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Categories: Breeding

Q. I have a 3 year female that just had her second litter. She killed 6 and would have killed them all if I had not have intervened. Why did she change?

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.


A. 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.

Cindy Rhodes
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