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10/23/12

Dogs' Behavior After Giving Birth

When new born puppies arrive, they are blind, deaf and helpless. Your dogs behavior after giving birth is generally related to the protection and care of these infants. She may seem like a very different animal while she is caring for her newborns, but generally she will return to her normal self after the puppies have reached a certain age.

Aggressive Behavior

Dogs have a strong protective instinct, which is never more prevalent than in a mother who feels like she must protect her puppies. The aggression is often due to hormonal changes and may occur in the days leading up to the birth as well. Generally, the more socialized the dog is before she gives birth, the better.

After giving birth she may snap at people, particularly strangers who come close to her puppies, or who are loud or make sudden moves near her puppies. Giving her a quiet place to whelp, away from the normal traffic of the house will help her to feel safe. Bringing a lot of different people to see the new puppies can aggravate her aggression, so it is best to keep it to only one or two people who she knows and trusts.

Urinating in the House

A new mother dog might also suddenly appear to forget her toilet training. Particularly in the first 24 hours to a week after the pups are born, a new mother will be very reluctant to leave them for any reason. While she will tend to eat the excretion produced by the new puppies to keep them clean, she will depend on you to lay newspapers down in case she has an accident.

She may not want to eat for the first 24 hours after the birth, but will eat a great deal after that and should be given as much as she wants. After the first 24 hours you can also take her outside away from the puppies to encourage her to go, but she shouldn't be kept away from them for long. After a week, she should relax and will leave the puppies for short periods of her own accord. If she continues to urinate inside, she may have a bladder infection or other problems and should see a vet.

Other Behaviors

New mother dogs may seem to search about for something, or try to "dig" in areas of the house. Often this is because they are looking for a place to hide the puppies, and is a sign that they don't feel safe. In this case, try leaving the dog alone with her puppies for longer periods and cut down on the number of people she sees.

A new mother will also lick her puppies constantly for several weeks. This not only creates a bond between her and the puppies but also helps their digestive systems to work properly.

Your dog should be able to handle her new circumstances as a mother with ease, but she still relies on you to give her assistance when needed. Knowing what to expect will help owners to remain calm and understand the new behaviors she might exhibit.
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