For 40+ years we've helped over 300,000 dog trainers just like you!

Learn more about Leerburg

$6.99 Flat Rate Shipping

Learn more
Ask Cindy Our Newsletter Free Catalog
Leerburg » Leerburg Q&A » Answered

Do you have a dog training or equipment question?
Leerburg's Q&A database has 3353 entries from multiple categories.


Categories: Breeding

Q. I am having many problems with my current litter. We now have only 2 pups left should I keep doing what I am doing?
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

A. 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.
Recommended Products
Whelping Puppies
Whelping Puppies
1 Hour, 45 Minutes
Ed Frawley, the owner of Leerburg Video and Kennel, has bred and whelped over 350 litters of German Shepherds since the mid 1970's. He owned and operated one of the most professional breeding programs in the country for German Shepherds. In this video you will benefit from the practical experience he has gained in whelping this many litters. This video takes you through the trials of dealing with sick puppies. It shows exactly how to tube feed a weak puppy and it provides a medical program to follow for the entire litter.

Puppy Tube Feeding Kit
Puppy Tube Feeding Kit
Feeding tube is 16 inches long (41cm) and approximately 3/32 inches (2.7mm) outside diameter. It is best to store your feeding tube and syringe at normal room temperature. In colder temperatures the feeding tube will become rigid and stiff. At body temperature, the tube becomes softer, resilient, and completely flexible. Syringe is 35cc and attaches to the integral funnel end of the feeding tube. The opposite end of the feeding tube has a closed rounded tip with 2 side port 'eyes'.

How to Artificially Inseminate Your Dog
How to Artificially Inseminate Your Dog
1 Hour
I have been doing artificial inseminations on my own dogs since the late 1980s, I don't know how many times I have done an AI but certainly between 250 to 300 times. I currently have a success rate of well over 90%. Our 1 hour DVD shows how we collect a stud dog an immediately inseminate one of our females at our kennel.


20% off Select Michael Ellis DVDs, streams, and courses good through Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 11:59 PM CT