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Urgent breeders advice needed

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Lauren Piper, Jul 14, 2019 at 4:11 PM.


  1. Lauren Piper

    Lauren Piper PetForums Newbie

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    hi everyone, my chihuahua has puppies a week old. In the last few days she has become different with them. Started with growls at the puppies. Then today she has attacked one of them and hurt it. No damage done but poor little baby was petrified. She was not trying to feed she was just asleep. Has anyone experienced this? She’s on calcium so it can’t be that. I’m worried she will kill one of them. She’s been on and off. Sometimes she wants to look after them other times she ignores them when they cry and refuses to feed them. Opinions on taking over hand feeding? Or can there be a reason for this?
     
  2. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    Given that your bitch has actually attacked one of her pups, I would not trust her with them at all.

    Handrearing pups is time consuming and very tiring and obviously, Mum's milk is the best for them.

    You can begin weaning them at 3 weeks old, so, for the next two weeks, I would keep Mum away from them, but take her to them every couple of hours and stay with her whilst she feeds them, keeping hold of her head, then remove her once they have had enough. Do praise and encourage her whilst they feed.

    Don't leave her with them unsupervised overnight.

    Make sure the pups are in a warm place, on a heat mat, and keep their bedding clean and dry at all times.

    As they grow and you can wean them, you can gradually decrease the frequency of their feeds.
     
  3. Lauren Piper

    Lauren Piper PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, thank you so much for the advice. I thought that would be the case but I wanted to see what other breeder thought. I’ve been praising her when she has been doing well but it just seems that’s she’s not overly maternal. She’s 2 and a half. I’m going to take her to the vet tomorrow to see if there is anything wrong. No infection I can see in nipples and she’s on calcium supplements. I will do what you’ve suggested. Thanks for the reassurance.
     
  4. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    Some bitches are not very maternal and can be casual or even disinterested in their pups.

    However, your bitch's behaviour is not normal and is worrying. She began by growling at them, which was a warning, and now she has followed through to attack one of them.

    There is a very real risk that she could begin killing them, so do be very vigilant.
     
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  5. Lauren Piper

    Lauren Piper PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks Rafa, It’s rattling me that I’ve been given advice from a few people telling me that all mother dogs growl. Which I know is wrong and unnatural behaviour for a dog that is nursing. I am letting her feed them but staying by her and making sure she isn’t attacking them. After the feed I let her go into the other bed. My worry is exactly what you just highlighted... it will escalate and end in her killing them. They are very vulnerable at this stage. I’ll be very vigilant and keep you posted. Thanks again.
     
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  6. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    You're welcome.

    For what it's worth, I was breeding for many years and I never had a bitch growl at a pup, let alone actually attack it.

    It is certainly abnormal and dangerous behaviour.

    Good luck with your pups, hope all goes well.
     
  7. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    Ditto to what Raffa has said - it's not natural or a bitch to growl or become aggressive towards their pups - I have never had a bitch show aggression to a pup. When the pups are older (7 to 8 weeks) and try to drink mum will sometimes grumble them away as the pups are weaned by then but there shouldn't be any aggression when they are tiny.

    I would have her checked at the vet in case there is an underlying medical issue. I would keep her calm and not allow people around. I would be supervising feeding as has been suggested and encouraging her to lick them to clean and stimulate their toileting. You can do this all under supervision. Then remove mum and keep the pups warm and safe. Generally pups are weaned from around 3 weeks of age but aren't Chihuahua's developmentally delayed (I remember a recent discussion as this is why they are kept until 12 weeks) so I wonder, does this make weaning a little later?

    J
     
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  8. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    From what the breeder I know says is weaning is usually later but you can easily tell of course ones that might be a little forward. I think it's anywhere between 3-6 weeks though from my understanding on many email conversations and phone calls; apparently we talked too much. It was lovely to hear someone so passionate and wanting to go above and beyond with breeding. It's a shame she's retired due to her husband passing away.
     
  9. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    My Labs wean themselves at 3 weeks :D However my Cavalier puppies take a little longer and need more time so i did expect Chihuahua's to be likewise if they need to stay home a little longer. Interesting to know.

    J
     
    lullabydream likes this.
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