Why Mother Dogs May Kill Their Puppies

Updated on January 29, 2016
alexadry profile image

Adrienne is a former veterinary hospital assistant, certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, and author of "Brain Training for Dogs."

Mother dogs bond strongly to their puppies the first weeks.
Mother dogs bond strongly to their puppies the first weeks. | Source

It is a pet owner's and a dog breeder's worst nightmare: a mother killing its puppies. Whether the killing is purposeful or accidental, the sight of the dead puppy is enough to cause shock and disbelief.

This behavior is unfortunately not uncommon in the canine world. It actually has a name: ''infanticide." But why would a mother dog kill a puppy?

There are many reasons, and not all of them are to be condemned.


Is She Actually Killing Them?

First of all, it is important to recognize that the mother dog may not necessarily be killing the puppies.

Unless you actually see her killing them or acting in an abnormal way, it would be unjust to assume she is doing it. If you find a puppy dead in the morning, many things could have gone wrong.

Normal Puppy and Mother Interaction

Puppies normally nurse and spend 90% of their time sleeping during their first week. During the first week, the mother should exhibit a lively interest in her puppies. She will stimulate them to eliminate by licking their bottoms and ingesting their waste.

One Way to Help

If the dog had a large litter, you can help by getting a cotton ball, wetting it with warm water, and gently passing it on the pup's bottom after they nurse, mimicking a mother's tongue.

Do not use anything other than a cotton ball and be very gentle. Never rub.

Questions to Ask

  • Is the puppy's room temperature ideal? It should be around 85 degrees for their first days and never less than 70°F. This means you will have to use a heat lamp, and possibly, a heating pad.
  • Are the puppies actively nursing?
  • Are they sleeping close to each other?
  • Is there a puppy staying away from the others and crying more? These may be signs of puppies not thriving as they should.

What Causes Death

There are many medical conditions that can cause puppies to die.

Puppy fading syndrome can cause puppies to die from when they are born up until they are 9 weeks old.

According to Hilltop Veterinary Hospital, the syndrome might be caused by:

  • Puppies being too hot or too cold
  • Mother's neglect of the puppies by refusing to lie next to them and nurse them
  • Physical defects of the puppy
  • Infections

If you notice anything of concern, take your dog and litter to your veterinarian.

Preventing Death

Puppies are very vulnerable as newborns. To keep them safe and healthy, your best bet would be to watch the litter closely for the first few weeks and look for puppies nursing and acting normally.

Also, watch the mother's interactions and take note if there are any abnormal behaviors. Sleep near the litter for the first few days. This way if you hear any muffled cries, you can go to the rescue.

In general, you should always take the mother, along with her puppies, to see a vet 24 hours after giving birth to ensure there are no retained placentas and that the puppies are in good health.

Why Would She Do It?

When it comes to finding dead puppies, there are some signs of mother intervention that cannot be mistaken. Disappeared or dead puppies with bite marks, missing their head, and with other significant injuries may be safely assumed to have been killed by their mother.

Accidental Killing

Dogs may at times accidentally kill their puppies by crushing them or smothering them. Not all have the instinct to nose the puppies to the center of the whelping box for safety.

Smothering, crushing, and laying down on the puppies can be prevented by installing railings that help prevent the dogs from accidentally lying on a puppy that may have slipped behind her.

Killing Sick Puppies

Other times, when puppies act sickly or when they have something wrong (which we as owners may not be able to tell), mothers may purposely kill them so they can focus on the healthier ones.

It may start with the mother pushing the puppy away from her. At times, the mother may even eat the puppy. This is not cruelty. It is natural selection and part of the dog's evolutionary process. If one puppy is sick, it may attract unwanted predators.

Inexperienced or Unstable Mothers

The mother dog may have been bred too young—dogs should never be bred on their first heat—or she may simply not be a stable mother.

In these cases, the mother should be spayed and never be allowed to breed again. As the puppies grow, the mother dog may growl and snap at the puppies that require discipline, but in the first week, puppies are defenseless creatures that depend totally on their mom.

Normally, the mother will bond strongly with them during this time thanks to the "bonding hormone,"oxytocin. When that doesn't happen, trouble arises.

Stress

Some dogs may kill their puppies if they feel stressed from not having a quiet secluded place for the litter to live. There may be too many people coming to see the litter or the litter may be too big for the dog to handle.

The dam's stress levels may cause her to do the unthinkable. According to Nicholas Dodman in an article for Petplace, a Rottweiler mother killed her pups after being returned to her from a tail docking. She may have assumed the puppies had been damaged or contaminated in some way, and therefore, their destruction was a way of putting them ''out of their misery."

Lack of Recognition

Some dogs, especially new mothers, might not recognize their offspring as their own. This is especially true for dogs who had a cesarean section. New puppies sound like some prey animals (e.g. rodents.) Some dogs with a rodent-killing heritage might mistake them for prey and might be compelled to eat them.

Problems with Nursing

There is a condition that makes it very painful for a mother to nurse her young (mastitis) The pain might be enough to for her to reject the litter.

Make sure you do your research before breeding your dog, have the mother and litter seen by the vet in the first 24 hrs, and monitor both the mother and the litter carefully for the first few weeks. This should help prevent problems with infanticide.

Disclaimer

Please consult with your veterinarian or dog behaviorist any time you notice abnormal behaviors in your dog.

Questions & Answers

  • My baby Rottweiler is sleepy and only drinks milk. He won't eat and has diarrhea. He is nine-weeks-old. What is wrong?

    So sorry to hear about your Rottweiler being sick. There are so many things that can be wrong. Your pup may have ingested something he shouldn't; abrupt dietary changes can be a cause and so can heavy intestinal parasite loads and viruses such as parvovirus, especially if he hasn't been vaccinated.

    Being such a young pup, there are risks for dehydration if diarrhea and lack of appetite aren't corrected quickly. Milk can, unfortunately, make matters worse. I would consult with a vet on this due to his young age.

  • My dog has bitten two of her puppies, and she injured one. What should I do?

    You may want to play it safe and keep the pups separated from her and bottle feed them.

  • My Frenchie is barking and snapping at her puppies which are 12 days old about two times a day. Why is she doing this?

    Mother dogs may sometimes discipline their puppies, so you need to watch in what context mother dog is doing this. Keep an eye on her and make sure she doesn't injure her pups. If her puppies are scratching at her during nursing, you may need to trim their nails. Consider that sometimes behavioral issues in mother dogs may be a sign of underlying medical issues such as low calcium concentrations in their blood (eclampsia) which requires veterinary care.

  • If the scent of a human gets on a pup, will the mother dog kill it?

    This is not likely. In most cases when mother dogs kill their pup, it's because there is something wrong with the pups or mother dog was simply not mature enough to be a mother.

    If your dog is temperamentally adjusted then touching the pups shouldn't be a problem.

    Consider, however, that humans may carry viruses such as parvo on their clothing or shoes and pass them to the pups by touching them. This is why many breeders won't allow strangers near the pups and require strict guidelines such as taking off shoes and not handling the pups. The incubation time of parvo (time between transmission and onset of symptoms) is typically 3-7 days.

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    • profile image

      Vamp 

      8 days ago

      My dog has 2 puppies they are like 3 or 4 months old and mom dog always trying to kill one puppy and always care about the 2nd one she plays with second one. She is always trying to kill first one even mom dog nd second puppy both attacks on first one i dont know why i hit my dog nd second puppy to save the first one .. why they are doing like that

    • profile image

      Yayla 

      4 weeks ago

      I have multiple dogs and the females are jealous of each other and kne of tbe females attacked a puppy while the mom was away but now the puppy wont stop crying and the mom keeps wining at it whats wrong

    • profile image

      Kandy 

      2 months ago

      My dog had a pup pop out on floor that she ignored. I thought it was dead but then realized it was not. I proceeded to clear away the sac and cut umbilical cord. I left and cam back to check on my dog and she had a new pup. But it wasn't the same pup. What happened. I dont see the first pup anywhere.. Did she eat it? Was that my fault because i cleaned the pup?

    • profile image

      Sinead 

      2 months ago

      My dog had her first pup .she keeps grabbing her head in her mouth what do I do .

    • profile image

      Vicki 

      3 months ago

      My dog had her first litter of puppies she had 7 every time i put a puppy or two by her nipple she trys to bite their head should i be worry

    • profile image

      Lola sue 

      3 months ago

      What would my doggies nipples really look like after birth? She stays outside so I really don't no of she has her puppies but 3 nipples looked like they have been sucked on

    • profile image

      Pinsher oiwner 

      4 months ago

      This is the 1st time for my pinsher, she gave birth to 3 and she acted very strange and abnormal.

      1st she acted like she don't even care

      2nd she refused to nurse them

      3rd she bites them everywhere and was like trying to eat parts of them, they died with a bunch of holes everywhere.

      even when I tried to make her nurse them, she either attacks me or the puppies, god what a stuff Ive seen today, I owned different breed before and this is the 1st time I see something alike.

    • profile image

      Rachel 

      4 months ago

      My English bull terrier had 8 pups one stillborn the 7th was weak an a could of days later she ate it now she’s pickin another pup keepin it away with her n is acting like she is guna eat thi

    • profile image

      Anne 

      4 months ago

      My dog killed one of her puppies that wouldn't let the rest of the litter eat. She seemed sad and upset the rest of the day and just kept her head down. Should I have removed him before? He was already eating dog food on his own. And my dog to me other than that was an excellent mom and I feel like it was more for survival reasons, that she did what she felt she needed to do for all the other puppies seemed so thin compared to him, he had a pretty big belly

    • profile image

      Rachel Davis 

      4 months ago

      I dog is choosing to stop feeding one puppy she had 9 and 3 died but not at birth they died like on the second day of birth one died then a week later another passed then the last one just died three days ago. I have milk but want to give her the opportunity to care for her baby’s. Now there is another one which is number six he is the smallest I tried to feed him today and he dosent want the milk how can I get him to eat ???

    • profile image

      Stacy 

      4 months ago

      My doberman had a femal pup around 9am then 4hours later had puppies 2 girls 1 boy. awhile after had 1 more girl. The male pup was found dead. Not sure why. The next day around 10pm she has another male which is found dead. I'm not sure if she's compelty done. But why is this happening?

    • profile image

      Randy 

      5 months ago

      Hey the Mom dog just bit the 5 day old puppy Now bleeding looks like it’s going to die but why is the mom doing his

    • profile image

      Aamir 

      6 months ago

      Hey hi my female German shepherd gave Birth to 7 puppies but she ate 3 of them pls tell me what to do ????

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      6 months ago from USA

      So sorry to hear about losing all your puppies to mother dog eating them. There can be various reasons, mother dog may have been stressed, not mature enough to have puppies or perhaps she senses something wrong with them. I would suggest spaying her as this may happen again in the future. Again, so sorry.

    • profile image

      chainzzz 

      6 months ago

      my pure breed german shepherd just put forth healthy puppies and ate them all, what caused that if i may ask?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      6 months ago from USA

      Alysia, did she eat the dead one? If so, unfortunately this is not unusual. It's an instinct to hide the carcass from potential predators.

    • profile image

      alysia 

      6 months ago

      my dog just had puppies she had a total of 8 one died and then hours later she ate one is this normal

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      7 months ago from USA

      Dana, bring your pup to your vet if the pup is cool and not moving much, sounds worrisome. Likely mom is rejecting the pup because she senses something is wrong with him/her.

    • profile image

      Dana 

      7 months ago

      My yorkie had a pup last sat. The pup has been doing so good and she has been a good mom. I hot up this morning and the puppy was laying at the front of the box while she laid at the back. Every time I move it to her she puts space in between them. What do I do? The pup is already not moving as much and it feels so cool

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      7 months ago from USA

      She may be too young, inexperienced or may be stressed. The pups may have health issues. Several possible factors. You will have to bottle feed the pups if her behavior may cause harm.

    • profile image

      anna 

      7 months ago

      why does my dog growl and snip at her puppies ?there only 2 days old...???

    • profile image

      Me 

      8 months ago

      I have never had a dog kill her puppies. Only had a few puppies die of fire ant's and that wasn't nice. Since they where up and about with there eyes open

      My dog just had puppies a week ago and I never read up on puppies till now. All this that I read sounds sad. But I have always been told mother knows best, let them be. Then I all ways monitor, interfere, pay attention, adjust, fuse, rearrange, try to spot problems real or imagined ones and fix them . I like to be aware of my dogs needs.

      I even have a method to help wean the puppies when their eyes open and they are walking around. Take them to the water bowl and put a drop of water on there noise and they will lick it off and in doing so they will end up dipng there chin in and licking it and so forth of course not every time. Works better with goat milk.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      8 months ago from USA

      John, there are several projects on the web, some use PVC pipe. Look up "pig rails for whelping boxes" good luck.

    • profile image

      john belo 

      8 months ago

      how do I install railings to prevent her from sleeping on top of the puppys

    • profile image

      Jackie Dee 

      9 months ago

      My dog just gave birth 5 puppies. It's their 3rd day today. I am worried because every time she wean and try to dig in and outside of the whelping box when she get near to the 2 same dog she looks like she is going to bite them. I caught her maybe 5 time doing the same to those 2 same puppies? Can you please explain what's going on to her what should I do? Thank you and please reply...

    • profile image

      JD 

      12 months ago

      I just want to THANK MK for her comment a 5 months ago! Everyone should read it and learn from it! I am not a breeder but my mother is and everything MK says is right on the money! Thank you!

    • profile image

      Meliah 

      12 months ago

      wow this is crazy. my dog is i believe about 3 months pregnant and it scares me because she is not even a year old shes 11 months and i know she is different ever since she has gotten preg and i hope that she doesnt eat the babies cause she is very unexperienced and doesnt understand whats going on but idk cause she is very smart and she may be a good mother

    • profile image

      Lynne 

      13 months ago

      My pitbull don't want her pippie to drink on her

    • profile image

      Beonca 

      14 months ago

      my dog had her puppies 2 weeks and they are in good health, one day my nephew decided to hold a puppy at 2 weeks old and we put the puppy back down, a couple minutes later my dog was barking at it and and clawing at it I got her to stop but now I'm scared what should I do?

    • profile image

      14 months ago

      Hello. My dog has just had a litter, it's her first and was unplanned. There was some complications and ended in an emergency c-section. The littler was of seven but we lost one in the c-section, we also lost the runt so then there was five. Mum was doing really well, nursing and toileting them as she should, then one of her pups got out of the cage. Mum dog killed the pup we think by accident (thinking she didn't know how to pick the pup up gentle enough) this happened again about aweek later. Is this uncommo? Was this an accident? Does she not have that instinct? Could it be because it's a first litter and she's an older dog? Help...

    • profile image

      Chienne 

      14 months ago

      My dog killed a puppy and injured two I'm scared to leave puppies around her to nurse I can't afford supplement milk so I've been pureeing dog food for them but I know it's not enough nutrients to keep them healthy what should I do

    • profile image

      Dawn 

      14 months ago

      My dog snaps at her puppies when she is eating and the puppies try to disturb her i fear she might end up killing them how do i solve this

    • profile image

      gerard carroll 

      15 months ago

      i had a Yorkie for 17 years i had to get her to sleep due to illness she had a put whit her since she was born is she missing her mother what can i do she looks lost poor baby is her name she is so small hope you can help me regards gerard

    • profile image

      Kenneth makino 

      15 months ago

      Hi . I see my dog ates her own new born puppies. Why?

      And what should I've do?

      My uncles and aunties is planing and thingking if the dog is ...

      A actually eat her own puppies so they wanted to kill the dog...

    • profile image

      KaLynn Cooper 

      15 months ago

      Jackie, I don't know what breed your dam is but it sounds like she is nervous and uncomfortable in the area you have chosen for her and the babies. Get her a larger metal dog crate, place it in an area that is quiet. Put a clean sheet and a towel on the floor of the crate/kennel. Put her babies in the crate. She will follow. Close the door to the crate and drape a clean sheet and an unused blanket over the crate, covering top and sides. This will create a "den" type atmosphere for her, making her feel safe with her babies. Be sure not to cover the door to the crate so you can let her out quickly to do her business. Keep children and other pets away from her. A pet store will have a water bowl that connects to the side of the cage. Make sure she always has water. I also keep a bowl of dry kibble in the crate.

      She should settle down and not try to move pups, and the pups will stay warm.

      Hope this helps. Good luck :)

    • profile image

      Crystal 

      15 months ago

      My Shih Tzu just had puppies the last one was weak the a hour later I realize that she killed it what should I do

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      15 months ago from USA

      Sounds like a trip to the vet is in order, could be a case of mastitis in mother dog or a uterus infection or low calcium levels and the puppy sounds like it's struggling.

    • profile image

      Steph 

      16 months ago

      My girl has her litter of pups just going into the 2 weeks range at the moment and I'm not to sure would be lovely for a little advice more to why mother is still loving one pup but the puppy doesn't seam to be doing to we'll slow breathing won't take from titt crying heaps very quiet unless something changes she crys way louder lack of energy & temperature was 33.6 Thanking you

    • profile image

      Jackie 

      16 months ago

      My dog just had puppies to days ago she has 5 but she takes them out of the house in the house & 2 already died because they weren't warm. What can I do.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      16 months ago from USA

      Feeding the dog back to normal maintenance levels as before, can help produce less milk, but if her mammary glands look swollen and engorged, you are right and should see the vet to ensure she's not getting mastitis.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      16 months ago from USA

      Cindy, are the puppies in the home or outside?

    • profile image

      Dianasena 

      16 months ago

      My dog just had her first 5 puppies on friday. We notice one of them was weak and wasnt eating. So we started to bottle feed so he could learn and get healthly. We put him back with mom then this morning the head was chopped off. So we dont if she killed him or he died last night but it seem he was fine last night.

    • profile image

      COL 

      16 months ago

      My Toy Pomeranian dog accidentally god bred and she is around 9 years old. I lost one pup and I think she killed the other at 7 days old because it was too much for her. What do I do about the mother dogs milk. She still has lots and I am scared she is going to get sick. This happened yesterday and so far nothing is wrong with her. I am scared she is going to get mastitus or what ever it is called?

    • profile image

      Cindy bishop 

      16 months ago

      My Lucy had babies 4 days ago and all are healthy, I come home today and can only find 3 babies I have searched everywhere and can't find this baby any idea what could have happen

    • profile image

      Malik 

      17 months ago

      As informative as this article is,it provides no actual help for taking with the problem of a mother killing her pups. All you say is monitor, well what do I do if I notice something?

    • profile image

      MK 

      18 months ago

      As a breeder, some of the comments really bother me. I breed 2 high risk breeds and do not leave the dam's side for the first week to 10 days. They sleep in my room with a whelping box on my bed. No ifs and or buts. Bulldogs of any breed should never be left alone in labor and should be expected to need a C-section even if you let her give natural birth a shot in the vet's office. Even when breeding my chihuahua (One time only due to depression when the pups sold) I stayed with her to help and teach her what she didn't know. Breeding and whelping should be a partnership with the dam. Both of my current dams are wonderful mothers, one even willing to foster, but they are my family. We don't as a culture leave dogs in the wild and have bred instincts into and out of them. We created breeds we wanted or needed so expecting dams to have great mothering insticts is just ignorant. We help them and teach them like we would our daughters, and just be supportive in a way the dam needs. Anyone who cannot provide this support should not actively breed dogs, especially unnatural breeds. If you need help with a rescue dam or an accidental pregnancy in a beloved family pet, don't be afraid to reach out to your pet community and even some of the breeding social media groups. I have a support system for my girls and have taught my kids to help with pup supervision, even CPR and choking assistance. Handling the mother and being an active support during pregnancy and the birth process can help her allow you to help. Rescue dogs or a new family pet may not want help and in this case just supervise as much as you are allowed And follow the dams lead. In the case of a well trained family pet, most dams will welcome emotional support during pregnancy and birth, and in a calm environment with only one person helping the first few days, will react well to support. Feed high quality food during pregnancy and nursing. Love and Supervise! And put your dam's needs before your desire to have pups or a business. If a dam is not suited to motherhood please let her be fixed and have a good pet home. You will make the breed better for it. Breeding expensive breeds may seem like a great hobby, but it is an emotional investment and a cut throat business. Be wise and do your research before thinking about it. In an accidental pregnancy just be as supportive as you can and learn the signs of problems.

    • profile image

      Rina Tan 

      18 months ago

      My dog keep on stepping on her newborn. And causes her backbone is a curve and she might not be able to walk again. I now separate her from the mother and now the ants keep on going to her bottom. Is there anything that I can do to make her healthy like other puppies?

    • profile image

      Naksh 

      18 months ago

      How to prevent the mother from eating the puppies ?

    • Gingerpickles profile image

      Ginger Weicz 

      18 months ago from Arizona

      I have a double rejected runt and cannibal mom. While being boarded, my mom's/now son's young service dog (Cherokee Cur) and our previous fail service dog/chinese obligation (GSD) were bred despite my providing kennels and carrier/kennels. *sigh. The Shepherd tho nearly 5 has not been bred despite having had 2 pseudo pregnancies before; so both dogs are first time mothers and the Cur was too young (yes I am mad as H$77 but cant put the spilled milk back. she is a year old in 3 months) The Shepherd ate first 2 puppies, dumped one in the yard that the Cur saved and brought to my attention before hiding from me under house becuase my sharpness at her in surprise and having remaining TEN known survivors. The cur had her 3 ...in my car at my worksite (*i m technically a ranch hand)! She wasn't even showing anything until 3 days before but I was not midwifing in time so lost the middle puppy. Fast forward. Shepherd has some rejects though hasn't offered to eat anymore, she has damaged a couple and does push them aside when she is not cleaning. I fear the GSD has EPI, it seems very likely now and have taken some spares off of her for relief of her symptoms. The Cur has taken them up...except the runt, who has marks on her head and missing a toe as it is. Though the cur allows it to eat unmolested, she also gets eerily focused on it before nipping it around head and back if it is not with the other pups. Obviously she has not been alone with it yet and I don't feel she should access it without supervision. Her 2 fat day younger pups dwarf all the surrogates. So it may be because she is a top notch mouser and it is VERY small. These pups are all cattledog/gsd sired so the size range is I guess for the litter size and number of breedings during those 3 weeks in anothers care. When I bred my chows I did not allow too many days between breedings and had day 3 cutoff to avoid big litters and faders. And never had a bitch eat pups though had one litter with 3 still borns I revived,where my girl absolutely despised one pup that was very noisy and rejected it soundly. I am not sure if the Cur will come around or not. It is problematic because she is in the room my son and I sleep in, actually at foot of his bed by her choice' so trying to figure how to keep the tiny 12 day old tot safe when I am at work is going to be bad. I don't want to use her sibs to keep her warm lest they get rejected as well from too much movement. Her true mother will likely finish chewing on her, even more so now that she smells of the bitch that she competes with (GSD has rank drive that puts wolves in the milktoast category-why she failed CGC and her school). I am likely to have more luck trying to somehow make her more palatable to the Cur, who as I say, lets her eat and grooms her but just forgets she is canine when she has separated from the others. The 2 bitches are separated indoor and outdoor. The bedrooms are heated but the house is not. I was not prepared for whelping duties, that is why I had not had her bred by a same breed stud.The other 3 are fine and just part of the pile. They are only 1/3 smaller where the runt is actually smaller than half. I had rubbed in oil (too chilly to bathe), evacuated then rubbed urine from the cur pups onto them so as she cleaned them she detected less of the competitor (plus she wanted the one she save back since day one). They all cry a lot and eat violently. I am sure she will wean them early once they have teeth cutting in. BTW of teh Eleven...only 2 are male. The cur has 2 males.

      I can't get it checked yet for possible defect (I live back of beyond , lucky to have digital internet signal)the Cur has such a great mothering instinct despite strikes against her (bred out of season, too young, unsupervised and first time mom) It is testament to her temperament, her dams great temperament too. My roomamte has claimed and named this runt. TBH I likely would have just given up on it otherwise. Sounds heartless but I have 13 puppies, a disabled child, laborious work and possibility that after a more specific vet visit that the dam of the brood has something degenerative and expensive to upkeep to allow the dog to thrive after 3 years of steady decline only delayed when we had cases upon cases of Nepro to feed her up with and free fresh eggs at our former location. I almost wished she had eaten all the likely candidates for rejection on day one rather than letting them fade slowly when not damaging them.

      I have rarely even had to supplement with my dogs. My show cats had several "aunties" and were not as fussy as dogs are about litters being handled, or feeding each other's babies

      Has anyone found a way to get puppy accepted better?. Be it natural mother or surrogate. I am running out of options.

    • profile image

      Gina 

      19 months ago

      Tonight my little brother found one of the pups dead, this is the mother's first time having a littler and she has the bad habit of coming and laying down on top of them when she is in the box with them or about to feed them. We fear the death of another one. Should we separate them from their mother and watch after them ourselves?

    • profile image

      Debbie 

      19 months ago

      I just witnessed my mother Min Pin begin to eat her puppy,the puppy appeared to be healthy and thriving,,She had a total of 7,,one was still born,another was unable to breathe properly and died during the night,we found momma eating it and removed it from her,the third,she just started eating,there were no signs of anything being wrong with it,ime afraid to leave her alone with the remaining 4 for fear she will harm them as well,,what should I do

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      19 months ago from USA

      Robyn, mother dog regurgitate for their pups when they are close to weaning, it's normal behavior. Before we were making puppy mush, that's how mother dogs weaned them off milk. Now if it's excessive, that can be a problem. Keep her away from the pups after she eats a meal.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      19 months ago from USA

      Staci, It is hard to say what may have happened. Did the pup you found dead have any signs of being injured?

    • profile image

      Staci Mitchem 

      19 months ago

      My yorkie had 6 pups 5 days ago.. this morning I found the runt (who weighted 2.8oz at birth) dead. He was pushed away from the others. He had gained weight, almost 2 oz since birth. I am wanting to know what happened. This is her 2nd litter and all lived out of her first litter.

    • profile image

      Robyn moses 

      20 months ago

      I have a 3year old bichon with a litter of 8 they are 7wks old. A couple weeks ago she starting regurgitating her food for them when feeding. if I stayed wth her she did not but then she starting doing it thru the bars of there pen and n the garden where they play. Weaned pups no teat since 6wks old eating solids well now. But if she is any where near then inside or out she vomits even if I have kept her totally seperate from them for up to 36 hrs. My fear is that I plan to open one pup and do not want her continuing this, what is happening? Otherwise she is well on a whole food diet thou bit skinny, temperature ok, going on walks, holds on to her meal if off site

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      20 months ago from USA

      Lisa this pup really needs to see the vet. If mom is neglecting him, you will have to make sure this pup eliminates. Are you inducing him to potty by using a warm cloth after he's fed? Are you using milk replacers like Ebsilac? Is he staying warm near the other pups? Milk, warmth and proper elimination are important. If the mom is neglecting this pup, there may be something wrong with him.

    • profile image

      lisa 

      20 months ago

      I have a dachshund and thisis her 2nd litter .the first litter she was a very good mother.the 2nd litter has a very small runt,it is all I can do to make her feed him.she always pushes him aside.so he is very weak,he staggers and stumbles when he trys to walk,i have been bottle feeding him but he is still not active like the other puppies.he always just lays around balled up.it is sooo sad.he is literally more than half the size of the other puppies.i cannot afford to take him to a veterinarian..what shoud I do/ PLEASE give me some advice on what to do.../,'

    • profile image

      Areo Samuel 

      20 months ago

      I am a new breeder I have a Caucasian that littered 12 pupies on the 5th of this month at about 4am to 8am. After that time 2 died within 3 hours after delivery , I also noticed that the mother did not Brest feed them d first 24 hours after delivering them even though the mother is always save guiding them close to her self. I notice some of the puppies are becoming weak, So I decided to take them close to their mother's nipu, gently open their mouth so that they can suck of which they did. But after I doing that, within another 24 hours the rest 10 puppies died. Now my question is this:

      1. If a mother litters 12 in been her first time does that mean one will experience this?

      2. What do one do when a Caucasian litters and does not allow her puppies to suck within 24-48 hours.

      3. Assuming her Brest milk is conterminated what does one do to one feed the puppies to keep them alive.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      21 months ago from USA

      Baar, it could likely be a combination of stress and not being able to lick them and smell them right away after delivering them. As you know, a lot goes on on a chemical level when pups are born naturally without interference. It is difficult to really know whether this is likely to repeat if the scenario is different next time.

    • profile image

      baar 

      21 months ago

      I recently had an American Bulldog litter with a new mother. The first puppy (male) came out fine, she reacted well. She was nurturing, curious and loving. Then we waited an eternity (7hrs) before going to the vet and getting a shot to help her along. The next 4pups came out and were delivered healthy at the vets. Within an hour of getting home and into the whelping pen and reintroduced to the pups, she killed all the girls and had the male nursing on her nipple. I removed them male instantly, put her in her kennel, right next door and cleaned the room and the male, then put him on the heat pad back in the pen. 2hrs later, i brought her back into the whelping pen to feed. She seemed a little nervous in her kennel so i just held her collar and put the pup on her back nipple. As soon as I did, she calmed down, as if she just wanted to be near him. I stayed in the pen with her on a collar and leash for another few hours and she seems to be the perfect mom. She keeps him tucked into her or gently picks him up, rearranging and nudging with her nose to guide him back towards the warmth n food when he starts to cry. They've been together alone (15ft away from me) for the last 36hrs and seem to be doing great.

      She's a stable bitch and seems to be a great mother of the first born. Is it possible that she just didn't think they were her pups and was protecting the male? A combination of stress from the vet and not getting to imprint with them before coming home? Could thing have been different if the vet hadn't whisked them away from her?

      The boy arrived dec16@4am so its still early to tell but if things go well with him, I think I would like to try breeding her again, but maybe just having a midwife(midwoof) in case she needs a shot or something? Is that totally irresponsible?

      Thank you for your time and have a great day!

    • profile image

      MAYSAN 

      23 months ago

      Yes Yo, You are 100% correct. For goodness sake Shar get your dog fixed and stop breeding her.... really it is not rocket science.

    • profile image

      Yo 

      2 years ago

      Shar-

      How many damn times are you willing to watch almost an entire litter get consumed, you freak? Stop breeding her. The article above, THAT YOU READ, suggests that your dog makes for an unstable mother. Jesus Christ.

    • profile image

      Laura 

      2 years ago

      Hi my bitch had just came off her cycle she has been mating constantly with my boy she hasn't been aggrestive tho her mood has changed she has got very lazy and my boy has now started to growl at people that stroke her is this a sign she is pregnant or is he just being dominant over her

    • profile image

      Shar 

      2 years ago

      My dog had 6 puppies June 17 its now July 26 so they are just over a month and a few weeks old. I did notice one of her puppies weren't as big as the others and it just practically laid there barely moving at all. later the puppy passed away and there were 5 left. I actually witnessed for the first time my dog actually eat the puppy that died which freaked me out! Once I did some research I began to grasp a bit more of an understanding of why she did it and the puppy was visibly not well. Later there were only 3 puppies and I just thought she might have been hiding them or something. Today, I heard a screech which seemed like a cry from one of the puppies and an aggressive bark from the mother dog, I ran outside to see what was wrong to find that she was eating the puppy!!!! I was completely blown away! She had already eaten the other two and there was only one left I quickly went to grab the pup before it was the next piece of steak. I brought the dog inside gave it a bath ( he was very dirty and smelly) fed it some soft dog food and gave it fresh water. We currently have the pup separated from the mother because I'm afraid she will eat him too. She ate 5 pups and that was the only one left! This is her third time giving birth might I add and she has had some complications with the previous births and every time only one or two pups lived. The last two dogs she ate were very healthy their eyes were open they were walking and responding to their environment and also pretty plump. Someone please help me I don't know what the cause is it seems like she has some sort of aggression towards them I really don't believe she is doing it for their well-being. What could this cause be and what should I do about the pup that's left should I keep it away from the mom or is that a bad idea??????? HELP!

    • profile image

      Amy 

      2 years ago

      I have a 1 year old female blue nose pit on June 30th she had a litter of 10 puppies all males and they're having problems latching on as of today she is entirely quit feeding puppies and seems to be aggressive her tittsvery hard and she's not milking anymore and I don't know how to relieve that pressure any suggestions

    • profile image

      Candice 

      2 years ago

      Hi,

      My toy french poodle gave birth on Tuesday 5 July at 2am. She had 3 puppies but the one died inside her so we had to take her into the vet because she couldn't push.

      The vet put her on a drip and they gave her calcuim injection and something else. When we fetched her on Tuesday 10am they said that she wants nothing to do with the 2 puppies but when she saw us then she started licking them and taking care of the 2.

      My mom struggled to get the boy puppy to drink and when he got food in it came out his nose and he couldn't breath. We took him back to the vet yesterday and unfortunitly had to put him out :'( :( :(

      Lilly the mommy has lost the plot. She is shaking , wheaping and very restless . She keeps crying for my mom everytime she leaves her eye sight. She digs around the bedding and by "skropping" she disterbs the baby. If the baby cried she looks what is wrong and she keeps her clean by licking her but she is very rough with the baby.

      Lilly is very hyper and runs around looking the whole time. She takes the baby in the evenings and puts her in my parents bed. She isn't acting normal , very crazy putting it nicely. She cries all the time for her baby but when she is with her then she is very very rough.

      We don't know what else to do. We don't know what is wrong :(

      Is there any advise that you can please give us

      Many thanks

      Candice

    • profile image

      Aracely 

      2 years ago

      Hi... I'm in need of some answers my German Shepard just had a litter of 11 pupps for the second time on Jun 20th day by day some of the puppies where found dead... today which is the 24 of jun I had 4 puppies left I went out for about 2 hrs. When I came home and checked on them I only found 3 but one was dead & can't find the other one anywhere!. I don't know where or what happened to it since the mom is chained up I don't think she ate it since there is no sign of blood or anything ...I am down to only 2 puppy's & took them into my house idk what to do??. Plz can I get some advice!..

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      It could be you're looking at a dogs' molera or open fontanelle. Is this is a chihuahua puppy? it's more common in chihuahuas and small toy breeds. There are chances it will go away as the pup grows around 9 to 12 weeks of age, but have the pup see the vet just to make sure.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      It depends, some mother dogs can co-exist with their older pups, while others have a hard time. Being dragged by the neck is certainly not a pleasant experience for this pup which is past the age when pups are transported from one place to another. Since the pup squeals, it must be quite uncomfortable. I would suggest finding this pup a good home as soon as possible so she can bloom into a great dog. Also worthy having the vet visit this pup just to make sure there's nothing wrong with her as mother dogs can sometimes detect abnormalities.

    • profile image

      Alex 

      2 years ago

      My sister has a Pomeranian. She had her pups about 3 - 4 months ago. 1 of the puppies died when coming out and the other died about a month. So there is only 1 left now and has been living with us still until we find her a good home. I am just concerned and not sure if it is normal but the mom will constantly be around her or bite her neck and drag her and the puppy will squeal so I will pick the puppy up because I am not sure if that is normal or not. She also continuously licks the pups head and body.

      It is almost like the puppy don't like to be put down sometimes because the mom is constantly trying to play with her or biting her neck and dragging her. Is this normal? Is it a bad idea to keep a puppy with the mom after a few months?

    • profile image

      Zane 

      2 years ago

      My girlfriend's dog had a litter of puppies by her dad and one dog was born with a hole in the dogs head between eyes and nose is there a name for it should I put it down? Idk what to do

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      It depends on the circumstance, did she kill the puppy?

    • profile image

      Cecil Inong 

      2 years ago

      Should a dead puppy be left with the mother so she can dispose of it when she is ready? If the dead pup is taken away from the mother can it be traumatizing to separate from the dead if she is not ready for it?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      This is quite unusual, any more information on what may have happened?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      I wouldn't consider killing puppies "normal" behavior unless there is something really wrong with them from a health standpoint. This is why breeders stop breeding dogs who show any signs of harming pups. It is odd and unfortunate that your dog started doing this the first time after being bred the third time.

    • profile image

      2 years ago

      Yesterday Cherry bred for the third time. She had 12 healthy happy pups. A week later my husband came home and on the driveway 11 bloody pups were just sitting there stiff as wood. This is a new to my dog she hasn't done this ever before. My last pup remaining had a bloody ear and a leg missing when he got home. Also apparently the pup that's still alive is the father dog's favorite. My husband saw Cherry try to kill the remaining pup but Tiki (father dogs name) defended the poor puppy. Now he's got scratches all over him. Is this normal behavior?

    • profile image

      hi 

      2 years ago

      My pitbull killed his pups and the mother?

    • profile image

      Australia 

      2 years ago

      Our Maltese had 5 beautiful puppies by c section. She had nursed them up until today when my wife arrived home to find them all killed. One of the puppies had its head eaten. A horrible horrible site and experience.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      Theo, the article addresses several possibilities, so sorry for your loss.

    • profile image

      Theo 

      2 years ago

      My dog ate her own puppy, is there any explanation??

    • profile image

      karen 

      2 years ago

      Had no idea dogs ate their puppies until yesterday..she had three beautiful healthy puppies and I left to go out for a few hours and found half of one of them on the floor when I came back...the other was gone altogether and there was one left alive..I couldn't understand what had happened until she started to throw up pieces of her puppies...she had eaten them...I am at a loss for words and in shock. I've taken the last one away from her and she is only aloud to feed it under supervision and then it is removed. I just can't believe this. I'm in shock...and then I found this post...can't believe this...if I had known this was a possibility I would have removed all three after she fed them.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      Something is wrong with this puppy, please have him see the vet. Could be has a cleft palate or something else going on.

    • profile image

      Meow 

      2 years ago

      I need some help with my newborn pups! I don't know why but one of them keep crying and crying and I thought that it cannot reach its mother but when I move that pup to a nearer place, still it won't drink even tho I put its mouth next to the breast it doesn't drink and always cry and cry

    • profile image

      Heather 

      2 years ago

      Thanks

      Now I have an idea for when my dog has puppies

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      Mother dogs can get stressed from changing places and being around others. Try to keep them in a quiet place but monitor from a distance to make sure all is going well. DAP diffusers like comfort zone may further help out.

    • profile image

      Concerned co-puppy parent 

      2 years ago

      Hi, my male dog has pups with our good friends' female dog. The pups are almost 3 weeks old. Our friends moved away last week and we are now caring for the mama and the pups. Our friends will most likely come back on weekends and will probably want to take mama and her pups while they are here. I am concerned that moving mama and pups around so much may stress out the mama. I feel like she is already not wanting to feed them that much. Could I please get some feedback on if my concerns are legit or if I am just over reacting? Thank you .

    • profile image

      Ms. C 

      2 years ago

      So my Pittbull just had a litter two days ago first time and she had 10. The first day one died I think she smothered it and today we go to look for a specific one and she's not there!!! We look everywhere and ended up finding her stiff cold under tires in the garage!! We made a warm and comfortable space in the garage for her to take care of them but I don't know why she did that. Anyway the dog wasn't dead and we brought it in the house can we bottle feed it and keep it with us? She took the puppy out of the play pen and put it behind rails!!! What should i do??? Please help!!!! The puppy is getting warmer and moving but i'm scared to give her back to the mother.

    • profile image

      Aaron 

      2 years ago

      Hiii, i have two pitbulls that had puppies for quite a while already, but ever since they were born the mother would bite and pick on one of the pups that seemed to be the most scared and the rest of the puppies would also bite him, yesterday i came back home and witnessed one of the small puppys and his dad covered in blood, they killed the puppy by biting and shaking his neck. Separating them was what we did but dont know if we should always keep them apart now.

    • profile image

      Pete & Yvette 

      2 years ago

      We have a pitbull mix. She has had 3 liters so far and her first liter most puppies survived. But her last two liters she killed them. We dont know how or why but its heartbreaking to go through this once again with our pit. She recently had her last liter about 3 days ago and today this morning my boyfriend went to check on her and the puppies were all dead. Its so difficult and sad that this happened again. Wish we could have saved her liter. She had about 11 puppies.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      I am very sorry to hear that. Can it be momma dog placed the pups in a safe area out of reach?

    • profile image

      kathy 

      2 years ago

      My rockweiller had 3 pups. They were two weeks old today. When we went to feed today they were gone. No sign of blood in the house anywhere..would she have eaten them at two weeks old? And wouldnt there have been evidence if she did? This was her first breeding.

    • profile image

      kam 

      2 years ago

      My pit bull had puppies 6wks ago my sister got three of them yesterday this morning i woke up to find she.had killed one and was feeding it to her litter wth is she okay

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      May look healthy to us, but mom may sense something amiss that we can't address. Also, could be triggered by stress/temperament issues.

    • profile image

      Cathy sanders 

      2 years ago

      My pug gave birth to pit bull puppys but right after birth she will kill and eat them why they were health.

    • profile image

      yesenia 

      3 years ago

      My dog`s pups died she's seven years old so I don't believe she's too young she'd constantly leave her pups alone for a while sometimes to let us know she needed water and food but because we had her outside she`d walk around the yard. Its also been very hot lately so am not sure what was it that killed them maybe dehydration. All three were found dead at the same time. Now she's left with no baby. Her breast are still producing milk and am not sure if she's crying of grief or because her breast hurt

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      3 years ago from USA

      Usually, this behavior reduces as the effect of bonding hormones weans off. Try to avoid major commotion the very first days, in other words, don't go there to show other people the puppies or take pictures of the puppies which can cause stress. Only go there to check if there's enough water, make sure everybody is safe. Sit down at a safe distance, where your dog is less likely to growl. If she's snapping, you're too close for comfort. Make it a habit of tossing your dog a tasty treat every time you come close so your dog creates positive associations with you coming close and understands it's not your intent to remove any puppies.Don't touch her puppies if this causes distress. If you need to look at the pups, do it when mother dog goes out to potty or eat. Close her out as a family member feeds her and quickly do what you need to do. Also, if she's acting too aggressively consider moving her and the puppies ins a large kennel so you're safe. See my hub on maternal aggression: https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Understanding-Dog-Mate...

    • profile image

      Ruby 

      3 years ago

      How can I help her if she snaps at me when I get near the litter? I'm afraid she'll bite me.

    • profile image

      A. 

      3 years ago

      Rhandlen, read under, "Why Would a Mother Dog Kill its Puppies?" there are several possible explanations.

    • profile image

      RHandlen 

      3 years ago

      My mom dog had a litter of 7 pups 4 weeks ago. She rejected one and was trying to hurt him, so we pulled him from the rest of the litter and bottle feed him. Today I got the heart breaking phone call at work the she killed him! Why would she do this? I am in complete shock! Please help me understand.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      3 years ago from USA

      I am so sorry about what happened to your pup. I feel your pain. When I was a child, I felt terribly sad when my pet hamster killed all her babies, I can't imagine how it must feel with a dog.

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