How Mother Dog Treats Her Puppies, Tip One

December 12, 2010

Puppies, maybe lots of puppies can be born in one litter.  Female dogs move into heat about every six months.  Smaller dogs generally have only a few puppies while larger breeds can have 13 or even 15 starving puppy mouths to feed at once.  It’s a busy time for a mother dog, but even though she has never had a litter before, she is instinctively ready.  One of the puppies is still tiny after a few days but is already yapping away in the corner.  Did you know that a noisy puppy is more likely to grow up to be a noisy adult?

Don’t worry, this young puppy started receiving rules, limitations and boundaries from the first day of life from mom, the caring dog.  It is these very rules that makes the puppy feel secure, safe and maybe a little too confident. 

That tiny puppy just crawled over the top of all the other puppies to get to mom’s nutritious milk and made the others yelp.  Is she a naughty little baby?  Apparently not at all.  Mom dog subsequently rewarded the ambitious youngster with licking, touch and her energy.  Only humans give treats and say bad dog. The pup exactly understood the mother’s intentions instantly, without the vocal cords or treats.

As the first one to reach the milk, this pup is a potential alpha, a leader among dogs, that may perch high up on a rock one day looking down on the others who are happy to be under her confident security.  If this pup grows up, is in a pack of dogs and gets pregnant, she will command tremendous respect and status from the others.  For dogs, life is all about status, but that’s in another article.  Besides, all pregnant dogs in a pack command respect from the other dogs and they’ll give her plenty of privacy when she wonders away to give birth to her babies.

Anyway, this particular pup is oblivious to any pain caused by her crawling on top of her siblings since young puppies are born deaf and blind and this pup is way to consumed in finding it’s way to mom’s gourmet milk meal.  Did the pup know the other puppies were there?  Absolutely.  The pup was born with a highly acute sense of smell and the mother knows the pup will stay right with her for comfort and protection.   The mother does not reward a whining pup; only humans make that mistake.  The mother does not treat the pup as if it were breakable but instead firmly rolls the pup over to wash it with a strong, firm but patient and gentle energy that the pup respects.  Mom is fair.  She is gentle.  But in the next move, the pup bites her too hard and she tells the pup to back off, your are hurting me and pushes the pup away.

There’s Lesson One of many to come: Don’t bite mom too hard or you may miss a meal. Mom has no guilty feelings about the pup being disciplined, it’s the way of the canine world and the pup learns fast with this very important lesson.

Speed in learning is the norm in the canine puppy world.  The first two weeks of life for a puppy easily can be compared with an entire human infancy.  That’s an example of the speed in which a puppy develops.

Motherhood for the dog is not an emotional experience; it’s instinctual.  If a pup is born dead, she will make no move to revive it.  Humans will grieve, but the mother will move on to taking care of the healthy pups.  Mother dogs do not coddle their young nor nurture weakness.  If a pup has trouble finding her milk, she might help the pup a couple of times, but if the pup is too weak in the litter, she even may let the pup die.  Such is the canine world. There’s a lot more information on this subject so read my next articles.   How Mother Dog Treats Her Puppies, Tip Two

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