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Categories: Breeding

Q. I have a 3 year old German Rottweiler, who just had her first litter of pups. She has wanted nothing to do with them from the time they were born. I am at a loss at what to do.
Hello Ed,

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!


A. 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.

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