6 Weeks old and Mommy is being mean

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6 Weeks old and Mommy is being mean

This is a discussion on 6 Weeks old and Mommy is being mean within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; So I have fostered pregnant dogs and have weaned pups but have never ever run into this one.... My female shepherd who has 4 pups ...

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Old 06-21-2012, 08:01 AM
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6 Weeks old and Mommy is being mean

So I have fostered pregnant dogs and have weaned pups but have never ever run into this one....

My female shepherd who has 4 pups (all are being donated to the police), she stopped caring for them 3 weeks ago, so of course we have been raising them.They are now 6 weeks old. Mommy has stepped back up and has been doing the discipline but that is it. We noticed last night that she is being mean to the only male pup. He will just be standing there or playing with a toy and she will walk up forcefully knock him down, pin him with her paws and mouth him, almost like she is on a power trip. Then she refused to let him leave the box after eating but allowed the girls to. She has tossed him against a door. And it is starting to seem like his sisters are following Mom's lead on bullying him. It got to the point we removed him from the puppy room last night to be with us for the night, which he did great with.

We have decided that Mom will be spayed as she is not the greatest mom, it really seems like she hates having her babies.

To give more background we also have mom's brother and they play rough, but he is well over 100 lbs and can take care of himself. Our male dog actually sticks up for his nephew.

Does anyone have any input on why she may be doing this? We are actually thinking of starting to re-crate mom at night in the living room but that would mean the pups are unsupervised.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:21 AM
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Seems like its time to limit when Mom can supervise the puppies. You know what happens to kids who are bullied... they can end up being bullies later in life. If the wee pup is not doing anything to deserve the discipline, it seems unhealthy to expose him to this seemingly random violence. Its also not good modeling for the girl puppies.

Sorry, I have no idea why Mom would be mean (maybe that's how her Mom was?). But I'd say a little human intervention / prevention is a good plan.

Puppies will learn plenty of "bite inhibition" from each other at this point.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:53 AM
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Is this her first litter? How old is she? If the male pup is the only one she is doing this with then I would remove him and only put him with his sisters when mom is not in there. Maybe she was beat up by her brothers and remembers it. or maybe he smells different to her?
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:24 AM
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Is this her first litter? How old is she? If the male pup is the only one she is doing this with then I would remove him and only put him with his sisters when mom is not in there. Maybe she was beat up by her brothers and remembers it. or maybe he smells different to her?

This is her first and will be her only litter, mom is 2 1/2. Mom is very very close to her brother and can try to be mean to him but he puts her in her place when she does but he has never hurt her. We have had them since they were 6 weeks old. Even at 2 weeks old they started to constantly snuggle together and it turned into where one went the other followed.

We decided to remove mom from the room and will monitor her when she has contact with the babies. So far they are adjusting very well but we will see what the night brings. Just really odd that the male is more nurturing then mom. This is a male that normally will not tolerate any other dog in his home.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:37 AM
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That is sweet of the boy..
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:45 PM
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Many mother dogs seem to want to be able to get away from their pups after the first couple of weeks, for short periods of time, then longer and longer as the puppies grow. Puppies are so very demanding to nurse and those teeth hurt! If she has been confined to the puppy room for periods of time, with no escape from the babies, then perhaps her patience has been worn thin!

Maybe LM has more comments on this. She has experience as a breeder. I am just relating what I've learned from a friend who is a Llewellin setter breeder.
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:57 PM
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One of mine will wean her pups at six weeks. She will seem to bully a few. Usually its the toughest pups that cause the most trouble. Even if they aren't doing anything apparent at the moment, she is keeping them in line, as a reminder so its not so harsh when she does seriously correct them.

If she is actually hurting the pup, its time to completely separate her from all of them, as it may play out onto another one.

One of my male pups returns almost daily foe sitting. He is a monster, and the girls get picked on. Mom comes in, flips him, snaps his jaws, and off again. With the litter its no big deal. Watching him completely over react and attempt to attack the strange dogs at training, you can obviously see his manners are lacking. It's much easier for dogs to correct this than people. One of the females is tough, but respects Mon, so she doesn't step in as much, though the other adults have no tolerance for her. This is typical malinois behavior. They are head strong, tough, determined, crazy little devils.

You just have to know what is actual bullying, and what is normal.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:10 PM
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Many mother dogs seem to want to be able to get away from their pups after the first couple of weeks, for short periods of time, then longer and longer as the puppies grow. Puppies are so very demanding to nurse and those teeth hurt! If she has been confined to the puppy room for periods of time, with no escape from the babies, then perhaps her patience has been worn thin!
That is very true. I had to put a cooking apron on the golden so the puppies could not nurse/bite her nipples. She loved being in there with them so it worked great. I also ace bandaged a chihuahua for the same reason.

The male might be more food aggressive and maybe that is why she has issues with him?
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:08 PM
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We made sure she was never confined in the room for long periods of time, even when they were tiny. She would knock (well tap the door with her paw) and be let out of the room and when she wanted in she would come get me and run to the door. We knew she needed her own time and space. We do have chair that she can also rest in to get up away from the pups in that room as well.

They stopped nursing weeks ago because she would not let them so they are already done with nursing and mom is almost completely dried up. Mom will eat their food and leave none for them if she has a chance to.

The male pup that she is doing this to is very gentle and loving. He already does not nip or chew on people, he is actually very well mannered for a pup of this age whereas the girls are little terrors, which is why we do not understand why she will ignore them being punks and correct the one that was just sitting playing with a toy. Mom will even take his toys away and give it to the girls.

I haven't noticed any type of aggression in any of the babies as far as food goes. They all share nicely .
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:46 PM
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Interesting. Thanks for the further information. It does seem odd, the way mom is relating to that one pup!
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