
I wondered what size heating pad you would recommend for a 6 pup litter of Boxers? I didn't want to order one too small.
Either a medium or large, depending on what size your whelping box may be.
Took my female Krassi to the vet. Said he did not feel she had a uterine infection by palpitating her. He said she was pregnant though as he could feel the little pups. We did a urine test and her PH was a little high so said she might have a bladder infection. Maybe. So just to be safe we put her on 500 mg of Amoxicilan twice a day. She sometime has a slight clear discharge, but my vet was not concerned a lot with that as it was not green or brown like a pus. Is that normal in pregnant dogs sometimes to have clear discharge? But he is concerned she is not eating well. She picks at her food. I go to the store and get her ground chuck. She will eat that usually about 3 patties about the size of 3 baseballs. But after she gets her fill she is done and then might pick at it a few hours later. At times she will eat raw chicken. But lately she never eats her innova dog food kibbles no matter how I dress it up. Even tried busting up her kimble to sand size crumbs and put that in the ground chuck and she would not touch it. So then I gave her plain ground chuck and she sniffed it licked it and then ate it. I'm majorally stressing out big time. She is eating but not like she should. My vet is freaking that I feed her raw as he said she could get salimanila food poisoning which would kill the pups. So Now I just started cooking it but don't know yet how that will go over with her. I'm trying chicken broth over her kimble but I'm sure that will go over like a lead balloon as nothing else has worked.
If your dog does not have an infection or problem with her pregnancy, it’s possible that she just doesn’t feel all that great. Hormones can do that! I have had females that weren’t the best eaters while pregnant. I would offer her a variety of things that are healthy and let her eat what she wants. Once she has the puppies I think you will see her appetite pick up a lot, especially during the peak nursing weeks (from about week 3-6)
Your vet is seriously misinformed about raw feeding though, and for him to suggest the pups would die from the mother eating raw ground chuck is just another example of vets using scare tactics on their clients. Our dogs eat a completely raw diet for their entire lives, including while they are pregnant. I am constantly amazed at the bad information that these people give their clients.
That statement in itself is enough for me to suggest you find another vet. Here is a list of vets we have compiled to date, with the help of our customers. If you do not find a vet close by on our list, I would suggest doing a google search on holistic or homeopathic vets in your area. Even if you have no intention of feeding a raw diet, it’s nice to have a vet that is knowledgeable about all forms of feeding and health care for our dogs.
Try not to be overly anxious because dogs really pick up on that, and it may make her less likely to eat well. Realize that as the pups grow she will have less room in her stomach for large meals, I typically end up feeding 4 small meals a day for the last couple of weeks of pregnancy.
My brother has a male Boston Terrier that has never mated. They reside with my mother and two neutered rescued mutts. My neighbor is interested in breeding her female Boston Terrier with my brother's. I relayed the message to my brother and he said "NO." His decision was based on mother saying that the Boston Terrier' behavior would change, not in a positive way, overall and towards the other dogs in the household. Is this true?
It is possible that your brother’s dog may have a behavior change after being bred. It’s normal for them to then be more interested in really sniffing and checking out other dogs “just in case” that dog may be a breeding partner. This does vary from dog to dog though, so it’s also possible that the dog’s behavior may not change in any dramatic way.
It’s one of those things that can guess about but not really predict with 100% certainty.
I just ordered your whelping video but needed an answer to my question before I would get it. The breeder of our dog told us to give our bitch, Pet-tab Calcium 1 week before whelping her. The Vet says no. Who is right?? This is suppose to ward off eclampsia. Our bitch is due in 2 weeks.
Your vet is right. I would not feed calcium supplements to a pregnant female or growing puppy. I actually would not give them at all unless the dog had a medical condition that warranted this.
You can cause more harm than good with calcium supplementation.
I have enjoyed your e-mails in the past with questions about whelping and you were very quick to respond, straight up and very very helpful and thank you for that.
My new question is this, I have breed my female Sandy vom Salztalblick twice with 2 different males, the first was Kim von der Ehrfelder-Hölzung and the second breeding was with OCJ of Shepherdglen.
9 pups in the first litter "6 males & 3 females" and 6 pups in the second litter "2 males & 4 females." I keep in contact with all the owners on a weekly monthly basis for updates good or bad.
The first litter has produced 2 males with only 1 testicle down and the other up “11 ½ months old” the other 4 males in the litter have both testicles down, the second litter with CJ has produced one male with 1 testicle down and one up at the age of 5 months old and the other male Banditt has both down. I am reluctant to ever breed Sandy again in fear of producing any more pups with 1 testicle which is really unfortunate because she is a good female all around.
Any thoughts or suggestions weather this might be from the father line or the mother line or just one of those things where shit happens with line breeding and genetics and the crap shoot with breeding? And do you think I should stick to my guns and not breed her again or maybe one more time in the future with a complete outcross?? Any help would be greatly appreciated. All the pups from both litters are in Schutzhund homes and one with search and rescue in Edmonton, feed back on all the pups is great with their progress except for this problem which really bums me out especially after spending a year looking for the right male to pair her up with.
Monorchid or cryptorchidism is a recessive gene. This means that both parents have to hold the gene for this. It’s not coming from just your female or just the male, it’s from both breeding partners. This same principle applies to coat color like solid black and to long coats too. Both parents must hold the recessive to produce puppies with black coats, long coats or one testicle descended.
I can’t tell you whether to breed her again, but if you do try to find a male that has never thrown a male pup with testicle issue. It may be that he has never been bred to a female that holds the recessive, but if the owner of the stud dog is honest then it at least gives you some info to start making a decision.
I'm new to breeding and I currently own a male and female rottweiler (both dogs are excellent on shows and have FCI certificate for Hd,Ed).
I want to breed them and I want to ask you the following question:
Can I let them (male and female) live together in the same place and let the female decide when is the right time for breeding?
Or should I separate male from female and bring them together only for breeding and then separate them again? (I have heard from some people that if the male live together with a feamle all the time in the same place then maybe the male could not understand when is the right time for breeding).
Thank you in advance.
I kept my males and females separated. I did my own vaginal smears (I have an article on what to look for). On difficult bitches I had a very good reproductive vet who did progesterone tests and told me to the day to either breed or do an artificial insemination.
If you don’t have good vets – leave them together and see if they figure it out. Virgin males need to be bred 4 or 5 times before they know what they are doing. This can be a problem. I also don’t like allowing them to breed when I am not there – too much of a chance of a problem when they are tied together.
I have noticed that it is getting harder to find naturally processed chicken. The leg quarters from Walmart now are "enhanced" Everything has been injected or is "enhanced" with some type of chicken broth/solution. Is this okay for the raw diet - How much sodium can dogs have? I have also read conflicting info on pregnancy - increase bone (eclampsia) or increase more muscle meat? One last question - do you continue heart worm medicine while pregnant? Thanx for your help.
I don’t feel that adding all that sodium and mystery solution are good to give our dogs, pregnant or not. We do use some Wal mart chicken but I try to avoid it when I can. There is a brand of chicken sold in grocery stores called Smart Chicken that has no additives.
Whether you give heartworm meds while a dog is pregnant is a personal choice. I think it depends on where you live and the heartworm risk in your area.
As for the eclampsia issue, I don’t ever adjust my dog’s diet much during pregnancy but they have been raw fed for several generations now.
I have found that many of my bitches turn down RMBs and want more organ and boneless meat towards the end. I suggest you consult with a vet that is a nutritionist for advice on this issue. Here is a list of vets we have compiled to date, with the help of our customers. If you do not find a vet close by on our list, I would suggest doing a google search on holistic or homeopathic vets in your area.
I own a 3 year old female Rotti that I bred to my 2 year old male Rotti. Everything went fine as far as them getting tied and she indeed got pregnant, but around day 40 she started to get this clear discharge coming from her vagina. I did some looking on the internet and I saw that a clear discharge is fine but then by day 45 it started to turn a dark grenish. I took her to her vet and he also said that it was normal but put her on anitbotics just incase. The next day she started having her puppies, 16 in all. They were all still and the only one that didn't look right was the first one. You could see that it had started decaying inside her but what would make her go into labor and have all her puppies and them be dead? Thank you. Please help.
I’m sorry to hear about this. :-(
A dark green discharge is NEVER normal in a pregnant dog. It’s a sign of fetal distress. The clear discharge you saw is normal.
The first thing I would do is find a new vet! A vet that understands canine reproduction preferably. Most vets do not have much experience with breeding and whelping as they usually try to get everyone to spay and neuter their dogs. Do a google search for a canine reproduction specialist.
There are so many things that could have happened to your litter, anything from something the female was exposed to (like chemicals or the wrong medication) to an infection.
A good repro specialist would be the one to consult about this.
I wish you the best.
I purchased the "How to Artificially Inseminate your Dogs" DVD this week and I was wondering where I can purchase the stains needed to do vaginal smears?
Thank You - Paul
The information on where to buy the stain is on the dvd web page.
Have you ever artificially inseminated your dogs? Can you please answer a question for me. How long is 6-10 cm? I have collected a sperm sample and am ready to give it a try. How are you supposed to keep the sperm fresh? Freezer or refridgerator? Please answer asap. Thanks so much for your time.
You need to get a ruler to see how long 6-10 cams is. We have done AIs hundreds of times. We only use FRESH semen here, it’s used IMMEDIATELY after collection.
Do you have our AI video? You don’t collect the semen and then save it.
You need to use it immediately or all the sperm will die. You also need to make sure you have the right kind of tools to collect and insert the semen in the female. http://leerburg.com/127.htm Here is the link to our video.
The only successful way to use chilled or frozen semen is to go to a vet and have a reproduction specialist deal with the process. There are special extenders and additives they use to preserve the semen and then they have a special freezing or chilling process.
I would like to know how long after flagging to allow a dog to mate? How long do dogs stay fertile for? I purchased the video. I don't have a microscope, but will get one soon.
After they allow a dog to breed them, how long do they stay fertile for? Is it just for that one day or for as long as the female lets them or when they stop bleeding or when the swelling goes down?
Without doing specific progesterone testing it is impossible to know exactly when a female is fertile. These tests need to be done at a vets office.
They are usually fertile for a series of days, but it varies with each female and from one cycle to the next.
What is the best vitamin to give a pregnant GSD???
We don't give vitamin supplements to our dogs, but instead choose to feed them the best quality food we can. It's always best for our dogs to have their nutritional needs met through food if possible.
If you spend some time using the search function (located in the upper left hand corner of the website) you will find many useful articles and posts that address this. Use the search terms "feeding a pregnant dog."
I hope this helps.
One of a litter of 4 GSD pups (born 10-15-08) has developed this hypomeylination issue. My vet doesn't know much about it. Can you tell me where this comes from? Do I fix both parents and limit or not register the rest of the litter? Do I euthanize the effected pup? He is doing well except for the back end shaking.
I'm afraid I'm not familiar with this condition. A google search on hypomyelination in puppies turns up a lot of information.
From what I read, I think I would wait and see if the pup comes out of it. I WOULD NOT vaccinate this puppy!!! Vaccinations can further damage the myelin sheath and that's the last thing you want to do to this pup.
As for breeding the parents again, I probably wouldn't. The articles report that a cause is not known, but if it was me, I would not breed these two to each other again.
I have two miniature schnauzers that have both just whelped healthy litters. I do not wish to continue breeding and would like to know when the best time to have them spayed. Should I wait for their next heat cycle and proceed a month or two later, or can I have it done soon after the puppies are weaned? Also, my bitches go back and forth to each others whelping boxes and loiter around feeding whoever is hungry...... I have allowed it as they are both great moms to their own litters... but will it have any negative effect on the pups
I’d talk to your vet, but if these were my dogs I’d have them spayed before they came into their next heat cycle.
I’ve not heard of mother dogs sharing litters, and personally I wouldn’t allow this. It only takes one mistake and a puppy is either permanently damaged or killed. I wouldn’t risk it, even if things have appeared fine so far.
My friend thought you might have some advice for me. I feed my dogs raw and I have a bitch that is 45 days along. Normally, she would eat 1.5 lbs. of meat per day. Right now she is eating 3 lbs. a day with moderate amounts of fish, Salmon oil, and eggs. She gets a vitamin supplement, also. She would happily eat more if it were available. Do I need to feed her more? She goes in for an x-ray and a puppy count this Friday. Will a time come when I want to feed her just as much as she'll eat?
Any advice is greatly appreciated.
I usually only increase my females food by about 50-100% while they are pregnant. If they are thin I may feed more, but if they have good body condition I don’t free feed a pregnant dog.
The big caloric needs are during nursing, typically between weeks 2-6. I feed my dogs frequently during nursing, and if they have a good sized litter this may mean they are eating up to 500% more than their normal feeding amounts. I go by body condition more than anything. All my dogs are chow hounds and will eat til they pop if I don’t limit them.
Is there a reason that you are taking her in for xrays? Does she have a history of problems? I’m not a fan of exposing the puppies to radiation just because I want to know how many there are, and many times you don’t get an accurate counts anyway because of they way they overlap. An xray can always be done if there is a medically warranted reason but no one really knows how the radiation affects the puppies long term so in my opinion it’s not worth doing. I want my puppies to have the deck stacked in their favor, for good health and this could possibly compromise them in the future so I won’t do this or recommend this to people who ask for advice.
I am hoping that you can help me in answering a question that I have. I have a 8n month old female chihuahua that we tried to keep away from our male doxie because she was in heat. I never relized that these two would be so persistent. To make a long story short he ended up getting her. I am very upset because I know that she is way to young She weights about 5-6 pounds and he is about 8-9 pounds. Is this going to make the puppies too large for her I am already planning on having her xrayed towards the end of her pregnancy to be able to for see any delivery problems but in the mean time I am chewing nails being worried for her Do you have any suggestions on what I should watch for. Also will I be able to tell if the puppies are getting too big?
Thanks for your help
I’d advise that you have a good understanding of all the phases of whelping before she gets close to her due date. I would also have a GOOD reproductive vet on stand by for a c section if she ends up not being able to give birth to the pups naturally.
We have a video that I would highly recommend you watch.
I have a 10 month old female GSD. Nina was born 2/21/08 and she started her first heat cycle on 10/3/08 (first sign of blood). She just started bleeding again now on 12/12/08 (seeing blood). She's also pretty swollen. She had some discharge prior to this cycle just like back in October. I took her to the vet for the discharge as I didn't know she was going to start her heat a few days later. The vet took a swab and looked at the slide for infection which wasn't present but did say that her cells looked mature. Anyway she started bleeding a few days later. My question is: Is discharge normal before the bitch comes into heat? And Have you ever seen a bitch come into heat only a couple months after the first one? That can't be normal??
Thanks for your time,
Whenever I have a female that has irregular cycles I get them in for a thyroid test and send it with a complete history to Dr. Dodds of Hemopet. I would include everything in the history, including vaccines and other treatments your dog has had.
Here is a link that gives detailed information on sending blood in. http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/HEMOPET.HTM there’s a lot of information on the page, along with links to the forms.
I may also suggest a thorough exam from a reproduction specialist if the thyroid test comes back ok. Sometimes females have cystic ovaries or other issues going on that make have irregular or split seasons.
My Lhasa Apso just had 4 puppies on the 23rd. At the beginning everything was fine but lately it seems she has no interest in them what so ever. I know she's producing milk it's just she doesn't want to nurse them. I'm concerned the babies aren't getting properly nourished. Every time they start feeding, not even a minute later she either moves to the other side of the cage, turns around or leaves. She has never had a problem being in her cage but now she starts this heavy breathing as if she was hyperventilating, only while she's in the cage with the puppies. I take her out and not too long after she is fine. Any chance she gets to leave she does so and I'm afraid the puppies aren't getting enough milk from her. I noticed that she rather be in my boys cage then where the babies are in. I hope you could help me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you very much.
I would make sure this dog is feeling ok. We recommend taking their temperature daily after whelping, to make sure they don’t have a uterine infection or mastitis. It sounds like your female is very uncomfortable and possible too warm. I’d check for a foul discharge and possibly have a vet take a look at her.
If she checks out medically ok, then it could be that she’s just not that into being a mom. It happens with dogs sometimes and with those females, we suggest having them spayed after they wean the litter (or at least NOT breeding them again)
I’d get a good scale that weighs in grams and weight the pups twice a day to make sure they are gaining weight. I’d make sure you can supplemental bottle feed them if you have too. We also have a section on our website about breeding and raising litters. I would direct you to the search function in the upper left corner of the website for any additional questions you may have.. If you type in your key words it will guide you to articles, Q & A’s and posts on our forum.
You have provided some excellent training tips to me regarding my new GSD pup who is a year old by now. However, she just started exhibiting some behaviors, notably loud whining and whimpering that ends up being high-pitched barks at virtually anything that moves especially bikers, approaching dogs, and joggers. She just came into her first heat over the weekend (there is blood dripping every where) and I have absolutely no experience with a dog in heat. Is this radical behavior change normal?
And if so, how should I handle her? Should I make an about turn whenever she starts and when she catches up to me throw a big party for her? Or should I just stop the walk and wait until she be quiets? I tried both where the stop-and-wait seems to make her vocalize even more until whatever it is that is bothering her is gone. This vocalization also happens when my partner walks ahead of us, leaving me and the pup about 10-20 feet behind. With the about-turn method, I cannot seem to get her to stop looking back and vocalizing unless I go into a slight jog and whip out her Orbee-on-a-string. I know you told me that giving her a toy may be construed as reward for poor behavior, so I am hesitant to do this, but not sure what else to do (treats do not seem to work). She does wear a prong collar on walks, but when I did correct her for this, she was even louder.
Is this behavior due to her being in heat, or is it developing prey drive, or did I mess up on training somewhere?
I really can’t say with certainty what’s going on, but some of my females do change radically when they are in season. I think it varies from dog to dog and even from one heat cycle to the next.
Personally, if my dog is acting weird during their heat cycle I put training “on hold” for a while. I don’t want to be correcting my dog if her behavior is hormonal. Hormonal behavior is really out of their control and I don’t feel that I gain anything by stressing us all out during this time.
I’m sure other people have different ideas, but this is my opinion on it. If this was my dog, I’d cut her some slack for a few weeks and see how it goes. Realize that the second week of their season is when they typically stand for breeding, so it may get worse before it gets better.
My Boxer just had her first litter of pups and had a whopping 10 of them. She is not eating very much and I was wondering do we need to help supplement the pups with formula to help her out. I know we would need to let her nurse still and keep her milk up but I am worried there are just too many for her to accommodate.
We have a page on bottle feeding, you may want to make up a batch of the formula listed on that page.
I would also make sure to monitor your female's temperature twice daily, if it's elevated at all it could indicate a uterine infection or retained placenta which can be life threatening for the mom and her puppies. It can make the milk toxic.
We have a section on breeding; you should spend some time reading there.
With all that said, it's not unusual for females to go off food a bit for a day or two after giving birth. I've had good luck getting our females to eat with a raw egg or two whipped into a cup of plain yogurt. I also flavor their drinking water with chicken or beef stock to get them to take in more liquids.
I hope this help.
I have enjoyed reading your website, thank you for all the wonderful information.
I do hope that you will be able to answer my queries regarding my 3.5 year old rottweiler bitch.
She is of excellent pedigree and holds multiple champion titles, after very careful planning and consideration, she was mated in September to a proven stud dog. Her pregnancy seemed to go perfectly, textbook even.
She felt great and was in superb condition and health apart from recurring diarrhea. I could feel the a puppy kicking on each side if I rested my hand gently on her tummy, this kicking ceased sometime during the 8th week and she did not gain any size after that time. I assumed that the puppies were becoming quiet because there wasn't much space left inside. On day 61, she went into early labor and was rushed to the vet for a c-section when a dark oil like discharge appeared. She delivered one fully developed but small dead puppy and one very small puppy with a partially formed spine en route to the vets (these were delivered within seconds of each other). When she was sectioned there was another pup in the birth canal, he was the largest although still a little small and was fully formed but dead. All the pups were encased in meconium filled sacs and the pups themselves were discolored. She later passed what appeared to be an afterbirth but on examination it was actually a half formed pup, (head, shoulders & front legs, the back end was still like a fetus).
I am told that these things can happen and have not received any real answers as to what may have been the cause of death for the puppies.
My main concern is that 9 weeks after the birth, my bitch is still passing a mucus/blood discharge daily, perhaps the equivalent of one teaspoon. This usually occurs on urination, although her bed is often stained. She has been treated with antibiotics twice and my vet feels that it is not a cause for concern, she seems otherwise to be in
excellent health and condition. I do hope to mate her again, although
she will be skipping a season. She usually comes into season every four months and bleeds for 21-25 days, I am told that this is not the norm.
I would greatly appreciate if you can shed any light on this matter. The well being of my girl is my main priority.
Thank you in advance.
Anytime there is an issue with reproductive health I recommend finding a repro specialist. Your dog needs a thorough exam, a possible scope and ultrasound to determine the status of her reproductive tract. I’d also recommend a full thyroid panel and any other bloodwork a repro vet deems necessary.
I believe vaccinations play a huge role in breeding problems, as well as exposure to toxins in the household and a diet that isn’t always species appropriate.
I don’t know if any of these things apply to your dog, I am talking generally here. Our breeding stock is vaccine free, raw fed and we do not use chemicals on or around them. You may not find the answers for the loss of this last litter, but you can probably rule some things out.
I’d recommend finding a specialist in your area and spending some time on our website, we have a lot of info on health and breeding. I would direct you to the search function in the upper left corner of the website for any additional questions you may have.. If you type in your key words it will guide you to articles, Q & A’s and posts on our forum.
I hope this helps
I have a female rottweiler that is 9 months old and a male rottweiler that is just a little over a year old. they ended up mating on her 1st heat. I wanted to wait until they were at least 2-3 years old before they had puppies just to make sure that they were full grown and mature. If she is pregnant is this going to stop her growth? What should I do? Any advise you can give will me out a lot!
I’d definitely recommend a very good diet, We have a great section on feeding dogs, I think you’ll find a lot of helpful information there. There really isn’t any way of knowing how this will affect her growth, so all you can do at this point is feed her the best quality food and give her the best care possible.
I’d also recommend you educate yourself on whelping.
I hope this helps.
We have three breeding females. Is there any way to keep them from having heat cycles at the same time?
There isn’t any safe way to do this. There are medications you can give that keep females from coming into season, but I don’t believe they are healthy to use.
I am a small Labrador breeder. I just had a litter of 12 pups to a mother with 4 injured nipples (hunting accident). I have been bottle feeding them with your puppy formula recipe. This formula is a lifesaver. They would not eat the powdered formula very well, but they love your recipe and are gaining weight like crazy and full of energy. My only concern is if the recipe has enough iron in it. None of the ingredients contain iron except maybe the egg yolks. Do I need to add some liquid vitamin to this formula?
Thank You very much,
We do not add any liquid vitamins to the formula. We’ve raised countless litters with this recipe and have never added anything extra to the formula except maybe a bit of extra water if the pups seem to be constipated. If your mother dog can nurse the pups at all, I’d make sure everyone gets mother’s milk every day in addition to the formula.
We have been breeding Cockers for 9 years now. We have had a lot of litters over the years with no real problems. We got a new stud dog earlier this year with a WONDERFUL pedigree and temperament. He is a real beauty inside and out, but he is completely clueless as a breeder. He grabs the back leg and humps that. We have tried to guide him in but haven't had that work. We ordered one of your AI kits and tried to collect him but he only ever extended about an inch and only produced a clear, pre-ejaculate, then he retracted back in. Do you have any advice? We are a small kennel and only have him as a stud. We really don't want to lose him as a breeding candidate, but we also want to have puppies. Thank you for any advice you can give.
Bryan and Donnelle
You may want to consult with a reproduction specialist, and have him given a thorough repro exam to make sure there aren’t any hidden issues or injuries that would prevent him from breeding properly. I’d suggest a repro vet over a regular general vet, because the vast majority of regular vets don’t know anything about breeding or the challenges involved. If it’s not an actual repro issue, you may want to have him check for orthopedic problems. If he’s in even a bit a discomfort it can interfere with breeding (ie joint or spine issues).
Depending on his age and experience, he just may not be sure what he’s supposed to do or he may have had a negative experience before you got him. Many dogs aren’t real sure about being collected at first and will not produce a collection if they are inhibited at all.
I was wondering if the "hot pants" that they sell for when the bitch is in heat really does help protect against an accidental breeding. They advertise it for both reasons, but I have my doubts. Thanks!
PS I have Corgis if that makes a difference with the "hot pants."
I wouldn’t rely on the pants to prevent a breeding, dogs can get pretty creative. Supervision 24/7 when the female is in season or spaying is the only way to truly prevent accidental breeding.
I have been looking for an answer to a question all over the internet and have come up empty as of maybe now. This site seems to have all the answers so here goes nothing. We have a male and a female that are probable close to three years. Last year they had a litter in May or June that had to be delivered by emergency c-section and only one female puppy survived. We kept that stupid pup regardless, because she was kind of a miracle and all that she even lived at all. Ten months later which brings to the current date, the pup without realizing goes into heat. We walk in and find that of course dad is breeding it's own pup. I didn't even know that they would, I thought they had a natural instinct not to breed it's own pup. I guess the question is will this litter be ok or should we abort the babies? I know from previous advice from your site that I found while looking for my answer that 10 months is not recommended but what about a dad that breeds it's own pup. Please help me cause I'm not finding the answer very easy.
I’d probably recommend getting her spayed now, unless you had planned on using her for breeding in the future.
If you don’t want to spay her, then I’d just wait and see. She may not have even gotten pregnant. If she did, the chances are very good the pups will be just fine.
Dogs don’t discriminate, they will breed close relatives. It’s up to the humans to manage them to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
I wanted to thank you for the great information that you have posted on your website. I only wish that my wife and I would have found your site 3 years ago. 3 years ago our Bloodhound named Honey died of bloat, 2 days after delivering 8 puppies. We ran ourselves ragged doing everything we could to save those puppies. We got horrible advice and were devastated when at 2 weeks of age some puppies got sick. We ended up losing 4 of the 8 puppies... but were thankful for the 4 we saved. We kept two of the females, and now use those girls as breeders. The questions and answers that have been posted bring back many memories... some good and some bad. We can now laugh at some of the posting that are joyful over the puppies pooping. We rejoiced many times of that ourselves.
The reason that I am writing is about the formula that you have designed. Not only do we raise bloodhounds, but we also raise whitetail deer. I have used some over the counter milk replacers for our fawns, and have had mixed results. Has your formula been used on other types of animals? How would you feel about this being used on fawns and would the ingredients need to be used in a different ratio to supply the needs of this animal? I understand you may not have much knowledge on deer themselves and the fawns needs, I am simply looking for a better way to raise orphaned fawns.
Thank You again for such a great website,
Jack and Trish
Thanks for the email, I'm glad you are finding the website useful.
I don't know anything about a fawn's nutritional requirements, so I'm not sure about using the formula for a non canine long term. In an emergency for a few feedings I'm pretty sure it would be fine. Sorry I'm not more help!
Dear Ed and Cindy,
I have recently purchased your AI kit and video and found it to be very informational. I can really appreciate one breeder wanting to assist another breeders program. We're a small kennel breeding rottweilers and I have one female that doesn't take a liking to the mounting portion of mating. Hopefully, the AI kit will allow us to produce a litter with her.
We will be conducting our 1st AI within the next few weeks. Fingers crossed!!!
I was just curious though, with your experience how old is too old to breed a dog? Do you find anything wrong with breeding a dog that has a good temperament and conformation that is 8 yrs old?
Our stud is 8 yrs old and he is starting to show some signs off old age such as gray hairs.
One other question, have you ever bred a dog that was half blind? I know of someone thinking about breeding their female that is 7 yrs old but they believe that she is blind in one eye.
If a stud dog is in good health there is no reason he can’t be bred at 8 years old.
We’ve never bred a dog that has any type of blindness. I guess for us it would depend on if the blindness was from an injury or a health issue. If it was an injury, then I would see no reason not to breed as long as the female can function normally. If the owners only “think” the dog is blind this tells me they haven’t had the dog to a vet to have this checked. There are many types of genetic eye diseases, and I would not breed a dog that I suspected was a carrier of any of those conditions.
Dear Mr. Frawley,
I have searched through your Q&A for an answer to my question regarding an accidental breeding but did not find an answer that I was satisfied with so I wanted to write you.
I am a relatively new breeder of rat terriers and toy poodles. My terrier bitch has been breeding with my terrier male since last Thursday, 6/25/09; and today, 6/29/09, was a day that I wanted to skip, after talking with another experienced breeder. I put the pants on the bitch and was in the process of putting the pants on the male. While I was doing this, my male poodle tied with this bitch. She had her pants on and he managed to manuever around the tail hole. So, my question is, is this potential litter now going to have poodle genes in it? I do not want to have mixed breeding and certainly don't want dogs that carry other breeds of dogs in their genes. Should I abort this litter today? The bitch has been bred twice each day since Thursday, June 25th. I don't want to put my bitch through the pregnancy if these puppies are going to be mixed breed. Nor do I want the expense of raising these pups up until I give them away for free.
Thanks so much,
It is very likely you can have pups from both males. All you have to do is to DNA test each of the pups to determine who the fathers are. You will of course have to have the males DNA tested.
Check the AKC web site to figure out how to do this.
I have a female pug that is 2 years old. She has had 2 heat cycles. Her 1st in March 2008 and 2nd in September 2008. We bred her on the 2nd heat, she had puppies in November 2008. We were expecting her to come in again in March, but this hasn’t happened. We live on a farm and she loves to run with the other animals and she got kicked in the head by a cow a couple a weeks ago. We took her to the vet and he said she is fine, maybe a concussion. Also we have a female lab that is a little annoyed by the pug and has pinned her down before. Since this happened the pug wilts in the presence of the lab. Do any of the two situations above have anything to do with a skipped cycle or not. Would like to hear what you think the problem is...
What you are seeing are pack dynamics, and it may or may not have anything to do with hormones. Also, I would not say your dog has skipped a heat cycle. It’s totally normal after they have a litter to have a delayed heat. I wouldn’t be surprised if she came in heat in May or June.
I think you need to have more control of your dogs, to prevent injury and to prevent fights. I am guessing that as the pug gets older the lab may become pushier and pushier. This can easily escalate into a fight (which the pug will likely lose). I would absolutely NOT allow the lab to have access to the pug. It’s your job to protect her and make it clear to the lab that you won’t tolerate any aggressive or dominant behavior.
If you spend some time reading this section, you’ll see that your problems are very common. I’ve received 6 or 7 emails just today from dog owners with very similar problems. If you don’t teach the dogs your rules, they can’t possibly behave how you want them to.
I have one of your heating pads, and I really like how I can depend on it not getting too hot. But it is just tall enough that my very young (toy breed) puppies have trouble getting on top of it. Is it okay to put the heating pad under a plastic whelper helper type of whelping box? The box is not too heavy, nor is the mother dog. But I don't want to risk breaking the heating pad. What do you think?
The heating pad won’t function properly if you put it under the box. What I would suggest is possibly “building up” the area around the pad with carpet remnants or something that will give the pups good traction. Put these around the heating pad to make it more level so they don’t need to climb up on the pad.
I have a simple question, I have a female rottweiler and I know two outstanding male studs. Some people tell me you can breed your female to BOTH males. Is that right or wrong? Please help me.
It depends on what registration organization you use and if they recognize multi sired litters. In the US you can do this if your dogs are registered through the AKC, but you have to do DNA testing on all the puppies to determine parentage. I see your email is from the UK, you’ll have to check with the rules there.
I ran across your website and have learned a TON. We have a situation w/ an English Bulldog puppy maybe you could help me out with. Here's the situation:
Our bitch had just one puppy. The first two days he fed very energetically. He would stay on the same nipple for up to twenty minutes and was a great little eater. We were thrilled, but a little concerned because after two days he stilled weighed the same as he did at birth (6.5 oz). In the past our puppies started gaining almost immediately.
Then after two days he would nuzzle a lot on our females teets, but wouldn't latch on well or for very long. We started him on the bottle, but it was the same result. He got progressively worse at feeding and wouldn't suckle. He acted hungry, but wouldn't latch on. I ran across your website, made the puppy formula, and we started tube feeding him every three hours. That has been going on for a few days now with good results. He's eating, urinating, his feces looks like it should, and he's hydrated (no tenting of the skin, etc.), and he looks pretty chubby. He seems strong, moves around his little box, holds his head up, and even stands on his feet for short periods of time. He sleeps well and doesn't whine much now that we've got his food situation under control.
The problem is he is now six days old and is still at his same birth weight (6.5 oz). We've been weighing him regularly and he's never lost or gained an ounce. Have you seen a puppy like this that seems healthy in every other way, but won't gain weight? We're continuing on w/ the formula from the website and hoping he'll start gaining, but I wanted to pick your brain and see what you thought.
Thanks so much for all you do.
I’ve never had a pup that didn’t gain weight at all develop normally. Unless you are weighing the pup in grams you may be missing a weight gain or loss. There are 30 grams in an ounce so the pup could be making very small gains and unless you can measure that small increment you’d be missing it.
I’ve recommend investing in a scale that weighs in grams, they are relatively inexpensive and you may be able to find one locally.
I hope this helps.
My female lab gave birth to 11 puppies starting early (4:30)Tuesday morning. Nine were born within a 4 hours window. The last two were born about 4 hours later.
Sadly, the last two, a yellow and a black male, were the smallest.
Yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon, I noticed the yellow male was somewhat lethargic. Unlike all of the others, we could see his ribs. We immediately went and purchased commercial newborn pup formula and started giving it to him orally with a syringe. He seems to be doing better today. While he's still about 35% smaller than the others, he's holding his own. Upon finding your website this morning, I switched from the commercial formula to your recipe (goat's milk, yogurt, egg yolk and karo) and he really started to improve. While he's still seems to be having trouble attaching to the bitch's teat, he is trying.
Unfortunately, while the second to smallest male seemed to be healthier than the yellow, when my wife went to pick him up this morning, she noticed he was cold.
She tried feeding and warming him, but with no success. He died about 5 a.m. this morning. I called my vet and he said he likely died from hypothermia. We're trying even harder at keeping all of the pups even warmer tonight.
I write you with a comment and few brief questions:
First, I really think your formula is making a difference. This pup is eating better, looks healthier (albeit smaller) and seems to have more vigor. I don't feel that he's totally out of the woods yet, but I think he's on his way.
My questions are: when do we switch from administering the formula orally from a syringe to a baby bottle and/or is a tube a better option?
Also, do you think he'll ever gain the ability to suck from her teat. My wife, who's a critical care nurse, doesn't think he has a cleft palate, although she's guessing maybe a cleft lip.
In light of the hypothermia, when they're not eating, some of the remaining pups move on and off the heating pad. How long do we need to keep a heat source in there and should I try to confine them all to the pad?
Lastly, when the mother is feeding, she's often panting as she's laying there. Is this normal?
As you may be able to tell, this is our first litter. While I've done a ton a research leading up to this incredible event, I really think your website was the most informative.
Your solutions are really thoughtful, backed by experience, well explained and just seem to make sense.
Thanks for all of your time. I look forward to hearing back from you shortly.
I’d make sure you give the puppy an option to nurse from the mother as often as possible or it may lose the sucking instinct. This is why we prefer a bottle over tube feeding if the pup will take the bottle. I’d get the pup on a bottle as soon as possible.
Never confine puppies to a heating pad, they may get too warm. They need to be able to move on and off freely. Puppies can regulate their body temperature by about 3 weeks old, so keep the pad in with them until that time.
It’s normal for mother dogs to pant, but make sure she’s not running a fever. We take our females temperatures twice daily for at least a week or ten days after they give birth. If she is running a temperature of 103 she needs to see a vet right away. She could have a retained placenta or infection that could be fatal to her and the puppies.
Learn to use the search function (located in the left hand corner of every page on our website). Simply type in your search terms or key words and you will be directed to articles, question & answers, free streaming videos and posts on our forum. We have extensive info on these topics on the website.
I hope this helps.
I have a big and beautiful Brindle English Mastiff. She is a bit vicious for the most part. (Because of fear until she becomes familiar with someone then it's like they do not exist or they are TOTALLY welcome to her house or yard.)
She also will not let my male Mastiff mount or "TIE." She teases and he is definitely interested but she snaps right before the "TIE." Anyways, I was thinking of artificial insemination, however, is she going to be a terrible mother? I know.... No one will know until then.But from experience,what do you think? I already know she will be needing caged during visitors choosing their pup.She was like that when company came to see my other Mastiffs puppies.
Thank you.(I am sure I already know the answer,but I would love for her to have puppies. I guess since she is so beautiful and my male is so gorgeous, I didn't want their good looks to go to waste.
P.S. My St. Bernard and Mastiff are both in Heat and my male is no longer interested in mastiff but now the St. and my St. is consistently next to the mastiff female wanting to smell and lick her almost like she is the male. I am definitely spaying the St. about 2 months after her cycle!
So either the St. Can tell the Mastiff is now ovulating and the male was just confused the last couple days when he was bothering her. (I seen you said male must have @ least 4-5 successful ties before he is experienced but I just don't see the female mastiff letting the male "TIE" ever! So it looks like insemination or spaying her?? She may be too young still. She is almost 2 and 1/2 or just a bitch!
Even if you weren’t having the issues with getting this female bred, just based on your description of her temperament I wouldn’t breed her. Fearful dogs produce fearful puppies, and if you want to be a responsible breeder then you should be honest about what you have and not allow weak genetics to be passed on. The Mastiff is not supposed to be a nervous or fearful dog. Good looks aren’t a reason to breed.
I worked with a Mastiff breeder in years past, and her dogs had wonderful temperaments. They were stable and clear headed dogs, not fearful or aggressive.
Sorry if it’s not what you wanted to hear, but the world of purebred dogs is in trouble because people don’t breed dogs for the right reasons. In my opinion, the only reason to breed is to create dogs that will contribute a positive influence on their particular breed in temperament, character and physical structure.
I have a question that I am hoping you may be able to help me with. I have read you site for a few years now, and have purchased several DVDs. without getting into a lot of the misc. information, I will get to the point
I recently purchased a quality (titled) female from a hunting kennel, she is currently 15 months old and weighs about 45 pounds. her mother weighed 55 pounds and sire about 74. I am expecting her to be around 55-58 pounds tops by the time she is 2. She has a small frame. After she has received all her clearances and a few more titles, I want to breed her, however the stud I would like to use is about 90 pounds. He throws large head, broad chest, large pups. My concern is she may not be able to handle giving birth to the pups the sire produces. From your experience is there a way to determine if the sire is too big for the female to handle the birth of the pups?
Also, I don't breed the dogs until all health clearances are done and dogs are titled, and temperament is sound. I don't want you to think I am just throwing shit pups in the world, my goal is to produce quality dogs.
Set up a thorough physical exam with a reproduction specialist before you ever get your heart set on breeding her. He or she would be the best source of good information on this.
My doberman bitch just had her vaccinations and is in heat. How soon can she be bred after receiving her vaccinations? I know most vets frown on giving pregnant bitches vaccinations, so I didn't know how soon was too soon to breed her. I appreciate your time and look forward to your response.
This is a question for a competent vet. We don’t vaccinate our dogs and even if we did, there would never be a case where we would give vaccinations to a bitch in season. Vaccines should not be given when the dog is compromised in any way, and being in season can be an incredibly stressful time for a dog, both mentally and physically.
You can try using the search function on the website to find the answer to any additional questions. It is located in the left hand corner of every page on our website. Simply type in your search terms or key words and you will be directed to articles, question & answers, free streaming videos and posts on our forum. Vaccines are a hot topic of discussion on our website.
I was just looking through the testimonials on your website when I came across a question submitted by a women named Lauren. She described how her pup(s) would "stiffen" up and then relax and act somewhat normal. She called them seizures. We're relatively new to breeding having only bred four litters of Mastiffs over the last 6-7 years. Our last litter of pups was a breeders nightmare. We had 9 pups at birth but our dam's milk didn't come in. We hand fed those pups milk replacer (the pups definitely weren't crazy about the store bought formula) and a fat substitute we got from the vet and for the first few days things seemed to be going okay (except for our sleep deprivation and waning energy reserves). Then one by one, the puppies started fading. We tried everything our vet suggested as well as anything else we could think of. A few of them had "seizures" as described by Lauren. The only thing our vet said was that he thought our Dam must've had an infection and passed it on to the pups at birth. When all was said and done, we were left with only three pups. I can't help but wonder if things would of turned out differently had we known about your formula.
So here we are with our fourth litter, the second one from our dam described above. Two were stillborn, tried reviving them via swinging them between my legs (I've used this method before with success). One had most probably aspirated fluid at birth and died from what I guess was pneumonia. One either had a birth defect or the Dam caused it at birth when she chewed the umbilicus. It's intestine was exposed and it faded away. And one was stepped on by the dam. We heard about this happening but didn't realize just how fast it really can happen, till now.
We have seven 12 day old pups now and one seems to have an infected umbilicus. It's reddened and crusty. It's the runt, he started whining yesterday and we don't need any more heartaches. We're taking it to the vets tomorrow in the hope that he'll say something like, "Oh, I know what that is. Give him two of these and call me in the morning." Was wondering if you've ever seen this on your pups and if you have any advice. No tenting of his skin but he's not suckling like he used to. Any help is appreciated.
If you suspect an infection, then a vet is the best choice for an answer.
We have an article on how to care for a sick or struggling newborn pup.
Unless you are weighing the puppies daily (twice a day is better) on a gram scale then it’s impossible to know if the pup is thriving until it’s too late. Weighing them in ounces is not accurate enough, we highly recommend a gram scale. If he’s not nursing properly, then there is likely a problem that needs intervention right away. Will he take supplemental bottle feedings?
You can try using the search function on the website to find the answer to any additional questions. It is located in the left hand corner of every page on our website. Simply type in your search terms or key words and you will be directed to articles, question & answers, free streaming videos and posts on our forum.
Good luck, I hope the puppy is ok! Cindy
My female seems to be sick after giving birth to five pups. She seemed to stay in labor for two days after the last pup came. She kept panting and acting strange I watched her closely but no other pups came. She now has a dry nose and is low on milk. I fed puppies your formula and her broth and burger. But she doesn't seem to be feeling better I have an appointment with vet but am afraid it may not help. Any advice?
Get her to the vet, this isn’t something to try to solve via email. I’d get her in somewhere now, don’t wait. Good luck.
Hi, I have a Pitbull Bitch who had her first litter on Dec 2nd, a litter of 3 pups. She was doing great with them. I had left them for about 2 hours the other day and found 1 of them had been killed. It was the largest puppy who was also the calmest one. I didn’t look too closely at the carcass, but it seems the head had been mangled, however there was no blood anywhere??
I know sometimes when she tries to get comfy to milk she'll walk in circles and drop down which she'll sometimes land on the pups. I’m not sure if she may have suffocated him and then try to get rid of the body—do they do this? Please help me with any info possible. Are my other puppies safe? I can’t lose another, we are already so attached! Should I bottle feed?
She seems to be fine with the other pups?
Thank you for any help you can give.
Desperate in CT,
If the pups were born on Dec 2 then you can begin the weaning process. I’d use our bottle feeding formula to get them drinking out of a dish at a month old they shouldn’t need a bottle.
I would not allow the mother to have unsupervised access to the puppies at this point; if you need to leave then I would put her in a SECURE crate. Since no one was there it’s impossible to know what happened, I would just start weaning now to safeguard the 2 remaining puppies.
You need to realize that the maternal instinct is strong, and if you just put her in another room she may try to dig or chew her way out…. Start getting her back to her normal activity and wean her off the pups. She will still need to nurse the pups, but less and less each day.
You can try using the search function on the website to find the answer to any additional questions. It is located in the left hand corner of every page on our website. Simply type in your search terms or key words and you will be directed to articles, question & answers, free streaming videos and posts on our forum.
I have a young female by Max Von Teikerhook that I bought for a breeding bitch. I was told that her mother would kill her puppies. I haven't bred her yet but I have a litter of pups from another female and I was trying to let her just smell them and she grabbed one and killed it before I could do anything. Could you give me some suggestions on how to handle this? Is there a way to break her of this? She will be coming into heat soon. Thank You for your help. Jim
There are a couple of issues here.:
1- I would want to know how the mothers litter was set up when she killed it. Females need to have a whelping box in a very quiet secluded space where she is comfortable that she will be left alone. Some females want nothing to do with their owners for a few days after birth.
2- When the owner is inexperienced and puts the box in the living room and lets the kids go in and play with the mother and pups - you have a disaster and the mother kills the pups. That’s an owner problem not a dog problem.
3- In your case - you screwed up big time. What you did killed this pup - it was not what the dog did - you killed it.
What has happened does not mean this dog will kill her pups. The only way you will know is to set up your whelping area correctly and then see what happens.
I am raising Toy and Miniature Aussies and I have a question for you. When do you start figuring the 6 months for the next heat cycle? From the last time the female was bred or after she has had the litter? Like my female was bred in May and she had a litter in July so do I figure from May or July? Thanks for your time.
I count from the start of each heat cycle but having a litter does throw some bitches off. It varies from female to female and from one breeding to the next. There is no definitive answer to this.
When we were still breeding dogs, we checked our breeding females every single day so we always know exactly when the first day of her season was.
I purchased the AI video and supplies. They are wonderful thanks.
I have a question about Natural breeding, which I do a lot of, should you wipe the penis and/or vagina with anything before breeding to eliminate bacteria?
If so please advise what you use.
We never do. If you are concerned about dangerous bacteria then my advice would be to culture your breeding dogs prior to breeding season. Bacteria are everywhere and in healthy dogs shouldn’t cause a problem. It’s when the bacteria levels get out of control (for whatever reason, usually a stressed or ill dog ) that it can become a problem.
I have a 6 year old female great dane and wanted to know if in your opinion she is too old to be bred. I have been breeding for over 15 years and have never bred a bitch over 5. But I've been reading your website and there are plenty of people that do. I was told thier pelvic area starts to close around age 6 and a c-section would probably be needed. What do you think?
This totally depends on that particular female. I think I’d set up a thorough exam with a qualified reproduction specialist.
Our mini australian shepherd's labor was not progressing today. We use three different vets and are not always pleased with all of them. Anyway we could only get hold of one vet. We took our dog in and she gave her a shot to try to make contractions harder and she still wouldn't try to push. She recommended a c-section, because she said she was dilated, her milk was in and her temp down and clearly was ready to have them, but for whatever reason she couldn't.
She brought the puppies and mama out to us and said they all would be lethargic for awhile and to just keep stimulating them. She said on one horn there was green on one puppy. Anyway we got home, the c-section was finished about 4 p.m. central time and it's now getting close to 8. The mom is still very sleepy and the puppies still are kind of lethargic. Three of them we can get to suck for short amounts of time. 2 we're having no luck with. We made up some of your formula and have tried to give them it out of a bottle without much luck. They act like they're too sleepy to suck. We gave all the puppies a drop of Karo on their tongues and have dropping the formula on the tongues of the two that won't suck along with getting mom's milk on teat and sticking their mouths on teats.
We've called the vet and asked her and she said to just keep on trying and they'll figure it out and that the puppy with the green probably wasn't going to make it. I asked her about tube feeding since none of them were sucking like newborn puppies normally do. She said it's because of the c-section and not to tube feed.
We don't know how to tube feed and she obviously isn't going to instruct us how. We have called other vets the other two we use and others that we haven't used and the one's we've gotten hold of say call the vet who did the c-section. I called the closest 24 hour clinic and they said what our vet said was correct.
I'm at the end of my rope not knowing what to do and my gut instinct telling me the vets are wrong.
Should I continue dropping the formula on their tongues? Are the vets correct that it will just take awhile after a c-section?
Since we weren’t there and we aren’t vets, it’s really not possible to tell you what is going on with any amount of certainty. It’s likely that the pups were sedated from the anesthesia given to the mother.
I’m hoping by now the pups are more vigorous. The problem with just droping the formula in their mouths is that unless they are swallowing, you can get it in their lungs and then they can develop aspiration pneumonia. Either bottle or tube feeding is the way to go if you need to supplement them.
First let me tell you what an inspiration your website has been to me, a new breeder of Australian Labradoodles. I am trying to decide if xraying my bitch at 45 days is safe. If not is there another way to tell if the puppies are there and everything is ok for delivery. Thank you and thank you for your years of experience you share with your site.
I don't believe in xraying a pregnant bitch as a way to confirm pregnancy or get a puppy count. I know a lot of breeders do it, but in my opinion the risk to the pups from radiating them is not worth it. If you do some online research you will find out that there are some studies out there that xraying fetuses increases the puppy's risk for bone cancer later in life.
We can only guess what harm it may do, why risk it? The ONLY time I would xray a pregnant female is if she was in distress and I thought there was a medially sound reason to do so.
I palpate my females around 24-28 days to confirm pregnancy, and monitor body temperature the last 2 weeks of gestation.
There is no way to know if everything is OK for delivery, even with an xray. In my opinion, the risk (even if it's small) to the unborn puppies isn't worth it. I feel so strongly about it, that I would not buy a puppy from a litter that had been xrayed for no good medical reason.
I have german shepherd pups that are less than one week old. The dam was in with them all the time and now is exiting the box more. We don't see her nursing and I'm a bit worried.
Should I force her to nurse the pups or tube feed? How often should she be nursing them?
Thanks for any assistance,
You should take this female temp twice a day. It should be between 101 and 103°F. If it goes above 103°F she needs to go to the vet and get on antibiotics.
If her temp is normal (101°F) then give her a couple of cans of chicken or beef broth. The more she drinks, the more milk she makes, the more milk she has the more she wants to stay and nurse her babies.
That's where you start. I hope this helps.
I'm hoping you can give me some much needed advise. My GSD bitch had a litter (planned) last weekend. This was her first litter and all was going well until yesterday. She has been taking excellent care of them but yesterday she started growling and snapping when the puppies would crawl towards her face. She is mouthing them during these episodes but has not hurt anyone. I don't know if this has anything to do with it but my husband was diagnosed with late stage cancer on Monday. This has made all of us anxious and I don't know if she is sensing something is wrong. She has never shown any signs of aggression towards people or animals and I have always used her as an example of a stable dog when I'm helping with puppy obedience. Do you have any idea why she would be doing this? Right now we are sitting with her while she nurses and stimulates the pups and then removing her for a while. We are also thinking of setting up a 2nd whelping box in the family room - maybe she doesn't like being in a bedroom - she did carry one of the pups out and put it on the couch. Could we muzzle her and let her stay with the pups since that is where she wants to be?
Any help or suggestions you could give us would be greatly appreciated. If I would have known 2 months ago where we would be today I would not have bred her and now I am seriously considering not keeping one of the pups for Schutzhund as my husbands cancer treatment will be very lengthy and I'm not sure I can devote the time to a new pup that I did to my bitch.
By the way. I bought your whelping video and it helped a lot. One of the pups was born barely breathing and limp. I was able to revive her using your methods. Unfortunately there was something wrong with her and she didn't make it. I'm glad to say all the others were born fine and I knew exactly what to do.
Here is a picture of the litter. I can't believe she could go from being so good to them to biting them.
I would start by checking the female's temp to make sure she does not have an infection. If it is more than 103°F she needs antibiotics from your vet.
It is absolutely a terrible idea to put the dog in the family room. Females want a den where they have quiet and solitude. If you bring the litter into the living room, you are asking for a litter of dead puppies.
Do not allow anyone to go in there accept you. No visitors, no kids. No one. She has to feel secure. Put some music on (not rock and roll) – soothing music to calm her.
Then on top of all this, if something still happens, well there is nothing you can do. Some dogs just should not be bred, especially females that kill their puppies. If that starts to happen, your going to have to take them away from her and bottle feed them. Use the home made formula on my web site.
Another thing on this female of yours – when a bitch has a deficiency of calcium citrate they have these symptoms. This can be fixed with a supplement that you buy at your local health food store. I would recommend that you get her on this ASAP!
First I want to say thank you for taking the time to help all of us dog owners and breeders out here. Your information is very helpful.
I wanted to email you to ask you some questions, hoping that you might be able to help in directing me on what I should do...
I have been breeding labrador retrievers for 9 years now, owned them for 14 years... and within the last year, nearly every litter that I have comes down with some sort of virus within the 2nd and 3rd week of birth. I have spent so much money trying to find out what it is within the puppies as well as the mothers and all my vet can tell me is that it is some sort of virus. I'm so tired of trying to figure it out but after this last litter I nearly lost all 10 pups. Only two lived. They will be nursing and doing so well right up until the day they just stop nursing, (no appetite) lethargic and they whimper and cry a lot. Within two days they are nearly dead if not dead already. I administer the IV fluids in the back of their neck, doing 30 ccs every 4 to 5 hours as well as feeding them formula which I'm so glad to have saw your recipe... (I will try this). But it seems like no matter how much I do it is not enough. The bellies even get bluish black looking and bloated. Their is no temperature, house is kept at 83 degrees and they have a heating pad underneath their pool that they sleep in. I do through this nearly every litter and was wondering if you have ever experienced anything like this before with your puppies that young... Any information will be helpful as I'm not getting anywhere with my vets and I have been to three different ones.
What I have done is the IV fluids, formula and in the past I have done antibiotics. I have also used pepto bismol, and albon just in case it is a coccidia problem. My vet did administer yesterday an indo serum that seemed to help my last litter.
Your response would be very appreciated.
I’m sorry but we’ve not had anything like this happen in our litters. I will mention that I would NOT use pepto bismol in puppies so young as it contains salicylicates (the active ingredient in aspirin) Vets will tell you it’s safe for dogs but I still would not use it in puppies.
Have you had necropsies done on the puppies that have passed away? I believe that I would do this and figure out what is going on before I bred anymore litters. I’d probably get a reproductive specialist involved.
I’m sorry I’m not more help. :( Let me know if you find out anything conclusive. I wish you all the best.
I have 3 labs. A chocolate my male about 120lbs. My yellow female about 80lbs and my black female about 50lbs (she's the baby of the group). My male doesn’t know how to mate with my female. This is her second heat and he will only try to hump her head. He does everything else he smells and licks and whines and follows her like a puppy but doesn’t understand to mount her from behind. I have showed him a few times and had some talks to him but he doesn’t get it. How do I get him to mount her properly? They are all very beautiful and smart animals but he doesn’t get that. I'm lost! Can you help? Thanks for your time and help I know you’re a busy man!
Not all dogs know how to breed. She may not be ready yet or he may need for you to manipulate her so he’s at the correct end. Put her on a leash and don’t allow him access to her head. If she is in the early stages of her cycle, she just may not be ready to actually breed. Most females aren’t ready to breed until at least day 10 - 12.
There are also cases where the dogs have lived together and the female has “gotten after” the male in the past for trying to mount her, so he may be a bit reluctant to do so.
If you have your heart set on breeding them and you can’t get a natural breeding, you can always try artificial insemination.
Here is a link to the breeding section of our website.
I've come across your site quite a few times. I am currently fostering a liter of puppies for the humane society. They have a strange malformation of their front and back legs. The back legs are worse. I was wondering if you've ever seen this before and or have any ideas as to what it could be. It started as a litter of ten and I'm now down to 6. I've fostered puppies for 8 years and have only lost one... until now. Thank you for any and all help.
We’ve never experienced this. I would recommend getting a vet to take a look. Please let us know what you find out.
I have a 3 year old German Rottweiler named Eliza Jane, She just had her first litter of pups. She gave birth to her puppies 3 days ago. She has wanted nothing to do with them from the time they were born. She would not even get them out of the sacks when they were delivered. She started acting like she was in labor at midnight. I stayed with her the whole time she went through this process and she kept coming and laying on me and trying to get in my lap. Her water broke at 7:00 that morning. She had puppies till 11:00 pm that night. She had 12 but only 6 made it. She was not pushing them out quick enough I suppose. I revived 2 of the 6 that made it. She would not even clean them up. I finally did that. She did not even eat the after birth till the last few puppies.
She has growled and snapped at the puppies. I put them on her to nurse. She has always been a great dog and this really surprises me. If I leave them with her to long she lays on them or growls and snaps at them. I have been stimulating them so they will poop and pee like they are supposed to. I have left them messy a few times hoping she would kick into action. But nothing has happened so far. At fist they could cry and she could care less. But however sometimes now while I am cleaning them she will sit up and look and even whine herself. But if I hold it out to her or put it back in the bed with her she will turn her head and body away. If a puppy gets up close to her other than nursing she will snap at it. I have been keeping them in a box next to her bed in fear she will kill them. But I do not want to take them away completely. She will now let them nurse and she will lay back for them but that is her only contribution to these puppies. But you can tell she's not happy about it.
While writing this email I heard one puppy screaming and screaming so I went to see what was wrong she was laying on it. I had just put them into nurse. Sometimes she acts like she hates them and other times it seems she has no clue.
I am at a loss at what to do. I realize I may have been the down fall of this whole deal. But never the less if you have any advice please help I have tried everything.
Thanks so much!
Some females simply aren’t good mothers and sometimes it’s a calcium deficiency that causes the weird behavior towards the pups. If you haven’t gotten her to a vet for a post delivery check up, I would do that ASAP. Explain the behavior and ask him about eclampsia.
If she checks out ok, then you will need to bottle feed the puppies. I'd refer you to our bottle feeding page. I would not allow her unsupervised access to the puppies.
I also would NOT breed this female again.
For future questions, you might benefit from learning to use our SEARCH function, which is located in the top left corner of every page of the website. If you type in your key words or question it will find you articles, Q&As, free streaming video and links to threads on our discussion forum. Our website has over 16,000 pages and it’s very likely you’ll find the information you are looking for. I hope this helps.
First, let me say that your website has been a godsend to me and my family. Without you, I doubt I would have survived the last 8 weeks.
A little background. My hubby and I love the boxer breed. We got our 1st boxer in 1996, and added a rescue boxer to the mix in 1997. Since then, we have had 5 boxers over the years. We lost our 1st female at 3.5 to a horrible accident, and from that point on, we have always crated our dogs when we are not home. Our rescue lived to be an old man at the age of 12 when lymphoma took him from us in 2008. Currently, we have a 6 year old female, who is the sweetest and kindest boxer I have ever met. When we lost our male in 2008, we purchased another male to fill the void. Our female actually went through a depression of sorts and her crying became unbearable. Our male, is a sweet boy who is almost 2. We have never had any aggression between them. Early on, she growled at him one time when he went to eat before her, and that was it. They have been buddies from day one.
Well... now, we come to spring 2010. My female had a "silent cycle" and we had no idea she was in heat. I saw no signs whatsoever. Our male, who was unneutered at the time, apparently got to her (he was neutered during my spring break (I am a teacher) and we now figure it was about a week too late). The only time the are unsupervised is when they go to the "field" which is our word for going potty. Usually, the go out for 10 to 15 minutes as they prefer to be indoors.
We took our female to the vet, because she looked puffy, and he confirmed by xray that she was NOT pregnant. Said it was a phantom pg and would resolve itself... lo and behold, she gave birth 13 days later!!! We lost 1 and have 2 sweet little girls that made it. At 5 days old, mom was diagnosed with mastitis, so I weaned the pups and bottle fed with your formula... that was when I found your formula online. They hated the stuff from the vet, and LOVED your recipe. They gained 2 to 4 oz everyday... they were fat, happy babies!!!
Now they are 8 weeks old, and I know that I can't keep both, but my hubby REALLY wants to keep one of them. She is a beautiful flashy girl with an amazing temperament like her mom. I have read your eBook about adding a 3rd dog, and I am concerned. We have never had 3 at the same time. Can you give me some feedback? We allow the pups to play with mom and dad for small periods of time, but they do not play unsupervised. They will not in the future either. They are always crated if we are not home.
Do you think the age differences will work? Mom is unaltered, dad is altered. This little girl will be spayed before the age of 1 (as soon as vet gives the go ahead).
Thanks for everything.... you are a lifesaver!!!
Having 3 dogs is always more challenging than 2, but with rules and structure can certainly be done. The only time I think age is a big issue is when 2 or more of the dogs are puppies at the same time.
I’d also recommend Pack Structure for the Family Pet.
Be aware that as the puppy grows up, there will be times that the dynamics change. Pack structure and leadership is important for ALL the dogs, not just the youngest one. You will most likely have issues between the mother and daughter as same sex dogs tend to have more problems than opposite sex.
For future questions, you might benefit from learning to use our SEARCH function, which is located in the top left corner of every page of the website. If you type in your key words or question it will find you articles, Q & A’s, free streaming video and links to threads on our discussion forum. Our website has over 16,000 pages and it’s very likely you’ll find the information you are looking for. I hope this helps.
I love your info!
I have a five-year old female basset hound who killed two of her pups at birth. This is the second time she has killed pups. I retrieved two of the pups and am hand-raising them.
I will retire mama, but am considering keeping one of the pups for breeding. Is the instinct to kill the newborns an inherited trait? I certainly don't want to continue this if it is.
I got this basset as an adult, and she did just fine with two litters. I'm really stumped as to why she's doing this.
I'd appreciate any advice you might have.
Thanks in advance, and thanks so much for allowing people to have the opportunity to learn from you by your generous sharing of information.
Yes, bitches that kill puppies are many times the offspring of mothers that also killed puppies. I would not breed this female again nor would I recommend using any of her pups for breeding.
Thanks so much for your response.
I'm curious about why dogs do this. I know in the case of my basset hound, she was an outdoor dog, with free range to come and go, when I got her. Is it the hunting instinct in the breed? I also wonder why this is a trait passed on to the offspring. Just seems crazy to me :)
I truly appreciate your input.
This isn’t breed specific, I’ve heard of it in many different breeds. It’s a genetic flaw in temperament (in my experience) it has nothing to do with the way the dog was raised or the breed.
Dogs that kill puppies should be spayed and their offspring should not be bred. If I purchased a puppy from someone and found out later that the mother dog was a puppy killer and they had handraised the litter I would be FURIOUS if I wasn’t notified of this.
I don’t know the details behind your acquisition of the dog, but I’ll bet the previous owner got rid of her because of this problem. Just a hunch I have.
I'm interested in starting my own kennel for the purpose of breeding and training - and I was wondering how I would go about doing that since I don't live in a house that's big enough for something like that. Do you have tips or suggestions based on your experience? I.e How many dogs would I need to get started, initial cost (rough estimate)? The two breeds that really interest me are the Malinois and the Doberman. I used to have a female dobe about a year ago but I lost her due to personal family reasons. I'm also sorry about your dobe Elka. From what I've read about her, she seemed like she was your soulmate. Anyway if you could email me back with some feedback that would be great. Thank you very much Cindy.
This isn't really anything that I can outline for you in an email. Breeding isn't something I recommend undertaking without years of experience and research. If you don't have the place to live where you can set this up, then I would strongly recommend just getting one dog first and learning all you can about training and dog behavior. There are SO many breeders out there now and unless you are very well educated on bloodlines and have loads of experience it's probably not going to go the way you imagine.
Learn all you can about the breeds you are interested in, study bloodlines and pedigrees and visit lots of working dog events to see the dogs in action whenever you can. Go to seminars, etc. Don't be in a hurry to do any breeding, because it takes years to know enough to do the dogs justice. We stopped breeding dogs three years ago, because it's such a big responsibility to find great homes for the puppies and it's so much work. To do it right requires a huge investment of time and money. Things don't always go as planned, there are medical emergencies, litters that get sick, mother dogs that get sick, new breeders often can't sell the puppies because they don't have a "name" that people trust so they end up giving the puppies away or selling them to people who may not be the best choice in homes.
It's a very difficult business to do correctly especially for people new to dogs.
Thanks for the kind words about Elka, she was an amazing dog! I miss her
every day. Cindy
Our male lab has had 8 litters he sired and 10 good ties with several females. He has not been able to tie in over a year, just slip ties. I had the vet check him and though he always had topical protection he got Anaplasmosis. His sperm count is high but the motility was about 2 %, he is being treated with doxacyline for a month. The vet thought a fever from the disease did this and he should recover. Have you ever heard of this before with these affects? After two doses of meds he tied with our female after over a year with no ties but hundreds of attempts with slip ties.
I don’t have experience with anaplasmosis but if it’s like Lyme disease your dog may have been sore and achy, which is why he couldn’t get a tie. Many dogs with joint or back issues can’t tie when breeding, maybe your dog was in a lot of discomfort and now the meds have made him feel better. I don’t know about the motility issue, but it makes sense that if he was ill it would affect semen quality.
I just completed a Lyme treatment on my young male, so watch your dog for digestive upsets with Doxy. My dog was on it for about 10 days and he completely stopped eating and began to vomit. Not all dogs have this issue, but mine did. We had to switch his meds.
I have a 3 year female that just had her second litter. Her first litter she had 5 and she was an ok mother. Not mom of the year but ok. Her puppies are outstanding! I decided to breed her again to the same male and I did not skip a heat. So this time she had 12. She killed 6 and would have killed them all if I had not have intervened. Not only did she kill them but she ate them. I had another female with 7 puppies that adopted the 6 and I am helping supplement them with your formula.
The differences with this time and last was I had her in a different kennel and she did not even want to go into the whelping box. When I realized she was going to kill them all, I moved her to the box she had her first litter in and she still was trying to kill them. I took her out for short walks and she would have them in a squatting position and seemed a little scared of them at first. She did not lay down to have any until the last 3. She tried very hard to get them before I could so I had to be right there the instant the last ones came.
Why did she change?
Another thing, my son left a kennel open one day that had newborns in it from another female and the female in question got in there and ate one before I could get there (this was while she was pregnant with this litter). Could this have made her want to eat her own?
I am terribly upset from this. Is it even possible to breed this bitch again without the same terrible outcome? She is German working and German show line.
Thank you for any advice.
Any female that kills and eats puppies should be removed from breeding permanently, in our experience. It’s also common for female puppies that survive from these bitches to do the same thing when they are mature and bred. I would not sell any surviving puppies from this female as breeding dogs.
There are too many nice females out there with good maternal instincts to keep a dog like this for breeding. Mothering skills is an inherited trait.
I have purchased a pure working GSD male who is now 15 months old. I am in the process of setting up my own kennels. I have been planning to get a bitch and have my own litter and use my male as stud dog. Of course if all his tests, scans would be perfect. He has been bred very well, has very good temperament, strong drive and has an excellent blood line. I wanted to get the bitch when my male is at least 3 years old to enable me to focus on his training progress, we were told that we are at Sch 1 level and are booked for the test end of Q1. However, my male's breeder told me that 3 years is too old and if he does not start to mate around 2 years of age he would not be interested in mating. Is that true? It does not sound right to me when he would be fully develop and fill up by the age of 3 years. Can you please advise me from your many years of experience?
I would like to also take the opportunity to thank you for a wonderful series of training DVDs with Michael Ellis, I learn so much from them and I cannot wait to get the last one (even though we already know how to do send aways). Please keep up the good work and to all at Leerburg Happy New Year and loads of success in 2011.
I disagree with whoever told you the dog needs to be bred by 2, that’s not correct. Waiting until the dog is 3 is not a problem. If the dog is healthy and has the proper “drives” waiting until 3 should not matter. I have a friend who just bred her male dog for the first time at age 6 and he had no problem figuring out what he was supposed to do. Sometimes older males have declining sperm counts but 3 years old is not what I would consider “older.”
I’m glad you are enjoying the Michael Ellis series, thanks for your business! We appreciate it.
I have a female dane who just whelped 2 days ago and something's just don't seem right. She licks them too frequently, aggressively and vigorously and their stomachs are raw and I know they need this to poo and pee, but I have whelped a number of litters and never had a mother do this. She steps on them heavy footed she laid on one and did not move even though the pup was screaming. Usually after a female steps on one she starts tip toeing around, this one does not. Last night I heard her growl, I went to the box and there was a pup sucking on a nipple not completely formed and then she snapped at it twice. I'm afraid to leave her alone with the pups. She's very attentive and feeds them well but something is wrong with some of her behaviors.
If I only let her with them to feed, how often does she need to feed them and do you think this is the best thing to do?
Thank you in advance
She needs to be checked by a vet to make sure everything is ok. I would also have the vet check her calcium levels. Eclampsia (low blood calcium) can cause aggressive or unusual behavior in females who have recently whelped.
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