Champdogs Information Exchange
05.06.17 18:44 GMT
My cocker spaniel had pups 6 weeks ago and has pretty much been a good mum. The pups are now being weaned and so mum is not feeding anymore although she likes to get into the crate once a day and check all is well. Her milk has virtually gone (as weaning started 2 weeks ago) but of course they just think MILK! Anyway that is not the problem...... once/twice a day the pups come out of the crate for a run round the kitchen or weather permitting on the back lawn (in a small enclosed area). Mum gets really anxious as they scamper around getting into anything and everything. Of course they want to play with mum but all she does is growl at them and if they should touch her she barks and gets snappy, although she has never hurt them. I have tried everything but still her anxiety levels rise until I feel it is best to put her out of the room and then she whines until she comes back in and then we start the same thing all over again. The pups are without doubt very boisterous but mum is totally over reacting and if they try to get into her bed, well that is just too much for her............. She is very attentive and will go up to them and check that they are clean and wash them so she is maternal and without doubt cares for them. The reason for my worry is that I will be keeping a bitch and am hoping that they will become company for each other but mum's behavior is worrying me. She has just turned 4 and of course has always had my undivided attention, is this the problem? Is she just learning how to cope with growing pups and will eventually settle down as the pup matures? Has anyone else experienced the same thing, will things settle down when the rest of the pups go to their new 'forever homes'?
05.06.17 22:05 GMT
Sounds like a normal bitch to me -this is weaning. In a few weeks time she will start playing with whoever is left, for now she is just making it clear they are not allowed to suckle and teaching them some ground rules. All normal. Have to ask about where the pups are kept though - a crate? I don't think I've ever come across a crate large enough for a litter of pups of your size aged 6 weeks. By this age mine would have a pen 2 m x 3 m and they would come out of it many times a day -certainly after each meal etc to teach them to toilet outside. To only come out of confinement once or twice a day doesn't sound very nice for the pups. This is no doubt why they get over excited.
06.06.17 06:17 GMT
I agree with Goldmali; at this age the pups should only be in a crate at night and for their naps; the rest of the time should be out exploring different surfaces (grass, concrete, tiles, carpet etc) and generally playing. Even the largest crate is too small for this. If the weather's good, the whole of the garden, providing ponds etc are fenced off, is ideal.
06.06.17 08:39 GMT
Too late to add to my post, but whatever happens don't decide that the bitch has had enough of the pups and it's time to home them (as so many people do
). She needs full and free access to them, and her telling them off when they try to snatch a quick suck is teaching them good manners which they'll need as they grow up. As long as she can get away from the pups when she wants to she'll start playing with them again which they all badly need before they leave.
With my Cavaliers, if the mum was getting overwhelmed by puppies trying to latch on so she couldn't get away, I would often get a babygro and put it on the mum so that the puppies couldn't get hold of the teats - then they could all run round together and learn the social skills, but without the mum having to try to get away from 5 puppies all trying to grab hold!
06.06.17 10:18 GMT
Sorry having read my message back it is misleading. The crate is inside a pen and the pups sleep inside the crate at night and during the day if they want to. They play inside the pen with toys and obviously it is their toilet area. The pen is big enough for 3 pups but as I say I do let them out twice a day to play in a much bigger area. Also I don't think mum is just getting anxious if they attempt to feed off her it is if they try to interact with her in anyway. The funny thing is wants to go inside the pen and then within 5 mins wants to get back out when they start jumping all over her.
06.06.17 11:34 GMT
That sounds absolutely normal.
They're learning that if they're too OTT and bitey then the fun stops - exactly what their new owners will want them to learn.
It sounds like she's being a great mum!
> The funny thing is wants to go inside the pen and then within 5 mins wants to get back out when they start jumping all over her.
I had one of mine who would go in with her puppies (we had a big 4 X 8 whelping box by this age - initially starting with just the 4 X 4 section) and once she felt their sharp teeth, would want out again..... and then they'd settle down for a nap at which point she'd be standing outside the box squeaking (if that's the word for the noise!) to go back in. Waking them all up again. Nightmare.
I didn't let mine get too rough with their puppies much as usually Bassets are good gentle mothers. By 6 weeks, mine were usually completely off their puppies - enough is enough, to coin a phrase.
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